Amazon unveils Echo, a speaker with a built-in personal assistant

Amazon Echo, with Siri and Google Now-like abilities, all while it looks sleek and plays music.

Published Sat, Nov 8 2014 8:24 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:13 PM CST

Amazon has just unveiled somewhat of a surprise to the world, in the form of an always-listening, waiting-for-your-command portable speaker: Echo. Amazon's Echo has a built-in virtual assistant, with Siri and Google Now-like abilities, which can help you out wherever your Echo is sitting.

Inside of the slick-looking black tube, we have a 360-degree-firing speaker, with a 2.5-inch subwoofer and 2-inch tweeter, capable of playing your music from a smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth. Echo is also able to play music online through your Amazon Music Library, Prime Music, TuneIn and iHeartRadio.

Amazon unveils Echo, a speaker with a built-in personal assistant 08 | TweakTown.comAmazon unveils Echo, a speaker with a built-in personal assistant 10 |

Echo has seven microphones that feature far-field technology, so it can hear you from virtually anywhere in your room. It can use voice commands to do a variety of tasks, such as playing your music (the most obvious one), get the news for you, answer your questions, create to-do lists, set timers and alarms, tell jokes and much more. You can access Echo from anywhere, thanks to its companion app, too. In order to wake it up, you just use a "wake word" that you've set it up with: for example, "OK, Jarvis" would work nicely.

Amazon is retailing Echo for $199, but Amazon Prime members can save $100 - but right now, it's an invite-only product. You have to visit Amazon's site and request an invitation to purchase it - somethign I've already done - with Amazon sending you an e-mail in a few weeks if you make the cut.


Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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