Just as streaming services now dominate the way most people enjoy their entertainment libraries, innovative new smart technologies are slowly but surely taking over other devices and appliances in our homes. The popular and highly rated Amazon Echo combines the two, serving as an internet-connected streaming device that doubles as a powerful smart speaker.
The success of the Amazon Echo has led to several competitors entering the market with similar smart streaming hubs, including one from Google, but in our opinion, the Echo still reigns supreme due to its superior sound quality and longer list of functions. One notable feature is the Echo’s use of the Amazon Alexa cloud service, which lets you access the internet and control the speaker via simple voice commands.
Alexa can stream your music from Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and other popular services, as well as access your audiobook library from Audible . You can also quickly perform internet searches, check the news or the local weather, look up local businesses, call an Uber, order a pizza, purchase things from Amazon — the list goes on.
The Amazon Echo is compatible with popular smart Devices like WeMo, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, and Philips Hue, so you can easily add it to your smart home ecosystem. Its 360-degree speaker pumps powerful sound throughout your entire room, filling the space with music — great for parties and other get-togethers. Seven directional microphones ensure that the Echo recognizes your voice even when it is playing.
One sticking point for those considering an Amazon Echo is its $180 price tag, but a tidy $30 discount brings this excellent smart speaker down to a more enticing $150. This deal is valid through Mother’s Day, May 14, so if you’ve been thinking about getting an Echo and have been waiting for a deal, or if you know a mom who would love one, then be sure to take advantage of this offer before it’s gone.