Amazon Echo 4th Generation review: Specs

Dimensions14 x 14 x 13cm
Weight970g
AudioOne 3-inch woofer, two 0.8-inch tweeters
WirelessBluetooth, Zigbee, Sidewalk
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz)
PortsPower, 3.5mm audio in/out
Voice assistant Amazon Alexa
Physical Connections3.5mm

Amazon Echo 4th Generation Deals

Amazon’s inaugural smart speaker is back with an entire New Look, a built-in Zigbee smart hub. And more potential under its new one hundred pc recycled hood. You don’t need an especially keen eye to understand that Amazon has started from scratch for this Amazon Echo 4th generation Review.

The cylinder design has gone, in favor of a Magic 8-Ball-Esque sphere, and maybe fittingly you’ll ask it any question you would like. As long as it’s plugged into power and linked to your wi-fi. We raised an eyebrow once we first saw the new orb-like Echo. But Apple recently unveiled a bijou HomePod mini that appears much an equivalent, and that’s being taken quite seriously.

Amazon is transferring its once-trending flagship Echo Plus features – greater audio power and a built-in smart home hub – to the overhauled Echo. This new fourth-generation Echo essentially negates the Plus model therein it offers the power to regulate Zigbee devices. Promises better audio over its predecessor, and, of course, offers a more nuanced Alexa voice assistance. Already, that’s a far better proposition on paper than you will get from another smart speaker within the sub ($100) price, er… sphere.

Amazon Echo 4th Generation review: Design

For 2020, Amazon ditched the cylindrical design of its older Echo smart speakers for a spherical shape. That’s not only more interesting to look at but allowed the corporate to cram in a further tweeter.

Looks-wise, the 4th-generation Echo is actually a puffed-up Echo Dot. But, where I wasn’t as onboard with the spherical design of the Echo Dot, I feel it makes more sense with the full-size Echo. Which is supposed to be seen during a more prominent place.

When watching the Echo from the front, you see its large fabric-covered grille. But as you switch it towards the rear, a tough plastic shell takes over.

Amazon Echo 4th Generation review
Port and bottom…

Just over the highest are four buttons for volume, turning off the Echo’s mic, and summoning Alexa. I just wish that Amazon had added a clock to the front of the Echo, a la the Echo Dot with Clock. If you would like to form a press release together with your smart home speaker. You would possibly also make as big a press release as possible — for instance. The Acer Halo Google Assistant speaker features a display and even colored LED lights along rock bottom.

To that end, I also wish that there was a way to regulate the colors of the lights on theAmazon Echo 4th Generation Review. Now that they’ve been moved from the highest to rock bottom of the device. Where they will reflect off a surface, it might be fun to possess them to change colors to the beat of the music you’re playing.

Measuring 5.7 inches in diameter, the Echo is larger than the Echo Dot and therefore the Apple HomePod Mini. Both of which are 3.9 inches in diameter. Despite having double the facility requirement 30 Watts vs. 15 Watts) the Echo has an equivalent size power brick because of the smaller Dot.

Amazon Echo 4th Generation review: Features

The Echo includes Amazon’s AZ1 Neural Edge processor. An all-new silicon module intention-built for accelerating machine learning applications. With AZ1, powerful guess engines can run ‘on the edge’ (ie. on the device), starting with an all-neural speech recognition model that ought to process requests faster and make Alexa even more responsive, ‘learning and understanding more about you over time.

As long as that idea doesn’t scare you off completely (you can turn the Echo’s mics off whenever you want). Your preference between Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa will likely come right down to compatibility with other products in your home. For us, there’s not much in it – and therefore the service here is greatly improved because of a powerful range of third-party services, including BBC, The Guardian, and Pointless smarts within the US.

It’s easy to get the Echo up and running using your smartphone (you must enable Bluetooth) and wi-fi. And once you’ve linked your streaming service accounts. It’ll play music from Apple Music, Spotify, or Deezer over wi-fi. Though you don’t link any music-provider subscriptions. The Amazon Echo 4th Generation Review will play from Amazon Music by default – and you’ve always got TuneIn radio too.

Amazon Echo 4th Generation review

Amazon Alexa App

Set-up is completed using the Amazon Alexa app, which is well-designed and intuitive. On the app, you’ll alter your Echo’s EQ levels, provide it a reputation and assign it to an area in your house, or group it with other compatible Alexa speakers. For instance, create a “downstairs” group, say “Alexa, play music downstairs”, and your new multi-room Alexa smart set-up obeys.

