Echo Plus (2nd Gen) – Premium sound with built-in smart home hub

(12 customer reviews)
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8.1
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Echo Plus has a built-in Zigbee hub to easily setup and control your compatible smart home devices, and an improved sound for streaming music.; Premium speakers powered by Dolby play 360° audio with crisp vocals and dynamic bass response. You can also use your voice to adjust equalizer…

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3 Echo Plus (2nd Gen) – Premium sound with built-in smart home hub

Echo Plus (2nd Gen) – Premium sound with built-in smart home hub

Echo Plus has a built-in Zigbee hub to easily setup and control your compatible smart home devices, and an improved ...

8.1
8.1Expert Score
If you're looking for an Alexa-enabled speaker with a Zigbee hub, the Amazon Echo Plus is your best bet. If you're looking for the best sound quality, the Sonos One is still the top contender.
Design
8
Features
8
Performance
8
Sound Quality
8.2
PROS
  • The second-gen Echo Plus looks better than before and includes a temperature sensor and upgraded speakers.
CONS
  • It's Amazon's most expensive smart speaker and there are better-sounding options out there for the true audiophile.

Videos: Echo Plus (2nd Gen) – Premium sound with built-in smart home hub

12 reviews for Echo Plus (2nd Gen) – Premium sound with built-in smart home hub

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  1. Craig M Moore

    I want to start off by saying that I love Amazon as a company, so this isn’t a hate review on Amazon. BUT, I do feel deceived by amazon on this.The Echo Plus does have a “smart hub” that uses Zigbee to connect to various smart home devices. HOWEVER, the Echo Plus can only utilize the PHILLIPS HUE system in a limited capacity. In order to get full use out of the HUE bulbs, you still have to buy the HUE BRIDGE.What you can do with the Echo Plus alone:1. Voice Control the lights.2. Change the color of the lights by voice, BUT you are limited to about 20 colors instead of the “16 million colors” that the HUE bulbs are capable of.3. You can set routines and groups, which is nice.What you CANT do without the HUE Bridge:1. Compatibility with many more sensors2. The ability to automate and set scenes3. get system updates over the air and future features.4. Have your lights sync with music5. Probably more, but I can’t remember.Also, if you change devices, or switch to a HUE hub, odds are you will have to redo all of your lights.What bothers me more than anything is that the product page for the Echo Plus CLEARLY states compatibility with the HUE system, and even use the HUE APP logo as shown in the picture. That’s great, except that you MUST have a HUE BRIDGE to use the app, which is another $50-60 on top of the already expensive investment of the bulbs.CraigI would like to see Amazon clarify that the HUE BRIDGE is necessary for the full HUE system, but I doubt it will happen. Alternatively, I would to see them bundle the Echo Plus and HUE together so that you can get the full system right out of the box.Hope this helps,Craig M

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  2. Chris_in_MA

    Short & Sweet – For what it is, this device is amazing. Performance is quick, audio is great, and the built-in Zigbee hub works quite well.Longer Review;After dragging my heels for over a year, I finally bought our first Echo (2nd Generation) back in August. I loved it so much that I got us 2 more for other areas in the house. Being able to group them and play the same music or audio throughout the house is a novelty that won’t grow old for me. I’ve only wished that they had a little more full sound, especially at higher volume. I’d considered the last Echo Plus, but the average of reviews I read didn’t make it appear to perform significantly better than our already great 2nd Generation Echos.When I saw this new Echo Plus listed, I pre-ordered it to “replace” the Heather Grey Echo in our kitchen and move that one to our bedroom. We tend to have music playing in the kitchen more than any other room, and I wanted slightly better sound than the regular Echo in there. I’m honestly glad we took a chance on this device without any reviews to go by.Appearance;As you can see in the photos, it’s pretty much identical in height to the 2nd Generation Echo. It is a bit wider to accommodate the larger speakers, and the top is slightly domed instead of being flat. A similar 7-microphone array is on top and they seem to work just as well. There also appears to be a tripod-style connector on the base of the unit.Setup;Setup was surprisingly easy as this Echo Plus detected our network settings on its own. I plugged it in, it did its initial startup, and then told me the device was connected. Simple as that.Audio compared to 2nd Generation Echo;Highs are clearer.Mids are more natural and better-defined.Lows are deeper.Overall volume is noticeably louder and sound quality is improved.When paired with our other Echos, music and audio is in sync everywhere and this device stands out above the others in audio performance.General Performance;We have a quick network and I don’t notice any perceivable performance difference between this new Echo Plus and our regular 2nd Generation Echos. Everything seems to work as it should.I bought this with the “free” Philips Hue bulb promotion. This bulb is our first Zigbee device and works very well with the Echo Plus. It is easily controlled by either the Echo Plus or the other Echos we have in the house. I’ll be keeping an eye out for deals on these bulbs in the future. Like our other Echos, it also has no problem controlling our Kasa Smart Plugs.Overall;While $150 is a lot for a single speaker, for what I was looking for, this thing excels. If you like the 2nd Generation Echo but hoped it sounded a bit better, I would highly recommend this. Based on what I’ve read, if you were disappointed with the audio performance with the 1st Generation Echo Plus but want everything else it had to offer, consider giving this wonderful speaker a try.P.S.: The internal ambient temperature sensor seems fairly accurate and nice to have included.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  3. Craig M Moore

