Amazon Echo Stories December 4, 2017

Update 12/5: There are several more Echo devices on sale now. The Sandstone Fabric All-New Echo is down to $79.99 shipped from $100. Also on sale are the Silver, Oak, and Walnut finishes for $99.99 shipped from $120. If you’re looking for a bundle, you can grab the Heather Gray All-new Echo and TP-Link Smart plug for $84.99 shipped. Purchased at full price and separately, you’d be looking at around $120 here.

Amazon has its 2nd-generation Echo is back down to $79.99 shipped. Regularly $100, this is one of the best prices we’ve seen for it. With a new speaker and design, this Echo is perfect if you need another smart speaker around the home. Rated 4/5 stars from over 1,800 Amazon customers.

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Amazon Echo Stories April 28, 2016

triby-alex-speaker

When Amazon first launched its Echo Smart Speaker last year, it also set up a $100 million investment fund to help bring its Alexa developer kit to additional third-party devices. Today, that money is coming to fruition with the new Triby voice-controlled smart hub and speaker.

This is the first non-Amazon device to utilize Alexa’s Voice Service, although we have seen DIY projects that are able to leverage it. Not only does it offer support for the popular virtual assistant, this portable speaker is packed with other features like VoIP, Spotify Connect and more. Full details below.

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Amazon Echo Stories April 19, 2016

expiredAmazon’s Alexa-enabled Echo is on sale for $154 (Reg. $180), Tap Bluetooth Speaker $111 (Reg. $130)

Amazon is discounting a pair of its Alexa-enabled devices this morning. Free shipping is available on each deal. First up, the Amazon Echo Smart Speaker is on sale for $153.71 shipped. That’s good for $26 off the regular going rate, within $4 of our previous mention and the best available. For further comparison, Amazon has sold it for less to select credit card holders but those deals have had limited availability.

Since it was released, the Echo has received a 4.4/5 star rating from over 35,000 Amazon customers. Additionally, it is also the best-selling home automation controller on the site. In our hands-on review, we found the Echo to be a “life-changing” device with impressive potential. This voice-controlled 360-degree omni-directional speaker is designed to sit in your home and provide “instant” access to a wide variety of information by saying “Hey Alexa…”. It can control your smart home devices (Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, others) and play music from streaming services.

Also on sale today is the Amazon Tap Bluetooth Speaker with Alexia Voice capabilities for $111.01 shipped. This is a $19 discount and the first sale that we’ve seen since it was released in early March. Amazon’s best-selling outdoor speaker features a built-in microphone with Alexa and dual stereo speakers for music playback via Bluetooth. The 360-degree design pumps out music from your favorite services like Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora and more. You can expect up to nine hours of playback on a single charge. It has collected a 4/5 star rating by 430 Amazon customers.

Amazon Echo Stories March 28, 2016

raspberry pi alexa

Amazon’s Echo ($180), Dot ($90) and Tap ($130) devices get their smarts from the Alexa Voice Service. Not only can Alexa make day-to-day tasks more convenient, but we found it to be nothing short of life-changing. For those of you who are unwilling to shell out the $90+ or who love to tinker with technology, Amazon has shared an official GitHub guide for building your own Alexa-enabled device.

You’ll need a model B Raspberry Pi 2 ($37), microSD card ($13), USB microphone ($3) and a couple other small items to get started. This project also requires a USB keyboard and mouse, plus an HDMI monitor, but hopefully you already have those pieces.

The instructions are very thorough so anyone with basic programming skills should be able to work through it. The only glaring downside to building your own Echo is that it doesn’t include the always-listening feature. Ready to tackle this project? Click here for Amazon’s official walkthrough.

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Amazon Echo Stories March 3, 2016

feature-skills

We heard a couple of months ago that Amazon was working on a smaller, more portable version of its Echo voice assistant speaker, and now it’s here. Actually, Amazon has announced today two new Alexa-enabled devices, the Echo Dot (which is the aforementioned smaller version of the larger Echo), and the Amazon Tap, which is essentially an Alexa-enabled portable speaker…

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Amazon Echo Stories February 3, 2016

Update (2/4 9:30am): Amazon Echo now supports Spotify Premium:

Amazon today announced that Spotify Premium subscribers in the U.S. can now listen to their music on Amazon Echo—just ask Alexa to play any playlist, artist, genre and more from Spotify’s catalog. And because Echo also supports Spotify Connect, customers can effortlessly transfer and control their listening experience from the Spotify app to Echo—just select Echo from the list of available devices within the Spotify app.

Amazon is updating its FireTV/Stick and Echo Smart Home Speaker ahead of the biggest US game of the year. The Fire TV Stick, which is currently on sale for $34.99 shipped (Reg. $40), will now stream audio to Bluetooth headphones “for private listening while watching your favorite movies, TV shows or gaming.” Alexa voice support will be delivered to first generation Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices.

Amazon will also push improvements to Amazon Video add-on subscription service, including an easier way to sign-up, discover and access your Amazon Video add-on subscriptions.

Since the launch of the new Fire TV in September, we’ve added dozens of Alexa skills to Fire TV devices including local search (i.e. the ability to find restaurants in your neighborhood), Amazon Choice and Re-Ordering from Amazon.com (i.e. quickly purchasing items off Amazon.com), home automation (i.e. turning on the living room lights via Alexa), traffic (i.e. find out how your commute to work is looking), Audible, games like Jeopardy!, Bingo, and more

Probably the coolest new feature coming to Amazon’s Echo Speaker is the ability to order pizza – you know, for the Super Bowl – with your voice…from the couch…without pulling out your phone! Even better, Newegg offers $5 off a $25 Domino’s gift card via email delivery, so you aren’t going to be paying full price either.

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