Echo Plus (1st Gen) – With built-in smart home hub, Black
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- Echo Plus is a simple way to start your smart home. It has a built-in ZigBee smart home hub, which allows for simple and direct setup of compatible ZigBee lights, locks and more from brands including Philips Hue and others. No additional hub is required.
- Echo Plus connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to play music, make calls, set timers and alarms, ask questions, check traffic and weather, and more. Just ask.
- Just ask for a song, artist or genre from Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and more. With multi-room music, you can play music on Echo devices in different rooms. Echo can play Audible audiobooks, radio stations, news briefings and read kindle ebooks. Services may require subscriptions or other fees; Bluetooth not supported for multi-room music.
- Call or message anyone hands-free who also has an Echo device or the Alexa App. Also, quickly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice.
- Dolby processing speakers deliver crisp vocals and extended bass to fill the room with immersive 360 degree audio.
- With seven microphones, beam-forming technology and noise cancellation, Echo Plus hears you from any direction-even while music is playing.
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills. Just ask Alexa to control compatible smart devices, request an Uber, find a recipe, and more.
Home Security from Amazon
Link your Ring account to Alexa for hands-free home monitoring so you’ll always know when someone’s there. Enable announcements in the Alexa app to hear alerts on compatible Echo devices when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers Ring’s built-in motion sensors. Then talk to visitors through compatible Echo devices, like Echo Dot or Echo Show, by simply saying “Alexa, talk to the front door.”
With Alexa and your Prime membership, shopping for essentials and reordering your favourite Prime eligible domestic items from Amazon has never been easier. Learn more. Just ask:
With the free Alexa app on Android (5.0 or higher), iOS (9.0 or higher) and desktop browsers, you can easily set up and manage your Amazon Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Plus.
Use the Alexa app to connect services such as Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify and Google Calendar. Set up your compatible smart home devices from Philips Hue, LIFX, TP-Link, D-Link, Logitech Harmony, and more. View shopping and to-do lists while on the go. Control your timers and set custom tones for your alarms, and much more. The Alexa App is also where you discover and enable third-party skills.
Make calls to anyone with a supported Echo device or the Alexa app, view your conversation history, manage contacts and get notifications when you receive a message.
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But in Sydney, Australia, where I purchased the device and live, it is useless.
Both the device and the app are poorly implemented.
It took no time at all to set up the Google device; I have had the Echo Plus for three days and, still, having trouble with set up. When you ask for weather, a radio station or something else that requires localisation, it produces the weather in Western Australia, a USA radio station unknown to me and, it seems, pop versions of well-known classical pieces.
Yes, I have gone through the set up steps, several times, but no result. I have localised the device using the app on my iPhone, but no good.
I will give it another day and, then, request a return.
Google works fine and with no difficulty
I don't think Amazon took Alexa seriously and neither should we!
ZigBee - for those unsure what this it, basically, it’s a built in "hub" that allows you to connect a variety of Smart Home Devices that otherwise require their own separate Hub - example; Philips Hue. With the built in ZigBee, you can simply by pass other provider Hubs and connect directly using the Echo Plus - great! However, by doing this you potentially cannot use the providers own APP, everything has to be controlled through the Alexa App. While it is nice to have everything in one place, you can potentially loose some functionality. Using Hue as the example, you do not get the nice selection of 16 million colours in the Alexa App, you get only the basic RGB colours (white, purple, red, blue, orange .etc.). For some, this might be enough BUT why spend the money on Hue if you can't have full colour access ...
Sound - surprisingly good! If you want a compact, decent looking speaker for general listening, you can't go wrong. While the bass will not blow you away, the sound is well balanced and the vocals come through clear. I have listened to variety of artists using the Echo Plus (from Norah Jones through to Rufus Du Sol) and the speaker handled these tracks well but did not shake the room. Being able to say "Alexa, change track .etc." is also a nice touch - no need to get the phone out.
Overall, this works perfectly for those smaller spaces or someone looking for a compact, smart speaker. Personally, I would not buy this for the ZigBee Bridge, just the Smart features. If bought again, I would go for the Amazon Echo (new version) and buy the Hue Bridge separately (which I have now done). But for general listening, you won’t be disappointed.
Worth noting, you can now set Alexa devices to use other speakers as a default for music (such a Sonos) - for example, I have a Dot in my office which is set up to use a Sonos Play3 as its default speaker (without the need for a line in). When I say "Alexa, play Spotify", the music starts playing from the Play3 - perfect! This way, I can buy a bunch of Dots that are a lot cheaper, but use my current Sonos set up as the main speakers - no need to say “play in office” .etc
If you would like any help with this setup, please feel free to contact me on Amazon - happy to help with Smart Home Set up :)