The Amazon Echo is a voice-activated home audio speaker system with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection. The Amazon Echo speaker system works together with the Amazon Alexa system, that is Amazon’s virtual assistant, where a female voice speaks to you in a conversational form, which is set-up to help you with numerous features in your home.
What is the Amazon Alexa system ?
Alexa is the awake word for the Amazon Echo system to turn the system on. When Alexa hear your command word “Alexa”, she will hereafter complete any of your vocal instructions, anything from playing music, setting your alarm to helping you to search the internet, and many more things.
Amazons Alexa is continuously learning, to improve your speech habits, vocabulary and individual preferences. Because Alexa is cloud based and cloud learning is based on the inputs Alexa all the time receives from the many users of Alexa, the virtual assistant is all the time getting smarter and improving its learning every month you have your Amazon Alexa system. You can read more about Amazon Alexa – Click Here
What is the Amazon Echo ?
Let’s start when Amazon Echo started out. Amazon introduced the Echo smart speaker at the end of 2014. The Amazon Echo is a stand-alone Bluetooth speaker with a range of “far-field” microphones, that can listen to you at a reasonable distance plus a Wi-Fi connection to the Amazon cloud system.
The Amazon Echo is a cylindrical home audio speaker that integrates with Alexa, the personal voice assistant from Amazon, and is very similar to the system, that you find on your smart phone like Siri, Cortana and Google Now.
At this moment Amazon Echo is in its second-generation, and now it’s always on and always linked with Wi-Fi permitting it to sit on your home network and access Amazons cloud services, and with Bluetooth you can further have your Amazon Echo streaming music from mobile devices.
You wake up the Amazon Echo speaker up by saying “Alexa” the name of Amazon’s virtual assistant (you can change this awake word to “Amazon,” “Echo” or “Computer,” if you
As soon as Echo notices the awake word, the ring around the top of the speaker will light up blue to show that Alexa is active and is ready to listen for your command and/or question. For example, you can say something like, “what is the weather conditions today,” and Alexa will answer your question with a quick summary of the day’s weather forecast.
Alexa can can also manage things like several timers and alarms, IFTTT (if,this, then, that – IFTTT helps your apps and devices to work together, integration with Google Calendar, and can let you listen to Audible audio books and re-order products from Amazon. Alexa can even order your favorite meal from your favorite restaurant.
Here is how that works practice – Anytime you ask Alexa a question or give Alexa an instruction, the Amazon Echo records your voice and is uploading the snippet to Amazon’s
cloud servers. Next the Amazon servers translate your voice into text, and by this text figure out the best way for Alexa to answer your question or command.
That info is then delivered back to your Amazon Echo speaker, where Alexa translates the text back into a female spoken response. All this transaction of data and output takes place
within approximately one second.
Some of those capabilities are built in to the Amazon Echo system, while other ‘Skills’ have to be enabled in the Alexa application. This application works like apps on your smartphone and let you control smart home products, such as Philips Hue lightning system, LIFX, WEMO and Nest devices.
Ultimo September 2017 Amazon announced its second-generation Echo, which replaces the older version with some updated and improved features. The new Amazon Echo speaker
has a new shorter and more customized design, improved sound with Dolby processing, and second generation far-field technology.
What is the Amazon Echo – Can Amazon Echo hear me while music is playing ?
Yes. Amazon Echo has seven microphones build inside and around the edges of the speaker, which use beam-forming technology and increased noise cancellation, so the Echo speaker will hear you no matter how loud the sound in the speaker is, and where you are placed in the room.
The Amazon Echo is constantly paying attention for the awake word, but Echo will only begin to record and transmitting sound as soon as Echo think it hears the wake word. The Amazon Echo devices shows that it has noticed the awake word s with the blue ring of light on top of the speaker — when this blue ring lights up, it indicates, that Alexa is recording and uploading what it is hearing from your command, and is working to figure out how to respond to your instruction in the best way.
For security Amazon makes use of encryption to protect your audio snippets anytime Alexa uploads them to the cloud server, and the snippets are then stored in the Amazon servers, so that you are able to bring all of them back in the Alexa application, so that you can see what Alexa heard and check if Alexa has noticed your command the right way.
