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How many Amazon Echoes do you need for your home?

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Best answer: It depends on the size of your house, but three or four well-placed Echo speakers should give you decent coverage with Alexa throughout most homes. The choice then comes down to where you think you’ll best use Alexa. The most popular areas would be in the bedroom, the living room, and the kitchen.

  • Smart Hub: Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen) + Free Smart Bulb ($150 at Amazon)
  • Ubiquitious Utility: Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) ($50 at Amazon)
  • Light it Up: Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) Lighting Kit ($45 at Amazon)
  • Hang it Up: Dot Genie Echo Dot Wall Mount ($12 at Amazon)

Finding the right Echo products for the rooms in your home

This is a very tough question to answer since every house is different, and everyone has a preference for where they want to put an Alexa device. There are a lot of Alexa-compatible devices, among other things, that you can choose to make your home a true smart home. An Amazon Echo Plus is a great place to start because it’s Amazon’s best-sounding speaker. It includes a built-in smart home hub that lets you easily add and control smart home products under Alexa. From there, an Echo Dot is your best bet for filling out other rooms in your home.

Some folks might be uncomfortable having a listening device in their bedroom, and that’s valid. However, Alexa really shines in the living room and kitchen, and an Echo Dot can be mounted anywhere there’s a wall outlet in your home.

In the living room

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The living room is where the family gathers and is an essential space for entertaining guests. In a lot of ways, it’s the heart of the home, so placing an Amazon Echo in this space is a no-brainer. We recommend the Amazon Echo Plus, which delivers the best sound from an Echo speaker and also doubles as a smart home hub for easily adding smart bulbs, switches, sensors, plugs, door locks, and other connected devices.

Music lovers will love the improved sound and support for connecting other speakers. It’s also available as a stereo pair with an Echo Sub. So if you’ve been holding off on investing in Sonos or other high-end wireless speakers, this might be the option you’ve been waiting for.

Even a single Echo Plus will fill a larger room with sound. It can be connected to any existing speaker system you may own. Plus, depending on the layout of your home, Alexa might still be able to hear you from connecting rooms. Wherever you need a bit of extra coverage, there’s an Echo Dot.

In the kitchen

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Once you’ve used an AI assistant in the kitchen, you’ll forget how you got by without one. Alexa can handle timers, read out recipes, and play music or podcasts as you prep ingredients and plate a home-cooked meal — or you can use Alexa to order a pizza instead.

An ideal kitchen setup involves an Echo Dot mounted on a wall outlet to free up counter space. Sound quality isn’t a huge priority in the kitchen, but the Dot’s microphone should pick up your voice from across the room or over a noisy food processor. For the latest Echo Dot, you can get a quality wall mount like this one designed to stay secure in place, although it does cover up the second outlet.

The kitchen is also a great place for the Echo Show 5. At just 5 inches, this smart speaker hardly takes up any counter space. You can ask it to display recipes from a nearly unlimited amount of Alexa cooking skills or show cooking videos on YouTube through its Silk internet browser or Mozilla’s Firefox browser.

In the bedrooms

Smaller side rooms are where the affordable Echo Dot truly shines. Alexa can be accommodating for setting morning alarms, giving you a morning rundown for news and weather, or playing music or podcasts while you unwind.

You can get a brand new Echo Dot (3rd gen) for just $50, and it’s a significant improvement in sound quality and design over the older style. Plus, you can pair it with a wall mount to keep Alexa available but otherwise hidden out of the way.

There are also bundles for the Echo Dot that include an Amazon Smart Plug, which is a great option if you’re buying for a specific room. You can set up a reading lamp or other appliance on a timed schedule, or use voice control to turn it on or off, adding a touch of smart home flair to any room in your house.

The Echo Show 5 is more suited to the bedroom than the bigger Echo Show. It features not only a physical mute switch but also a physical slider that covers the camera. These privacy features help to make the Echo Show 5 the perfect nightstand smart alarm.

Our pick

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen) + Free Smart Bulb

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$150 at Amazon

The best place to start with Alexa

The Echo Plus (2nd Gen) speaker is shorter but manages to sound better than its predecessor. Don’t forget to select the option that comes with a free Philips Hue smart bulb!

