Amazon Echo is perhaps the most popular smart speaker present in the market today. It gives users the ability to command Alexa, or to browse the internet and even order items from Amazon. With Google and Apple also in the game, however, Amazon couldn’t rest on its laurels. The company has recently released the new-and-improved Echo and the Echo Plus, a smart-home hub that will automatically connect to your other devices. Lets compare the Echo, Echo 2nd Gen and Echo Plus.
The first-generation Echo is an imposing monolith with its tall design and black colour. Echo emphasized the simplicity with two buttons on top and a pinhole microphone and a ring around the edge to control the volume.
Echo second gen has a much smaller package and comes in different body designs. The original was prone to fingerprints, therefore the additional designs are a great idea. There are a total of six variations for the second generation Echo; three have cloth covers, while three have sleek finishes, including wood.
The Echo Plus copies the design of the original Echo, and is tall at 9.3 inches, cylindrical body. It comes in black, white, and silver colours. While the outset may be familiar, the Echo Plus has a lot of new stuff going on beneath the surface.
The original Echo was not impressive to any audiophiles, but it has been claimed that it has high sound with full bass that doesn’t go overboard. People might not use their Echo to blast music, however, the sound quality ought to be more than “adequate,” and that is where the new Echo models take things to another level with Dolby speaker technology. Both Echo and Echo Plus sport 2.5-inch woofers for a full bass sound.
The second-gene Echo has a 0.6-inch tweeter for clear treble, and the Echo Plus has a larger 0.8-inch tweeter, giving improved sound dispersion. Multi-room audio is supported by both the new Echo and Echo Plus, so you can play one track in your kitchen while someone else listens to a different track in the living room.
However, none of the Echo models will give you the superb music-listening experience. You will probably want a proper speaker and receiver setup for that. However, they’ll probably be adequate if you want to put on some tunes while you have company over. With the Echo’s connectivity, it should be easy to hook it up to a high-end set of speakers anyway.
Ultimately, the point of a smart speaker is to make mundane tasks easier. The original Echo allows users to perform a huge number of tasks which were hands-free, whether it be launching movies or songs with simple commands or asking Alexa to show the outdoor security camera. The Echo has great compatibility with smart-home devices such as Nest.
The newer Echo models have also upped the game. Both have what Amazon calls improved “far-field voice recognition,” which makes their microphones hear commands from afar, even in noisy rooms. The original Echo were dependent on additional “smart hubs” to connect Alexa to their various smart devices, however, that will not be a problem for Echo Plus users.