Smart devices have taken the world by storm and it’s happened in only a couple of years. The rapidly growing competition between big names like Apple, Samsung, Google and Amazon has brought us newer and better inventions every year. One such company that has set a solid ground in the world of wireless Bluetooth speakers is Amazon and its Echo Devices.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about the evolution of smart devices. As the year pass by, companies are trying to make their latest tech gadgets smaller, more compact and more versatile in terms of functionality. Amazon and Google have been head to head for a long time in the battle of which smart speaker is the best. Both have their pros and cons and both have devices that have surpassed each other in one way or another.
Amazon is equipped with its voice assistant Alexa while Google has the Google Assistant. It’s true that Google has a larger platform when it comes to smart devices and the Android system naturally has more diverse features. However, when we talk about hands-free smart speakers, it’s safe to say that Amazon’s devices are clearly in the lead.
With the release of the Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo devices are facing a challenging competition. But since the Apple smart speaker lies on the high end of the budget range as usual, most people still prefer the much cheaper Amazon Echo.
Now let’s get down to a brief history of the Amazon Echo devices to get you accustomed to what lies beyond. Initially, Amazon Echo was available only to members with Amazon Prime subscription but with the popular feedback the company received the speakers became available to the public. First released in the US in 2015, the first-generation Amazon Echo speaker became available to Canada in late 2016 before it launched worldwide (in countries where Amazon.com operates).
The first generation Echo device, simply called Amazon Echo, debuted for Amazon Prime members but is now available in 33 countries. This device was followed by Echo Dot, a much more compact Bluetooth speaker that took less space on the table but produced clearer and crisper sounds than ever before. Amazon Echo Dot’s portability was the reason behind its success and its ever-growing popularity which led to the invention of the next generation wireless smart speaker – the Amazon Tap.
The Amazon Tap was surprisingly made larger than the Echo Dot device and is the only speaker in the Amazon Echo line that resembles closely to a normal wired speaker. Perhaps it was because of its plain look and almost identical features to the previous generations that it didn’t receive the same hype as the other Echo devices.
Till the release of Amazon Tap, the Echo devices could only play sounds or listen to voice commands. Beyond these features, the speakers were limited. However, then came the invention of the Echo Look and the Echo Show which included a camera in the former and a camera and LCD screen in the latter. Amazon totally stepped up their game with the release of the Echo Show this year, sending the world of smart speakers into a frenzy.
The latest release by Amazon is the Echo Spot (and an upgraded version of the first-generation Echo, Echo Plus) which a more compact and hemispherical version of the Echo Show.
Current Deals on Amazon Echo Devices
Why You Need A Smart Echo Device?
Let’s admit it – even if we’re not tech-savvy we need to keep in pace with the world around us. Homes and offices are being revolutionized by the release of new smart devices and they have, without a doubt made life much more convenient for everyone.
The question potential buyers or critics usually ask is why they should be buying an Amazon Echo device instead of one by Google or Apple. So let’s break down the major differences between Amazon Echo and the other two most popular smart speakers in the world right now – the Google Home and the Apple HomePod.
Google Home vs. Amazon Echo
Starting with the Google Home, the device is powered by the Google Assistant and can play a decent amount of applications and features. However, it is popularly known that the Google Assistant has less of a personality and character than Amazon’s Alexa so the Google Home smart speaker is a lot more business-like in its essence.
Furthermore, Amazon Echo devices are much more equipped to work with and operate smart home features, run a huge number of applications and overall is a more functionally versatile gadget. Google Home, on the other hand, is limited when it comes to smart home operations but we might be seeing more useful updates in the future. Amazon Echo is also less pricey than the Google Home device although the difference isn’t too large.
One obvious difference between Amazon Echo and the Google Home is that the latest Echo Show and Echo Spot speakers have a built-in LCD screen with voice and video call options elevating the status of Amazon Echo to much more than just a smart speaker. Google Home still lacks these bonus features and is still more or less just a smart speaker. Google Home does take the lead in two departments though – easier setup and a more responding voice assistant.
Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo
Apple has recently jumped into the Bluetooth smart speaker game with the launch of the HomePod. The HomePod was announced this summer of 2017 and it received a fair share of both compliments and criticism. One particular backlash the company received was the price of the new smart speaker. Whereas Amazon smart speakers can cost you anywhere between $80 and $200, the Apple HomePod came out priced at a whopping $300+. But when it’s Apple you’re dealing with – what else can you expect?
The Apple HomePod is powered by Siri and we all know how witty and fun Siri can get. Other important features that set it apart from Amazon Echo is that it is compatible only with Apple Music as opposed to the unlimited ranges of music platforms offered by other smart speakers.
Apple HomePod is structured and designed with more powerful speakers than any other smart speaker made yet so when it comes to crisp, clear audio, Apple is the clear winner. However, once again, the speaker lacks in the department of other applications or voice and video calling options.
The cost of the Apple HomePod is a big factor that simply cannot be overlooked by many people. If you’re looking for a device that is more budget-friendly, more versatile and easily compatible with your smart home and other smart devices, choose Amazon Echo.
Amazon Echo Deals and Discounts
The Best Amazon Echo Deals
Amazon Echo is the first Bluetooth smart speaker in the line by the company which came out in 2015. Recently, a 2nd generation of the original Amazon Echo was released which does basically the same things but looks slightly different and has bigger speakers for better sound quality. Since the 1st generation Echo (2015) is no longer available, we’ll talk about the 2nd generation Echo device and all the deals that are currently available.
The Amazon Echo is a cylindrical home speaker available in multiple colors of the speaker fabric and is slightly stouter than the original version in terms of size and looks. It is equipped with the Alexa voice assistant and recent updates have allowed users to make calls and send messages through their Echo device as well.
Alexa can recognize voices and commands at a long range even while music is playing. You can ask the voice assistant to change the music, read the news, set a reminder and do a lot more! The Amazon Echo 2nd Generation can also be used to control smart home systems to make your experience even more modern and contemporary.
Coming to its sound system, Amazon Echo includes an immersive, 360 degree audio system and produces crisp clear vocals for the whole room or rooms to enjoy. The 2nd generation Echo device also enjoys the benefit of amazing sound quality thanks to the integration of the Dolby Digital speakers, something that the 1st generation lacked. The major difference in the two Echo devices is the speaker system. Now equipped with massive Dolby speakers for the best sound quality, Amazon Echo produces even better vocals than any other Echo device. The dynamic bass response has bettered so you and your family can enjoy music at its finest. Alexa, on the other hand, works in the same way in both Echo devices.
If you don’t own the device yet, then check out these awesome Amazon Echo deals and get your smart home speaker right now!
- The second generation, Amazon Echo, is now at a price of $79.99 and is a brand new release. Grab your speaker today because it’s a limited time offer!
- Amazon is also offering the Amazon Echo with a Philips Hue Bulb Starter Kit. So if you’re looking to replace smart lights and need a brand new speaker, you can save some money by buying the entire bundle!
- Amazon is also bringing back the first generation Echo in a whole new refurbished look; so if you liked it better than the 2nd generation, you can still buy it!
The Best Echo Plus Deals
Like the iPhone Plus and the Samsung S+ series, the Echo Plus is a slightly upgraded version of the original 2nd generation Echo model. The Echo Plus is, however, more similar in appearance to the first generation Echo device. It’s more cylindrical and longer in height compared to the Echo (2017) but when it comes to function, we can hardly make out a big difference!
The Echo Plus includes a 2.5 inch woofer and a 0.8 tweeter for excellent audio quality. Like the 2nd generation Echo device, it is also powered by Dolby Digital dual-speaker stereo system for an immersive music experience. One difference in features is that the Echo Plus includes a built-in hub for simple setup of compatible smart devices, something that no other device in the Echo line of smart speakers feature.
Also powered by Alexa, the Echo Plus can perform all the basic functions of a smart speaker likes its siblings. It can play music from your favorite music streaming service, make calls for you, set timers and alarms, check traffic and weather conditions, and do a lot more instantly. The smart speaker comes with 7 microphones, beamforming technology and noise cancellation which allows it to hear your voice from any direction, even if the music is playing at loud volumes.
Since it is powered by Alexa Voice Assistant, it’s only going to get smarter as Alexa is developed in the coming days. The smart speaker is capable of performing a lot of tasks and learn new skills to help you better in your daily life.
