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The original Echo Plus always seemed a bit awkward. The EcoRegular has just achieved a completely new design, and it made Plus feel like Amazon was just hitting a ZigBee hub on a first-gen device.
For the second-generation Echo Plus, Amazon went back to the drawing board again. It has been given a facelift to the smart speaker, drawing from the new echo design; Added a temperature sensor and increased sound quality.
Of the three Echo speakers, this is the most expensive and featured packed option. But there is also a new Echo Dot that comes with improved sound for about a third of the price. So the new plus is worth the extra muller? We have lived with it to find it.
Amazon Echo Plus: Design
The new Eco Plus has jetsunized the longer, taller and known original Eco design. It has now been replaced by a fabric-based design that seems to be all the rage in the world of smart speakers. It’s shorter and thicker.
The changes to the more subtle design are easy to ignore, but as such are welcome. The top of the device is no longer flat with a mic grill around the four central buttons. Instead, a subtle curve that is eased into Alexa’s light ring, which is easily reduced to the side of the device. There are also six mic holes above the mic grill.
You will still see the same known buttons: Mute, Alexa, Volume Up and Volume Down. At the bottom of the back of the device you still have the power port and a 3.5mm jack, which can be used both for audio and out. So if you want to export the sound from another device to the new Echo Plus, you can also send it from Plus to another speaker.
The new Eco Plus’ design is intended to blend into your home better than the last, and we’re not arguing about it. When placed next to the old Echo Plus, it becomes clear how boxed and outdated the version will look. It comes across as an old props from the 70s sci-fi show. The new one is more comfortable to look at, less so than the skin of the eye.
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Amazon Echo Plus: Sound
Sound is what Amazon has tried to improve with Echo Plus. The new Eco Plus sports 3-inch oafers and a 0.8-inch twitter. The Woofer is bigger than the original Echo Plus’s 2.5-inch woofer – and the result is obvious to the ear. It sounds better; It provides full sound with crisp and good bass.
And yes, the leap of sound quality is evident across all genres. I put the new Echo Plus up against the original in a sound off with Dr Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Shallow as well as Drax in My Filings.
With the shallow, which is more introspective, the acoustic fun, the song pure and full sound more frustrating in my feelings, the enhanced oeuvre was on full display with a better boss.
Although the Echo Plus’s improved sound quality isn’t going to replace your Sonos One or any other high-speakers. The Sonos One is still the best Alexa speaker for sound performance, but the new Eco Plus is a lot more pleasing to the ear than last year’s model.
You can add up to two Eco Plus devices for stereo sound or partner with the Echo Sub for sound performance. On top of that, you can adjust the equalizer for Echo Plus, so you can tinker in the Alexa app for bass, mid and quarter – or just ask Alexa to do it.
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Amazon Echo Plus: Smart home and features
The addition of the Echo Plus to a Zigby Hub made it a great place to start when building a smart home. So much so that Amazon bundled a free Philips Hue bulb with the original, a practice that wisely continues with the second-gen Echo tower.
The Zigby Hub is back here, but still not Z-Wave. Looking to add Z-Wave support for 2018, there are 94 million Z-Wave devices that make up 70% of the smart home market. Alas, it wasn’t on the cards
Still, the ZigBee Hub is a great feature and one edge of competition. You might want to ask Alexa to discover your devices, and if they run on ZigBee like Philips Hue, it will add them to your list of devices. This means you don’t need a separate hub to operate them. This is an advantage that neither Google nor Apple can match, and if you want to start a smart home it will buy the Echo Plus a device. This is Alexa’s first choice for smart home control
It is worth noting that if you use the Eco Plus as your hub, you may lose some features. If you use a Philips Hue bulb with a plus, you won’t be able to access your custom view or sync with your entertainment. You cannot use Philips’ routine options like home / away auto on / off and wake up in the morning. You need a Philips center for these features.
The Eco Plus’s big new sensor is for temperature. Deciding how to use it first can be a bit tricky because it is so easy to distract you from letting Alexa know the weather outside. Saying, “Alexa, what’s the temperature?” Weather default. To check indoor temperature, you need to specify the cell in which the Echo Plus is located.
We think that’s okay if you only care about a room. I put the Echo Plus in the living room and can easily get the temperature. But if I wanted to know the temperature of my bedroom or guest room, I obviously wouldn’t buy a separate temperature sensor – or an Eco Plus for every room in my house.
However, temperature sensors are much more effective as a catalyst for routine. For example, you can set it up so that it cools the room by switching an Alexa-backed fan when it is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. And yes, you can do silly things, too. I set up a routine where Alexa would start singing when she moved above 80 degrees in the living room.
There is also Bluetooth connection. You can connect your phone to it to listen to music with some connected oomph, or you can connect to another Echo or speaker. Dual-band Wi-Fi is on board, supporting 801.22 a / b / n / g / ac at 2.2 or 5 GHz.
The debugging device is one of the new Eco Plus simple Wi-Fi setups and we can certainly make sure things are easy to set up. You just plug in your new Echo Plus, open the Alexa app and it will connect. The Alexa app already has your Wi-Fi credentials, so you don’t have to worry about everything happening in the background.
One of the features we cannot test is local voice control. This allows Alexa to control your smart home devices when the Internet is idle – so you don’t have to enable the lights on at night, or the thermostat, or whatever you have to worry about. Amazon has said that this feature will be appearing soon and we will test it out when it goes live.
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Amazon Echo Plus 2019
The new Eco Plus improves on some of the key weaknesses. It’s got a great new design that blends into your home better and improves sound performance. The Zigby Hub is as great as ever, but the Z-Wave support would have been great. The temperature sensor is a good idea, but you need multiple Eco Plus speakers to take full advantage.
Clear and loud audio. The always-listening object in your house.
Can almost always hear you. Depth in mid-tones is missing.
Improved audio performance. Alexa App needs improvement.
Smart home control. Fabric exterior is not washable.
Stereo pairing. Music distorts at max volume.
New Temperature sensor.