The Best All-new Echo Plus (2nd Gen) – Premium sound with built-in smart home hub – Charcoal – 2018
Echo Plus has a built-in Zigbee hub to easily setup and control your compatible smart home devices, and an improved sound for streaming music.; New premium speakers powered by Dolby play 360° audio with crisp vocals and dynamic bass response. You can also use your voice to adjust equalizer settings or pair with a second Echo Plus (2nd gen) for stereo sound.; Ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, read the news, check the weather, set alarms, control compatible smart home devices, call almost anyone, and more.; Set up your smart home without a separate hub. Ask Alexa to control compatible smart lights, switches, sensors, door locks, and more. Echo Plus also includes a built-in temperature sensor.; Ask Alexa for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. With multi-room music, play music on compatible Echo devices in different rooms.; Call or message almost anyone hands-free. Instantly drop in on other rooms in your home or make an announcement to every room with a compatible Echo device.; With seven microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo Plus hears you from any direction—even while music is playing.
Short & Sweet - For what it is, this device is amazing. Performance is quick, audio is great, and the built-in Zigbee hub works quite well.Longer Review;After dragging my heels for over a year, I finally bought our first Echo (2nd Generation) back in August. I loved it so much that I got us 2 more for other areas in the house. Being able to group them and play the same music or audio throughout the house is a novelty that won't grow old for me. I've only wished that they had a little more full sound, especially at higher volume. I'd considered the last Echo Plus, but the average of reviews I read didn't make it appear to perform significantly better than our already great 2nd Generation Echos.When I saw this new Echo Plus listed, I pre-ordered it to "replace" the Heather Grey Echo in our kitchen and move that one to our bedroom. We tend to have music playing in the kitchen more than any other room, and I wanted slightly better sound than the regular Echo in there. I'm honestly glad we took a chance on this device without any reviews to go by.Appearance;As you can see in the photos, it's pretty much identical in height to the 2nd Generation Echo. It is a bit wider to accommodate the larger speakers, and the top is slightly domed instead of being flat. A similar 7-microphone array is on top and they seem to work just as well. There also appears to be a tripod-style connector on the base of the unit.Setup;Setup was surprisingly easy as this Echo Plus detected our network settings on its own. I plugged it in, it did its initial startup, and then told me the device was connected. Simple as that.Audio compared to 2nd Generation Echo;Highs are clearer.Mids are more natural and better-defined.Lows are deeper.Overall volume is noticeably louder and sound quality is improved.When paired with our other Echos, music and audio is in sync everywhere and this device stands out above the others in audio performance.General Performance;We have a quick network and I don't notice any perceivable performance difference between this new Echo Plus and our regular 2nd Generation Echos. Everything seems to work as it should.I bought this with the "free" Philips Hue bulb promotion. This bulb is our first Zigbee device and works very well with the Echo Plus. It is easily controlled by either the Echo Plus or the other Echos we have in the house. I'll be keeping an eye out for deals on these bulbs in the future. Like our other Echos, it also has no problem controlling our Kasa Smart Plugs.Overall;While $150 is a lot for a single speaker, for what I was looking for, this thing excels. If you like the 2nd Generation Echo but hoped it sounded a bit better, I would highly recommend this. Based on what I've read, if you were disappointed with the audio performance with the 1st Generation Echo Plus but want everything else it had to offer, consider giving this wonderful speaker a try.P.S.: The internal ambient temperature sensor seems fairly accurate and nice to have included.
I jumped on the Echo bandwagon as soon as the original was released a few years ago. Loved it. When the Echo Plus with Built in Hub was released in 2017 … Nice. The hub gave me the luxury of controlling my garage door after buying Nexx Garage. With these two Echo's - I also purchased the Amazon Voice Remote because the Echos did not have much range for "listening" around corners and from different rooms. The Voice Remote was essential, but solved the issue. I also added an Echo Dot in an obscure corner of the house for better Alexa coverage.When the Echo Plus with ZigBee (2nd Generation) was released in October 2018 … I stressed over whether I should take the plunge and add another. Would it be "that" much better? I DID buy it and I am soooooooo glad about my decision.PROS: #1 - Pairing accessories with this latest version is easy and intuitive. Everything works flawlessly. My previous two Echos had me ranting in frustration when trying to add a smart home device. And most ended up being returned out of failure to pair. #2 - The internal microphone is so finely tuned - I can call out commands from other rooms and even outside the house (when the windows are open) and Alexa responds perfectly. #3 - THE SPEAKERS. Oh the sound is phenomenol !! Yet - I was going to call Amazon support because there was a "rattle" sound frequently from the speakers/unit when playing music. I went next to the unit to record the "rattle" so I could play it for the tech rep when I called. It was them that I realized the speakers were so dynamic - they were rattling my fine glassware that was in close proximity to the Echo. Once the glassware was moved - the speakers are sensational and flawless. I play Spotify all the time now. It sounds wonderful on the new Echo !!!This 2nd Generation Echo is worth every penny and then some. I now have my entire house paired with receptacles, light bulbs, my garage door opener and a Phillips Color Hue bulb. Pairing and grouping everything was absolutely simple !!! There is never a glitch in operating the accessories. AND best of all - I know what I will be buying for family holiday gifts.
I am a huge fan of the Echo. I have the tap, the dot, the standard Echo and an Echo smart speaker, and now the plus.This one is definitely a step up. The best sound and response of all the previous models.In a nut shellThe dot is ok. Limited quality sound but small and unobtrusive. Nice for a bedside alarm, weather information and morning news while shaving.The tap is the portable and battery powered option that I use in the morning. I listen to a streaming cable news show. I listen to it while in the shower, (it is not waterproof but I have a shelf far from water that it sits on), then while I shave, and I put it in the closet while getting ready and dressed. It's like a portable radio but it allows me to stream internet cable and listen to anything I want.The standard Echo and Echo with smart options is a great device. The addition of the smart features is ok. It allows you to turn on lights and fixtures, but going into a dark room and saying, "Alexa, turn on lights!" is not as easy as flipping a switch. It is ok for lights that are not near the bed and your heading to sleep. But, you'll wake people up by shouting the wake up command.This one is good for two reasons:1.) The sound is great. Better than the others.2.) I got a smart switch and can use it to turn on any number of devices. The hook up was easy and flawless.Also,Alexa is adding new skills. If you use a sound machine, she has a sound maker for sleeping. Wake up to the weather, the stock market, the news, a fact from history, and a joke of the day.If you are on the cusp of buying this device, making this your first Echo would be a great choice. If you have an Echo or tap, this is a good upgrade.