Amazon Echo third generation review, the smart speaker that is serious about music

The new Amazon Echo third generation, presented at the end of September, is the heir to the first speaker of the e-commerce giant that sparked the craze and the market for these devices starting from the USA in 2014. At the same time it inherits the quality superior audio of the Amazon Echo Plus of 2018 (still offered at 149.99 euros), the first year in which the wave of Amazon devices with Alexa were marketed in Italy.

First of all, the new Amazon Echo third generation offers the improved and enhanced audio of Echo Plus at a lower price, practically 50 euros less (it is proposed at 99.99 euros), this is because the Zigbee controller is absent to manage smart devices via radio. home that use the homonymous protocol.

However, this does not mean that we have to give up the smart home because, thanks to the thousands of skills available, the Alexa skills that like smartphone apps can be installed and removed by the user according to their needs, we can still control the Philips Hue lights. , the heating thermostat and so on for dozens and dozens of smart home devices from different manufacturers that make tailored skills available to make voice control possible via Alexa.

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On the audio front, Amazon Echo third generation offers a 3-inch (76 mm) neodymium woofer and a 0.8-inch (20 mm) tweeter. This results in audio and music reproduction with superior quality and power. For those who own the second generation Amazon Echo from last year, the improvement is limited, vice versa for those who do not have a speaker with Alexa or started with a small and cheap Echo Dot the leap is substantial.

The manufacturer claims that this device delivers music and audio capable of filling a medium-sized room, qualities that our test fully confirms. Indeed, in our case we have installed the new Echo in the tavern, a large room with a low ceiling: the audio delivered is of good quality and more than enough power even for a party.

Recensione Amazon Echo terza generazione, lo speaker smart che fa sul serio con la musica The bass reproduction and also that of the high tones are remarkable, the mid tones are less brilliant, but the judgment is undoubtedly positive. Placed on a wooden top, the power of the bass makes both the speaker and the cabinet vibrate, with sounds that fill the room and allow you to fully enjoy any musical genre. The quality of the reproduction remains high even at high volumes: with a volume adjustment ranging from zero to 10, distortions are felt only at the last two levels.

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The operation of the microphones is surprising, able to pick up the Alexa voice command even when the user is across the room, with music playing at high volumes, without having to shout “Alexa” to be heard.

Of course, the more than good audio qualities of this device come in handy not only for listening to music and songs, but also for Internet radio, for all major music streaming services including Apple Music and Spotify, as well as for podcasts, audio books and so on. Everything always within reach of voice, from a distance and even when our hands are busy while we are doing other things, thanks to the voice commands.

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They also improve design and construction

The new Amazon Echo not only improves on the audio and price front, but also in design and construction. The aesthetic is very similar to Echo Plus, essentially a compact cylinder with a base and upper side in good quality plastic and rubberized feet, while the main part of the body is entirely covered in fabric, also of good quality and with attractive colors. .

The difference with the 2018 Plus can be seen by observing the two ends: in last year's model they were flattened, now they are more rounded. The solution has probably been adopted to obtain more internal space for the larger drivers, but it is also more pleasing to the eye, as well as perfectly in line with the style and materials of the rest of the range. Thanks to the compact dimensions and the good materials when lifting it you have the impression of having a solid and very well built device in your hands, as well as beautiful to look at.

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Enhanced privacy

In recent months in the USA and beyond, several concerns have emerged about the level of privacy of user data in relation to smart speakers from all major manufacturers. Media inquiries and user complaints mostly focus on programs for listening to audio requests, or automatic transcriptions, carried out to improve understanding of spoken language and the quality of voice assistants' responses.

These procedures are necessary for the evolution of the assistants and, theoretically, they should always be carried out in such a way as to maintain the anonymity of the users. In any case, Amazon has moved very quickly to respond to user concerns. On all Amazon Echo devices, smart speakers but also models with a screen, there is a button that physically closes the microphones and also the webcam where present.

In the specific case of the new third generation Amazon Echo there is a button to completely close the microphones. In addition, the user can choose not to participate in the program of recording and listening to requests to improve Alexa, to delete all the audio recordings of his requests or, again, to delete the desired ones with various options to delete the last command given, all those of the day, those of the week, of the last three / six months and so on. In short, everything is designed and configured to reassure even the most paranoid users.

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Play all

We remind you that in addition to streaming music from Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited and all the other main streaming services, Amazon Echo also offers Bluetooth and the audio jack with double function. Thanks to Bluetooth we can pair a smartphone or any other computer and device with BT on the fly to play music stored or in any case coming from other sources.

Still the 3.5 mm audio jack works both as an audio input to connect with the historical cable computer, smartphone, tablet or any other source, but the same connector also acts as an output to send the audio coming from Echo to an amplifier or another external audio device.

Finally, we always have the option of pairing two Amazon Echos and also last year's Echo Plus, to create a true stereo sound system. An interesting function for those who have the Plus 2018 but also in the future, to expand and enhance the audio at a later time, perhaps also associating Amazon Woofer to create a 2.1 audio system.

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To have a speaker capable of delivering this audio quality (or higher) you need to be willing to spend much more than the excellent price requested by Amazon. With this model the manufacturer offers a speaker particularly suitable for audio reproduction and listening to music which at the same time is also a smart speaker.

With the introduction of the new models this year, now the Amazon price list is able to satisfy any need. For those who have never used an Alexa smart speaker and want to keep their spending as low as possible, to try it out and then eventually decide on higher models, you can start with Amazon Echo Dot, the new Echo Dot with clock and also the economical and versatile Echo. Flex. The excellent Echo Show 5 (our review here) is also offered at a slightly lower price, suitable for those who prefer to have a screen available, but with lower audio power than the new Echo reviewed here.

For those who want a speaker capable of reproducing powerful and quality music, plus all the features and versatility of use of Alexa, the new Amazon Echo third generation is the ideal choice.

Dot and Flex are suitable for the kitchen, the bedside table, the bathroom, a corridor and in general for not very large rooms, where the music serves only as a background and not to fill the room. Instead the new Echo can perform this function equally, but it can also act alone as a central speaker for the hall, the tavern or a large room that, when needed, for a special dinner or a party with friends, can be pushed up in volume to fill the whole room with powerful and good quality audio.

We remind you that Amazon Echo Studio will also be available soon, the new flagship speaker of the range with directional audio, even more powerful and of superior quality, but it is no coincidence that it is offered at exactly double the price of the Amazon Echo reviewed here, therefore advisable for palates even more demanding.


Improved and enhanced sound Powerful bass Microphones pick up voice commands very well Excellent value for money


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Niente più scuse per evitare Alexa: ecco i nuovi Amazon Echo, Echo Flex e Echo Studio con Dolby Atmos

Price and availability

The new Amazon Echo third generation is available in four colors (anthracite, blue-gray, light gray and mélange gray) at a price of 99.99 euros and can be purchased from this Amazon page.

Instead, all Amazon Echo speakers are available from this page. It starts from the cheapest Echo Flex at 29.99 euros, going up to Echo Dot (2018) at 59.99 euros but now on offer at 44.99 euros, the new Echo Dot (2019) with clock, up to the more powerful Echo Studio proposed at 199.99 euros.

For the review of the first Amazon Echo and Alexa in Italian, please refer to this article. We talked about the evolution of Alexa functions in our language in the first year of availability in Italy here. All Cyberlayman articles on Alexa can be found from this link.