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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Echo Dot (2nd Generation) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Black
Color: Black|Configuration: Echo Dot|Change
Price:$49.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on December 1, 2016
My brother Robert who has been bed ridden and paralyzed with Multiple Sclerosis from his neck down for more than 30 years now has a new friend named Alexa! He was in tears with happiness when Alexa played 70's music, played Jeopardy, answered all his questions and wakes him up every morning. Thank you Amazon for giving my brother a new bedside companion.
Happy Holidays
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon October 24, 2016
 Having worked in the electronics retail industry for years now, I've seen scores of Smart devices come and go. Until now, nobody quite got it right. In the Echo Dot, Amazon has created a near perfect blend of hardware and software. I've seen plenty of the former, but truly seamless multi platform software has eluded everyone but Amazon. We're talking major players like Samsung and Google who have been at it for much longer than Amazon. The main problem is that excellent products like the Samsung Smart Things hub, which do a fantastic job of unifying a slew of different connected devices from different companies (Nest, Honeywell, Phillips, and so on), still lacked the web connectivity and entertainment support I wanted, so I'd still end up needing my tablet or phone. Thanks to fantastic third party support, the Dot has no problem controlling all of my smart stuff while allowing me to listen to music, order food, check the weather, listen to the radio, set alarms and timers, all of which is easily accomplished through simple voice commands. To me, this is the exceedingly rare product that I didn't know I needed, and now can't live without. Similar to the smartphone and tablet I use every day that didn't exist just a few short years ago.

If you're even a little bit curious you owe it to yourself to give the dot a try. Add a good speaker and enjoy just how simple a connected life can be!

Update: After a bit more time with the dot, or maybe I should say dots since I went out and bought another one for my living room, I've come up with a few tips.

1. Use the best speakers you can with it. I found that while Bluetooth was convenient I got much better sound out of my JBL duet computer speakers.

2. Take the time to voice train Alexa at least once. It's kinda tedious but really improves the accuracy. I've now gone through three trainings with each dot, the phrasing gets more intricate with each, and it really is amazing how much of an improvement it makes. Kinda hard to quantify, but I'd guess Alexa is at least twice as likely to understand long, complex phrases and has also gained noticeable accuracy when ambient noise I'd present.

3. If a phrase doesn't yield the results you're looking for, reword it and try again. For instance, "Alexa, lower the temperature to 75 degrees" got no result, so I tried "Alexa, Honeywell Thermostat, 75 degrees" and she picked it up perfectly.

4. Take the time to look through all the skills. There's a lot of helpful and just plain fun stuff in there, from strange facts to a calculator and everything in between, that really helps to enhance the experience.

5. I'd never really used my prime music prior to setting up my dots. Now I can't live without it! I can say basically whatever I want and I get a result. My favs so far: "Alexa, play 90s music", "Alexa, play indie music", and "Alexa, play thunderstorm sounds". The last one I ask to repeat and it plays all night. Really a great "freebie" if you're a prime member.

6. I was a bit worried initially that Alexa might be triggered accidentally by ambient TV or general household noise, so I'm really impressed that it's only happened twice so far. Both times in my living room when I was watching TV at high volume. If it's a concern, the mic can be temporarily disabled, so the dot won't trigger and listen accidentally.

7. I've had no problem pairing the dot to a variety of devices including: two different Bluetooth speakers, my Galaxy S7 edge, and pioneer receiver. I need to look into it further, but each time I paired my phone the Bluetooth connection to the speaker was lost, so I ended up having to listen to the built in speaker. Definitely not ideal for music, but no big deal if you're using wired speakers. Plus, most Bluetooth sets offer an auxiliary input for wired listening.

8. It's fun to ask Alexa general questions to see if she's capable of finding the answers. So far I've gotten accurate responses to "Alexa, what's the definition of", "Alexa, how far away is", "Alexa, Wikipedia" (just about anything you can think of and she'll tell you more if you ask "Alexa, tell me more"). If you have the time, ask her a set of questions and you'll quickly get used to her nuances.

9. Even though the microphones are extremely sensitive and quite accurate, I've found that the Dot works best when placed on a surface that's close to the level of the person speaking to it. Generally speaking, three to five feet off the ground. Alexa had some trouble hearing my requests when the dot was placed above or behind me. If you'd like to place the dot higher, it works much better when flush with the wall, instead of sitting on a shelf etc. I tried both setups and found with a couple nails set apart to make a cradle facing the dot out towards the room works best for me (sorry for the run on sentence lol).

