Smart speakers have revolutionized the way we interact with technology in our homes. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose which one is right for you. Two popular choices are the Echo and Echo Plus from Amazon.
Echo is a smart speaker with voice assistant Alexa, while Echo Plus is an upgraded version with additional features like a built-in smart home hub for easy device control.
Echo vs. Echo Plus
|Echo is equipped with the Alexa voice assistant, enabling users to ask questions, play music, set timers, and control smart devices.||Echo Plus also comes with the Alexa voice assistant, providing the same range of capabilities and functionalities.|
|It offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing users to connect it to their home network for internet access and stream audio wirelessly from their devices.||It also supports Zigbee connectivity, which enables direct communication with Zigbee-compatible smart home devices without the need for separate hubs or bridges.|
|Echo delivers standard sound quality suitable for everyday listening, with decent volume and clarity.||Echo Plus offers enhanced sound with Dolby technology, providing richer, more immersive audio output.|
|It provides basic device control functionalities, allowing users to control compatible smart devices through voice commands or the Alexa app.||It offers advanced device control capabilities, including the ability to discover, set up, and control a wider range of smart devices directly through the Alexa app, thanks to its built-in Zigbee smart home hub.|
|Echo is available at a lower price point compared to Echo Plus, making it a more affordable option for users.||Echo Plus is priced slightly higher than the standard Echo due to the additional built-in smart home hub and enhanced sound quality.|
|It is widely available in the market through various retailers and online platforms, making it easily accessible for users.||It is also widely available for purchase, offering the same level of accessibility as the standard Echo.|
What is Echo?
Echo is a line of smart speakers developed by Amazon. It is powered by the voice assistant Alexa, which allows users to interact with the device using voice commands.
Echo speakers are designed to play music, answer questions, set timers and alarms, provide weather updates, control smart home devices, and perform various other tasks. They connect to the internet via Wi-Fi and can stream music from popular platforms like Amazon Music, Spotify, and Apple Music.
What is Echo Plus?
Echo Plus is an upgraded version of the Echo smart speaker developed by Amazon. Like the standard Echo, Echo Plus is powered by the voice assistant Alexa and offers a range of features such as playing music, answering questions, setting timers, controlling smart home devices, and more, through voice commands.
Echo Plus uses the Zigbee protocol, a popular wireless communication standard for smart devices, enabling seamless integration and control of a wide range of Zigbee-compatible devices such as lights, locks, sensors, and thermostats.
Pros and cons of Echo
- Affordability: The Echo is generally available at a lower price point compared to Echo Plus, making it a budget-friendly option for users.
- Voice Assistant Capabilities: Echo is powered by Alexa, a highly capable voice assistant that can perform a wide range of tasks, including playing music, answering questions, providing weather updates, and controlling smart home devices.
- Wide Availability: Echo devices are widely available through various retailers and online platforms, making them easily accessible to users.
- Good Sound Quality: While not as advanced as Echo Plus, Echo still delivers decent sound quality suitable for everyday listening.
- Basic Device Control: Echo requires an additional smart home hub to control compatible smart devices, which adds an extra cost and complexity to the setup process.
- Limited Connectivity: Echo supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity but lacks the built-in Zigbee hub, limiting its compatibility with certain smart home devices.
- Standard Sound Quality: Compared to Echo Plus, Echo’s sound quality is not as immersive or enhanced, which may be a drawback for users seeking a more robust audio experience.
Pros and cons of Echo Plus
- Built-in Smart Home Hub: Echo Plus has a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, allowing direct compatibility and control of a wide range of Zigbee-compatible smart devices without the need for additional hubs or bridges. This simplifies the setup process and offers seamless device control.
- Enhanced Sound Quality: Echo Plus features improved sound quality with Dolby technology, delivering a richer and more immersive audio experience compared to the standard Echo.
- Advanced Device Control: With the built-in smart home hub, Echo Plus offers advanced device control capabilities, making it easier to discover, set up, and manage a wider range of compatible smart devices through the Alexa app.
- Higher Price: Echo Plus is generally priced slightly higher compared to the standard Echo due to the added features of the built-in smart home hub and enhanced sound quality.
- Limited Availability: While widely available, Echo Plus may not be as readily accessible as the standard Echo in certain regions or markets.
Which smart speaker is right for you?
First, what kind of music do you like? Do you prefer streaming services like Spotify or Pandora, or do you want to use voice commands to play specific songs or albums? If music is your priority, the Echo might be a better option for you. It has built-in support for streaming services and can also play music from Amazon Music and Apple Music.
If voice commands are more your thing, then the Echo Plus might be a better choice. It has an improved microphone that allows it to hear voices better in noisy environments and can handle more simultaneous requests than the original Echo. Additionally, it supports devices like Amazon Fire TV and Google Home devices, so it’s easier to set up and use than the Echo.
Key differences between Echo and Echo Plus
- Built-in Smart Home Hub: Echo Plus has a built-in smart home hub, whereas Echo requires an additional hub or bridge to connect and control compatible smart home devices. This feature makes Echo Plus more convenient for users who want to control their smart home devices without the need for additional hardware.
- Zigbee Connectivity: Echo Plus supports Zigbee connectivity, allowing direct communication and control of Zigbee-compatible smart home devices. This eliminates the need for separate hubs or bridges, providing a more streamlined and integrated smart home experience. Echo, on the other hand, relies on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connectivity.
- Sound Quality: Echo Plus offers enhanced sound quality with Dolby technology, delivering a richer and more immersive audio experience compared to the standard Echo. This makes Echo Plus a preferred choice for users who prioritize high-quality sound for music playback or entertainment purposes.
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Echo is a more affordable option with basic device control and good sound quality, while Echo Plus offers a built-in smart home hub, advanced device control, and enhanced sound quality at a slightly higher price. Choose Echo for budget-friendly convenience and Echo Plus for a more comprehensive smart home experience.