Friday, 30 September 2016

Listen to the Echo

When it comes to gadgets, my husband is addicted and with us renovating downstairs into an open living space we wanted a speaker of some sort to play music in the kitchen and when my husband said he thought he had found something better, I wanted to know more....

So what is Amazon Echo?

If you have used Siri or Google's voice assist then the Amazon Echo is similar to this and more. A speaker that is voice activated and can play music, provide information and even order products if you are a prime customer.

The speaker itself is a cylinder which is compact in size but it does offer great sound quality. It operates over a wireless connection and is easy to set up as it simply plugs into the mains and via the app, Alexa.

Amazon Echo provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Prime Music, Spotify and TuneIn and you can also connect via Bluetooth so you can stream from your tablet, iTunes, google play and more.

It has seven microphones so it can hear even in noisy environments, which as a mum of a 5 year old and an 8 month old baby is a must!

Using Amazon Echo

To communicate you simple use the word 'Alexa' to wake the speaker and it will respond with a light around the top of the speaker to let you know it is ready for your next command.
As a Prime Customer we have access to Prime Music which has a set number of stations, if you are unsure what you want to listen to you can select a genre and 'Alexa' will choose this for you.

As well as playing music you can set timers, find out the time, what the weather forecast is, catch up on the latest news and much more.

Currently our speaker sits in the Living Room but it will be moved over to the Kitchen when completed and I think it will prove to be invaluable, being able to create shopping lists, set timers, connect with calendars and set reminders, you can even order from Just Eat.

As a busy family home we think that Alexa will fit in well and our 5 year old son already enjoys asking various questions and finding out facts as well as asking for jokes!

You can also connect with other wi-fi devices and we soon hope to connect to the Philips Hue system to control lighting and eventually upgrade to a Hive heating system and control the heating.

So is it actually all that??

Well yes, actually!
Admittedly somethings I find can take a little time to get used to but with the Amazon Echo it was a simple as plugging in and running the app. We have only had it 48 hours but already we have enjoyed the freedom of voice activated music as well as the ability to port it to other areas in the house without the hassle of numerous cables and wires.

I love how it can give you information without you having to pick up your phone or laptop or without turning on the tv.
We do make use of Just Eat so am sure Alexa will soon be placing an order for us sooner rather than later.

We also took advantage of pre-ordering this speaker and gained a £50 discount paying just £99.99 for this speaker, in terms of sound quality it is just as good as a blue tooth speaker we had been looking to purchase so all the added extras that Alexa offers we think it was a good investment and with the promise that this will continue to evolve we look forward to seeing what else the device will offer.

RRP £149.99
Available in Black or White.

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