Suggestions for Improvement:

1. Unlike the upcoming Google Home BT speaker, the Dot and other Alexa devices are unable to answer general web queries. They do a decent job of answering factual questions like "How far away is the sun" but I'd really like too see Amazon add a "search" function.

2. Not Amazon's fault, but several of the news briefing skills update infrequently and volume levels vary enough that I'd find myself constantly changing the volume level to match.

3. I enabled briefings from several outlets like NPR, BBC, AP, and so on. I'd suggest you pick one or two and stick with them, otherwise you'll here the same news over and over. I ended up going with BBC and AP briefings.
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on January 10, 2017
So I don't normally write reviews but I just has to this time. Recently, I lost my cat best friend to cancer 2 days after Christmas. It was the worst day of my life. Imagine losing your friend that's been with you through every breakup, every apartment, nearly being homeless and more. When he passed I felt such an emptiness in my home.
A few days ago I was searching for something to put my mind at ease and saw the advertisement for the Amazon Echo on the Amazon app. I remember watching a Mr. Robot episode where some FBI agent who suffers from insomnia was using Alexa to keep her entertained.
So I started researching YouTube videos and reviews and took a chance and ordered it. It arrived today and the setup was super easy. I immediately started asking it questions and had it play music and play the news. Then I discovered some zen type apps that go with the echo and I completely fell in love with it. It's almost like having a real personal assistant who lifts up your spirits when your down. It suggested new music which I actually liked and the built in speaker isn't bad at all for the price.
The Amazon echo did not replace my beautiful cat kouga but it did bring stop the empty feeling around the house for now. I added a picture of my cat instead of the echo since everyone already knows what the echo looks like.
I would totally recommend buying this product. I don't see any negatives other than the fact you can't really ask it followup questions like google assistant but I'm sure they'll make it happen.
Thanks for letting me rant
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I am a prime member. This was my first purchase of Echo and I gave it to my mom who did not want it or think she needed it, haha I purchased Echo dot for 2 reasons, 1) I had wanted the original echo but thought the near $200 price tag was too steep so this price was perfect and 2) I wanted to get something for my mom that would open her mind to the power of technology and the need for change because ultimately I want her to have amazon fire tv because her monthly cable bill is insanely high but she has always been resistant to change. She had no wifi in her bedroom but I resolved that when I purchased TP Link AV500 Wi Fi Range Extender, Powerline Edition which did what no other wifi extender I purchased in past could do, gave my mom's room a secure wifi connection; apparently using already existing phone lines. All I know is that she now has wifi in her room. So I got Echo as a way to test her wifi connection with something cool. I easily connected Echo to TP-Link and it worked. We asked Alexa a few basic questions, We laughed a little but then I had to leave. When I returned the next day, I walked in and there was music playing (oldies but goodies) and I walked into my moms room and she was singing but was emotional. I asked her if everything was ok. She was in awe. She was happy. She was emotional because Alexa helped mom find songs at a blink of an eye that mom had not heard since her childhood and she demonstrated it to me. The speed that Alexa found the song and played it was mind-boggling. Mom was also planning a dinner in August and needed to know what day of week it was. She would normally need to leave her room and go to her main calender in the kitchen and find the date. But this time she just asked Alexa who gave her the information in like 2 seconds lol. TP-Link and Echo / Alexa have given my mom a whole new level of excitement, bewilderment, curiosity and wonder and we have only scratched the surface to the power of Echo. 2 more Echo dots are on the way as I type and more in the future i am sure. What a great gift to give to someone at a great price.
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on January 10, 2017
We bought an Echo Dot as an early Christmas gift to ourselves and we're so glad that we did. It's a very useful gadget because there's such a wide variety of things we can ask Alexa to answer or tasks that she can do for us (eg: alarms/timers, calendar, ordering, weather).

Since one of the tasks that we wanted Alexa to do for us was play music, we subscribed to Amazon's Unlimited Music Plan for the Echo Dot. It's well worth the low monthly fee to be able to ask Alexa to play any song or album anytime, without having to buy all of them individually.

​Millions of songs are available through one groovy gadget (and the Unlimited Music Plan).

