The terms Alexa vs Echo are often used interchangeably by consumers, when in fact, they are separate things that work together to deliver a seamless experience.
Lets take a closer look and clear up the confusion.
What is the difference Between Alexa and Echo?
Simply put, Alexa is software and Echo is hardware. Think of your laptop for instance – your laptop is a hardware device. However, how functional is it without an operating system? You will need a software component to access and control your hardware device.
Similarly, Alexa is for Echo what Windows is for your computer. Alexa is specifically designed to answer your questions.
Amazon built the Echo device, a speaker that supports voice-control commands. For that, Amazon also developed Alexa, a voice-based digital assistant that is designed to run on top of Echo devices and respond to your voice commands.
Alexa is a voice-based AI-powered digital assistant developed by Amazon. It responds to your voice and will execute any given commands. To operate, Alexa needs to be integrated with devices equipped with a microphone and speakers, such as an Echo device and other Alexa-enabled devices.
You can ask Alexa to perform various actions, such as playing your favorite music track, keeping you updated with the latest news, checking when your purchased items will be delivered, and many more. It responds to your voice commands, making things so much easier.
The Amazon Alexa mobile app is a great way to interact with Amazon’s voice-based virtual assistant. The app also allows you to set up and manage other devices that are compatible with Alexa. Alexa manages your home and the app manages Alexa.
Alexa gradually studies your commands, to improve responses. Now, it can recognize subtle vocal nuances and spot emotions as well, hence Amazon has done a great job, integrating voice recognition with human emotions. This means, based on how you formulate any question or command, Alexa will come up with the right answer.
Alexa can also learn your schedule and adapt to your routine and behavior.
Other voice assistants
Apart from Amazon Alexa, there are also other voice-based virtual assistants developed by different manufacturers, such as Google Assistant and Apple Siri. All virtual assistants act as the interface between hardware devices and end-users.
Echo is a smart speaker developed by Amazon that integrates with the built-in voice-based virtual assistant known as Alexa. To activate the Echo speaker, you must call Alexa by her name and simply ask something or say whatever is on your mind.
For example, “Alexa… turn on the kitchen lights.” or “Alexa… reschedule my meeting with John for Friday.”
Echo’s capabilities are quite limited. However, that is not a downside. Its job is to simply be a vessel for Alexa. Echo has a speaker and a microphone, to input your voice and relay Alexa’s voice. There are basic functions through the onboard buttons. Echo also connects to the Wi-Fi, so when your router connects to Alexa, it is connecting to the Echo device.
Range of products
The Echo product line has been extended and now includes different versions of Echo devices. There is no significant difference in terms of functionality, however, some models can differ in appearance.
The latest Echo generation has brought new and additional features, such as a built-in Zigbee technology, for smart home hubs. This allows Alexa to access and control other smart home devices throughout your house as well. On top of that, a premium model version such as Echo Studio comes with upgraded speakers and delivers studio-quality sound.
You may think that an Echo device runs out of battery quickly considering it is always on and ready to listen to your commands, when in fact, the device goes into standby mode when it is inactive and proven to be highly energy-efficient.
Common Questions Relating to Alexa vs Echo
Why is there confusion between Alexa and Echo?
Alexa is available and ready to use on all Echo devices by default. To wake up your Echo device, you must call Alexa by her name.
When you have to address Alexa, you direct your voice to Echo, resulting in most consumers confusing the two.
Do all Amazon Echo devices have Alexa?
Yes, all Amazon Echo devices have Alexa integrated by default. Upon purchasing, all you need to do is link the Echo device with the Alexa mobile app and you are all set.
Is Alexa only available on Amazon Echo?
No, Alexa is available and enabled on many devices. Sonos One and UE Megablast are great choices if you are looking for Alexa-enabled speakers.
Other smart devices such as Amazon Fire TV, the Ecobee thermostat, Philips Hue LED kit, and many more are also compatible with Alexa.
Is there a monthly charge for Echo?
No, there is no monthly charge for Echo. Once you have purchased the Echo device, you will not have to pay any fees to activate Alexa.
However, other subscription-based services offered by Amazon such as Amazon Prime or Amazon Music can be added.
The Alexa vs Echo Verdict
Amazon is constantly working on improving its Echo product line as well as the popular voice-based AI-powered digital assistant. Regardless of the Echo model you already own or plan to buy, Alexa is there to assist you. Feel free to leave us questions in the comment section down below.