If you’re planning to get your hands on the brand new smart speaker by Amazon, then check out these awesome Echo Plus deals:
- Available in three different colors of the body, the Amazon Echo Plus come with a Philips Hue Bulb included, which makes it an awesome deal allowing you to save generously on your purchase.
The Best Echo Dot Deals
The Amazon Echo Dot is a much compact, hockey-puck shaped speaker. The company kept portability in mind when creating the Echo Dot since this speaker takes up much less space in your home and produces high quality sounds with smart features as others in the line. The Amazon Echo Dot is the smallest Bluetooth speaker by Amazon; recently, the Echo Spot has also gained popularity because of its small size and portability.
Coming towards the features of the Echo Dot, this wireless speaker comes in two colors – white and black. Compared to the Amazon Echo (2nd Generation), the colors might be limited but we’re not complaining since it has a clear advantage over the it in terms of size.
The Echo Dot is powered by Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa and can carry out the same functions as any other Alexa-powered device. This means you can manage and control smart home functions, set reminders and alarms, hear the news and weather reports, order a cab or food and even make calls and send messages to your loved ones.
You can also connect your Echo Dot device with a 3.5 mm stereo cable to an external speaker for an even more immersive music experience or play your tunes on your headphones through Bluetooth. Music can be streamed from a huge number of application including Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play, Pandora, Apple Music and more.
The Amazon Echo Dot includes seven far-field microphones so Alexa can hear you from a generous amount of distance. Talk to Alexa over long distances even if the music is playing. Simply use the wake word and make your Echo Dot device come alive!
Check out these incredible Amazon Echo Dot deals if you’re thinking of buying this speaker:
- Amazon Echo Dot is being sold in combination with the Amazon Fire TV Stick at an incredible price of only $59.98!
- Bundle packages of Echo Dot with LogiTech Harmony Hub, Philips Hue Starter Kit, Vaux Speaker, Sonos PLAY:5 and Bose SoundLink Revolve are also available at economical bundle prices that you need to check out!
The Best Amazon Tap Deals
Amazon Tap comes in a wireless mode like the rest of the Echo devices with all new refurbished look. While the Amazon Tap might not be too different in function than the rest of the Amazon Echo devices in line, it’s still new in terms of appearances.
The Amazon Tap, powered by Alexa voice assistant, can play your favorite music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and more. It can read the latest news, give you the latest sports updates, warm you of an upcoming rainstorm and even satiate your midnight cravings by ordering a pizza through Domino’s. Alexa is an expert at Home automation as well so you can ask your Amazon Tap device to simply turn on your smart TV, switch channels, turn the lights on and off and do so much more!
The Amazon Tap can run an incredible 9-hour continuous playback before it needs to be charged again. The quality of sound is incredible in this new Echo device because of the included Dolby Digital speakers. The best part about owning a smart Echo device like Amazon Tap is that you can discover new skills and enable them as you like. You can play various games with Alexa, start a quiz to test your knowledge, and do a lot more than just listening to music from various music streaming services.
Also, what makes Amazon Tap different from other Echo devices is that it looks stunning and is designed to be carried anywhere you go. You can throw it in your backpack or use the various slings and get going. This allows you to enjoy your favorite music as well as use the Alexa services no matter where you are!
If you’re thinking of getting your hands on some sweet Amazon Echo Tap deals, you need to see these!
- The refurbished version of the smart speaker is available in a combination deal with different colored slings – blue, magenta, tangerine and white to make your music experience even more immersive.
The Best Echo Show Deals
The creation of Amazon Echo Show totally changed the game of the Echo devices. Now, Amazon has included a 7-inch LCD screen in its smart speaker. It is the first Bluetooth speaker to ever include a screen so the Echo Show was a much anticipated device in the summers of 2017 before it was officially released. The Amazon Echo Show is now one of the best-selling wireless smart speakers in the world because of its diverse functionality and incredible new features.
Let’s talk about the basics first. The Alexa-based speaker has still retained its primary function of playing crisp, clear music through its Dolby speakers system. Music can be streamed from apps like Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, TuneIn, Google Play and more. You can either use the button controls to turn on your favorite song or simply ask Alexa to do it!
