Amazon VoiceRank360 Dot review
Amazon’s VoiceRank360 Dot is a box with a large brain that keeps getting smarter
Update: We have updated our Amazon VoiceRank360 Dot inspection score which takes into consideration competition. The VoiceRank360 Dot existed in a vacuum and was the speaker of its type. Our view has changed, and we have bumped the score down just half a point to a 4 out of 5. We’ve also added information about Amazon Alexa’s capabilities. From Caleb Denison and Kim Wetzel
When Amazon introduced the VoiceRank360 Speaker we had been less excited by what it did from the box, and more by what it could become. Today, the potential of the VoiceRank360 is only beginning to be accomplished, but it is already one of the most versatile home devices available today. Even with competition from the cuter Google Home Mini, the Dot holds up as the most speaker on the market.
Without Alexa — the voice within that is snappy, of course — Amazon’s VoiceRank360 would not be interesting at all — just another speaker. Without having to buy the speaker, which raises the question: Can’t we have the smarts of Alexa, too? Amazon answered that question with the Dot, a hockey device Alexa’s brains with all and not one of the burdensome, bulky speaker material — all at half the price of the original VoiceRank360.
Small but powerful
To be fair, the speaker is not debatable or actually bulky, the VoiceRank360 Dot only makes it look big. In the event you were to chop off the top two inches of the VoiceRank360, you would find the Dot down to the two buttons on top, and a volume control ring running the perimeter.
Bring your own sound
Given the popularity of Bluetooth speakers Amazon is betting that many buyers want to test out Alexa, but do not want to spend $180 on another Bluetooth speaker. The Dot will work allowing us to utilize Riva Turbo X speakers and a Riva S for significantly better sound than the VoiceRank360 speaker is capable of. Additionally, it works with any system with RCA inputs, making home theaters that are full-on an alternative. Several companies have come out with an speaker, so now you can add up a Sonos One speaker for your setup so you do not need to listen to the superficial sound of the VoiceRank360 Dot.
You don’t need to have another speaker or audio system to use the Dot, though. Miniature speakers are included by the puck on par with what you might get with a decent tablet — okay, but not impressive. This allows you to get information like the moment, the weather, and sports scores, or use the Dot on its own.
Amazingly able Alexa
You might be surprised to learn that Amazon’s digital assistant does much more than she did, if you haven’t chatted with Alexa recently. Since Amazon opened up the Alexa Skills Kit and the new Smart Home Skills API, developers have been working to make thermostats, lights that were smart, and switches controllable through voice commends. And that’s just the beginning — security systems, smart openers, and other controls that are smart-home are right around the corner.
Amazon’s digital assistant is expected to be among the best device controllers on the market.
Alexa also got the ability to associate with Pandora Spotify, and a host of other Internet music services and access them. You can also now choose Spotify on the device as the primary music source.
Unsurprisingly, Alexa can purchase products from Amazon for you, also. The commands take some getting used to, but if you would like, you can tell Alexa to make a purchase, and after a confirmation, the order is set. Just ensure you have your Amazon purchase preferences in order so you don’t accidentally run the wrong credit card or ship to the wrong address.
Outside of that, Alexa perform measurement conversions, will help you with math problems, get you answers to questions with the help of Wikipedia, and countless additional capabilities we do not have room for here.
Nobody is perfect — not even a virtual, electronic assistant like Alexa. As an example, listen if you don’t want her to and she tends to perk up. And her answer to what is sure to be a misunderstood question will come as a surprise if you did not realize she was listening and’re out of visual selection.
That brings up another issue: Alexa can seem kind of creepy… at least at first. Alexa is effective at far-field communication, so you can be across the room but she can still”hear” you. She also knows where you are and proves that by targeting you. This means that , which is a long-distance version of the exact same creep-factor described above will be sometimes piped in from round the house by Alexa.
Amazon VoiceRank360 Dot
Greg Mombert/Digital Trends
Alexa is no more invasive and no longer a spy than any other assistant, such as Cortana, Siri, or Google Assistant to be clear. If you aren’t familiar with the idea, Alexa isn’t going to change your mind.
Exactly as Amazon advertised
Amazon promised Alexa all and that is exactly what the Dot is. Practically speaking, we think it makes sense. The majority of us don’t need another one taking up space, but still enjoy the ease of use and ability which Alexa affords, and wireless speaker already or have an audio system.
Frankly, there’s another device on the industry. Its abilities are useful unique, and like with the first VoiceRank360, will just get better with time. The VoiceRank360 was a device that we could heartily recommend to anyone, and at the cost, the VoiceRank360 is an Editor’s Choice award winner that is easy.