Are you in the market for a speaker? If yes, then the all-new Echo and the new Echo Plus are products you can consider. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when deciding on the one to go for:
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The Echo Plus resembles the original Echo. It is a plastic cylinder that is tall and comprises perforations on the lower third parts. Also, the new Echo is a cylinder consisting of a similar diameter to the original. However, it is not as tall as the original one. Additionally, it has a removable outer shell, and it comes in multiple styles: an oak, silver or walnut finish and a light, charcoal-grey and dark fabric. Amazon is also selling a fabric cover that is red for the Echo for a limited time.
The Echo Plus has a considerable taller height than the normal Echo. While its height is 9.5 inches, the regular Echo is 5.9 inches. This is because the Echo Plus consists of an in-built smart-home hub. However, it’s only slightly heavier.
During the debut of the 2nd generation Echo, its audio was not impressive. But Amazon offered a firmware update, which significantly led to the improvement of the listening experience.
If you listen to the Echo Plus and the new Echo side by side, you will discover that they are evenly similar. While the Echo is best at midrange, the Echo Plus is better at defining both low and high tones. Hence, if you are looking for a decent speaker that will suit the needs of your entertainment, both the speakers are ideal.
The major difference between these two speakers lies under smart-home features. The Echo Plus comprises an in-built Zigbee smart-home hub. As a result, you can link smart-home devices like a smart lock and Philips Hue lights directly to the Echo Plus, without the need to install a third-party smart-home hub or a bridge first.
Therefore, as opposed to buying the starter parks for Sengled, Philips Hue, or other smart bulbs that have a Wi-Fi bridge, you can just purchase extra bulb kits. While Sengled smart bulbs sell at $10 per bulb, Philips smart white dimmable bulbs sell at $12.50 per bulb.
You can use the Alexa app to build routines for these bulbs to turn on and off at a particular time, or when you utter a certain phrase to Alexa. But remember that smart home skills of Alexa are not as sophisticated when compared to other smart-home hubs. For instance, the SmartThings hub lets you create rules like turning the lights on upon detection of motion by a camera. In case you have colored lights, you can ask Alexa to adjust them to a particular color. However, you cannot use the app to pick a specific lighting scheme or choose from a color wheel, as you can do in the Philips Hue app.
With time, Amazon will add to the smart home features of the Echo Plus, which is basic with regards to the smart home.
The Echo Plus goes for $149 while the Echo goes for $99. The price of the 2nd generation Echo is less than the initial, which makes it an excellent deal. The Echo Plus goes for $50 more than the 2nd generation Echo. However, it has a smart home hub. A separate hub that is dedicated can offer more features, but it goes for around $100.
If you are searching for basic smart-home functionality, the Echo plus is a great deal. You would incur at least $50 more to buy a smart-home hub and an Echo separately. If you want to install a more sophisticated smart home, then buying the $99 Echo and a separate 3rd party smart-home hub is ideal. Regardless of the Echo devise you pick, you can still use Wi-Fi-enabled smart devices with them. Such devices include smart plugs that don’t need you to link them to a smart hub first.
Adrian Rubin is both a writer and Photographer. He studied at the Philadelphia University of Arts where he gained a creative writing and Photography Master’s Degree. Additionally, the 28-year old enjoys traveling and culinary arts.