Speaking of Alexa, the voice assistant is even better in the Amazon Echo Show device! Not only can Alexa perform the basic functions it has been doing in the previous generations such as reading the news, weather, hailing a cab, ordering fast food, home automation, voice calling and sending messages; now Alexa can make video calls to your loved ones as well! How cool is that?
With the inclusion of the LCD screen, you can now ask Alexa in hands-free mode or use the tap buttons to make video calls, stream video content from Amazon Video, see music lyrics, connect to your house security cameras, browse and listen to audiobooks by Audible, make and sort out lists and do a lot more!
The device features eight powerful microphones that can pick up and respond to the wake word to make Alexa come alive. New updates continuously roll in to make the device better and better!
The Amazon Echo Show is a game-changer in the history of smart speakers and we can expect other big companies like Apple and Google to introduce a screen in their Bluetooth smart speakers in the future as well. Since the Echo Show has excellent new features, we naturally expect the price to be a little higher than the rest of the Echo smart devices (but it’s still a lot cheaper than the Apple HomePod!).
Check Amazon Echo Show Deals!
The Best Echo Spot Deals
Amazon’s latest smart speaker is the Echo Spot which looks like an updated version of the Echo Dot. It’s hemispherical, compact shape makes it much more portable than the Echo Show and it therefore takes less space at your home.
The Amazon Echo Spot is equipped with exactly the same features as the Amazon Echo Show, only the screen is smaller and spherical now. Fit this little device anywhere in your home for an optimized experience of music with spectacular sound quality.
Equipped with the voice assistant Alexa, the smart speaker can make video calls, show music lyrics, play video content from Amazon Video, make calls, send messages, read weather forecasts, read the latest breaking news and sports updates, make shopping to-do lists, set reminders and alarms, order fast food and order a cab from Uber!
The Echo Spot can also stream music from an unlimited range of music streaming applications that include Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Spotify, Google Play and more. Like the Echo Show, Echo Spot can also read your favorite purchased audiobooks through the application Audible. Home automation is also a constant feature in all of the Alexa powered devices and the Amazon Echo Spot is no different.
What’s really good about the Echo Spot is that you get the option to connect it with speakers through Bluetooth or use a 3.5mm stereo cable. If you own multiple Echo devices, then you can play multi-room music by connecting all of them, which is a handy feature if you are having a party or a get-together at your house!
Now that we saw the live deals on Amazon Echo devices, let’s have a quick look at all the features they have to offer using a comparison table. After that, we’ll see what you can do with Alexa using your Echo device, so keep reading to know more about the smart speaker you want to purchase!
Amazon Echo vs Echo Dot vs Echo Show vs Echo Spot vs Echo Plus
What You Can Do With Alexa?
Amazon Echo devices are powered by Amazon’s very own voice assistant, Alexa. Alexa, as the name implies, is a female voice that can listen to your voice and respond or carry out commands appropriately. The speakers need a wireless internet connection to work and for Alexa to come alive. The wake word for Amazon Echo devices is primarily “Alexa” with secondary wake words being “Echo”, “Amazon” and even “Computer”.
Developed by the Amazon Lab126, Alexa can speak two basic languages – English and German. However, the company has hinted that the voice assistant will be soon available in other languages like Japanese and Hindi as well in the near future. The English language spoken by Alexa can be of either US, UK, Indian or Canadian regions.
The Many Functions of Alexa on Amazon Echo Devices
Alexa can carry out a generous amount of commands without having to move a muscle. While the voice assistant might not be as responsive as Siri or the Google Assistant is, it’s still pretty high quality and great functionality wise. Plus, it is far more diverse in features than the Google Assistant and far more user-friendly than Apple’s Siri.
Here’s a brief list of what Alexa is capable of:
- Reads news by TuneIn, radio stations, ESPN, NPR etc.
- Reads out the weather details by AccuWeather.
- Plays Amazon Music, Spotify and Pandora music for the Echo devices. It is also compatible with Apple Music and Google Play as well which makes its range of supported applications quite extensive.
- Sets and synchronizes calendars, reminders and alarms using information provided by the user’s Google Calendar.
- Can read out lists like shopping lists and articles from Wikipedia and other credible sources.
- Can be used to operate smart home features powered by BelkinWemo, ecobee, Nest Thermostats, SmartThings, Phillips Hue, Wink and more.
