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So, everyone and their grandma has Alexa and can give it voice commands, which seems pretty cool. Among many more valuable features, Alex can answer questions, play music, and turn the lights off. However, is Alexa worth the money if you don’t own smart home devices? Should you buy Alexa if you are looking forward to playing music?
This article will examine how an Amazon Echo can help you and why you might want to leap. I won’t just list out features and benefits; I will also give you my personal experience of owning an Alexa.
Is the Alexa worth buying?
In a poll by VentureBeat.com, more than 65% of users stated that their intelligent speakers had changed their daily routines. Nearly 75% of the users claimed to use it at least once daily, while 57% said they use their Alexa multiple times daily. As per safe at last.co, around 70% of all smart speaker owners are Amazon Echo users.
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As it turns out, it isn’t just me who feels Alexa is a valuable addition; most Alexa users seem happy with their purchase decision.
In the past, purchasing an Amazon Echo would have also cost a lot. However, the entry price is much lower, with several affordable models.
How Does Alexa Work?
When Alexa is triggered by a “wake word,” which is “Alexa” by default, it processes the following command by sending it over the internet to an Amazon cloud server. Alexa’s AI then parses the data and sends a response back to the Alexa-supported device.
This is generally done via an Amazon Echo speaker or display. Echos come equipped with several ‘far-field’ microphones, speaker(s), and a Wi-Fi adapter to access Amazon’s cloud via your wireless router internet connection.
What Can Alexa Do?
If you think Alexa can only be used if you have smart home devices, then you are so wrong. There are countless ways you can use your virtual assistant. However, to give you a glimpse at what you can do with Alexa, here are the features I appreciate the most:
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- Alexa does a fantastic job of pulling up facts extremely fast. All you need to do is ask, and you shall have the answer.
- Alexa can play your favorite genre of music from your favorite artists or podcasts and playlists at your request. In addition, each device allows you to pull music from just about any streaming service you can think of.
- Alexa is compatible with audiobooks via Audible as well as Kindle Unlimited.
- Alexa can control your smart home.
- Alexa can even handle messaging as well as calls.
Is Alexa safe? Is Alexa Always Listening?
Don’t worry, though, as Alexa is always listening. It is only listening for its wake word. Your smart speakers will only begin recording or transmitting sounds after you say the wake word. Or, something that sounds like the wake word could cause accidental triggering. After it is activated, Alexa will begin to record voice snippets and transmit data.
All Echo devices have a way of indicating when they are listening. For example, a blue LED light will light up, signifying that the device has been activated and is recording sounds to transmit in its pursuit to figure out how to respond.
As another vital security measure, Amazon encrypts its data, both in transit and at rest. The Alexa app also allows you to play back any recorded data. You can also permanently delete anything you wish.
If you feel uneasy, there is always a “mute” button on your Alexa speakers, which will keep Alexa from listening even to the wake word. In addition, the controller will turn Alexa’s ring red, indicating that Alexa has her ears covered.
Why should you buy an Alexa?
There are a lot of reasons why you should purchase an Alexa. First, it could act as a gateway into the smart home device market. On top of that, here are 10 of the best I can think of which might convince you to buy an Alexa.
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- You can listen to instant weather updates before leaving the house.
- You can listen to daily news alerts.
- You can set alarms and timers without even having to use your fingers.
- You can have Alexa add an event to your calendar app.
- You can access podcasts via Spotify, AnyPod, or even Tune In.
- You can play music from Spotify, Prime Music, or any other playlist, for that matter.
- You could have instant measurement conversions or other logical metrics.
- You will be able to check the facts instantly.
- Yes, you can also control other smart home devices in your home to make life easier.
- You will also receive updates regarding your Amazon package deliveries.
See, I have already listed all the cool things your Alexa can do if you have smart home devices. Well, what if you don’t have any? Don’t worry, neither do I have any smart home devices; despite that, I use Alexa in my daily tasks, and the apparent use is listening to music. On top of that, I occasionally place orders through Alexa, hear the latest news, and use it as a Bluetooth speaker for my phone and my projector, as I use an Amazon Fire Stick.
To put it simply, if I had to choose between buying an Alexa or another Bluetooth device, I’d confidently choose Alexa, as I have been using it for over two years now and have faced near to no problems while using it almost every day, despite not having any smart home devices. Alexa is worth buying if you have an internet connection, an Amazon account, and a power supply.
If you liked this article (or if it helped), leave a comment below or share it with friends so they can also know if Alexa is worth it if I don’t own smart home devices.