You can make Alexa announce that ‘Dinner’s ready’ to each speaker. Your home because of its intercom feature, or send music to a specific room as a not-so-subtle message. Bruno Mars’ Lazy Song to an area containing a housemate who’s yet to emerge perhaps. The ‘Devices’ tab followed by the ‘Plus’ icon sets up most of those scenarios, and, while we found Alexa most attentive during testing if you favor clicking instead of vocalizing your tune requests, simply tap the in-app ‘play’ icon and use your phone to load music.

We partner a cylindrical third-gen Echo and a replacement spherical Echo together during a group, allowing us to modify from one to the opposite easily. What you can’t do is pair the 2 speakers in stereo. While stereo pairing is an Echo feature, it can only be through with two equivalent speakers.

Amazon Echo 4th Generation Review: Sound

We ask Alexa to play an ’80s Spotify playlist and through Livin’ On A Prayer. Jon Bon Jovi’s vocal is central alongside a surprisingly expansive bass. There’s the deep injection of Richie Sambora’s guitar backing vocals, and trademark larynx. These musical strands are much clearer and impactful through the newer Echo than they’re through the older model.

Our playlist continues to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. And also, we’re treated to a well-timed performance across the frequencies. It isn’t afraid to travel low either – one among our gripes with the older. Echo was an occasionally soft and ill-defined bass and it feels as if Amazon has addressed this.

We switch to Outnumbered by Dermot Kennedy on Apple Music, and therefore the textured vocal. Comes through centrally, with an impactful but agile bassline. Stream hip-hop and therefore the new Echo inherits its own, brimming with full-bodied, textured lows.

Amazon Echo 4th Generation review

With Disturbed’s cover of The Sound Of Silence, the new Echo presents a sound. That’s weighty and expansive enough through the bass for its size. But it lacks bite and that we find ourselves upping the quantity to urge it.

There’s an additional injection of treble volume to be had within the older gen model. Albeit there’s slightly more detail within the newer one. We stream Adele’s Once We Were Young and obtain rather more. Zealous upfront and emotive presentation of her upper registers on the cylindrical speaker.

Amazon Echo 4th Generation Review: Alexa Home Skills

Amazon has retired the Echo Plus, its smart speaker/smart home hub, and placed the Zigbee radio therein device into the new Echo. Zigbee allows you to attach compatible low-power smart home devices—think door and window sensors and light bulbs—directly to the Echo, instead of needing a separate smart home hub. We connected a Zigbee door sensor to the Echo via the Alexa app in seconds. 

Combined with Alexa Guard, this makes the Echo a billboard hoc home security system; you’ll program your lights to show on if a window sensor is opened, or have Alexa send you an alert if it hears your smoke detector or glass breaking. It’ll still be up to you to call the police or local department, unless you furthermore may get a DIY home security system, a couple of of which work with Alexa Guard. 

I also think that Alexa’s routines are much more comprehensive than what you’ll do with Google Assistant and HomePod. With Alexa, you’ll use the state of various third-party smart home devices to regulate the behavior of other smart home gadgets. As an example, I can create a routine to possess a sensible light to activate, music starts playing, and have Alexa say something to me when the aforementioned door sensor is opened.

Amazon Echo 4th Generation review
Another smart Feature

That will be enabled later this year is Amazon Sidewalk, a replacement long-range low-power. Also, a low-bandwidth protocol designed to make a more interconnected network throughout your entire neighborhood. So, if you forget your keys and Tile tracker at a friend’s house two blocks over. You’ll be ready to more easily find them. Sidewalk has been in virtually every Alexa smart speaker since the second generation. Echo and is during a few Ring smart lights, too. We’re curious to ascertain how it works once it goes live.

A new low-power mode will abate the Echo’s ability fee while it’s idle, with some caveats.  The Echo won’t enter low-power mode if you linked a Spotify account to your Alexa account, if Alexa Guard is in Away mode, if there’s a lively notification, if you’ve got an external speaker plugged into the Echo, or if a sensible home device is connected to the Echo via Bluetooth.

Conclusion

Putting the new Amazon Echo 4th Generation Review minor sonic shortcomings as a hi-fi proposition to at least one side, its usability and likeability can’t be ignored. Alexa feels present and useful but not imposing, the Alexa app support makes placement and multi-room configurations a breeze, and therefore the sound quality, while a step down from ideal, easily passes the sound-per-pound value test for a sensible speaker of this modest price.

It’s important to recollect that as a sensible home hub, the Echo’s sonic chops are a side feature instead of its raison d’etre. The Amazon Echo (4th Generation) is ultimately a solid cornerstone from which to create your smart home and simply betters its predecessor for expansiveness, subtlety, and bass weight.