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.

via Amazon

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5 replies on “Amazon Echo now available for $180 (invite-free)”

  1. One of the current users: “I can have the water running. I can be cooking. The TV can be on in the back room. And she still can hear me.”

    … She …

    I know this is a hardware interface to a cloud based application. But … “She can still hear me” … If people allow what they think about things to determine what those things are, then is Alexa trans-human to some people? And if enough people declare Alexa to be human does it pass the Turning test?

    1. Shouldn’t reply to myself, but go and read the reviews on Amazon.

      From wheelchair bound user: “With these, and dear, dear, Alexa, he has a great deal of control of his environment in ways that make him much more independent”

      Another user: “I love her. I hate her, I love her.”

      Another user: “I love this little lady. She has quickly become a family favorite. My sons use her to settle arguments”

      Now imagine a new Amazon CEO deciding that the cloud computing requirements for Alexa are more costly than the money they make. And decides to kill the project. What will be the response from the disabled family who have come to depend on it? Will enough people anthropomorphise “It” into “She” that ending the project is ending a life (in their eyes)?

    1. Yeah, unfortunately it looks live the discount for Prime members is gone. I’m pretty interested in getting one of these for myself. I found a bunch of good reviews here: It’s amazing that the thought of taking my phone out of my pocket all the time is too much of a hassle 🙂

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