You are also able to remove any backlog of your audio snippets any time you like, and you can also press a button to “silence/mute” with the microphone and keep the Echo speaker from hearing for the awake word at all. If you do this, the Echo’s ring will turn red to show you, Alexa is covering her hearing.
What is the Amazon Echo – What is Amazon the Echo audio quality like ?
The audio quality is pretty decent from the original Amazon Echo, but the audio is certainly improved in the newest version of the Amazon Echo speaker. The Echo speaker is great for things like news, weather forecast, audio books and anything else spoken. It is also ok for music, but if you prefer to use the Echo speaker primarily for music, you can find better options in that area, but still it is pretty acceptable in the music area.
Inside the Echo you have a 2.5in woofer that delivers deep bass, and a 2in tweeter for hitting the higher notes. Echo also have a reflex port, where you are able to improve the woofer’s output without distortion.
The Echo Dot has a much smaller speaker that’s not great for music at all, but pretty good for vocals. The idea with the Dot is that you connect it to your existing Hi-Fi or Bluetooth speaker.
What is the Amazon Echo – How do I control the Amazon Echo speaker ?
In addition to use the Alexa awake command, an Amazon Echo partner app is available for Fire OS and Android, and can be accessed via the browser on iOS devices, computers and laptops. This way you are able to manage alarms, music, shopping lists, smart home products and more.
There is also a volume ring at the top of the big Echo, (buttons on the Echo Dot), plus Action and mic mute buttons on top.
Check out the quick video below to see the Amazon Echo in action:
What is the Amazon Echo – How many kinds of Echo devices are there ?
After the Amazon Echo speaker has been a big success with the customers, Amazon started to deliver a number of offshoot devices developed to increase the appeal of Alexa’s voice software system. All these devices offer the same Alexa features in various solutions and with different features that should be getting the interest of different kind of customers.
Here’s a quick list of Amazon Echo devices:
Amazon Echo — The original Echo smart speaker is now in its second generation, and comes in a range of compatible cases called “shells”.
Amazon Echo Dot — Echo Dot is also in its second generation and the Echo Dot is just a smaller, cheaper version of the Amazon Echo which comes in white or black.
Amazon Echo Dot, Kids Edition — This Echo Dot kids version is a kids-friendly version of the Echo Dot, and comes in a colorful bumper case, where you are able to set-up protections against adult content and voice purchases, parental controls and trial subscriptions to premium kid content.
Amazon Echo Show — The Amazon Echo Show adds a camera to the Alexa interface, which lets Alexa show you information or stream video on demand. You can also use it to make video calls or check the feed from a compatible connected camera.
Amazon Echo Spot — The softball-sized Echo Spot is just a smaller Echo Show product with a round screen that works well as a high-end bedside alarm clock.
Amazon Echo Plus — Amazon the Echo Plus provides the original Echo and adds in a Zigbee radio that allows you to connect directly with Zigbee smart lights and other connected home gadgets without requiring a hub to work as translator. It’s also the only Echo device that still includes a fancy volume ring instead of volume buttons.
Amazon Echo Connect — The Amazon Echo Connect is a little black box that plugs into your existing home phone line to bring full calling functionality to all of your other Amazon Echo devices, including international calls and emergency 911 calls.
Amazon Echo Look — Amazon Echo Look is a tiny Alexa speaker inside of a smart camera that can snap pictures of your different outfits, and hereby advise you on what to wear. You have to request an invitation from Amazon to buy one.
Amazon Tap — Amazon Tap is a portable, battery-powered version of the Amazon Echo that you can take with you around the house or even outside.
Final verdict about Amazon Echo speaker
If you’ve read this far, then you should certainly consider the Amazon Echo speaker. In-home voice control is developing very fast nowadays, with new features and capabilities arriving week in and week out.
Therefore, this makes the Amazon Echo speakers like these give you the opportunity to have a lot of fun if you are the owner of an Amazon Echo speaker — and with Echo Dot speakers available for a very reasonable price, then Alexa’s barrier to entry is nice and low.