The Buyer's Guide

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84 Engadget Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
84

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

The Echo Plus is a minor upgrade over the original Echo, with slightly better sound. But its much-touted smart hub feature is pretty limited, and it's not a significant improvement overall for existing Echo owners.

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Pros
  • Sounds better than the first Echo
  • Has access to thousands of Alexa skills
  • Slightly cheaper than before
Cons
  • Smart hub feature is pretty basic
  • $100 Echo is a better deal
  • Not a huge upgrade for first-gen Echo owners
84 Engadget Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
84

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

84
 

User Reviews

90
Jason Engadget
This is an awesome stand alone speaker for a bedroom, garage or outside (Echo...read more
100
zenbrane
It's a loud and clear Echo with great mikes. Set-up was easy. Built-in smart...read more
60
Neonix
A great-sounding speaker with an overhyped "AI" that doesn't live up to claims...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
70
Average user Score
 
90
Jason Engadget
This is an awesome stand alone speaker for a bedroom, garage or outside (Echo Plus Gen 2). The quality of the audio is incredible for such a small device. We enjoy it every day. While I think it is a little underpowered to be a "main" speaker for a large room; for a small room it is fantastic. The bass is surprisingly present, and the ability to adjust the equalizer (although it is limited to Bass, Mid and Treble) makes songs sound fuller and rich. I would highly recommend this to anyone, especially those who have an echo dot and want better sound without having to hook up to an external speaker setup. This device, coupled with Amazon Music it is near perfect for me.
 
100
zenbrane
It's a loud and clear Echo with great mikes. Set-up was easy. Built-in smart home hub is quick to control my lights. It's not meant to be portable. Pick a central place, and leave it there. The straight vertical lines and white colorway looks pretty slick.
 
60
Neonix
A great-sounding speaker with an overhyped "AI" that doesn't live up to claims or expectations. "Alexa", as the speaker is called more often than not, is just not that great. The majority of things I ask her are met with confused responses such as "Hmmm, I don't know the answer to that" or web results that don't quite hit the mark. It also has some issues with Bluetooth (my specific device at least), where it simply will not connect to many phones (my friends' and my own). I received the device as a gift, but if I had bought it, I probably would have returned it.
 
70
Marvin
With regards to automation, we have been using ZigBee bulbs from Sengled and Phillips paired directly without the use of their standalone hubs. We also have a number of generic ZigBee outlets, originally paired to a SmartThings, that control small lamps and heaters throughout our home. I now only use our SmartThings hub to monitor our washer and dryer. I'd say it does a pretty great job of eliminating the need for their competitors' hubs.
 
30
charlie_cc
Really don't see the need for a smart speaker, will be selling mine as soon as possible. Half the time it's gets it wrong, whether that be a complete misunderstanding or picking the wrong version of the song on Spotify. Much easier just to jump on your phone for a search or pick a song and cast it. Smart lighting integration works, but you look like an idiot talking to your lights. A good old fashioned light switch, or again a phone app, do the job better IMO.