The newest Echo Dot

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen)

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$50 at Amazon

Friendlier design, better sound

The Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is softer around the edges with improved sound. Available in three colors, this is a great option for smaller rooms or the kitchen.

Great value

Amazon Echo Dot + two-pack of Sengled Smart Bulbs

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$45 at Amazon

Get two smart bulbs for the price of one Echo Dot

For $45, you get the old style of Echo Dot and two smart bulbs. It’s a great deal if you’re just starting to build out your smart home.

Mount your Echo Dot

Dot Genie Echo Dot Wall Mount

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$12 at Amazon

Keep your Echo Dot off the counter

This handy hanger is a great gadget that allows you to mount your Echo Dot nearly anywhere you have an available outlet.

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Tribit StormBox portable wireless speaker review

Bluetooth speakers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. To say that it’s easy to find something that works for you would likely be an understatement.Bluetooth speakers are also widely available; they’re found not just in electronics stores, but general retail stores and myriad online outlets, too.For every big-name branded speaker that you’ll encounter in your hunt, there also will be unknown companies competing for your attention and money. Take, for instance, Tribit.Although it doesn’t have the same market presence as Ultimate Ears, it does have a growing portfolio of competing products with lower prices. Its StormBox speaker is one of the brand’s latest products and we’ve had a chance to check one out.DesignThe Tribit StormBox is a cylindrical speaker that takes up about as much space as a large energy drink. Although its buttons lead you to believe there’s a specific front to it, the shape lends itself to a 360-degree sound.Speaking of buttons, the StormBox keeps things simple. There are volume controls and a multi-function power/pairing button. Oh, and there’s also an XBass button that’s used to take sound to the next level.The speaker has a hard mesh exterior and an IPX7 rating which means it’s built to withstand splashes and scrapes. At the top is a lanyard that makes it easy to carry or connect to a bag. Nice and portable, it weighs in around one pound total.Although it pairs via Bluetooth, the StormBox also has a 3.5mm auxiliary input for directly connecting to audio sources. It, and the microUSB charging port are located under a protective rubber flap that keeps things dry.Also worth noting, you can pair multiple StormBox speakers together to create a stereo sound. We did not have the chance to test the feature out.What’s Included?Tribit Bluetooth SpeakerMicro USB CableBlack LanyardUser ManualSetupThere’s very little to mess with here as it’s more or less a case of powering on and holding down the pairing button. You don’t have to worry about any apps or phone settings.PerformanceI was quite happy with how the speaker performed as it did everything it promised. The StormBox had no problem filling large rooms and open spaces. You could easily hear whatever was playing throughout any room.The water-resistance worked pretty well. It was a bit muffled, but nothing drastic. Overall, I thought the speaker did really well underwater.As for the special button, I didn’t feel that the XBass button had much effect. I wish it had been a bit stronger.The battery life is reported to be twenty hours. I used it right out of the box and used it for about ten hours, and haven’t had to charge it yet. The manual includes a guide to figuring out the different functions, including how to understand your battery level. It isn’t very obvious, but there is a column of lights on the back that will give you a general idea.ConclusionOne of the best selling points of the StormBox is that it comes with an 18-month warranty. Not only that, but you can extend it out to 30 months at no extra cost. This process is done online at Tribit’s website.Given the affordable ($60) price, this is a great speaker option for people who might want something for around the home, office, or pool. It’s portable, sounds great, and has an excellent battery life.AvailabilityThe Tribit StormBox comes in a variety of color options, including blue, black, and red. Look for it at Tribit’s website and Amazon for about $60.

