Echo (2nd Generation) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Charcoal Fabric
|List Price:||CDN$ 129.99|
|Deal Price:||CDN$ 99.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
|You Save:||CDN$ 30.00 (23%)|
- Echo connects to Alexa—a cloud-based voice service—to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, check your calendar, weather, traffic, and sports scores, manage to-do and shopping lists, control smart home devices, and more—instantly
- Just ask for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, and more. With multi-room music, you can play music on compatible Echo devices in different rooms.
- Call or message almost anyone hands-free with your Echo device. Also, instantly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice.
- Powerful speakers with Dolby processing fill the room with immersive, 360° omnidirectional audio, and deliver crisp vocals and dynamic bass response
- With seven microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
- Just ask Alexa to control your compatible smart lights, thermostats, locks, and more
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills. Just ask Alexa to control your TV, check flight status, and more.
We want you to know
Not all skills are supported in both English and French. Please refer to the skills store here for more information.
French language support for Echo Spot and Echo Show (2nd gen) coming soon.
Alexa has many skills and counting. Ask about your daily commute, control your lights, check your flight status, and more. Create your own personal skills and custom responses with Alexa Skill Blueprints. Just say “Alexa, help me get started with skills.”
New skills are being added all the time. Discover them in the skills section of the Alexa app or visit the skills store.
148 mm x 88 mm x 88 mm
821 grams Actual size and weight may vary by manufacturing process
Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks. Does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from your mobile device to Echo or from Echo to your Bluetooth speaker. Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) for voice control of connected mobile devices. Hands-free voice control is not supported for Mac OS X devices. Bluetooth speakers requiring PIN codes are not supported.
63.5 mm woofer and 16 mm tweeter
The Alexa App is compatible with Android and iOS devices.
Warranty and Service
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My mother is now 75 and has recently become fully blind due to glaucoma and related eye conditions. My father is there to help, but he also has to occasionally leave her for periods of time. She has drawn great comfort from using Alexa to help her with medication reminders and timers related to medical treatments. She even just uses it to tell what time it is. Soon we'll attach a smart-phone account and calendar / contacts etc. to allow her to place phone calls etc. She is a technology averse person by her history and has been thrust into dependence upon technology as well as other people. Just being able to tell the time and to remind her of her medications has had a vast and immense impact on the happiness of my parents. My father, not a nurturer, was being asked to tell her the time every 10 minutes. She was missing doses or taking incorrect doses at the wrong times on occasions when she was alone. Knowing the weather or asking Alexa a simple question has given her a huge amount of simple freedom that helps her feel more independent and has also relaxed the pressure on her husband to be constantly attending to her as she finds her balance and measures her requests for help because she is constantly asking for help in her immediate needs. Something so simple and such a simple application of a simple tool has immediately improved two people's lives. My mother is even becoming adventurous with the Echo and is trying new things. My father is researching skills to use. This is a big deal in a simple way that should never be downplayed or underappreciated and taken for granted.
Have reasonable expectations and you will be very pleased. If you are expecting to be immobile while this tool butters your toast, you should take a breath, have a moment, and appreciate the things that you can do for yourself. For the price of a tank and a half of gas, you have a tool that will solve a lot of your problems and add simple convenience to your life. If you're looking to be George Jetson or live in the VR world of Ready Player One or a Black Mirror episode, get a grip, take a trip and see a sunset and appreciate what you have and can do for yourself. Flying cars that drive themselves will be here soon enough....
THESE ARE SOME OF THE DRAWBACKS
1) Must be plugged in all the time. Would be nice if it had a built in battery so you could move it easily to different locations in the house (i.e. the bathroom, outside during a BBQ etc) without bringing the power cord.
2) The sound is pretty good, but lacks low end (bass).
3) The ability to use voice control to select your own Spotify playlists (created by you) does not work. The ability to ask Spotify to play a "genre" of music does not work either. Apparently this works in the USA, but not in Canada.
4) Navigation features for Alexa are somewhat limited. Alexa knows your location because you program in your postal code during the setup process. This is how she can easily tell you the weather based on your location. However, if you ask "Alexa, how long will it take me to drive to 555 Elm Street in Toronto, Ontario" you get this answer "I couldn't find that one, but I am working on adding more local businesses."
5) If you store your iPhone contacts on an exchange server (like Microsoft) and not on the iPhone itself, Alexa will not recognize those contacts which will affect your ability to make phone calls via Alexa from your phone book.
