Overview & Price
In this Amazon Echo Plus review we will be going over everything you need to know about this smart speaker, as well as showcasing the best deals in the UK.
The Amazon Echo Plus 2nd generation is new and improved from the previous model, with an improved design and some speaker upgrades too.
The release date for the Amazon Echo Plus was back in 2018 and promises a lot more bang for your buck.
The Amazon Echo Plus price is currently £139.99 here in the UK, making it an affordable smart speaker with lots to offer.
Here is some of what you can expect from this device;
- Amazon Alexa built-in
- Upgraded speakers
- Temperature sensor
The Amazon Echo Plus shares almost nothing aesthetically in common with its predecessor, thanks to its updated more modern design.
There is even an Amazon Echo Plus app that lets you take full control of the device, altering temperatures and much more.
Lets see what all the fuss is about..
When it comes to the Amazon Echo Pus 2nd generation design, we see that it looks nothing like its predecessor.
It looks more modern, stylish and like it can blend into your interior design without being an eye-saw.
The device is a cylindrical shape that is coated in fabric to help with sound quality.
The Amazon Echo Plus is much smaller than its predecessor, and it weighs only 0.81kg, meaning its easy to pick up and move around into different rooms when needed.
The speaker comes in Black, Grey or White; we were lucky enough to get our hands on a white one for just over a week to conduct this review.
The Amazon Echo Plus looks very similar to the regular Amazon Echo; at 148 x 99 x 99mm it is the same height, only a little chunkier.
At the top of the device there are volume up and down buttons, a microphone mute button as well as an activation button that allows you to ask a question without having to say “Alexa” beforehand.
In between these button there are also 7 microphones, which the device uses to pick up your voice from a great distance, we had no issues with the Amazon Echo Plus hearing us even when upstairs and the device was left downstairs.
Image: Expert Reviews
Around the rim of the device is an upgraded LED ring, that flashes blue when Alexa speakers or hears you use the wake word; it can also track 30 volume levels when going louder or quieter.
Down at the rear of the Amazon Echo Plus is the power port and 3.5m AUX port for linking up external speakers.
There are also a couple of minor changes too, for example the Amazon logo has moved from the main body of the device to the underside of the speaker.
As well as the ‘mute’ button now has a crossed circle instead of a microphone symbol.
Whilst having the Amazon Echo Plus we had it in our living room for the whole week and found it blended in well, when having people over we had lots of questions on what it was.
Build quality of the Amazon Echo Plus feels strong and well made, if you dropped this device we really don’t think it would damage easily, however we don’t recommend you try this for obvious reasons.
As a whole we feel the Amazon Echo Plus design is impressive, it blends in to your interior easily without looking out of place or ugly.
It actually looks similar to the Amazon Echo Dot, the two works well together.
We definitely welcome the upgrades from the previous generation, as this device is a lot more modern and easy on the eye.
So how does the Amazon Echo Plus perform?
Well if you are looking for an Amazon smart speaker then you are most likely interested in the Alexa aspect of the device.
One of the first things we noticed about this speaker is how well it picks up your voice, the Echo Plus can pick up your voice from almost any distance.
In our home Alexa was able to pick up our voice from the other side of the house, even upstairs too.
Thanks to the 7 microphones that are at the top of the device, the Echo Plus can pick up your voice over the TV, music and other people speaking.
Alexa in general is a great assistant to have around your house, it can inform you of weather, traffic updates and football scores.
Simply activate the device by saying your wake work, usually “Alexa”, and then ask it anything you like.
You can even ask it to order you some socks or toilet paper.
Alexa will go looking through your previous order on Amazon and recommend you an item based on what you have ordered in the past, which makes ordering every day items a breeze.
If you have Amazon Prime, the items will arrive to you next day as well. Alexa can pull information from you calendar and G suite account, which is something the Google Home, cannot do.
Although one thing Alexa can’t do is pull information from Google services, such as Google Maps and local business results etc.
Image: Expert Reviews
We love how Amazon control Alexa too, as all Alexa devices benefits from continual improvements of its software, which means if you have an Alexa device already, yours will be just as up to date as the latest versions.
Which means you are not forced to purchase the latest device every time an updated version of Alexa comes out.
You can focus more on design aspects, sound quality and performance rather than purely basing your decision on Alexa updates.
The Amazon Alexa Skills store is an interesting feature of the Amazon Echo Plus and other Amazon smart tech; it allows you to expand individual skills to push them to their limits, don’t worry they are free.
One thing that the Amazon Echo Plus 2nd generation has that the 1st generation doesn’t is a temperature sensor, this is great as you can ask the device what the temperature is inside of your home.
If you have compatible smart tech in your home, such as a thermostat, you can even ask Alexa to turn down the temperature for you either by voice or the Amazon Echo Plus app.
This can be set to turn on a fan once the temperature reaches as certain point, but we did find that it does take a couple of seconds for the device to convert it from Fahrenheit to Celsius.
Not only does this work with a thermostat, but with lights, doorbells and much more.
Alexa gives you full control over smart tech in your home, which now in 2019 is great to have to help manager everyday tasks, and just be more secure in your home.
Given the Amazon Echo Plus price we feel the device offers great value for money because of the shire amount of features it offers.
As a whole the Amazon Echo Plus performance aspect is great, it hasn’t come on leaps and bounds from the previous generation, however it remains a great piece of smart tech to stay in control of your home.
The Amazon Echo Plus sound quality is the area of the device where it has progressed the most in comparison the first generation.
There is a 0.8-inch tweeter and a 3-inch woofer that really pack a punch. This setup provides thumping bass and clear sound even when at high volumes.
We found ourselves listening to Radio 1 mostly on the Amazon Echo Plus, but we did connect it to our phone via an AUX port to test the connectivity, which was fine and without any crackles.
The Amazon Echo Plus is certainly not a HomePod or a Sonos One competitor as it does get beat by both of these competitors, however if it is Alexa you are looking or combines with a strong speaker then this could be a great purchase for you.
Diving into the Amazon Echo Plus app will allow you to change settings such as bass, treble and mids too, ensuring you get the best sound quality possible from your device.
Image: Expert Reviews
As a whole the Amazon Echo Plus sound quality is impressive, with it sounding crystal clear even at high volumes and having enough bass to make your heart skip a beat.
Throughout this Amazon Echo Plus review we found the sound quality to be the most impressive aspect of the device.
If we are being super critical the Google Home Max does sound a lot better, but this is a much more expensive device and more of a dedicated speaker.
So should you buy the Amazon Echo Plus?
Well if you are looking for a smart speaker that also doubles as a strong speaker, then yes.
The Amazon Echo Plus comes with all of the bells and whistles of the previous generation, but more.
With it being able to integrate to multiple devices around your home, and giving you full control over smart tech such as thermostats, light bulbs and any other high tech gadgets you may have in your home.
If you are looking for a true Alexa experience in your home then we would recommend in purchasing two, set up in different rooms which enhances sound quality and reach.
It is hard to recommend purchasing this device on its own, but if you do want to purchase this for a sound system boost then we definitely think this device is the way to go.
We hope you have enjoyed our Amazon Echo Plus review, feel free to check out the best Amazon Echo Plus price at the top of this post.