    I want to start off by saying that I love Amazon as a company, so this isn’t a hate review on Amazon. BUT, I do feel deceived by amazon on this.The Echo Plus does have a “smart hub” that uses Zigbee to connect to various smart home devices. HOWEVER, the Echo Plus can only utilize the PHILLIPS HUE system in a limited capacity. In order to get full use out of the HUE bulbs, you still have to buy the HUE BRIDGE.What you can do with the Echo Plus alone:1. Voice Control the lights.2. Change the color of the lights by voice, BUT you are limited to about 20 colors instead of the “16 million colors” that the HUE bulbs are capable of.3. You can set routines and groups, which is nice.What you CANT do without the HUE Bridge:1. Compatibility with many more sensors2. The ability to automate and set scenes3. get system updates over the air and future features.4. Have your lights sync with music5. Probably more, but I can’t remember.Also, if you change devices, or switch to a HUE hub, odds are you will have to redo all of your lights.What bothers me more than anything is that the product page for the Echo Plus CLEARLY states compatibility with the HUE system, and even use the HUE APP logo as shown in the picture. That’s great, except that you MUST have a HUE BRIDGE to use the app, which is another $50-60 on top of the already expensive investment of the bulbs.CraigI would like to see Amazon clarify that the HUE BRIDGE is necessary for the full HUE system, but I doubt it will happen. Alternatively, I would to see them bundle the Echo Plus and HUE together so that you can get the full system right out of the box.Hope this helps,Craig M

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  4. Chris_in_MA

    Short & Sweet – For what it is, this device is amazing. Performance is quick, audio is great, and the built-in Zigbee hub works quite well.Longer Review;After dragging my heels for over a year, I finally bought our first Echo (2nd Generation) back in August. I loved it so much that I got us 2 more for other areas in the house. Being able to group them and play the same music or audio throughout the house is a novelty that won’t grow old for me. I’ve only wished that they had a little more full sound, especially at higher volume. I’d considered the last Echo Plus, but the average of reviews I read didn’t make it appear to perform significantly better than our already great 2nd Generation Echos.When I saw this new Echo Plus listed, I pre-ordered it to “replace” the Heather Grey Echo in our kitchen and move that one to our bedroom. We tend to have music playing in the kitchen more than any other room, and I wanted slightly better sound than the regular Echo in there. I’m honestly glad we took a chance on this device without any reviews to go by.Appearance;As you can see in the photos, it’s pretty much identical in height to the 2nd Generation Echo. It is a bit wider to accommodate the larger speakers, and the top is slightly domed instead of being flat. A similar 7-microphone array is on top and they seem to work just as well. There also appears to be a tripod-style connector on the base of the unit.Setup;Setup was surprisingly easy as this Echo Plus detected our network settings on its own. I plugged it in, it did its initial startup, and then told me the device was connected. Simple as that.Audio compared to 2nd Generation Echo;Highs are clearer.Mids are more natural and better-defined.Lows are deeper.Overall volume is noticeably louder and sound quality is improved.When paired with our other Echos, music and audio is in sync everywhere and this device stands out above the others in audio performance.General Performance;We have a quick network and I don’t notice any perceivable performance difference between this new Echo Plus and our regular 2nd Generation Echos. Everything seems to work as it should.I bought this with the “free” Philips Hue bulb promotion. This bulb is our first Zigbee device and works very well with the Echo Plus. It is easily controlled by either the Echo Plus or the other Echos we have in the house. I’ll be keeping an eye out for deals on these bulbs in the future. Like our other Echos, it also has no problem controlling our Kasa Smart Plugs.Overall;While $150 is a lot for a single speaker, for what I was looking for, this thing excels. If you like the 2nd Generation Echo but hoped it sounded a bit better, I would highly recommend this. Based on what I’ve read, if you were disappointed with the audio performance with the 1st Generation Echo Plus but want everything else it had to offer, consider giving this wonderful speaker a try.P.S.: The internal ambient temperature sensor seems fairly accurate and nice to have included.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  5. Craig M Moore

