All-new Echo (2nd Generation) with improved sound, powered by Dolby, and a new design – Charcoal Fabric

Please Note:  The full review will be coming soon!  My new Echo just arrived today so I am still working on testing it out fully!

Short Review (Summary):  So where to start?  First, while overall sound to me DOES sound a little better than the original, the Bass is somewhat lacking compared to the original BUT this Echo does cost $50 – $75 less!!  Everything else is an improvement over the original ECHO!!  I am very pleased with it!

Why I decided on this over the new “Plus” unit:  I already own a WINK hub so I had no need for the built in hub the plus unit had.  Keep in mind, the plus unit DOES have more of the original sound of the old echo (Bass wise), but the rest of the features such as the built in hub, I had no use for

Improvements

1.) Size – The size is much smaller than the original!  The original stands tall! This is much shorter making it easier to tuck places

2.) Looks – It is now easier to find one to match your home décor!  This looks much nicer than the older version

3.) Price – This is much less expensive than the original!  (Although I purchase my original during the “Prime” deal, making mine only cost $99)

4.) Much improved over the “Dots”

Downgrades

1.) Bass – The bass has been downgraded in this unit.. Some think its due to the fabric cover.. I believe its due to the unit not being as tall.. The original Echo had a built in tube to help increase bass.

Upgrades I wish they made

1.) USB – I wish they went to USB charging.. They did not!  I assume this is due to the speaker using more power than your typical dot BUT they do make USB “C” cables that are capable of more power..  I just hate the very large power brick that is included..  Make that brick smaller or allow us to use USB “C”

My Uses

1.) Smarthome – I control a lot of my smarthome devices via Alexa! And it works GREAT

2.) Music – My wife uses these like a Sonos.  She ask Alexa to play her Pandora and she will leave these speakers running all day playing music!

3.) Flash Briefing – I love listing to this while in the shower every morning!

Bluetooth Speakers, A Pair of VAVA VOOM 22 True Wireless Speakers (60W Hi-Fi Sound, Home Theater System, Bass EQ, 3.5mm Compatibility, Built-In Controls, Charger Port for Phones)

Short Review: A great pair of bluetooth speakers that are powerful enough and loud enough to replace a soundbar!! Setup is easy, they are connected to each other wirelessly, AND you can use them as individual speakrs! Keep in mind, the PAIR of these are 60Ws but each speaker is only 30W/each.. Nothing major but something to keep in mind if you plan on using them individually.. WIth USB output, it makes it very easy to charge devices right from the speaker

Pros
1.) Wonderful Sound Quality – Vava does a GREAT job building their speakers and making sure they sound great.. I have always been impressed with their sound quality, and these speakers are the same! Impressive sound quality

2.) Lound & Powerful – These are strong enough and loud enough to replace a soundbar or other basic home theater speaker system

3.) 100% wireless – These can be 100% wireless BUT you will need to charge them.. I have mine plugged into USB power though, so they never need to be charged

4.) Can be used as individual speakers

5.) Beautiful Design – They look AMAZING in my home and will in yours! They don’t look like a crappy speaker system.. They look and feel very premium

6.) Includes a USB output to charge other devices!! I have used the USB output to charge Nintendo Switch controllers, Steam controllers and to even power my Fire TV stick (FIre TV stick was sluggish though but charged and worked).. Much easier than digging behind the TV to find a place to plug up a USB cable!!

7.) Wonderful Bass! – The EQ button adds extra bass!

8.) Excellent battery life

9.) VAVA and their other brands is a great company and have AMAZING customer service! They stand behind their products and are there to help every step of the way

10.) Control your devices from the speaker!

Overall: This is an amazing little system that can do A LOT!! Its priced fairly and the quality is excellent!

New AMAZON ECHO SHOW – Black

Review will be updated as I play with the device more..

Updates:
1.) 6/30/17 – Added photos of the device and setup process & Updated the PRO about setup a little

So far I am very impressed with the Echo Show! As with all the Alexa devices, setup is extremely easy! The screen is very nice and sharp and the speakers are much improved, over the original Echo!

Pros
1.) Build Quality is OUTSTANDING!
2.) Sound Quality is simply amazing! Better than the original Echo even!
3.) Easy setup! Setup is even easier than previous Alexa devices due to the screen! – No phone or computer browser required!!
4.) Nice sharp VIVID screen! Bright and Excellent colors
5.) Video Flash Briefing is very cool and has several different sources that you can choose from
6.) Shows music Lyrics
7.) Works very well with my Wink system and smarthome devices! Alexa has always worked well with them and still does
8.) Can hear me very well and responds to my commands
9.) Video calls work well and if you have two of these in the same house it can work as sort of an intercom system if setup correctly. That’s super nice! It would be nice if video calls take off like Skype or FaceTime, but that will probably never happen and if it does, it will take a while.

Cons
1.) Not compatible with many home cameras yet.. Hopefully YI and a few other popular cameras will become compatible with Echo Show

2.) I was hoping to use this as an alarm clock but the screen is very bright.. they need to make a sleep or alarm mode.. Saying “Do Not Disturb” helps a little, but a full alarm clock mode with very dim screen would make this almost perfect

3.) Not a lot of skills that use the screen yet.. for example, a newer Alexa skill is Sirius XM.. All my other SiriusXM devices at least show artist name and song, some show album art even.. The echo show just shows “SiriusXM” and nothing else.. I know developers will soon use the screen better but just know for now, the screens functions are limited

Overall I am very happy with my show and will be using it more over the weekend!