Cool tech gifts under $100

In the era of digitalization and lots of tech advancements appearing every day, you have no choice but adapt to our quickly-changing world. Tech gadgets are cool: they simplify our life and make it much more convenient. Besides, they become an irreplaceable part of our daily routine, just like smartphones once did. More attention to tech gadgets are paid in college: students are in need of helpful devices as well as reliable services like papercoach, which you can pay for an essay or just delegate your homework. Tech gadgets can also become a great gift for everyone, from a teenager to a retired person. In this guide, we will cover the top popular of them that will not cost you a fortune.Top gadgets for under $100 budgetHow many times have your smartphone, quick Internet connection, and professional student service united to make wonders? You just choose a reliable resource based on speedy paper review and other agencies’ feedback, then send a request like «Can you do my homework for me?» or «Can you write my essay for me cheap?» and receive a completed task within a short timeframe. Just a decade ago, we couldn’t imagine it would have ever become possible. Now there is a variety of gadgets aimed to make our life easy and comfortable. We offer a list of top tech gifts everyone would be happy to get and which cost no more than $100 (however, today $100 can get you quite far):Streaming stickA device like the Chromecast will cost you around $70, if not less, and is good for people who love streaming like bloggers or just enjoy watching Netflix. All tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Google have invested in the development of the streaming revolution so you can find a variety of models appearing every year (for example, Roku). It is able to deliver 4K HD video and helps you find the best place to enjoy the content easily;Portable chargerThis is a must-have device for active smartphone users that never have enough battery power (that is, for everyone). We recommend getting the one with 20,000mAh or more, which will likely cost you around $50 and will keep your phone charged seven times (this is especially convenient during the trip in the mountains, concerts, and other places where you can`t get charged a standard way). It is small, lightweight, and easily fits in the pocket or backpack. Besides charging quickly, it also does it safely based on your cable and device;Amazon Echo DotThis device is a mini voice assistant speaker that has access to multiple apps and using which you can control smart home devices (lights, garage door, water, and thermostat), listen to music, and order pizza. It will cost around $50 and is totally worth this money: it has a far-field system of voice recognition so you can make commands across the room while the device will react to your speech, accent, vocabulary, and patterns;E-readerFor example, it can be Amazon Kindle for the cost of $80. If the person loves reading and cannot invest much money into regular books buying, this one will make a perfect gift. The most recent models have a nice design, enough memory to download hundreds of books, a great touch screen, and a powerful processor for convenient reading. Talking about Amazon, it also has a built-in vocabulary and the battery life of one month by active reading;Wireless headphonesIf you are looking for a gift under $100, you can consider the Shure SE112 model that has a solid construction, built-in microphone for making calls, great quality of the sound, and a smooth Bluetooth connection. These headphones provide outstanding performance within a limited budget so you can enjoy music on the go;DroneDepending on the model, it will cost you around $100, and it will be a perfect gift for travelers and just nature lovers. It is lightweight, has stabilization features, and is controlled via an app. Cheaper models can record videos in 720p, which still makes great quality.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Android’s file sharing Nearby Share is now live

One feature that has been missing in the Android space for some time is the option to easily share files and contacts wireless with other Android users. Apple has had this with AirDrop for years, but Google has never brought a comparable protocol to the table. Finally, the rumors have been confirmed with Nearby Share available to Android.Nearby Share gives consumers a great option to quickly share links, photos, contacts, and documents with Android users instantly. The service works over cell networks, Bluetooth, WebRTC, or WiFi. This gives folks multiple avenues to deliver the shared files both on and offline.Google’s blog post also states that privacy settings are available in the app to make sure you have some more granular controls over how you can be found and receive files. You can change this from “all contacts” to “some contacts” or “hidden”. These privacy settings should allow you to add a layer of security to make sure you are only receiving or sending files to your most trusted friends or colleagues.Chromebooks are also not forgotten in this update. Chrome OS is quickly becoming the jack of all trades operating system and Google has made Nearby Share available on this platform as well. File sharing seemed like a natural progression of the already good continuum experience of Instant Tethering from Chrome OS devices to Android phones and we are glad Moutain View’s finest took the time to make this compatible day one.Nearby Share is a long-awaited addition to the Android ecosystem. While we like to think that Apple steals from Google on a consistent basis for new iOS features, this has been a gap in the Android experience that just needed to be fixed.Pixels and “select Samsung devices” should already see Nearby Share on the devices. Google will continue the trend of rolling releases of new Android options like this with future handsets getting Nearby Share over the coming months.