    I want to start off by saying that I love Amazon as a company, so this isn’t a hate review on Amazon. BUT, I do feel deceived by amazon on this.The Echo Plus does have a “smart hub” that uses Zigbee to connect to various smart home devices. HOWEVER, the Echo Plus can only utilize the PHILLIPS HUE system in a limited capacity. In order to get full use out of the HUE bulbs, you still have to buy the HUE BRIDGE.What you can do with the Echo Plus alone:1. Voice Control the lights.2. Change the color of the lights by voice, BUT you are limited to about 20 colors instead of the “16 million colors” that the HUE bulbs are capable of.3. You can set routines and groups, which is nice.What you CANT do without the HUE Bridge:1. Compatibility with many more sensors2. The ability to automate and set scenes3. get system updates over the air and future features.4. Have your lights sync with music5. Probably more, but I can’t remember.Also, if you change devices, or switch to a HUE hub, odds are you will have to redo all of your lights.What bothers me more than anything is that the product page for the Echo Plus CLEARLY states compatibility with the HUE system, and even use the HUE APP logo as shown in the picture. That’s great, except that you MUST have a HUE BRIDGE to use the app, which is another $50-60 on top of the already expensive investment of the bulbs.CraigI would like to see Amazon clarify that the HUE BRIDGE is necessary for the full HUE system, but I doubt it will happen. Alternatively, I would to see them bundle the Echo Plus and HUE together so that you can get the full system right out of the box.Hope this helps,Craig M

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  6. Chris_in_MA

    Short & Sweet – For what it is, this device is amazing. Performance is quick, audio is great, and the built-in Zigbee hub works quite well.Longer Review;After dragging my heels for over a year, I finally bought our first Echo (2nd Generation) back in August. I loved it so much that I got us 2 more for other areas in the house. Being able to group them and play the same music or audio throughout the house is a novelty that won’t grow old for me. I’ve only wished that they had a little more full sound, especially at higher volume. I’d considered the last Echo Plus, but the average of reviews I read didn’t make it appear to perform significantly better than our already great 2nd Generation Echos.When I saw this new Echo Plus listed, I pre-ordered it to “replace” the Heather Grey Echo in our kitchen and move that one to our bedroom. We tend to have music playing in the kitchen more than any other room, and I wanted slightly better sound than the regular Echo in there. I’m honestly glad we took a chance on this device without any reviews to go by.Appearance;As you can see in the photos, it’s pretty much identical in height to the 2nd Generation Echo. It is a bit wider to accommodate the larger speakers, and the top is slightly domed instead of being flat. A similar 7-microphone array is on top and they seem to work just as well. There also appears to be a tripod-style connector on the base of the unit.Setup;Setup was surprisingly easy as this Echo Plus detected our network settings on its own. I plugged it in, it did its initial startup, and then told me the device was connected. Simple as that.Audio compared to 2nd Generation Echo;Highs are clearer.Mids are more natural and better-defined.Lows are deeper.Overall volume is noticeably louder and sound quality is improved.When paired with our other Echos, music and audio is in sync everywhere and this device stands out above the others in audio performance.General Performance;We have a quick network and I don’t notice any perceivable performance difference between this new Echo Plus and our regular 2nd Generation Echos. Everything seems to work as it should.I bought this with the “free” Philips Hue bulb promotion. This bulb is our first Zigbee device and works very well with the Echo Plus. It is easily controlled by either the Echo Plus or the other Echos we have in the house. I’ll be keeping an eye out for deals on these bulbs in the future. Like our other Echos, it also has no problem controlling our Kasa Smart Plugs.Overall;While $150 is a lot for a single speaker, for what I was looking for, this thing excels. If you like the 2nd Generation Echo but hoped it sounded a bit better, I would highly recommend this. Based on what I’ve read, if you were disappointed with the audio performance with the 1st Generation Echo Plus but want everything else it had to offer, consider giving this wonderful speaker a try.P.S.: The internal ambient temperature sensor seems fairly accurate and nice to have included.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  7. Craig M Moore