Alexa is constantly updated by Amazon and new features resurface almost every month. It seems as if the voice-assistant gets better and better as well as smarter every time an update comes out. Recently, Amazon has signed a partnership with Microsoft so we might be seeing Amazon paired with Microsoft’s voice assistant, Cortana, soon as well.
The voice assistant’s main feature that sets it a level apart from most other voice assistants is that it has an incredible control over home automation. With just a simple command, you can turn your smart lights on and off, lock the doors, open the garage gate and do so much more.
Since the primary function of Amazon Echo devices is to play music, Alexa has made the experience a whole lot fun and convenient. With simple commands, the voice assistant can carry out tasks like playing your favorite song or an entire playlist from any of the above mentioned music applications and platforms.
The best thing about Amazon’s voice assistant is its compatibility with third-party apps, something that big names like Siri lack. Alexa can even help you place an order for that cheese pizza you love from Domino’s or that latte you crave in the morning from Starbucks!
Sports is another parameter Alexa is an expert in. Fans of sports can listen to the commentary of their favorite games and updates on their current status. The Echo devices can share updates from 15 sports teams including the Major League Soccer, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Collegiate Athletic Association, English Premier League, National Hockey League and more.
With the recent development of the voice and video call features in the Echo Show and Echo Spot smart speakers, messaging, voice and video calling has become a lot easier! Alexa can easily convert speech to text using its sophisticated technology and send messages. With the Echo Show and Echo Spot, you can even Skype and make phone calls to your loved ones with simple voice commands. Message alerts are promptly delivered and while turning them on silent or keeping them password-protected is not an available option yet, we can expect the company to roll out an update in this regard as well.
The voice function itself is a result of the Natural Language Processing technology, also abbreviated as the NLP algorithms. Alexa’s voice works on the principle of long short-term memory and is seriously inventive and smart.
Apart from the Amazon Echo devices, Alexa is also supported on a number of other devices that include the Amazon Fire TV, smartphones and tablets like Amazon Fire, Huawei Mate 9, Moto smart speaker and Moto X4. Alexa can also be used in devices like the Amazon Dash Wand, LG smart refrigerator, Lynx robot, iMCOCoWatch , Muse and a couple of other smart speakers as well apart from the Amazon Echo line.
Best Accessories for Amazon Echo Devices
The Amazon Echo devices don’t come as smart speakers only; the company has made sure their customers get the best out of their smart speakers by purchasing add-on accessories for an even better experience!
Some of the best accessories for Amazon Echo devices offered by the company include:
- A 2-Year Protection Plan for Echo and a 2-Year Protection Plan for the Echo Dot. This affordable protection plan covers accidental breakage and is compatible with the Echo (2nd Gen) and the Echo Dot if purchased within 90 days. In case of accidental breakage, the speaker will be replaced within 3 days by the company. Once purchased, the Protection Plan is delivered via e-mail within a day.
- Another exciting accessory for the Amazon Echo Dot is the Charcoal Fibre you can cover it with to make it look more aesthetic. This Nylon woven fabric is available in six different colors priced at either $9.99 or $19.99 (for the leather wrapped cases).
- Amazon is also adding a gaming experience to its smart speaker line by introducing the Echo Buttons. These button illuminate different colors and can be played in a party game compatible with some particular games by Hasbro, Mike Epps, Button Monte and more.
- The Alexa Voice Remote for Amazon Echo and Echo Dot can help you connect with your smart speaker even if you’re far away from it. It also includes volume buttons, play/pause, previous and next controls to manipulate your speaker anywhere, anytime. It’s only compatible with the Echo and Echo Dot though!
It won’t be wrong to say that Amazon’s Echo devices are the pioneers of smart Bluetooth speakers. They’re giving other big companies a hard time with the constant new releases, updates and more functionality than ever. The intelligent personal voice assistant Alexa is also head-to-head with Apple’s Siri.
We can expect a lot more from Amazon’s line of Echo devices in the coming years as well. With the latest integration of video calling and a small step towards gaming, Amazon’s Echo devices might soon evolve much more than just smart home speakers. So, purchase one today using the best Amazon Echo deals for your home or office and experience how smart living feels like!