Amazon Echo Buying Guide

The Amazon Echo is a smart home speaker that can play music and automate other smart devices using Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa.

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The Amazon Echo is a smart home speaker that can play music and automate other smart devices using Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa. In fact, the Echo works with more than 85,000 Alexa-compatible smart-home devices, letting you lock doors, control your oven, turn on lights and more with just simple voice commands.

In its third generation, Echo provides upgraded sound from its predecessors with a Dolby sound system that includes a 3-in. woofer and a 0.8-in. tweeter. This setup provides strong bass and clear sound that will fill a room. Speaking of rooms, the speaker also has a multi-room audio function that makes it possible for your tunes to follow you from room to room, if you have more than one speaker.

What Streaming Services and Listening Features Work with Echo?

You can stream Spotify, SiriusXM, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora and other lesser known services with Echo. Thanks to Alexa, the built-in assistant, you can start a song or playlist with a voice command. For example, you could say, “Alexa, play High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco,” or “Alexa, play some country music,” to listen to your favorite tunes on your Echo. You can also use voice commands to pause music, skip a track and control the music volume.

What is Amazon Echo Plus?

The Amazon Echo Plus is another version you may want to consider. It’s basically the Echo with a few upgrades. Unlike the Echo, the Echo Plus can connect with Zigbee devices, such as Philips Hue lights and the Samsung SmartThings Hub. It also includes a temperature sensor that can sense when the temperature changes in a room and automatically adjusts the thermostat to heat or cool to meet your comfort requirements.

Amazon Echo Color Choices

The Amazon Echo comes in four different colors. You can choose from charcoal, heather gray, sandstone and blue. There is also a limited edition red that is occasionally available. The Echo Plus comes in three color choices of charcoal, heather gray and sandstone.

How Much Does Amazon Echo Cost?

The Echo currently retails for $99.99, although you can often find it for less. The Echo Plus costs a little more, currently $149.99. There are no monthly fees to use either device. Plus, the Echo can go along with you no matter where you are, so you won’t need to buy new devices every time you move.

Where to Buy the Amazon Echo

Echo and Echo Plus can both be purchased at, Best Buy, Target and other electronics retailers.

Next, read about the things you shouldn’t ask Alexa.

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Alina Bradford
Alina Bradford is a technology and internet safety and security expert for and has contributed her insights to dozens of national publications, both in print and online. Her goal is to make gadgets less mystifying, one article at a time.