Amazon Echo Gen 4 Review

Amazon Echo Gen 4 Review

The Amazon Echo Gen 4 is a compact, spherical speaker that comes with Alexa built-in. Alexa can be activated with your voice, and even if you’re far away or in a busy area, the speaker can understand you. It also includes a built-in Zigbee hub for controlling compatible smart home devices such as lightbulbs and thermostats across your home. While the Amazon Alexa app’s default sound profile is a little boomy and veiled, you may alter the bass and treble settings to your liking. You can also control when the speaker is listening to you by pressing the mute microphone button. Unfortunately, because it is AC-powered, it cannot be taken outside.

Pros
  • Minimalist design
  • Sleek spherical design
  • Great smart home skills
Cons
  • Limited USB functionality
  • No YouTube compatibility by default

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Style

The Amazon Echo is a compact speaker with a spherical form that stands out. It resembles the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 in appearance, however, it is slightly larger. It sits on its base, and a ring of light surrounds the speaker’s base. Voice commands, volume adjustments, and turning off the microphone all cause the lights to turn on. It does not, however, flash when music is played, and you have no control over the colors it shows.

Portability

The portability of this speaker is poor. It’s compact and light enough to be carried in one hand. However, because it is powered by AC, it must be plugged into a wall outlet to function. As a result, unlike battery-powered speakers like the Bose SoundLink Micro, it can’t be taken outside as easily.

Build Quality 

The build quality is mediocre at best. The speaker has a strong feel to it, and the fabric that wraps around it is tight and doesn’t appear to be readily rippable. However, because it lacks an IP designation for dust and water protection, you should exercise caution if you want to use it near water.

Controls 

The controls are merely adequate. Four physical buttons on the top of the speaker allow you to control the volume, mute the microphone, and activate Alexa without using the wake word ‘Alexa.’ You can also reset the speaker by holding down the ‘Action’ button for 25 seconds, or press it to quiet an alarm. You can also snooze an alarm by tapping the front of the speaker. The base of the speaker and the mute button both glow red when the microphone is silenced.

Detailed Technical Review

Frequency Response Accuracy

The frequency response accuracy of the Amazon Echo is average. Its sound is a little boomy, but it’s also gloomy. Because it struggles to reproduce low-bass, like many small speakers, you won’t hear the deep pounding in bass-heavy genres like EDM. Its balanced mid-range, on the other hand, can clearly reproduce vocal-centric content, albeit higher-pitched speech can sound veiled. The Amazon Alexa app’s bass and treble controls can let you tailor the sound to your preferences.

Soundstage 

The frequency response accuracy of the Amazon Echo is average. Its sound is a little boomy, but it’s also gloomy. Because it struggles to reproduce low-bass, like many small speakers, you won’t hear the deep pounding in bass-heavy genres like EDM. Its balanced mid-range, on the other hand, can clearly reproduce vocal-centric content, albeit higher-pitched speech can sound veiled. The Amazon Alexa app’s bass and treble controls can let you tailor the sound to your preferences.

Dynamics 

The Amazon Echo’s dynamics are average. When you play it at maximum level, it doesn’t become very loud, and there’s some compression. It might not be the best choice for parties or large spaces.

Battery 

Because the Amazon Echo does not have a battery, it must be plugged into a wall outlet to function. It goes into Low Power Mode while it’s not in use, according to the manufacturer, to help save energy.

Voice Assistant 

The voice assistant support on this speaker is great. It features Amazon Alexa built-in, which you can use to activate it with your voice. Even if you’re far away or in a noisy environment, the speaker can understand you. When you don’t want the speaker to hear you, you can even mute the mic.

App 

The Alexa app from Amazon is excellent. You can change the bass and treble to tailor the sound to your preferences. You may make a stereo pair out of two Echo speakers, which helps to create a bigger soundstage. Additionally, the Party Mode and Multi-Room capabilities allow you to connect several speakers to play music over a broad area or in multiple rooms of your home.

Wired 

This speaker contains a 3.5mm AUX connector that you may use to play audio directly from your smartphone.

Bluetooth 

Bluetooth communication is good on the Amazon Echo 4th Gen. It boasts low latency with iOS devices, despite the fact that you can only pair it with one device at a time. With Android devices, the latency is even smaller, making it ideal for streaming films and movies. Because some programs adjust for the delay, your actual experience may differ.

Wi-Fi 

This speaker can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. It does not, however, support Apple AirPlay or Google Chromecast, which may be a disappointment for certain customers.

Conclusion

For voice assistant support, the Amazon Echo is fantastic. It features Amazon Alexa built-in, which you can use to activate it with your voice. Even if you aren’t extremely close to the speaker or in a busy area, the speaker can comprehend you. When you don’t want it to hear you, you can mute the microphone, and there’s a built-in Zigbee hub that you can use to manage compatible smart home devices like lightbulbs and thermostats across your house.

For music, the Amazon Echo is adequate. Its sound profile is a little boomy out of the box, and higher frequencies seem veiled and dark. It also lacks low-bass, therefore bass-heavy music genres miss that deep thump. There are bass and treble controls to allow you to tailor the sound to your preferences, which is convenient. However, this speaker has a limited volume range, which might be frustrating.