Our comments on the first-generation sound included
Echo Dot: It would be unkind to expect a .6” speaker to do
anything but voice and its fine for that. It has no bass, limited mid-range and
no treble. The best description for a music signature is ‘painful’ with fairly high levels of distortion at a maximum
volume of 75dB. Note that the new Dot has a 1.6” speaker.
Echo: If it had a little more
lower bass, it would be a ‘warm and sweet’ signature for easy listening.
Depending on content it verges more on a mid-signature for clear voice. It is
not an unpleasant sound, but it is a very long way from audiophile quality.
Echo Plus: It has a warm and sweet sound signature for easy
listening. Maximum volume is 80dB with considerable distortion, but at 70dB
(still loud) that disappeared. It provides the best listening experience of the
three Echo speakers, but I would not buy it if the music is the object. Note
that the new Plus has a 3” woofer and a .8” tweeter.
Echo Spot: or what it is (1.4” speaker) the sound was not
too bad. There were hints of bass, good clear mids and even more treble than
the Dot or Echo. I suspect it reflects a later design credo.
Frankly, the original Alexa
Echo speakers sucked at music.
The 100W Sub is a welcome addition, but at $199 (plus an Echo speaker at $149) it would be far better to buy the Sonos One at $299. The Website says the sub should kick in at 30Hz, but internationals hands-on say its more like 120-150Hz. It also says it adds 1.1 or 2.1 pairing in stereo. At the original test on 6 September, we were unable to stereo pair Echo devices.
The Echo Show is interesting
and is following the trend of adding a visual component to Alexa. Specifications
include a 10.1”, 1280 x 720 touchscreen. Sound
comes from 2 x 10W, 2” side-firing drivers with Dolby audio. It has a 5MP camera and a Zigbee hub. An optional stand to adjust the viewing and camera
angles costs $49.95
But wait there is more but we don’t know if it is coming here
At the Amazon Hardware event:
Echo for the Car. US $50 that needs an internet connection
FireTV Recast beams video to other screens (including Echo Show) in the home and records FTA TV.
New Ring security cameras with Alexa and Alexa Guard
A speaker-less Echo to add Alexa to existing speakers etc
Amazon Basics Microwave (really designed for popcorn)
Alexa wall clock
Alexa Echo Smart Plug
Echo Link and Link Amp. Link adds Alexa to an Amplifier and Amp is a 2x60W stereo amp for non-amplified speakers
Add to that that the U.S. Marriot hotel rooms will have an
Echo device. U.S. shops can access Alexa Shop Assistant and smart displays to cut down the need for floor
Amazon has fired shots to become omnipresent.
Google will fire back so, and
things are likely to get dirty. Already there is an irrational privacy FUD (fear,
uncertainty and deception) campaign against Google. Pot calling the kettle black. All voice assistants require you to absolutely surrender all anonymity to use them.
Alexa second-generation speaker range, Alexa second-generation speaker range