    I want to start off by saying that I love Amazon as a company, so this isn’t a hate review on Amazon. BUT, I do feel deceived by amazon on this.The Echo Plus does have a “smart hub” that uses Zigbee to connect to various smart home devices. HOWEVER, the Echo Plus can only utilize the PHILLIPS HUE system in a limited capacity. In order to get full use out of the HUE bulbs, you still have to buy the HUE BRIDGE.What you can do with the Echo Plus alone:1. Voice Control the lights.2. Change the color of the lights by voice, BUT you are limited to about 20 colors instead of the “16 million colors” that the HUE bulbs are capable of.3. You can set routines and groups, which is nice.What you CANT do without the HUE Bridge:1. Compatibility with many more sensors2. The ability to automate and set scenes3. get system updates over the air and future features.4. Have your lights sync with music5. Probably more, but I can’t remember.Also, if you change devices, or switch to a HUE hub, odds are you will have to redo all of your lights.What bothers me more than anything is that the product page for the Echo Plus CLEARLY states compatibility with the HUE system, and even use the HUE APP logo as shown in the picture. That’s great, except that you MUST have a HUE BRIDGE to use the app, which is another $50-60 on top of the already expensive investment of the bulbs.CraigI would like to see Amazon clarify that the HUE BRIDGE is necessary for the full HUE system, but I doubt it will happen. Alternatively, I would to see them bundle the Echo Plus and HUE together so that you can get the full system right out of the box.Hope this helps,Craig M

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  8. Chris_in_MA

    Short & Sweet – For what it is, this device is amazing. Performance is quick, audio is great, and the built-in Zigbee hub works quite well.Longer Review;After dragging my heels for over a year, I finally bought our first Echo (2nd Generation) back in August. I loved it so much that I got us 2 more for other areas in the house. Being able to group them and play the same music or audio throughout the house is a novelty that won’t grow old for me. I’ve only wished that they had a little more full sound, especially at higher volume. I’d considered the last Echo Plus, but the average of reviews I read didn’t make it appear to perform significantly better than our already great 2nd Generation Echos.When I saw this new Echo Plus listed, I pre-ordered it to “replace” the Heather Grey Echo in our kitchen and move that one to our bedroom. We tend to have music playing in the kitchen more than any other room, and I wanted slightly better sound than the regular Echo in there. I’m honestly glad we took a chance on this device without any reviews to go by.Appearance;As you can see in the photos, it’s pretty much identical in height to the 2nd Generation Echo. It is a bit wider to accommodate the larger speakers, and the top is slightly domed instead of being flat. A similar 7-microphone array is on top and they seem to work just as well. There also appears to be a tripod-style connector on the base of the unit.Setup;Setup was surprisingly easy as this Echo Plus detected our network settings on its own. I plugged it in, it did its initial startup, and then told me the device was connected. Simple as that.Audio compared to 2nd Generation Echo;Highs are clearer.Mids are more natural and better-defined.Lows are deeper.Overall volume is noticeably louder and sound quality is improved.When paired with our other Echos, music and audio is in sync everywhere and this device stands out above the others in audio performance.General Performance;We have a quick network and I don’t notice any perceivable performance difference between this new Echo Plus and our regular 2nd Generation Echos. Everything seems to work as it should.I bought this with the “free” Philips Hue bulb promotion. This bulb is our first Zigbee device and works very well with the Echo Plus. It is easily controlled by either the Echo Plus or the other Echos we have in the house. I’ll be keeping an eye out for deals on these bulbs in the future. Like our other Echos, it also has no problem controlling our Kasa Smart Plugs.Overall;While $150 is a lot for a single speaker, for what I was looking for, this thing excels. If you like the 2nd Generation Echo but hoped it sounded a bit better, I would highly recommend this. Based on what I’ve read, if you were disappointed with the audio performance with the 1st Generation Echo Plus but want everything else it had to offer, consider giving this wonderful speaker a try.P.S.: The internal ambient temperature sensor seems fairly accurate and nice to have included.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  9. Blake 0.

