The Amazon Echo (1st Generation)

I bought the Amazon Echo (1st Generation) just awhile back before they (Amazon) announced a whole family of new products to the Echo family. The Amazon Echo (1st Generation) is still a great upgrade from my current Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) as music sounds a lot better now with the 2.5-inch woofer and 2.0-inch tweeter in the Amazon Echo.

The Amazon Echo (1st Generation) costed me US$99.99 (approx S$136) from Amazon and shipping cost me another S$15.


Comparing the Amazon Echo Family

Product Echo Dot (2nd Gen) Echo (1st Gen) Echo (2nd Gen) Echo Plus
Release date 20 Oct 2016 23 Jun 2015 31 Oct 2017 31 Oct 2017
Price US$49.99 US$149.99 US$99.99 US$149.99
Speaker size 0.6" speaker 2.5" woofer
2.0" tweeter
2.5" woofer
0.6" tweeter
2.5" woofer
0.8" tweeter
WiFi Connectivity Dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth A2DP support for audio streaming to Bluetooth Speakers
Dimension 1.3" x 3.3" x 3.3" 9.3" x 3.3" x 3.3" 5.9" x 3.5" x 3.5" 9.3" x 3.3" x 3.3"
Weight 163g 1064g 821g 954g
Others Dolby soundIncludes a built-in Zigbee smart home hub

Price-wise, the Amazon Echo (1st Generation) is the same as the Amazon Echo Plus. The Amazon Echo Plus comes with a Zigbee smart home hub for controlling your Zigbee-based smart home devices.

Features-wise, it is similar to the new Amazon Echo (2nd Generation). The new Amazon Echo looks slicker in the smaller package and with improved sound powered by Dolby. The fabric also made the Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) chic for your home.


Unpacking the Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo (1st Generation).
The Amazon Echo (1st Generation).
The Amazon Echo (1st Generation).

The Amazon Echo arrived nicely packed in the box you see above.

Unpacking the Amazon Echo (1st Generation).

Alexa, tell ambi to turn on aircon in master bedroom.

On the left is the new addition to my house – the Amazon Echo! On the right of the box is the power adapter.

In the package is the Amazon Echo (1st Generation) and power adapter.

Within in the package is:

  1. The Amazon Echo;
  2. Power adapter; and
  3. Couple of documentations (not captured in the picture above).


The Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo has a volume ring on top to control the volume. At the bottom is where the 2.5-inch woofer and 2.0-inch tweeter are.

The Amazon Echo has a smooth matte-black finish for its body. At the top portion of the Amazon Echo is a rotating ring that allows you to control its volume. Instead of “Alexa, softer” or fiddling with the Alexa App, you ca simply twist or turn the volume ring to control the volume.

The internals of the Amazon Echo (1st Generation). (src:

Beneath the holes on the lower half of the Amazon Echo are there the 2.5 inch woofer and 2.0 inch tweeter are. They are responsible for delivering deep base and crisp high notes  respectively. Compared to the Echo Dot’s speakers, I am really enjoying music from the Echo!

On the top face, you can find the microphone off button, action button and light ring. Underneath the top face is an array of 7 microphones to pickup your voice from almost anywhere in the room.

Alexa, what is the weather like in Singapore?

The top face of the Amazon Echo is the same as the Echo Dot. It has got a light ring that reflects the direction it is picking up voice instructions from. When adjusting its volume, the light ring also reflects the volume level. Essentially the light ring gives you visual cue into the stuffs it is doing, for example, thinking (by having a ring of blinking lights) what it should do when it received a voice instruction.

The top face of the Amazon Echo. (src:

You will also find two physical buttons:

  • Microphone off button to stop the Echo from picking up voice instructions or stop recording sounds; and
  • Action button to trigger the Echo to capture voice instructions if calling Alexa fails or when you are unable to for whatever reasons.

Alexa, play Gold 90.5.

Beneath the top face is an array of 7-microphones that has both beam-forming and advanced noise cancellation technologies. With its far-field technology, the Amazon Echo can practically hear your questions from any direction in the room. The most amazing thing is that it hears you even when music is playing!

Now I am really enjoying music from the Amazon Echo! Aside from playing music, I am also using it to control some of the smart home devices (i.e. smart plugs, ambi climate, robot vacuum, etc.).

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