Which Amazon Echo Speaker Is Best for You
The wait only lasted a few months, with no more than a few months from the first rumors about Amazon Echo to their actual launch (small surprise). A sign that the e-commerce giant is making big bets in our marketplace, one of the first non-English speakers to have Amazon smart speakers plugged in.
An absolute novelty that has tickled the imaginations of many geeks from 2018 to this day. If you are among them and would like to know which Amazon Echo to buy among Echo , Echo Plus , Echo Dot , Echo Sub , Echo Show , Echo Studio , Echo Flex or Echo Dot , you are in the right place. In the following paragraphs, I will show you where to find Amazon smart speakers and, above all, help you choose the model that best suits your needs. Let me remind you, however, that it would be a really original and cheap gift for Christmas or a birthday. Let’s see what it is.
Which Amazon Echo to buy …
Before you see which Amazon Echo to buy , it’s worth taking a few lines and explaining what it is and what Amazon Echo does . From a technological point of view, these are intelligent speakers that, using the Internet connection and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, can provide information and suggestions to the user or execute his commands.
In practice, Echoes are “smart speakers”, an evolution of the personal assistants found on smartphones (such as Siri and Google Assistant) or PCs (such as Siri and Cortana). These speakers are, in fact, capable of controlling smart home devices (such as smart bulbs that turn the smartphone on and off, thermostats that are controlled from the Internet, etc.), make us listen to radio, weather forecasts and audio news, do research in The Internet and much more.
I mean, they are really useful in everyday life. So let’s see where you can buy them and what models are available in Italy.
Where to Buy Amazon Echo?
In this market, the Amazon Echo with personal assistant Alexa already has the largest share. Despite the launch of Google Home and Apple Homepod (as well as dozens of other smart speakers from various manufacturers), the devices of the e-commerce giant are the most popular and used in American homes. And with the launch in Italy (and other countries of the Old Continent), Amazon wanted to further strengthen its position in the global market.
Wondering where to buy an Amazon Echo ? On the Amazon , of course. The e-commerce portal essentially remains the main showcase through which the Jeff Bezos-owned company offers its products for sale. It is likely that soon Amazon Echo will also appear on the shelves of various consumer electronics chains (Mediaworld, Unieuro, etc.). However, if you want to be on the safe side, I suggest you buy these smart speakers online, straight from Amazon.it , the Italian version of a site run by the global e-commerce giant. To learn more about questions and skills for Alexa , read the Amazon Alexa shopping guide.
Amazon Echo Italy models
If you want to buy the Amazon Echo, there are several models to choose from at the moment . They vary in size and functionality, thus adapting to a wide variety of needs.
If you are unsure about which model to choose, don’t worry: just read the description below to find the model that best suits your needs.
ECHO – 3RD GENERATION
The founder of the family, Amazon Echo is already in its third generation. Even if the shape and dimensions have not changed (a cylinder about 20 centimeters high with a circular base with a diameter of just under 10 centimeters), new components are integrated into the Amazon Echo that improve both smart functions (better signal coverage, more powerful SoC and therefore able to perform more complex algorithms, etc.) and sound reproduction functions (360 ° omnidirectional), with more powerful tweeters and Dolby subwoofers capable of giving a better listening experience.
In short, if you are looking for a home assistant that has great audio quality at the same time, then the Amazon Echo is exactly what you need. It works well in every way, especially when connected to an efficient internet.
Sound Compatible: Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Audible, and TuneIn.
Smart Device Compatibility: All Amazon Certified devices bearing the “Works with Alexa” mark, such as Philips Hue bulbs and some BTicino products.
ECHO DOT – 3RD GENERATION
Don’t have a lot of space, and more importantly, you don’t want your device to be too visible? So Amazon Echo Dot is the smart speaker for you. Short and chunky, he is capable of performing the same skills (or operations you name it) as his big brother, even if the sound quality suffers a little. The new third generation model, however, has been refined to slightly narrow the sound quality gap with other speakers.
Anyway, you can try it and, if you really want the best sound quality, buy the Amazon Echo Sub . This is an additional sound unit that fits seamlessly with Amazon smart speakers and acts as a real subwoofer.
ECHO PLUS – 2ND GENERATION
Are you looking to create a home automation home and don’t know which smart hub to choose? Amazon Echo Plus may be the device for you. In fact, it is identical to the Echo, but integrates all the software components and protocols needed to control a smart home, regardless of the bulb manufacturer or smart thermostat you decide to purchase. It supports the Zigbee standard widely used in home automation.
The Amazon Echo Plus acts as an intermediary between you, your smartphone and the various connected gadgets you choose to purchase, allowing you to control them directly from the Alexa app.