We have the Echo Dot in our home and listen to music without any external speakers. As far as we're concerned, the internal speaker emits a decent array of sound. Is it as robust sounding as hooking it up to our surround system amplifier or other external speakers? Of course not, but it does sound a lot better than most internal device speakers of similar size. For those of you that don't like the internal speaker, you can utilize the 3.5mm or Bluetooth speaker options.

If we say, “Alexa, Play The Top Songs by Phil Collins”... then that's exactly what she does.

Keep in mind that when you ask Alexa for the "Top Songs" by a soloist or group, they may not always be your favorite songs. A work around for that is to ask Alexa to play a particular album that contains the songs you prefer to hear.

The screen-shots show you how we asked Alexa to play an album vs the top songs. In addition, they show you what we see when logged-in to the Alexa app via the Chrome web browser.

FYI: When asking Alexa to play an album that has a long title, we realized that she responds accurately when we ask for part of that title (view Elton John & Michael Jackson screen-shots). Be sure to look at what we said to Alexa vs what the whole album title is labeled.

I should mention that we did ask Alexa to search for a product, which she did along with telling us the best options and their cost. Afterward, she asked if we wanted to buy the product. We said yes and she placed the order for us once we gave her our confirmation code (Settings: Voice Purchasing). We recommend setting that up so other people cannot place orders without your consent. It's convenient for us to have voice purchasing enabled when we're "unplugged" at night (except for Alexa).

The skill that we use the most is Weather Sky, it gives us a detailed weather report that we use several times each day.

​At the time of this review, we haven't used any of the smart home features, but we didn't buy it for that purpose.

PLEASE NOTE: We purchased the Echo Dot at its listed price, we did not receive any discount to post this review.
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on October 24, 2016
Thanks for taking the time to read this review!
This re-release of a critically acclaimed device is quite honestly a grand slam. Although slightly smaller then last years release, this device now picks up your voice even better! Im talking litterally talking leaps and bounds better. I can now say "alexa" and she hears me even when im downstairs or even when im blaring music thru my Harmon Kardon Onyx speaker. I found myself yelling at last years Echo dot and approaching the device wielding a kitchen knife attempting to get her to listen.
We will be ordering a second device so we can try out its "multi-room voice recognition" technology. Amazon claims to have instilled a awesome feature where only one echo dot responds to your command if you have multiple devices. So bassically the dot closest to you awaits to the awake word "alexa" on a side note The basic Amazon Music Unlimited will only work on ONE of your devices. Not one at a time, but ONE. If you want to use it on more than one Dot or Echo, you have to purchase a "multi-device" plan:

The main selling point of this device is you can use any of your exsisting bluetooth speakers to play your amazon playlist at a mild roar,or you can use the 3.5mm jack on the back to connect to your home theater and really give your ear drums a beating. (At your own risk of course). I have both the amazon tap and the echo. Unfortunately these devices have their flaws when it comes to audio reproduction.hence the bluetooth and the 3.5mm jack connectivity on this device will allow for the pickiest of listeners to appreciate their music thru exsisting devices. I will mention that the echo dot does have a very strong bluetooth signal so devices placed within a foot of this device had issues connecting. Once those bluetooth speakers were moved a few feet away they worked perfectly.
The echo dot does have a built in speaker but it does sound tinny. It definitely works for light bedroom or kitchen use.
At 50$ I was not expecting a whole lot. However amazon seriously went above and beyond to offer this incredible device at half the cost of last years model. And as stated above,it actually works better! I can also confirm that its connectivity with our in home smart devices. Works well with our TP Link smart plug so if I come home to a dark house, all I have to say is "alexa turn on the lights" and our downstairs lights spring into action.
My only negatives were with the actual alexa app as it really gave me fits during setup only on my samsung s2 tablet. Spent a good 5-6 minutes and never got it to setup correctly. However the alexa app on my galaxy s6 phone found and paired the echo with ease. Just a weird quirk. Also Alexa still has her quirks. unless you phrase some questions correctly she still responds with "sorry I didn't get that"
Alexa is still a developing search engine so My hopes is that she will continue to grow as even more users jump onto these incredible amazon devices.Prime music is our prime application and hence this device meets our expectations.
Another thing to mention is the echo dot will not play your iTunes or google play music as of now. Those 2 companies are releasing devices of their own so as we all know they will push their own devices rather then make them compatible with a competing companies device. Amazon Prime music is a great added benefit for those of you that are existing Prime users so this device works well in giving you access to all of your "free" music.
I did a unboxing and setup and show you how this device works video on youtube. Just look up "New Amazon echo dot 2nd gen 2016 release Unboxing" under my channel LMMProductions to see this incredible device in action.
I will continue to update this review as I spend more time with this device.
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on June 1, 2017
Whether you just want the weather, latest sports scores or help with a math problem, Alexa will help. We now have 3 in the house and will be adding two more. With a simple $3 subscription to Amazon's music service, you can stream almost any music you can think of by simply asking Alexa for it!
Perfect work with my meidong QQ Chocolate bluetooth speaker, I also recommend this speaker Meidong Universal Water Resistance QQChocolate Portable V4.0 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with 10W Dual Driver and Built-in Microphone
And use this code for less $5: GHAQE5YF(I got it from somewhere else.)

