Amazon Echo devices have become invaluable in our homes. From turning on the lights, to telling you a bedtime story, Alexa has morphed from a geeky gadget to an endearing AI companion we interact with more and more each day. That is, until we leave the house. But don’t fret, the Amazon Echo Auto is on the way! We were fortunate enough to get one early and the following article explains what you can expect from Amazon’s latest gadget.
So What Exactly Is The Echo Auto
I think we all know what an Echo device is by now. This device is something you’ll install in your vehicle to extend your Alexa AI while on the road. You can ask for directions, set reminders as you think of them, add items to your grocery list–and do all of that while listening to your favorite Spotify tunes.
You Echo Auto comes with an optional car vent mount, which is specifically designed to fix the Echo Auto. It has a magnetic base that holds the device securely in place while also helping with cable management.
Echo Auto’s Features
The Echo Auto performs much like the Echo devices you probably already have in your home. Here are some of the features:
- Integrates Alexa with your car – The device connects to the Alexa app on your phone and plays through your car’s speakers via your smartphone’s Bluetooth connection or Aux input.
- Specially designed for a car – The 8 microphones and far-field technology allows Echo Auto to hear you over music, A/C, and road noise. You can also press the microphone off button to electronically disconnect the microphones for privacy.
- More than just a radio add-on – Voice control Echo Auto through the Alexa app to play Audible audiobooks, listen to podcasts, or stream Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, SiriusXM, or radio stations from around the world.
- Just ask Alexa – Use your voice to play music, check the news, or even find the nearest gas station.
- Hands-free everything – Make calls, set reminders, add items to your shopping lists, or manage your calendar.
- Add Alexa skills to increase functionality – With thousands of skills available, Alexa is always getting smarter.
- Set location-based routines – Alexa can automatically start a series of actions when you leave the office or get home.
- Ask for directions – Alexa can start navigation on your phone with supported apps like Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps.
Echo Auto Invitation Only
So now the bad news. The Amazon Echo Auto is available by invitation only at the time of this article’s publication. Be sure to visit Amazon and get on the list. It could take a few days or several weeks to receive your invitation. While you can only get an invite to purchase a single Echo Auto at a time, you can re-submit for a second invite a few days after your initial order. Hopefully, these devices will become more readily available in the weeks to come.
What’s In The Box
The Amazon Echo Auto comes with the following:
- The Amazon Echo Auto device
- A car vent attachment (not pictured)
- In-car power adapter
- Micro USB cable
- Auxiliary cable
How To Install Echo Auto
The Echo Auto is no more difficult to install than your home Echo devices. Everything is done via the Alexa app. Log into the app on your phone. Plug the device into your vehicle’s USB port, or use the car power adapter if you do not have USB ports.
- Switch the car’s radio to Bluetooth (or Aux if you don’t have Bluetooth).
- Click Add Device on the Alexa app.
- Alexa will find the Echo and walk you through the remaining steps on the phone’s app.
The Amazon Echo Auto is an inexpensive device that adds Alexa voice features to your vehicle. My initial thoughts are that it needs get better. There are some minor quirks, such as having to wait for the tone after initiating the wake word and giving a command, as well as some audio issues when resuming a playlist.
Maybe adding additional Skills will improve its functionality. But overall it works well, is inexpensive. It is a must-have if your car doesn’t already have a similar hands-free way to make calls, listen to music or get directions.
I consider this a buy for any tech enthusiast that already has every other Alexa gadget. If you’re interested in more of our Echo articles, be sure to read more of our tech gadget reviews.