Amazin’ Amazon Alexa

For Christmas this year, the husband and I decided to have a joint main present and so went halves on the new bit of technology, The Amazon Echo.

Now, if you haven’t seen one of the numerous adverts, the Amazon Echo is a tubular 360 degree speaker that is interactive and can do a million and one things.

amazon-echo, alexa-app, home-music, speaker, spotify, tunedin, home-stereo, voice-control, amazon-alexa,

Amazon Echo

For us, we really wanted a small piece of kit that would have great sound quality and be able to play songs. For many years we have relied on our Ipods, and a great Ministry of Sound dock system which unfortunately suffered a fatal injury and we had not got around to replacing it.

This means that any new music is played through the computer speakers which to be fair, are always a bit rubbish.

I looked into the Echo quite considerably, as for £150 I wanted to make sure that it was something we would get use out out, and if not, what else I could get for my pounds.

The Echo is billed as a 360 degree onmi-directional speaker with voice control. So what exactly does that all mean?

Basically that I can talk to a piece of plastic and metal and it will obey my commands! World Domination here I come!

Or maybe not. But I can get it to play music from my amazon playlist, Spotify or Tunedin. I can get it to read my audio books out loud to me. I can even get it to tell me a joke, although they aren’t particularly good ones.

Now, that sounds like a lot of money for not a lot of capabilities. But actually it is capable of doing so much more. As I said at the beginning, I really wanted something that was going to play music for me. And it does that in spades.

amazon-echo, alexa-app, home-music, speaker, spotify, tunedin, home-stereo, voice-control, amazon-alexa,

Easy Set-Up

Ask for “Ella Fitzgerald” or “Walk this Way” or the “Gracelands” album and it will start playing out loud. Tell it to turn the volume up or down, or find a specific podcast and it will do it. Echo is constantly updating and learning new things, this makes it very easy to use, and also very user friendly.

If you have a smart home, using Hive or Nest etc, you can get it to turn the heating on and off, put the kettle on or even dim the lights, These are amazing innovations, and makes me want to get all the smart gadgets. This could also be fantastic for people with limited mobility or impairment.

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Connect to your home and control your life

You can even set up calendar entries and shopping list; this is a great idea as I always write them down and forget to pick them up. This way it is email directly to you, and can be accessed on you phone; this is a real boon for a busy parent too.

Now when we first discussed by the Echo, Baby Bear really thought it a waste of money. However, since having it she has certainly talked to it enough. Skipping songs, choosing new playlists and charts, turning off the songs I like to hear; she has taken great delight in using it.

The only downside that I found to the Echo was that it used the Alexa App to function. This meant every time you wanted to get it to do something, you had to wake it up by saying it’s name.

amazon-echo, alexa-app, home-music, speaker, spotify, tunedin, home-stereo, voice-control, amazon-alexa,

Amazon Alexa App

Now given that Baby Bear’s first name is actually Alexa, it caused a lot of issues when we constantly kept saying her name out loud. Thankfully you can change the wake-up name, so she is now very safely called Echo.

My first impressions are excellent. I love the sound quality and the millions of songs you can access without needing to swap and change CD’s. I really think it is a very clever bit of kit, and that as time goes on it will gain even more functions which excites me quite a bit.

The best thing is that it is very portable, small yet sturdy and I can move it into any room if I so wish without having to dismantle half my house or drag around 30 – 40 CD’s upstairs if I want to listen to a mixed bag of music.

For me it is Convenient, Classy, Clever and above all Clear to use. I can’t wait to explore all the things it can do, mostly all that endless music which I can skip or change just by saying the word Echo……

Leave a comment

  • Jazmin Williams

    Heard a lot about Alexa! Definitely think it’s a useful tool and something that will get even more popular in 2017.

    • I agree Jazmin, and it has so many future possibilities too! x

  • what a neat idea! I’d heard of Alexa but had no idea what it was. Does it play any music at all or simply from your own music?

    • It plays spotify, live radio, and you can join Amazon music and it will play CDs you have brought from them or stream from billions they have xx

  • Hannah Latoya Bond

    This sounds really good. I havent seen these before. Thanks for sharing

  • Jo Wiggins

    I got this from my Husband for Christmas and I love it 🙂 great choice x

    • Aren’t they fantastic inventions? I have had it on almost constantly x

  • It is great that it matches the price tag and offers top quality sound. Plus well done for changing the name lol!

    • It really is a great invention. Daughter No1 is happier too x

  • I’ve heard so many people say that they just love these, i’m glad you are enjoying yours. It’s a good thing that you can change the name you have to wake it up with, I just have a picture of your poor Baby Bear constantly being confused by hearing her name being called!

    • She was getting a little frustrated! It is such a great product and I am really happy with it x

  • This actually sounds really cool, I love the voice control aspect of it!

  • Melanie Edjourian

    Wow that does sound like a pricey item although it does seem to do a fair amount so it balances out.

    • That is why we shared the cost and had it for Christmas. It has revolutionised the way we listen to much in our household too x

  • My dad got this for Christmas as well and loves it x

  • Natasha Mairs

    I have never heard of this before, but is sounds amazing!! Love that it can turn the volume up and down by voice command

    • It can do so many things, I am still just learning it all! x

  • I have seen these about but never really knew much more than what I saw in the adverts. It looks like such a great piece of tech x

    • It really is Rhian, fantastic and so easy to use and set up! x

  • I have seen these, and after reading this I really want one x

    • I highly recommend one! It really has been a fantastic purchase x

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    We went halves on some tech for Christmas too. The best way when you have run out of things to buy each other.

    • Isn’t it just! Really clever and makes it cheaper too x

  • I’m so far behind the times and not familiar with the Alexa app, but recently hear about it, The Echo sounds fantastic, we still use zen dinosaur by creative music system with speakers that we can take anywhere even when traveling but we love it. But the Echo sounds like something worth looking into for the home and the price while expensive, it’s rare to find anything these days at a huge bargain and think it’s not to bad

  • I have seen this advertised so much recently my OH is such a music buff he would love this he has music on all the time thinkni may look into it further for a birthday gift

    • It is a fab invention and I am sure he would love it. x

  • Oh my gosh, this sounds amazing! I want!

    C xx

  • Looks like a good piece of technology, I don’t think it’s something I’d use though xo

    • My daughter thought the same, but she has been streaming all her music through it, and listing to Radio 1 lol xx

  • beautykinguk

    So many people I know have the Echo and I still dont know what it really does…

    • It literally plays music from your library, or live streaming, or live radio. It can also add things into your online calendar, sort out a shopping list, check the weather for you, and even tell you a joke. If you have Hive or Nest it can even control your heating! x

  • I’ve been really intrigued by it and am seriously contemplating getting it. It seems as though it’s worth every penny! xx

  • Kira L Curtis

    I have been trying to look into the Amazon echo, considered getting my dad it for christmas but was a bit unsure, by the sounds of things, it would have been a great gadget for him to try out! I hope the price goes down a little ready for his birthday or next christmas!

  • Bex Smith

    I’ve been hearing good things about these and my OH is adamant we get one..might have to give in lol

  • francesca

    This sounds great and looks so sleek!! Might have to go on amazon myself!

    • It doesn’t take up any room unlike conventional music systems. I love ours xx

  • I have seen them around but didnt know much about them, what a lovley gift for you guys

  • I’ve heard so many good things about the Amazon Echo. It sounds amazing x