Customer Review

Reviewed in India on 28 October 2019
For someone who has been crazy for music for a long time and having spend quite a lot on music systems and songs, I have had my first exposure to the amazon echo a few years back when that advertisement which showed people asking Alexa to play music and to answer questions.
I immediately liked the idea to ask the device to play what I wanted to listen to.
But the question was how much the idea was worthy of.
During the last onam, I wanted to gift my mother a music player which she could operate without help and with ease.
I did have echo as an option. But she was hesitant for the idea to talk to the device.
Besides, she is unable speak English or Hindi.
So I settled for the Saregama Carvaan.
While I went through the tracks in that device I thought of getting one for me as well.
Carvaan is good in collection and for the radio capability, but appeared boring and dull to listen to for the long periods as finding the real tracks was a big fuzz in it.
So I set my eyes on the amazon echo.
I waited for the amazon Indian sale for it. There was quite a good deal for echo on it.
However, it was by this time that the 3rd generation echo was released which had the same hardware as echo plus with the larger drivers and better sound as claimed.
I went to for it. The price was Rs. 9999/-

Got it delivered to my home address exactly as promised,while I had been at work.
When I opened it in the evening after the work, I was a bit upset because I had ordered the black but they sent the white piece. Would it get dirty soon? Not sure.

The setup was a breeze as I had already knew the steps. Connected it to the WiFi and placed near my bed on a wooden stand at 3 feet from the floor.

Once I started playing the echo everything changed and and I was surprised by the sound quality.
I asked alexa to play "chupke chupke" by Ghulam Ali from the movie Nikah.
The sound felt really warm and all the instruments came to life. The tabla was kicking in and out as the melody caressed the ears. The great singers voice felt a like coming right from the bedside.
I suggested several Hindi and malayalam songs and alexa got almost all Hindi and most of the malayalam ones right.
Using the alexa app on the phone I added my subscriptions of Hungama, gaana and amazon music. The saavan also was added but I couldn't load my subscription due to some problem with saavan.

One notable exception was Spotify which is not supported by in India yet. It's slight disappointment as that has been my priority these days.

The sound quality:
Echo 3rd generation used 3 inch woofer just like echo plus. I found the base to be nice and delightful. The voice of Yesudas sounded a treat to the ears. The feminine voices of Lataji and Ashaji were so sweet that they my initial listenings went well past midnights.
Echo does have a balanced sound. The bass coming from such a small speaker is actually surprising .
I found the echo extremely wonderful to listen to at night and Early morning.

Switching off the lights and listening to Jagjitsingh on echo is an experience I can't describe. So is Talat mehmood or Hariharan.
Try Jim reeves or Josh Groban at night on echo and you will be caressed to sleep.
Echo helps you to set timer off and on.
You can wake up with a classical music, such as Swathi Thirunal's "Bhavayami raghuramam" or Thyagaraja's "Jagadaananda karaka.." Sure your day will be better than the average one.

Alexa:
The assistant Alexa is good and right on most of situations. It failed when malayalam songs with the complex names were requested. I found it most effective to ask for songs in my library. It should be even more effective if playlists are made as needed, such as bedtime hits, wake up hits, devotionals, original movie sound tracks, country music, sad songs, semi classicals, school memories... So many possibilities are there to try.

I know that Alexa is nowhere near Google when it comes to knowledge base. But Alexa has a more human like voice and sounds almost Indian. More over, I like the voice of Alexa than any other assistants like Google, bixby, siri etc.

Recommendation:
Amazon echo is a good buy for its varied musical entertainment. The device is extremely cute, convenient and easy to use.
It has a very musical tone which most music lovers will like. For the best quality, I suggest to keep the it at the ear level about 1 to 2 arms distance from you.
It is a highly personal device and not for family entertainment, even though the advertisements show otherwise.

Shortcomings:
The Bluetooth is just average. It is connects well but the sound quality is affected badly as well as the loudness.
The line out is also average and even on a fairly expensive audio setup that I have, it sounded lousy.
The games and general knowledge are not upto the mark and other assistants are much better there.
Spotify was conspicuous by its absence and it broke my heart.
Amazon music is the default source and it is often difficult to find the right tracks with the voice.

Finally in one sentence I finish off my review.. I love my echo, it's the best thing happened to my personal music love.
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