The Digital Home Magazine

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Alexa 1 vs 2

The next generations of devices are also appearing in the field of smart home devices. The devices of the Amazon Echo series are no exception. After the first smart speakers went over the digital counter at Amazon in 2016, the second-generation successor model appeared last year.

With the so-called smart home devices and applications, you network your four walls and make a few household tasks easier for you. Making processes digitized and simplified or even automated at best.
The Amazon echo uses its SmartSpeaker as the role of your personal assistant in the house.

By voice command example, you can adjust the lights in your house, or listen to the traffic, news or weather while cleaning up your kitchen.

“Alexa, play thank you, by Ariana Grande”, is enough and the digital assistant gets to work. For this purpose, the Echo has stored skills that correspond to certain predefined tasks. You can expand these skills with a large selection of additional commands and adapt them to your personal preferences.

At the same time, the Amazon Echoes also serve as a music system. The speakers play your songs from Spotify or provide you with track lists of your favourite music genres. Of course, the music function is also activated and controlled with simple voice control. For example, you can easily change the playlist while you are in the shower.

Smart Home and Alexa on the rise

The technology related to the networked and digitized home is on the advance and will continue to establish and develop in the future. The big players in the technology sector are also preparing for the smart home phenomenon and adapting new products to this trend. The tasks of smart home devices will become even more diverse in the coming years. The end of the flagpole is still a long way off.

Not all echoes are the same

Before we compare the two generations of echoes, one more note: In this comparison, we consider the basic version of the echo. In addition to the normal Echo, Amazon also launched two other versions.

The Echo Dot

The Echo Dot is the Echo's little brother. Not just literally, but also in appearance. The Echo Dot has smaller dimensions and accordingly less sound power but is easier to transport and can be easily integrated into rooms with little space.

The Echo Plus

In addition to the Echo Dot, there is the Echo Plus . As the name suggests, the Echo Plus is the all-rounder in the device series. Probably the most pleasant feature is the built-in Smart Hub . The Echo Plus can practically be used as the command centre of your smart home. It automatically connects to Alexa. An extra device is also required for the basic version.

The Design

One thing should be clear to you with both generations of the Echo: You will definitely get a cylinder Both smart speakers come in the design that made the Pringles cans world-famous.

But there are some differences between the Echo generations. With a height of 14.8 centimetres, the newer version is significantly smaller than its predecessor, but is insignificantly wider at almost 9 centimetres. The second generation impresses with a more compact design and looks more stylish overall.

The biggest difference between the echoes is the outer shell. While the exterior of the first generation is fixed and the choice of colours is limited to black and white, with the new variant you have six different options for the visual design. And best of all: the outer covers can be changed with just one push of a button. So, you can easily switch from a grey fabric cover to a wood or metal look.

But there is a little trick for owners of the first generation. For example, you can get a handmade cover for your Echo 1 and make the device look a little more individual.

Amazon remains true to its control panels. The buttons for volume or mute are located on the top of the cylinder on both devices.

Speech recognition

When it comes to the sound effect, you can be sure of one thing: Both generations of Echo fill you with a good load of sound. A 63 millimetre woofer is built into both variants, which produces the necessary tones in the low frequency range . In short: this thing has a lot of bass!

However, there is a small difference between the Echo variants. Due to the more compact design of the second generation, Amazon equips the Echo 2 with only a 16-millimeter height speaker. The predecessor also has a 20-millimetre loudspeaker in place. The sound suffers a little in the high heights.

So if you own a first generation Echo and want to upgrade, you have to make small losses in sound or continue to trust the classic.

The compatibility.

The Echo 2 offers a small but subtle difference. On the back of the device you will find an input / output for an AUX cable. It is therefore possible that you build your Echo into a loudspeaker system and thus easily compensate for the slight weaknesses in the sound. Both generations of smart speakers can be connected to Bluetooth speakers.

With all other devices from the Alexa family, there are no restrictions for either variant. For example, you can control the Philips Hue lamps with both devices and create a pleasant atmosphere with dimmed light.

The price

The question of price arises for every electronic device and is a difficult matter, especially with the first-generation Amazon Echo. Because: The Echo 1 is currently only available in the refurbished version. Therefore, prices can fluctuate. The first generation originally had a proud price of £199.99.

If you want to be on the safe side, simply buy the first-generation Echo Plus. Although this is a bit more expensive, it also has a few extras such as the Smart Hub waiting for users.

The second-generation Echo costs £99.99 for the normal version.


An upgrade from the first to the second generation of the Echo is particularly recommended for those who value design. The Echo 2 looks a lot more impressive than its predecessor.

When it comes to sound, the first generation has the edge. So, if you want to use the Echo primarily as a "music system", you should consider upgrading to the second generation several times.