The Echo Plus 2nd Gen (also Echo Plus) is a smart speaker with big sound. It is a 2-in-1 device with 360ᵒ stereo sound and an integrated Zigbee hub for managing smart home gadgets.
The Echo Plus belongs to the Echo family of smart speakers by Amazon. It connects you to Alexa, Amazon’s AI-powered virtual assistant. Alexa is an interactive voice-enabled application. It answers questions, manages smart gadgets, makes to-do lists, plays music, and provides real-time traffic and weather updates, among others.
Echo Plus 2nd Gen – A Closer Look :
Technology And Performance :
The Echo Plus comes with a pre-installed Zigbee hub. The hub helps you create a smart home ecosystem for smarter living. It supports dozens of gadgets including smart bulbs, smart plugs, smart sensors, smart locks and smart switches. Just power your smart gadgets and say, “Alexa, discover my devices.” It will automatically detect and connect the devices so you can control them with your voice henceforth. The Echo Plus can do many things. It can stock up your pantry when your supplies run low. Just tell Alexa what you want and it will place your order for you. It can also reorder stuff you have already bought. The device can play music of any genre, by any artist and from any era. It is compatible with music apps such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora and SiriusXM. It can play audio books on Audible, quiz your knowledge of history, science and current affairs, tell jokes and play games. It can also book an Uber, order food, turn on the TV and regulate the bedroom temperature. The Echo Plus has powerful Dolby-powered speakers. It is fitted with a 3-inch neodymium woofer and a 0.8-inch tweeter that deliver spacious 360ᵒ sound. In fact, its sound quality is what sets it apart from the rest. It has the most powerful speakers in the Echo family and can be used as a stand-alone Bluetooth speaker. You can connect the Echo Plus to compatible Echo speakers in different rooms of the house and enjoy multi-room music. You can also connect the speaker to external stereo speakers if you want louder music. You can pair the devices via Bluetooth or use the 3.5mm AUX output to connect via cable. A multi-room network offers a lot of flexibility. You can make quick announcements without budging from your place. Like summoning your kids to dinner, or getting a message across to your partner who is in another room. All you have to do it say it over the intercom and your message will be delivered. The Echo Plus has built-in temperature sensors. It has microphones with beamforming technology and advanced noise cancellation. They pick up your voice even when you are at a distance or when there is music playing in the background. The Echo Plus offers hands-free calls and messages. You don’t have to use your phone; just tell Alexa who to call and it will dial their number. If you have a message, Alexa will type it and send it for you. All you have to do is tell Alexa who you want to text, and then speak out the message, and Alexa will do the rest. You can also make Skype calls to contacts in over 150 countries. The Echo Plus has dual-band Wi-Fi that supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks. It cannot connect to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks. The device is compatible with all Fire OS, iOS and Android appliances.
Product Design :
The Echo Plus 2nd Gen has a cylindrical shape. It has a diameter of 3.9 inches and a height of 5.8 inches. It weighs 27.5 oz. A blue gleaming light ring surrounds the top face of the speaker while a fabric covers its outer curved surface. The light and the fabric give the speaker a smart contemporary look and help it bend in with the décor of urban homes. The top panel has buttons for controlling the device. There is a volume up, a volume down, an action and a mic mute button. The Echo Plus needs direct power to drive its speakers and includes a 30 watt power adapter. A power port and an auxiliary audio port are incorporated into the back of the gadget. The AUX port can be configured as input or output using the Alexa app. The speaker has an array of 7 microphones. They capture your voice through 7 tiny vents on the top panel.
Difference Between Echo Plus 2nd Gen And Echo Dot 3rd Gen :
The Echo Plus 2nd Gen is a Dolby-powered smart speaker with a built-in smart hub. It has a 3-inch woofer and a 0.8-inch tweeter that produce 360ᵒ room-filling sound. It also has the Zigbee smart hub integrated into the Alexa framework. The Echo Dot 3rd Gen is a smart speaker that gives you access to Alexa. It has a single 1.6-inch speaker. It does not have Zigbee.
The Echo Plus can be used as a dedicated sound system to listen to music. It has powerful drivers that produce premium sound. The Echo Dot has average sound. It can also be used as a stand-alone speaker but it does not have 360ᵒ room-filling sound like the Echo Plus.
The AUX port in the Echo Plus can be used as a line-in or line-out jack. The AUX port of the Echo Dot can only be used as an output jack.
The Echo Plus has 7 microphones while the Echo Dot has 4 microphones.
The Echo Plus is taller and heavier than the Echo Dot.
We have come to the end of our review. Let us go over the salient features of the Echo Plus 2nd Gen.
Key Features :
- Alexa-enabled speaker with 360ᵒ sound.
- Dual Dolby-powered speakers, built-in Zigbee hub for smart home.
- One 3-inch neodymium woofer, one 0.8-inch tweeter.
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AUX input/output, runs on direct power.
- 7 noise-cancelling microphones with beam forming technology.
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Adding an Echo Sub can dramatically enhance bass performance of your Echo Plus.
Echo 2nd Gen is a new age smart speaker which comes pretty close to Echo Plus.