Amazon Echo

  • 6 November 2014
  • 85 replies
  • 23213 views

Userlevel 6
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Amazon Echo sounds interesting. It would be great if this could be used as a controller for Sonos.

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85 replies

Userlevel 1
Given the echo itself is a music player I can't very well see them allowing it to control a rival device such as Sonos.
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I just saw this too. It's certainly a glimpse of the future, and I love it if I could use one to control my Sonos'!

http://gizmodo.com/amazons-echo-might-be-its-most-important-product-in-yea-1655513291

Surely Amazon will need it to control other home devices for it to be successful; they don't make enough products themselves for it to allow good home automation without allowing it to control other devices, and it shouldn't be too difficult to implement if devices already have apps to do it.

You never know....fingers crossed here!

Unfortunately I've already been told by my wife that we're not allowed one that has Scarlet Johannsen's voice! 😞
Userlevel 1
Surely Amazon will need it to control other home devices for it to be successful; they don't make enough products themselves for it to allow good home automation without allowing it to control other devices

I've not seen any suggestion from anywhere (including the Amazon video) that they're interested in home automation with this, I don't think that's the point of it.
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No, but there's no reason it couldn't. It'll be pretty dull if all it ends up being is a hands free Siri.
Userlevel 3
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It is not the future, it is just another way to buy Amazon stuff.

Apart from that: how is a hardware device in this category useful when it is fixed (by electricity cable) in one room?
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Can't see that it's much use to buy stuff - hardly the sort of thing you'd use to shop online.

If it's not Echo, something else will come along.... "play Maximo Park in the kitchen", "read out my emails", "dim the lounge lights". It'll get here eventually, one way of the other.

Don't fight the future, naysayer...! :D

I agree with the wired bit, though....that's just welcome to the invention of electricity!
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It would be great though, if the Sonos app could integrate some of the voice control features. The Macronos app on Android has some voice control, but I haven't tried it out yet (although I use the app).
Userlevel 6
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"Sonos announce to the entire house that dinner is ready."

Or when the phone rings, "Sonos, pause playback". Then, "Sonos, resume playback".

Or just have Sonos pause, while Alexa tells you how many pints in a quart.
I hope Amazon open up the echo, it could be useful in the kitchen if it was capable of context / handoff to other devices (TVs, mobiles, Sonos, computers etc) and services; realistically it will be tied to the Amazon content ecosystem, so no complete. However at $99 little harm in trying it out.!
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But how often do people buy from Amazon? Surely having a device that's main use is to buy something verbally would only be used half a dozen times a year - do most people not research options and compare prices first, which they'd need to generally do on a computer/mobile device?!

I just think you're over cynical on it. It's the first iteration and as far as I'm aware hasn't even been launched yet, but whether it's Amazon or someone else, it looks to be an innovative new product that *may* actually make a difference *if* implemented properly - that's yet to be seen, but IMO it's good to see something different and fresh and potentially useful being released.

And on the Amazon eco-system issue, the Fire TV is hardly locked down to allow Amazon only content. You can use Spotify, Netflix and Plex amongst other on that, so that shows they're not against opening it up to other services.

From what I read there isn't much decent free/included TV/movie stuff on Prime that doesn't need additional payment for and that isn't already on Netflix with that cheap sub, and from my experience of using Amazon music player (I had a one year sub but didn't renew it as it was pretty poor) if they did only allow their own content it won't get very far!

It's certainly a very intersting device IMO, and where would we be if every new product was dismissed before it's even out.....?! 🙂
Userlevel 2
I am curious how the speakers will sound with music. I have the Fire Tv and the voice commands using the remote are VERY handy when compared to always having to type. Would love to have it control Sonos but for $99, I can see having one in the kitchen (weather, lists, music, etc) and bedroom (alarm, light music, lists, weather, etc)
My guess is that the expected sales-angle is to sell more music, not other stuff... (All music you've ever bought on Amazon on CD or otherwise is already available to you to stream.) It's not a bad idea, and personally, I'd love to be able to control my Sonos verbally (reliably).
We make purchases from Amazon roughly an average of 2x a month. We're also Prime members.

I see no need for this product, especially since I'm already a happy Sonos customer.
Userlevel 2
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Just got one of these for a laugh(we use Amazon a lot for home and business). Doesn't seem to be much more than a standalone Siri. For now, musically, it is limited to Amazon Music and iHeart radio plus your music library. It reads the news which is something I would use and tells you the weather.