    I was quite excited that Amazon had caught up to Sonos and Google and finally allowed stereo pairing of speakers. It’s amazing how much better two properly spaced speakers can sound, even without a sub. Unfortunately, Amazon decided to release this product without full feature parity of it’s competitors.As other reviews have mentioned, the stereo configuration ONLY works when streaming music from an online service. If you’re internet is out, or you want to take the speakers somewhere where no internet is available, you can only play from a single speaker at a time. That means local connection methods, like bluetooth and the 3.5mm aux in don’t play on a stereo pair (like they do with Google Home).I am really hoping this is a software kink that is quickly being worked out, and if support is added I’ll update this review. For now, I’m quite disappointed that I purchased a stereo pair of speakers and sub when half the time I only hear sound out of ONE of the three devices.Do yourself a favor and get a Google Home, Sonos, or if you don’t mind wires and want Alexa, get a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 with an Echo Dot— much better stereo sound, lower price, and more functionality.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  10. Blake 0.

    I was quite excited that Amazon had caught up to Sonos and Google and finally allowed stereo pairing of speakers. It’s amazing how much better two properly spaced speakers can sound, even without a sub. Unfortunately, Amazon decided to release this product without full feature parity of it’s competitors.As other reviews have mentioned, the stereo configuration ONLY works when streaming music from an online service. If you’re internet is out, or you want to take the speakers somewhere where no internet is available, you can only play from a single speaker at a time. That means local connection methods, like bluetooth and the 3.5mm aux in don’t play on a stereo pair (like they do with Google Home).I am really hoping this is a software kink that is quickly being worked out, and if support is added I’ll update this review. For now, I’m quite disappointed that I purchased a stereo pair of speakers and sub when half the time I only hear sound out of ONE of the three devices.Do yourself a favor and get a Google Home, Sonos, or if you don’t mind wires and want Alexa, get a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 with an Echo Dot— much better stereo sound, lower price, and more functionality.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  11. Blake 0.

    I was quite excited that Amazon had caught up to Sonos and Google and finally allowed stereo pairing of speakers. It’s amazing how much better two properly spaced speakers can sound, even without a sub. Unfortunately, Amazon decided to release this product without full feature parity of it’s competitors.As other reviews have mentioned, the stereo configuration ONLY works when streaming music from an online service. If you’re internet is out, or you want to take the speakers somewhere where no internet is available, you can only play from a single speaker at a time. That means local connection methods, like bluetooth and the 3.5mm aux in don’t play on a stereo pair (like they do with Google Home).I am really hoping this is a software kink that is quickly being worked out, and if support is added I’ll update this review. For now, I’m quite disappointed that I purchased a stereo pair of speakers and sub when half the time I only hear sound out of ONE of the three devices.Do yourself a favor and get a Google Home, Sonos, or if you don’t mind wires and want Alexa, get a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 with an Echo Dot— much better stereo sound, lower price, and more functionality.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  12. Blake 0.

    I was quite excited that Amazon had caught up to Sonos and Google and finally allowed stereo pairing of speakers. It’s amazing how much better two properly spaced speakers can sound, even without a sub. Unfortunately, Amazon decided to release this product without full feature parity of it’s competitors.As other reviews have mentioned, the stereo configuration ONLY works when streaming music from an online service. If you’re internet is out, or you want to take the speakers somewhere where no internet is available, you can only play from a single speaker at a time. That means local connection methods, like bluetooth and the 3.5mm aux in don’t play on a stereo pair (like they do with Google Home).I am really hoping this is a software kink that is quickly being worked out, and if support is added I’ll update this review. For now, I’m quite disappointed that I purchased a stereo pair of speakers and sub when half the time I only hear sound out of ONE of the three devices.Do yourself a favor and get a Google Home, Sonos, or if you don’t mind wires and want Alexa, get a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 with an Echo Dot— much better stereo sound, lower price, and more functionality.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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