Amazon’s Echo devices are like a family, new generations keep propping up and they get smarter or better in the process. So the latest addition to the Smart speaker family is the all-new Amazon Echo (3rd Gen) which borrows bits of goodies from the Echo Plus. In India it is priced at ₹ 9,999 and available in black, blue, grey and white color choices. And for those who are not aware of, Alexa now speaks even Hindi in India now. You can either change the language settings in the app or simply tell “Alexa, speak in English and Hindi.” and it will understand both the languages. Here is the Amazon Echo 3rd Gen review to help you understand it better.
Having used the previous gen Amazon Echo, the notable differences is in the audio experience having borrowed the speaker internals from the Echo Plus
Echo 3rd Gen design: Plus Factor
The third generation has got a wee bit stouter, slightly shorter and a tad bit wider than the previous Echo. It’s still the same cylinder and measures 5.8” x 3.9” x 3.9” and weighs 1.3kg. It is wrapped in the fabric around the sides of the speaker. While the blue and gray models have white plastic top panels and bases, the black and dark grey models have black ones.
The top panel houses the controls – four buttons to be precise (Alexa, microphone mute, and volume up/down), there are six pinholes for the far-field microphone. A rubber base keeps the Echo firm. The back of the speaker has a connector for the included power adapter and a 3.5mm audio combination input/output.
The top panel has a translucent light ring that glows blue when Alexa is listening or communicating, red when you mute the microphone or orange when it’s updating software or ready for setup.
3rd Gen Echo sound – Getting Better at it
Like I quoted in the beginning, the Echo has got better at the audio experience now. It sounds better and richer now. Not surprising because it now packs a downward-firing 3-inch woofer, 0.8-inch tweeter and Dolby Audio. If you are upgrading your second-gen, the difference is instantly noticeable. The 360-degree sound makes it a good smart speaker at its price. The bass has improved and roomier and rounded now. It is good to see Amazon upping the ante in delivering a smart speaker that sounds good too.
Amazon Echo Features- Alexa at its heart
Like the rest of the Echo lineup, the heart of the Echo devices rests on Amazon’s smart assistant, Alexa. You can communicate with it, ask it to play songs, tell stories, ask questions (of course it politely says sorry if it’s beyond its comprehension) and there are thousands of skills developed by others to make use of the Alexa assistance. It’s an echo system that works fairly well and is growing.
The Echo can also pair with other Alexa speakers and if you have a couple of them you can create a stereo cluster of smart speakers. The Drop In feature allows you to communicate between the Echo devices.
Echo lacks what the Echo Plus has – built-in Zigbee smart home hub and temperature sensor. It may not be a deal-breaker if you are using Echo only as a smart speaker but if you are planning to interconnect different Alexa supported Smart devices from various brands in your home, it’s slightly at disadvantage but can be overcome by using an external smart home hub. Frankly, I use Echo as a smart speaker and only as a smart speaker and it doesn’t hinder me.
For those who are paranoid about Alexa eavesdropping always, there is a control for microphone and you can turn it off but when you do so the Echo would only be a bluetooth speaker deprived of its smartness. The Echo needs to listen actively and constantly to be at your call of service. Still, there is toggle control for your assurance.
Amazon Echo 3rd Gen Review | Verdict
Amazon has expanded its Echo portfolio vastly, there are multiple devices now and am lucky to have experienced most of them. The all-new Echo (3rd Gen) is currently my favourite one and Amazon has got it’s pricing right vis-à-vis its smartness and the audio experience. The new Echo sounds like an Echo Plus now and definitely the Echo I would recommend for you.