Photography Gear Reviews

Amazon Echo and Alexa Review

Alexa, "What can you do"

A review of the Amazon Echo featuring the assistance of Alexa, your personal bot assistant. Listen to music, podcasts, news and more.

Photographers spend a lot of time sat at their computer editing photographs. Whiling away the hours becomes much easier when listening to music. I am constantly in search of new way and better ways of listening to music, whether it is headphones, bluetooth speakers or now the Amazon Echo.


At first the Amazon Echo appears to be like any other bluetooth speaker. As soon as you switch it on though it becomes so much more. You are instantly introduced to Alexa. Alexa is a cloud based assistant who operates the Amazon Echo for you. Speak to her and ask her questions and she will carry out tasks for you. For example,

“Alexa play music by the Stone Roses”

“Alexa, tell me the latest news”

“Alexa, what will the weather be like in London on Friday?”

“Alexa, turn off the lights”

Alexa will do all of these including turn off the lights when linked into a smart light system such as the Phillips Hue system.

Alexa and the Echo is set up using a phone app that is compatible with IOS and Andriod. The app can also be used to add functionality to Alexa and review this things you said to improve accuracy in future.

Amazon Echo - Microphone Technology

The Amazon Echo has a clever microphone arrangement that will pick up your voice anywhere in the room. It is a very effective system and works surprisingly well. As long as you ask a question Alexa is capable of answering, the Echo seems to understand you no matter how strong your accent.

The Echo links with Spotify and also Amazon Music.

One of the only downsides is the sound quality. Whilst reasonable for radio and podcasts, for music, the Echo is not up to the standard of of other bluetooth speakers especially in the bass department.

Another option is to buy the Amazon Echo Dot. This smaller version still contains Alexa but comes with a very small speaker. This can easily be hooked up to a bluetooth speaker, or amp, instantly giving Alexa the sound quality of your favourite speakers.

Even with the less than perfect sound, the Echo and Echo Dot are very interesting. There more than enough functionality to justify the £150/$150 price and even more so with the £50/$50 Echo Dot.

Buy Amazon Echo in the US -

Buy Amazon Echo in the UK -

Buy Amazon Echo Dot - US -

Buy Amazon Echo Dot - UK -

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