Ama­zon Echo Plus

Australian T3 - - SMART HOME SPEAKERS -

$240, ama­

The up­per end of Ama­zon’s au­dio Echo line sticks more closely to the orig­i­nal Echo de­sign, at least out­wardly. Again, it’s im­port only at this stage. Avail­able in loom­ing black, in­dus­trial sil­ver or ap­pli­ance white, this hefty cylin­der re­tains the size and dot­ted speaker grille of its fore­bear. Vol­ume is con­trolled by ask­ing Alexa nicely to set it to a spe­cific level or by tweak­ing the ro­tat­ing vol­ume col­lar on the top. Like its more squat sib­ling, there’s a new Dolby-pow­ered speaker pack­age in­stalled, and this unit’s size gives rise to a some­what larger and more res­o­nant sound. The Echo Plus is much more than a smart speaker, though. Ama­zon has brought in Zig­bee sup­port, mean­ing the Echo Plus op­er­ates as a proper home hub, con­trol­ling your smart de­vices di­rectly rather than in­ter­fac­ing with their own hubs. This should (if your de­vices are com­pat­i­ble, as tons are) vastly sim­plify and speed up any home setup, and the Alexa app au­to­mat­i­cally sniffs around your home to find rel­e­vant kit, mak­ing it easy to set up. At least in the­ory: its home hub por­tion feels some­what buggy at this stage, although we’d gam­ble on it im­prov­ing as the Echo Plus ages.


An Echo but so much more – once the home hub teething trou­bles are sorted, this will be un­beat­able.

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