Amazon Echo Plus: What Is It?

A smart speaker and smart home hub in one

Night stand with lamp, vase, and a black Amazon Echo Plus
Amazon Echo Plus. Amazon.com
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The Amazon Echo Plus is a voice-controlled smart home hub and speaker that connects to Alexa, Amazon’s voice service.

What You Can Do with Amazon Echo Plus

Amazon Echo Plus is the first Echo device with a smart home hub built in. It includes all of the features of the original Amazon Echo as well as a few upgrades and a few expanded or new features. Let’s take a look.

  • Echo Plus is a hands-free solution with Alexa voice-control. You can ask Alexa to check the weather, provide news briefs, search the internet, call or message people, order dinner delivery from your favorite restaurant, and even request a ride from Uber for you.
  • The smart home hub built into the Echo Plus allows you to connect to and use your voice to control most or all of your smart home devices, such as smart door locks, smart light bulbs, smart TVs, smart smoke detectors, smart appliances, smart thermostats, smart garage doors, smart sprinklers, other smart speakers, and literally hundreds of smart devices that use Zigbee, Bluetooth, or WiFi.
  • Echo Plus easily connects to all of the other Echo devices in your home, such as the Amazon Dot. Once connected, Echo Plus can play music, podcasts, audiobooks, newscasts, and other audio across all of your Echo devices throughout your home. You can even use it to talk to someone in a different room of the house.
  • You can use your Echo Plus for free audio calls to the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • The Echo Plus uses artificial intelligence to get “smarter” over time as it identifies and builds profiles for each user based on speech patterns, word choice, and preferences.
  • Amazon’s regular updates for new features and fixes allow you to enable new skills through the Alexa app. All you have to do is ask Alexa to search for and enable the new skill needed for the service or function you want to use.

Inside the Amazon Echo Plus

  • The Echo Plus is a cylinder-shaped unit weighing 33.6 oz. The dimensions of the device are 9.3” x 3.3” x 3.3”.
  • The Echo Plus has dual-speaker Dolby-enabled sound with a 2.5” woofer and .8” tweeter.
  • Echo Plus has 7 microphones with noise-canceling and beamforming technology to pick up your voice from any direction, even if a loud movie or music is playing.
  • The built-in smart home hub for the Echo Plus can use multiple communication technologies to communicate with your smart home devices, including Bluetooth, WiFi, and Zigbee without the need for additional separate hubs or apps.

Setting Up Amazon Echo Plus Smart Home Hub

The Amazon Echo Plus uses Alexa to connect to your smart devices using the Simple Setup feature. Say “Alexa, discover my devices,” and the Echo Plus automatically searches for, detects, and connects with all compatible smart devices in your home using the Alexa app. Using the Simple Setup feature of the Alexa app, the Echo Plus can literally connect with potentially hundreds of smart home devices and options with one sentence.

If you are just getting started with smart home technology and devices, the Echo Plus provides the smart home hub you need to connect to and run all of your smart home features with Alexa voice-control. If you have an existing set of smart devices and a smart home hub, the Echo Plus can serve as an add-on to your existing smart home system, or replace your current hub entirely.