6) You cannot voice train Alexa in Canada. The feature is only available (settings --> accounts --> your voice) if your device is registered to an Amazon.com account (not Amazon.ca).
7) When creating audio groups for multi room music, you can only add each echo to one group. If you try to add those devices to a second group, they are greyed out and inaccessible. I have 2 echos on my main floor, one on the second floor and one in my basement. I would like to have an audio group called "main floor" and also an audio group called "everywhere" but Alexa will not allow overlap of echo's between the two groups.
8) As of January 1, 2018 it seems that Amazon has increased the price for the Echo by $20.
9) The Alexa app takes about 10 seconds to load on my iPhone 5s.
10) The Alexa web portal does not always sync with the Alexa app correctly. Smart bulbs that are renamed in the mobile app (for example "hallway lamp") still show up on the web portal as the generic name "First light: Phillips Hue White Light"
11) The list feature is great, but would be much better if it allowed you to rearrange entries so you could group similar items together (produce, dairy, condiments etc).
HERE IS WHAT I LIKE:
1) You can link Alexa to your Spotify Premium account. By doing so, it will automatically provide you with your entire music library so when you request a song ("Alexa, play Love on the Brain") it automatically plays you the full complete song, not the sample from Amazon. Alexa's ability to play music and play the correct song upon request is her strongest asset. Make sure to select Spotify as your default music player in the Alexa App: Settings (3 stacked horizontal bars in top left corner) --> Music & Media --> Spotify.
2) You can talk to Alexa with normal speed (as if you were speaking to another person) and she understands. There is no need to pause after saying "Alexa" or talk slowly.
3) You can ask Alexa "play white noise", "play sounds of the ocean", "play sounds of rain" or "play fireplace" and your device has now become a sound machine.
4) We have four Echo's (office, kitchen, bedroom & basement). Room to room calling works well for us "Alexa call bedroom".
5) Voice over Internet Protocol (VoiP) works well and does not cost any money. You can call contacts in your phone book, tell Alexa to dial a specific number ("Alexa, dial (416)-555-5555) or other Alexa devices. My mother has an Echo in Florida and I have one in Toronto. I can say "Alexa, call moms echo" and it will connect me with her.
6) You do not need to use the Alexa App to program the devices. There is a web page portal that is much easier to navigate and enter the settings: https://alexa.amazon.com/
7) Multi-Room audio works well and is a good alternative to an expensive Sonos setup. If you have more than one echo device (echo dot, echo or echo plus) you can create groups of speakers (echo devices) and play music across all speakers in that group. If you have 2 echo’s on your main floor and 2 echo’s on your second floor you can create audio groups for the "main floor," and “second floor,” or whatever name you choose. Then say "Alexa play Footloose on main floor" and it will only play on the two echos located in that audio group. Great for entertaining and parties. While the sound quality is not as good as the Sonos Play 1, the echo costs $120 compared to the the Sonos Play 1 at $200.
8) We had 2 TP-Link Kasa smart plugs which were very easy to integrate into the Alexa app. We use these to control 2 lamps on our night tables in the bedroom. You program the name of the smart plug and then they can be operated independently by saying "Alexa, turn on Aaron's Lamp" or "Alexa, turn on Ali's lamp". You can also create groups so Alexa can control both switches simultaneously by saying "Alexa, turn off bedroom lamps".
9) The "List" feature works very well to keep track of things. I have a list for shopping, to-do, homework (for the kids). Just say "Alexa, add butter to shopping list". When you go to the store, open up the Alexa up, press "Lists", select "shopping" and sure enough, butter is there.
10) Cross platform connectivity between all Alexa devices works pretty well. I can tell my FireTV Alexa to add something to my shopping list, or turn off a light, and it works.
11) You can add "skills" to Alexa via the app or web interface. These skills are created by 3rd party manufacturers which allows Alexa to communicate with their products or their web content. I just added a skill for my Logitech Harmony Smart Home Hub (which I already owned) and can now tell Alexa to turn on my Honeywell fan, or turn on Netflix in the room where my harmony remote is currently being used.
12) The echo has a 3.5mm audio out port on the back. This is great for connecting it to your stereo or external speakers. The echo dot and echo plus also have 3.5mm audio out ports.
Pictured below are the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus (in that order).