Wanting to buy one of the trendy new Alexas? Google searches only bringing up something called Amazon Echo? A tad puzzled?
Well, despair no more – we can clear up the confusion once and for all. The word “Alexa” may have single-handedly started the smart speaker craze, but the oft-forgotten Echo name was just as important.
So what is the difference between Alexa and Echo?
The answer is actually pretty simple, and in many ways, the two are the same thing. Alexa is specifically the name of the virtual assistant – the disembodied voice you talk to, ask questions, and bug with song requests. Amazon’s Echo is simply the name given to the physical products themselves, the speakers which house the AI Alexa.
Of course, you have to say the word “Alexa” every time you use the Echo – leading everyone to just call the smart speaker Alexa. It’s the greatest brand confusion since vacuum cleaners were referred to as Hoovers!
So if you purchase an Echo – or indeed an Echo Dot or Echo Show – you are in fact also buying an Alexa.
However, just to confuse things further, Alexa can now be found operating in several non-Echo smart speakers, such as the Sonos One and even some Ford Cars. For more information see our list of Alexa compatible devices.
How much is an Echo?
So to purchase an Amazon Echo – and indeed the accompanying Alexa – you have several options depending on which model you would like.
Amazon Echo (3rd generation)
Still sporting the classic design, Amazon’s flagship smart speaker can now do much more than play songs on command – they can communicate with other speakers, track your fitness, and control all sorts of smart home tech. Not that the musical origins have been forgotten – it now comes with 360° Dolby speakers. See more in our Amazon Echo review.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation)
The Amazon Echo’s spirited younger sibling, the Echo Dot packs all the smarts of the original into a more compact (and cheaper!) package. Amazon’s most popular smart speaker, it now comes with a new fabric design and an improved speaker.
Amazon Echo Show
Amazon’s venture into smart screens, this model has all the voice-controlled Alexa capabilities of previous models with an 8″ HD screen for video calling, photo displaying, and watching film and TV shows.
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