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NEWS: Amazon all-new Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Show launched

Discussion in 'Smart Home, Climate Control & Security Forum' started by Mark Hodgkinson, Sep 28, 2017.


    1. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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    2. mike7

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      Interesting to see how Amazon are developing this project. I'm sure it will give the opposition something to think about especially at these prices. Basically the core hardware appears to remain the same. I've had a Dot and a Echo for some time now. Initially they were a bit glitchy and would crash from time to time. Now this rarely happens and they are much more reliable. The only difficulty is remembering all the 'skills' that they run. Sometimes it is worthwhile just to ask your question anyway and quite often the unit will come up with some surprising answers! What is not mentioned is the announced linkup with Microsoft's Cortana which widens the possibilities.

      "Alexa, Am I good looking?" "I'm sure you look great, but its what's inside that counts"

      Microsoft and Amazon partner to integrate Alexa and Cortana digital assistants
       
    3. big boss

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    4. aVdub

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      Ordered today and am looking forward to having a play.
       
    5. Jazz Monkey Jr

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    6. big boss

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      I believe it will be available early next year. Echo show is already available in the US since a while for example.
       
    7. aVdub

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    8. mike7

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      It's a bit disappointing that the range still has limited possibilities for proper stereo reproduction. Unless the newer units have a Bluetooth connection it leaves only the cheapest, the Dot, that you can link by wire or wirelessly to your hi-fi set up. Call me old fashioned but I still prefer my music with two speakers rather than one, however good it is.
       
    9. Khazul

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      ^ That is the reason I only ever bought an echo dot. As far as I am concerned, the speaker on it is only fit for voice responses.

      Its a shame the echo show is such a bulky shape - it it had been a flat profile, it might have had a place as a wall mounted gadget :)
       
    10. Inked

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    11. CarMad

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      Anyone seen any reviews on them yet and a real hands on, only seen bits from the launch event.

      I want to see how much better either new Echo actually is.
       
    12. davepuma

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      Has anyone seen any more information on the new Echo Plus? I'm interested in it as a replacement for one of my dots as the dot speaker is woeful and I could do with a better speaker for occasional background music listening for the radio etc. and it potentially could get rid of the multitude of hubs and wires in my hallway for my Hue lighting and Hive heating. I fancy adding some of the cheaper Ikea GU10 lamps around my house but obviously don't know if they will function with the Echo Plus as a hub.
       
    13. mtenga

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      The new Echo does thankfully have Bluetooth. It arrives tomorrow and will replace a Dot in my lounge and connect to my AVR.
       
    14. Khazul

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      So does the dot.
       
    15. mtenga

      mtenga
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      Was that ever in doubt or questioned?
       
    16. Khazul

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      Wow - jumpy.

      From the way you worded your post, then it looked like you might have been buying a new one to get AVR connectivity.
       
    17. mtenga

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      No was just saying the Echo didn’t previously have Bluetooth capability but now does on version 2. Which the poster above was asking.

      I use the Bluetooth capability of the Dot to connect to AVRs in my lounge and bedroom currently. They are not that great in hearing commands in a loud environment and I’m hoping that the newer Echo will be better. It will also be better for casual listening when I don’t want to switch on my system.
       
    18. Khazul

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      If they are, that would certainly be useful. I do find if I have music/sound on at a reasonable volume then its a case of learning towards and shouting at Alexa.

      I wish it would get person recognition as well - kind of annoying sometimes when exactly the right phrase happens to be in TV program and switches all the lights off or something equally annoying.
       
    19. mtenga

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      Yeah the TV thing is annoying but usually just ends with I don’t understand that question. Once it tried to order me something off Amazon but my account safeguards did not allow the order to complete.
       
    20. mike7

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      The Bluetooth connection from my Dot was not always reliable. I was linking it to a Denon AV amp. It suffered from drop outs and if the Amp volume was high it could not always hear commands.
       
    21. Khazul

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      I found the dot to be fine with my Yamaha AVR - its about 3.5m away from the AVR with line of sight to the antenna on the AVR and no wires or metal crowding the antenna (assuming a combined WiFi/BT antenna).
       
    22. mtenga

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      Yes it’s fine connection wise on my Denon and Yamaha amps. Problem is it just doesn’t hear orders all that well with music on and I find myself having to emphasise the wake word loudly rather than talking naturally. Will see what the version two brings.
       
    23. Khazul

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      Yes - I get that as well. The problem that goes with yelling at Alexa is if the cat is sitting on my wife it digs its claws into her legs and scarpers so I end up getting beaten with a cushion :)
       
    24. mike7

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      I think hearing the commands is probably the problem. It seems to fit in with my experience. I hard wired the Amp and Dot in the end.
       
    25. mtenga

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      The new version doesn’t seem any better at picking up my voice in a loud room. Still having to shout. Alexa does sound different than on the Dot though, more bass because of the bigger speaker.
       
    26. Khazul

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      So much for second generation mic array tech...
      I had a suspicion that the echo dot was already a generation ahead of the original echo anyway.

      As I have an old fire TV, I started using the fire TV voice remote as well which does work well (press button instead of wake word) - but it means grabbing a remote and most of the time what I want it to do is a single press on my harmony companion remote anyway so not worth the bother unless everything is out of reach.

      I've left my echo dot on BT - I just command it to connect to my AVR when I actually want to play music though amazon music to the AVR then command it to disconnect when done. It has the advantage that the AVR will auto-select the BT input otherwise I have the hassle to persuading echo to get harmony to tell the receiver to switch inputs (it works, its just a long winded command in the UK as for some reason harmony isn't a premium Alexa skill here like it apparently is in the US (A separate rant needed for that). By the time you have remembered and correctly articulated the sacred scrolls to get the damn to thing to do what you want - its often easier to just walk to other side of room and press a single button on a remote :)
       
    27. CarMad

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      So how are people finding the sound on the new Echo / Echo Plus compared to the previous Echo?

      I've not gone for the new one yet as some of the early review didn't seem to point at an improvement in the sound quality. I'd be interested on peoples views.
       
    28. mtenga

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      It can play quite loud but lacks bass, a bit hollow really. No real improvement over the previous echo quality wise.

      I bought because I thought the mics would pickup better but no real improvement. No need to upgrade really. I still will be mainly connecting Bluetooth to my AVR for music.
       
    29. Grimley

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      I just bought one to try in my place after interacting with one during an airbnb stay a little while ago.
       
    30. aVdub

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      I'm sure my non Plus has better bass, but I put that down to building work and a layer of dust inside it and the Start of Request sounds very tinny.

      Perhaps it will bed in a little with an update or two in time.
       

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