Amazon Echo is an internet-connected device for use around the home. It looks like a Bluetooth speaker (and it is), but you can also talk to Echo and get answers about weather, news, or other details or use voice commands to set reminders, play music, or perform other actions.
When Amazon launched the Echo last year, it was only available on a limited basis to folks who requested an invite. Now Amazon Echo is available without an invitation.
You can order one now for $180 and the Amazon Echo should begin shipping July 14th.
The Amazon Echo is a cylinder that measures about 9.25 inches high and 3.3 inches across and which weighs about 1.7 pounds. The speaker features a 2.5 inch woofer and 2 inch tweeter and a 360 degree design which projects music to fill a room.
The device features dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, and seven microphones so the device can hear you talking even when you’re across the room and music is playing.
It can play music from Amazon Music, but you can also stream music from Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, or other apps. You can also have Echo play audiobooks from Audible, read your schedule out loud, give you traffic or weather details, or tap into apps from Belkin or Philips to control your lights, power outlets, or other smart home hardware.
Sure, you could also do most of these things using a smartphone. But Amazon Echo doesn’t need to be taken out of your pocket and unlocked first… and it probably has a much better sounding speaker.