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Testers Keepers: Amazon Echo Plus Review

Posted on 20 January 2018

So I have had a week to play with the Amazon Echo Plus and it has now become my favourite gadget and taken pride of place in my lounge. I have used an Echo Dot before and thought that a small device with its little speaker would be fine but since using the Echo Plus I was genuinely blown away by the sound quality. Listening to music and radio stations sounds brilliant and fills my large lounge easily. 

Setting up the Echo was so easy, connecting to the device with WiFi then telling it my WiFi password. That was it, done! I linked my Spotify account and enabled Tune-In Radio so I could test the music side of things first.

Spotify was brilliant, you can ask Alexa for individual songs or artists but what’s even better is asking to play playlists. Everything is linked and I didn’t have any problems asking for randomly titled playlists that I’ve created over the years. Similarly, using Tune-In Radio was just as easy. Once it was enabled I could literally ask Alexa to play any radio station from around the UK and it would instantly start. I’ve now set an alarm for the morning so that the radio is on ready for me to wake up.

Once I’d had a play with the music side of things, it was time to have some fun! Asking Alexa random things is where you can have a real laugh. There are hundreds of commands, you can bark at the Echo and Alexa will give you the latest news, weather, sports results and many more little tidbits to keep you up to date during the day. 

The Echo Plus comes with a smart hub built in, which means that you can connect smart devices from around the home directly to the Echo. So I treated myself to a Philips Hue bulb. They’re pricey if you have to buy a starter kit with a hub but I could just buy the bulb. So I connected it up and asked Alexa to turn the light on. It worked!

I’ve now got smart plugs and smart bulbs dotted around the house so that most lights and lamps can be controlled using Alexa. The kids love it but it’s actually handy to have this because you can turn lights off if you’ve forgot or even set schedules so that they come on in the morning or when you’re not at home.

There seems to be more new features being added all the time, you can now ‘drop-in’ on other Echo’s around your house almost like an intercom system! If your friends or family have an Echo you can even call each other on them! Which is great fun to play with as long as you’re not doing it too late at night!

My daughter has now learnt how to say “Lexa” and tries to get it to play her nursery rhyme playlist but sometimes ends up trying to call one of my work colleagues!

Due to the amount of varying features and skills you can implement, everyone’s experience with an Echo will be different but that is the main reason why they’re great for everyone! The Echo Plus even more so if you’re looking to upgrade your home with more smart devices. The sound coming from these speakers is brilliant so if you want the best experience the Echo Plus is a must!

Robb Lawton