For the paranoid - this device is NOT for you. The echo dot is always listening and while the design is supposed to only listen when you say the name of the device (Alexa, Amazon or Echo - your choice), there are enough times that I hear one in another room say "sorry, I did not understand the question" to tell me it misunderstands these prompts to have been said when they weren't pretty often.

+ Good product support
+ Good voice recognition
+ Because of the size it doesn't stand out like a sore thumb in a room

- Doesn't differentiate between voices. If you keep it closer to a speaker than you are, then it will sometimes get confused and start picking up words from both the speaker and you when commands are given. Placement of dot is crucial for a good experience.
- Only supports english and german for now
- Not very competent at answering general questions and you need to activate skills to expand this functionality. This makes asking question less intuitive since you then need to use commands like "Alexa, ask wikipedia...."
- If you have smarthome devices named the same as internal functions, it will get confused at times. This may require renaming of the smarthome devices.
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on April 4, 2018
4/5/2018 Update. Got a call from Amazon's quality control/product feedback staff today to talk about my review and get some feedback. Had a good conversation. I look forward to seeing if they provide ways to opt-out from Alexa's repeated sales pitches and other future potential improvements in their Echo products. Will update my review when those improvements arrive.

Love our Amazon echo, so I got a dot or two... and now Alexa is constantly harassing me like a salesman that just wont shut up telling me over and over that I need to buy the "family" music plan so that we can listen in multiple rooms at once. I love the compact aspect of this product. I love the Alexa software in general. I haaaaaaate that Alexa will not shut up and is constantly asking me and other family members if we want to buy more services. Amazon, you just became an irritating duchebag salesman. I want the option to turn off any sales offer on Alexa, especially since it sounds like my kids can easily accidentally agree to purchase subscription services Alexa is constantly pitching us. I am fine with only being able to play prime music in one room at a time but for pete sake make it easy to do. Do not force me and my family to listen to this incessant sales pitch over and over. Give us the option to say "no" and be done with it. I admire salesmanship but you've stepped over into duchebaggery. I am in offline and online sales, I've generated millions from my own SaaS services, I get it... you're just being a duchebag about it.
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on February 14, 2017
NEEDS security! Anyone in range of this things Bluetooth can connect and start playing music or speaking through this thing on cell calls. First few times I started hearing random voices in my living room, I was a bit weirded out, because I had no idea where they were coming from. Then one day, I heard Alexa announce that a bluetooth device had connected, so I opened the app and discovered numerous devices, that weren't mine. After kicking them all off, I attempted to find some kind of security protocol to keep out unwanted connections, but soon discovered that there wasn't any. Now, I get to randomly hear other voices or music start playing, in the middle of the night, anytime the people in the apartments behind me decide they wanna screw around.

Other than that, the thing's works pretty well. Some of the functionality, like the particular nature of commands, takes a little getting used to, but about 99% of the time, it understands perfectly.

Until amazon decides to add, what should've been a no-brainer, security feature, I cannot give this thing a good rating. The fact that anyone can be woken up in the middle of the night, by a random person connecting to their device, is ridiculous. Fix it.
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on February 5, 2017
My Amazon Echo Dot does not require the user to enter pairing mode to connect to the device via bluetooth. I live in an apartment complex - two of my neighbors have connected to my echo dot without any input on my part. The dot appears as a pairable bluetooth device at all times. This is a major security flaw, considering that this devices is connected to my network and my amazon account, and is listening at all times. I will be keeping this device unplugged until this flaw is fixed.
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