What is an Amazon Echo? Amazon Echo is a virtual assistant and a snazzy speaker. A height of 9.25 inches makes it seem a little on the tall side but with it only being 3 inches around it doesn’t seem that huge. It does everything from being an alarm clock, helping build a grocery list, delivering weather forecasts, to just answering some basic questions.
There are 7 microphones inside listening for the wake word “Alexa.” Once it hears the word Alexa, a pale blue light ring appears at the top. You are now ready to fire any command or question its way. For example I will try “Alexa, what is the weather in Carlisle Pennsylvania?” it then gives me the current weather condition with a short forecast. I also try “Alexa, how tall is Barrack Obama?” Wow, I did not realize he is 6’1″. You can change the wake word to be “Amazon” instead but I stuck with Alexa. If it does not know the answer to your question it simply says “I’m sorry i did not understand that.” or if it understands your question but does not know the answer it will put a Bing search in your Echo Dashboard. I was impressed with how much information it does know. And it is fun to just fire at it questions and see if what for answers it comes up with.
There is a 2.5-inch woofer, and a 2.0-inch tweeter that blares out your music pretty well. You can play your Amazon Prime music or if you want to just listen to the Tunein or iheart radio you also can do that. Here again you can just tell Alexa what you want to hear, how high you want the volume, skip to the next song, or you can even tell it to play a specific song. The sound quality is nothing to really brag about but is not horrible either. If you want to purchase this device you currently have to have an invite. It is $99 for Prime members and $199 for all none Prime members. So is the Amazon Echo worth buying? If you can get it for $99 then it would be worth it. You can check them out on Amazon. I have posted some pictures of the unboxing below. Enjoy.
The Amazon Echo ships in a black box with absolutely no markings on it. Maybe that is to make this device seem more mysterious?
This sticker at the bottom is the only indication it is from Amazon.
It wasn’t until we slid the outer black layer off of the box do we see an Amazon logo.
I love how Amazon has these pull tabs. There is no need to use a knife in the unboxing process.
I love the bright orange colors Amazon went with on the inside of the box.
Handy little instruction sheet underneath the speaker.
Inside the box you will get.
Amazon Echo remote (with a built-in microphone and music playback and volume controls)
Magnetic Amazon Echo remote holder (with an adhesive for placing it on non-magnetic surfaces)
2 AAA batteries (for remote)
Quick Start Guide
The remote allows you to control the volume, change tracks and play/pause you music. If you are to far away from the Amazon Echo or in a noisy environment you can press the speaker button at the top of the remote and give Alexa commands through that.
Setting up the Echo is very easy. Once it’s plugged in, the setup takes place in the web browser, or even better, using the Amazon Echo app on a device running either Fire OS 4.5.1 or Android. Connect directly to the Amazon Echo and the setup is easy to follow from there.
The Echo dashboard lists all of your questions or commands.
There are very good instructions along and so there should be no trouble in setting the device up. If you do need any help, amazon has great instructions online here.
Update: Some of you were wondering about changing the defalt search in Echo. Currently you can only use Bing as the search engine. The Echo Support team told me that they sent a request to the Amazon Echo development team for consideration. So if everybody sends in a request to allow for other options then maybe they will integrate it. 🙂
I hope you have enjoy this post. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.