Ama­zon Echo Plus

IM­PROVED SOUND AND A BUILT-IN SMART HOME HUB MAKE THIS A GOOD CHOICE FOR IOT BEGIN­NERS

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS -

The Echo Plus looks iden­ti­cal to the orig­i­nal 2016 Echo, ex­cept that it’s avail­able in a space-age sil­ver nish as well as the clas­sic black and white op­tions. That means it stands quite a bit taller than to­day’s stan­dard Echo, and has a twist­ing vol­ume con­trol at the top, which we nd much more pleas­ant than the up and down but­tons that are now oth­er­wise stan­dard.

In­side, as be ts the “Plus” des­ig­na­tion, you will nd up­graded au­dio hard­ware in the form of a big­ger tweeter. This makes a very per­cep­ti­ble dif­fer­ence: mu­sic in­stantly gains a clar­ity and pres­ence that the reg­u­lar Echo sim­ply can’t match. De­spite the larger size, it’s also quite a bit qui­eter than the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Echo, top­ping out at 72dBA. For ev­ery­day lis­ten­ing, though, it will please all but the pick­i­est lis­ten­ers.

The other ma­jor en­hance­ment is an in­te­grated IoT hub, which can dis­cover and con­trol cer­tain smart home de­vices, with­out need­ing an in­ter­me­di­ary hub con­nected to your router. This doesn’t re­ally solve an ur­gent prob­lem, but if you haven’t yet in­vested in Hive or Philips Hue smart light­ing, it could make the Echo Plus more cost ef­fec­tive, as it means you won’t need to spend $100 or so on a stand­alone hub.

Oth­er­wise, while the im­proved mu­sic qual­ity and user-friendly vol­ume con­trol are cer­tainly nice, we would be hard pushed to say they jus­tify the price gap be­tween this and the reg­u­lar Echo.

$159 • www.ama­zon.com.au/Echo

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