ECHO SPOT – NO LONGER FOR SALE
As of this writing, the Amazon Echo Spot is no longer available on Amazon, replaced by the Echo Show 5 ( more on this in the next section). It differed from others in that in addition to the audio speaker, it had a built-in small screen from which it was possible to operate the controls using the touch screen and view news and updates coming in real time from synchronized information services.
In addition, thanks to sync with Skype, Amazon Echo Spot allows you to make voice and video calls as if it were a regular home phone. The audio / video quality was good, but you had to make sure you have a stable and fast internet connection to avoid problems.
ECHO SHOW 5
The Echo Show 5 is a new smart audio / video device with built-in Alexa. Coming out in October 2019, this smart speaker features a 5.5-inch 940 x 480-pixel display and 1.65-inch 4W speakers.
In short, the right hardware department to watch the news, check the weather, monitor traffic, read cooking recipes, or even make clear video calls. Yes, because the Echo Show 5 also has a 1MP front-facing camera and microphone, thanks to which you can stream videos live. However, it is confidential because there is a manual button that allows you to connect it.
Video calls and calls compatibility: Alexa App, Skype.
ECHO SHOW – 2ND GENERATION
The Amazon Echo Show is available in Italy from February 2019 . It is a hub with Alexa that allows you to manage your home and users’ needs in a simple and intuitive way. It actually features a 10-inch HD screen with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels (5MP camera and built-in microphone) on which Alexa will show you what you want. For example, you can ask Alexey to watch a movie or TV series broadcast via Amazon Prime (and not only), see the weather forecast, show the calendar of meetings, make a video call, and much more.
On the hardware level, Echo Show also features a microphone and robust Dolby-powered speakers for clear and enveloping stereo sound. You can still connect it to an Echo Sub or other Alexa compatible speakers for better sound.
This is a fully featured upgrade to the Echo Show 5, another Amazon smart speaker with a significantly smaller screen. The Echo Show, in fact, offers greater usability in a variety of situations with its large screen and superior hardware.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Please note that the Amazon Echo Show, compared to the Echo Show 5, supports the Zigbee standard, as does the Echo Plus. Therefore, it can be associated with all devices that support this technology, in addition to those certified by Amazon Alexa.
The most powerful Amazon Echo of late 2019 / early 2020 is definitely Echo Studio . It supports all Echo Plus technologies, including the Zigbee standard, with the addition of a better speaker. This model has five built-in speakers for richer bass and higher frequencies, thanks in part to Dolby Atmos technology.
Don’t forget that the Echo Studio can be connected to your TV , via the Fire TV Stick 4K, or via the previous version of this multimedia pen (2nd generation). You can use Dolby Digital 5.1 audio to stream movies and TV series. And if that wasn’t enough for you, remember that you can always plug in another Echo Studio for even more powerful right-to-left audio.
ECHO FLEX – 1ST GENERATION 2019
The Echo Flex is Amazon’s entry-level speaker system, introduced in September 2019. It is designed to be used by Alexa anywhere in your home or office. All you need is an outlet and an internet connection nearby to talk to your personal assistant via the Echo Flex. Imagine, for example, that you are in the kitchen with no room to place your Echo Plus.
This plug-in loudspeaker is equipped with a microphone (which can be deactivated by pressing the corresponding button) and an action button, the latter with an LED indicating Alexa operation (blue means “listening” and red means “disabled”). There is also a 3.5mm AUX audio output and a USB-A port that allows you to charge your phone or even plug in third-party USB devices like a motion sensor or night light.
The Amazon Echo Sub is not a smart speaker like others, but an add-on. In fact, it is an Echo and Echo Plus compatible subwoofer that allows you to clearly amplify the audio bass.
In detail, the Echo Sub consists of a 6-inch (152mm) push-down woofer with a maximum output of 100 watts. As you can imagine, the audio output will be of much higher quality. It is ideal for use at events or birthdays to listen to music or audio tracks in groups.
Amazon Echo Input is also a low-cost add-on for Alexa. Allows you to connect Alexa to a speaker that supports Bluetooth or has a 3.5mm jack. Yes, even if it does not have the “Working with Alex” stamp on it . You can use all the Alexa skills and make them respond to you on your speaker, which is arguably much more powerful than the built-in speaker in any Echo or compatible device. It’s a cost-effective way to get artificial intelligence even on audio devices that don’t have it.
The echo input is equipped with 4 microphones, so it can listen to your commands even if there is music in the background. It then has an audio output with a 3.5mm jack, which allows, as I said, physically connecting it to the audio box. You can use it, for example, to stream music via Amazon Music, Spotify, or TuneIn (or other supported audio streaming services) to your speakers. Of course, you can ask Amazon Echo Input for anything, like read the weather, news of the day, or an audiobook.