Music quality is very average. A Play 1 blows it away.

I'm hoping they will add one of the 'on demand' music services like Rhapsody or Beats so that you can play the tracks you like rather than a radio station.

It would be way cool to control Sonos by voice though. Sonos should seriously look at an add on that would work like Echo to control the system.

Amazon promises updates. I'll let y'all know.
Userlevel 4
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The Verge has reviewed Amazon Echo here:
http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/19/7548059/amazon-echo-review-speaker
Userlevel 1
Sonos should just integrate the likes of Google Now, or Siri (Apple depending) into the Play 1.

I can just imagine walking into my kitchen to make breakfast in the morning to ask what my daily schedule is, then followed by reading my emails, then listening to some tunes from Play Music.

Just partner up already and be done with it.
Userlevel 3
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The Play1 has no microphone (and I don't want one!!), so that will not work.
Userlevel 2
I got an Echo and I have to say that I am totally digging it. If it could be used to control SONOS I would be ecstatic!

The voice control for music is great. Pause, Play, Stop, Next Track, Volume up. All without having to pick anything up. It's a savior in the kitchen (which is where we have it). I can ask it cooking questions (measurements and such). My daughter (who has special needs) uses it to help with homework: basic arithmetic and spelling, as well as some geography.

I have a HUGE library that I have uploaded to Amazon. The voice recognition still needs work. If there's an album/song/artist with the same name (Talk Talk being one...) then it isn't quite sure what you want to hear. The sound isn't nearly as good as SONOS players (I have two 5s, two 3s and 1) but it's not awful either. For radio it's pretty decent.

Paying $100 was a good deal. Not sure I'd pay $200 for it (which I believe will be the actual price). But if it could control my SONOS system....
I have an Echo and love it. I have 4 zones in my Sonos system, but compare

"Alexa, play Steely Dan"


to:

take out my iPhone. Fire up the Sonos app, Wait a second or two for it to find my components. Maybe there's a software update I have to deal with. Search for Steely Dan, select a zone, and hit play.


When the phone rings, "Alexa Stop" versus the same remote control fumbling.

Sonos should seriously add voice control. I'm not especially expecting them to integrate with Echo. I doubt Amazon has an open API to do so. But if Sonos isn't careful, Echo or the inevitable imitators will steal your customer base. The $99 intro special attracted me, and the sound quality of this bluetooth speaker makes it worth it by itself. Add the voice commands, and it's become my favorite tech purchase of the past few years.

At each Sonos zone (until you build it into future models), add a voice command component that connects to the ethernet port. I'd rather not pay $99 per zone, but I'd probably pop for $49 and would definitely go for all 4 zones for $100. I don't need the AI search components of Echo (although that'd be nice), but to be able to simply say "SONOS, play some Leo Kotke in the kitchen" would be a winner.
I am curious how the speakers will sound with music. I have the Fire Tv and the voice commands using the remote are VERY handy when compared to always having to type. Would love to have it control Sonos but for $99, I can see having one in the kitchen (weather, lists, music, etc) and bedroom (alarm, light music, lists, weather, etc)
I find the quality very close to a PLAY:5. At a quarter of the price and with all of its other features, this model could be the end of Sonos if they don't react quickly.
Userlevel 6
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The Echo is nice and I'd really like to have it control my Sonos gear.

I also agree that t's worth $100 but not $200.

As for Sonos adding voice control, that would be great. However, Amazon has an incredible amount of processing power behind the voice recognition in the Echo. I'm not sure Sonos has the resources to provide that.
I find the quality very close to a PLAY:5. At a quarter of the price and with all of its other features, this model could be the end of Sonos if they don't react quickly.

Your praise is much higher than this review:
http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/19/7548059/amazon-echo-review-speaker

To say it could be the end of Sonos.... well, count the threads on here about other "Sonos-killers" that have come and gone!
Userlevel 1
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I SERIOUSLY doubt it's even near the quality of a Play 1.
Userlevel 2
I don't feel the Echo sounds anywhere near the sound quality of a Play:5. Not even a Play:1 to my ears (but we all hear differently).

It doesn't seem to have nearly as much bass response and the clarity is much superior in the Play devices.
Userlevel 6
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No, the Echo does not sound nearly as good as a Play 1.

The Echo's voice recognition is very good though.