Amazon's Echo plus is back with some notable improvements including a new look. It is shorter, wider, featuring a vast speaker and a fabric mesh body which brings the Plus along with the Echo family. You should, however, note that it is the only Echo device that features a built-in home hub for controlling ZigBee supported devices.
Amazon’s 2nd Gen Echo Plus Is A Smart Home Hub And Smart Speaker In One Great Device
The new Echo Plus is still a replica of the first version and still offers the same functionality. The only thing Amazon made differently is the design which is obviously an improvement and improved audio drivers to help compete with the current market.
When the first Echo was launched in 2017, the premium version offered the same voice-enabled Alexa smarts of other Echo devices. The first version offered a way to communicate between your bulbs, cameras and various switches at home all through one device with same voice command interface that you checked the weather, did shopping and streamed music without the need for individual hub hardware for each gadget.
A neater design improved audio and a more useful smart hub all makes Amazon's newest Echo Plus a better premium device that the original plus failed to be. With that said, it still lacks the sound quality to fairly compete with main music players like Apple HomePod and Google Home.
Echo Plus 2nd Gen Is Simple To Set Up And Use
Step 1). Plug in your 2nd Gen Echo Plus.
Step 2). Connect to the internet with the Alexa app.
Step 3). Just ask Alexa for music, weather, news, and more.
Step 4). For simple setup with compatible smart home devices ask, “Alexa, discover my devices.”
Features Of The Second Generation Echo Plus
Design: The previous version looked taller and thinner, a ganglier version of the original Echo. Its body was made of glossy plastic with the speaker grill surrounding the bottom. The new Echo plus has followed the footsteps of the Echo 2nd generation. It is now covered with the same mesh fabric that covered the 2017 Echo, 2018 Echo Dot, and the Echo show.
It is stouter, shorter than its predecessor measuring 148 x 99 x 99mm. It looks less like a speaker that would fit into a modern living room and resembles an alien-built tower. It is a nice-looking device all round that you would appreciate keeping in your living room or bedroom and a significant upgrade from its predecessor.
However, if you had the previous Echo Plus, you would agree with me that the older version was effortless to use. The button to activate Alexa, mute and unmute button and the circular knob to control the volume were easy to work with. The new version has replaced the dial volume button with two volume buttons. All the four are noticeably a challenge to press than the original ones and can be a pain when hammering in quick succession. The 2nd generation comes in three colors, sandstone, charcoal, and Heather Grey.
Alexa: Inside the Echo Plus lives the smart voice assistant Alexa. Alexa can order pizza for you, call uber, give weather updates and make jokes for you or do for you anything you want to be done. Alexa's most significant power is general knowledge. Can answer questions thoroughly, quickly and generally more accurately than Google Assistant. Another favorite feature is that you can use Alexa to call or text friends if they have Alexa app on their smartphones.
However, Alexa has major difficulty in giving directions. Nothing like Google. Alexa takes an average of 2 secs to answer your questions which is pretty much fast than many voice assistants. The conversion, however, is not quick enough to sound like a human conversation.
Audio: There isn’t much to say about Amazon’s Echo Plus 2nd generation's audio, but it goes without saying that it is an improvement from the first generation. It doesn't deliver quite the bass as with the Amazon's larger Echo Sub, but it is still quite commanding and much louder than the older Plus. The audio is clear and crisp, vocal warm and has a strong bass presence making it the ideal speaker regardless of your music taste.
It may not offer that perfect listening experience though as the passive and sub-bass radiator is lacking which means that as the volume increases, the bass presence decreases.
The Fine Print on the Amazon Echo Plus 2nd Gen
The Amazon Echo Plus 2nd Gen is an all-around improvement of the original version, not just the design but also the quality of the audio. Amazon worked hard to ensure that all critical areas are taken care of, like the design, audio, and Alexa.
The fabric mesh gives it a great look that helps the device blend naturally to with your home environment. It is an excellent smart-home hub and great smart speaker. However, we must point out that it may not be the best in either of the two categories. If you are looking for a multipurpose smart speaker to set up a smart home with a more capable sound than the standard Echo, then the Amazon Echo Plus must be your best choice.
Thumbs Up 👍
• Better audio quality then original
Thumbs Down 👎
• Issues with Fire TV commands
Get Your Second Gen Echo Plus Now!
“I have a number of amazon echo products, but the built in hub with the echo plus made the difference for me. It made the product really easy to connect to smart lights and other devices. The sound upgrade also exceeded my expectations as the echo plus has a nice deep bass and rich tone.” - matthew decicco November 6, 2018
“Like all Echo products the setup is super simple to connect it. I have a 1st generation Echo and the quality of sound, not to mention the esthetics of the device, are so much better. Hooking up smart devices to the hub is super simple through the Alexa app also as I have replaced most of the light switches in the house with connected Lutron digital switches.” - Christopher Sloan November 9, 2018
“I've been using Alexa on my tablet for quite some time so I decided to take it to the next level and this device didn't disappoint me! The best part? I can use all the Alexa skills (there's one for almost everything) and can connect all my smart home devices and manage everything through her!” - CCCG December 9, 2018
Get Your 2nd Generation Echo Plus Now!
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