READ MORE: Best Gifts for Yu-Gi-Oh Fans
You can set up Echo In through the Alexa app, which will also help you pair Echo In with Bluetooth speakers (but not limited to). After the initial connection, you can command Alexa to do anything and hear responses through your favorite speaker.
Amazon Echo Auto is smart speaker gadget that has yet to arrive in Italy. It will be Alexa compatible and will allow you to use your personal assistant in your car. Imagine what you can say while on the road: “Alexa, take me to Charlemagne Street” to start GPS navigation; or: “Alexa, open the front door that I am near”; or: “Alexa, turn on the heater and I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” Obviously, devices in the home also need to be smart and certified to work with Alexa (as well as being connected to the internet).
Most automakers such as Audi, Toyota, Ford, BMW and Seat already include Alexa in their infotainment materials. However, it is possible that Amazon Echo Auto Italia will be available for all cars and small cars, SUVs, trucks and any other vehicles, because it is a self-contained device, which means it can work offline. In short, even those who currently have a vehicle without an infotainment system can have an artificial intelligence (AI) voice recognition system.
Connecting Amazon Echo to Wi-Fi
Once you buy an Amazon Echo, you wonder how to get it connected. Well, first of all, you should know that the Amazon smart speaker works when connected to a WiFi network . You can use wireless networks that support 802.11a / b / g / n / ac in the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band. Thus, a smart announcer will be able to answer your questions, make suggestions, process voice commands and transmit multimedia content.
Therefore, you need to connect your Amazon Echo to Wi-Fi first . Turn it on and if it is a smart speaker with a screen , go to “Settings”> “Wi-Fi”, select your wireless network and set a password. Instead, if it’s a smart speaker without a display , you should use the free Alexa app .
READ MORE: Slow Facebook: What to do
With your smartphone connected to a wireless network, open the Alexa app. If you don’t have it, download it from the App Store on iOS or Google Play on Android. Then select the new smart speaker and click the Edit button next to Wi-Fi . If your network is hidden and you can’t see it, click Add Network and enter its SSID (wireless network name) and password (if necessary) manually.
Once you associate the Amazon Echo with your home or office wireless network, you can easily control it from the Alexa app. You can already talk to the smart announcer and let him perform basic voice commands. However, in order to add devices, skills and new voice commands, you need to work on it a little more. Read below what to do.
If you would like to learn more about connection, or if you are having problems and would like to restore your smart speaker, please refer to this Amazon page where you will find the “Getting Started with Alexa” section.
Amazon Echo compatible devices
After setting up Amazon Echo on your wireless network, if you’ve purchased one of the compatible Alexa devices , you’ll want to know how to pair them so you can control them with your voice. So, first of all, check that the smart light bulb or whatever gadget you purchased is actually Echo compatible: there should be a seal on the sales sheet or on the box that says “Works with Alexa”. If I saw this, that’s good. If not, look into the issue, because you probably won’t be able to get them to talk to each other, unless the Zigbee standard is supported.
After completing the compatibility check, turn on your Echo and the compatible smart device you purchased. Then connect the new device to the Wi-Fi network using a dedicated app or instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Once this is done, open the Alexa app from your iPhone or Android smartphone to search for a new device on your wireless network. Add her skills to Alexa by following the wizard. Thus, the personal assistant will learn new functions and new voice commands. After a few minutes, the compatible device will be ready for voice control.
If you’ve purchased compatible Alexa smart bulbs , I recommend that you read my guide on connecting Alexa to bulbs. Instead, if you want to control your smart TV with your voice, even if it’s not Amazon Echo compatible, read my guide on how to connect Alexa to your TV. If you have any problems, please see this FAQ section of the Amazon Help.
Italian Language Skills & Questions for Amazon Echo
Once Amazon Echo and its compatible devices are set up, you’re ready to go. Be aware, however, that you can also learn new skills to make Alexa even smarter.
In fact, companies in every sector are focused on building skills for Alexa, i.e. customizable applications that allow them to perform various actions through their services. For example, Italian radio companies have already implemented some radio listening skills with Alexa. Suffice it to say, for example: “Alexa, open Radio Deejay” to start broadcasting the radio in the speakers of the smart announcer; or even “Alexa, ask GialloZafferano for a tiramisu recipe.”
READ MORE: How to Plan a Luxury Safari to Africa
The same can be done with TV channels or video streams by launching the A / V source on an Alexa-compatible TV or PC.
I already told you what are the best Alexa Italia skills you can install today and what are the best Alexa questions to ask . Anyway, if you want to learn more about voice commands and view all the skills available in real time, simply enter the Amazon Skill store , accessible from this address , where you will find free and paid skills in Italian. A datasheet will be drawn up for each of these, followed by installation instructions and the corresponding voice commands that can be used.