Amazon Echo Auto


Amazon Echo Auto

This should be interesting. I have one but don’t use it much because I decided it’s not worth the hassle of connecting everything for short trips and I don’t want to leave it out in the open for some knucklehead to steal. It’s really not worth stealing.

That said, it works just okay. Too often it doesn’t hear me. The power cable is clumsy. I never use it for directions or anything complicated. Mainly it’s nice to listen to Amazon Music, Audible audiobooks, radio stations around the country, and podcasts.

Amazon Echo Auto listing: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VTK654B

It looks like Amazon decided to finally include the much hated Echo Auto Air Vent Mount, which I paid extra for. [ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z14RWWB ]

Amazon’s sloppy listing says: " The included air vent mount is not compatible with some style of air vents. Check if your vehicle’s air vents are compatible with the included mount." Yet elsewhere they forget to mention it as included: “Included in the Box: Echo Auto, In-Car Power Adapter, Micro-USB cable (1m), 3.5mm auxiliary cable (1m), and Quick Start Guide.”

Woot’s listing is also sloppy and forgets to specifically mention the Auto Air Vent Mount, although the photos show it.

5 Likes

I really like mine. I drive a 2003 Outback like everyone else in Portland. It has all the bells and whistles for that generation, but no bluetooth and oddly, no auxiliary jack. So, I have a pretty decent fm bluetooth transmitter gizmo that but I have to lean over so far to be heard that holding the phone is actually safer, but very expensive if one is caught. The Echo Auto is far better for phone calls in spite of all the relays involved in my setup, AND, I have my friend Alexa in the car without having to unlock my phone, open the app and push the button to achieve that interaction. Even in new cars it’s fun. I do agree with mylionmaker about the cord length and putting it away. If you have an older car, this device, a smartphone, and a 15.00 bluetooth fm transmitter with a USB charging port in it will do you right.

2 Likes

It’s a bit of a useless product. I own one, had it installed for a week, and now it just sits in a box. It’s not worth it.

5 Likes

I’ll echo a couple others. I got mine free from Nationwide insurance and it’s a hassle to connect it and when I do, it’s not that great. I’m not sure if they did the same amount of testing as the other Echo products as it’s a letdown compared to the others.

3 Likes

For the love of god. Everyone, don’t text n drive goes with drink n drive. Although, so many do it. I feel this here echo device Is just Mothership’s way of saying hey don’t text n drive. Speak n drive to me just as dangerous. Especially when that person I see using it removes his hands of the wheel as they are hand gesturing to remove the 2 prong light bulb from the ceiling fan. Forgetting there driving. I’ve seen it. Also, see so many texting n driving. I attempt to swerve or break in front as they drive 40 in a 45. Just what I don’t need pass. This is not even sell worthy I don’t want to give into such a device that coukd cause accidents in the pants.

How would this be any different than talking to someone sitting in the passenger seat as far as being a danger to speaking while driving?

3 Likes

Very similar to my setup, also in an older car.

We bought on of these and like several have said, it’s a useless product. It disconnects frequently which means using it for navigation or anything other than basic Q&A is useless. It’s a little fun on trips to play question and answer games, but very annoying to have to keep reconnecting. I find I spend more time trying to get it to connect that using it, so it sits in the glove box 99% of the time these days… and I’m a big Echo user at home.

1 Like

Weird, so many negative comments. I love this thing and use it every time I drive. I bought it for my 2015 Toyota Plug-In Prius. Connects easily to the Bluetooth automatically when I drive, about a 25 second delay upon starting the car. Sometimes I need to have the Alexa app running on the phone, not always.

When you say Alexa, I’d say there’s a more pregnant pause than normal waiting for the typical tone to indicate you can speak. That said, you can start speaking right away, before that tone happens.

I use it for Amazon Music playlists (you can call them out by name) and for Pandora which I have connected through the Amazon app. I also have used it to call out podcasts while driving. “Alexa, play the latest edition of Fresh Air” or whatever. It works.

Altogether it beats the heck out of the integrated voice system in the 2015 prius, which I’ve never gotten to work well.

3 Likes

Yes, Amazon has discovered it is as useless as I did.
So bummed I was a “lucky” Prime pre-order customer and got for $50 or whatever it was.

1 Like

I also have one of these. I find it very useful. I drive an old 2010 car with no smart features at all but it does happen to have an aux port. I use it for my traffic report every morning and on my way home. I listen to audio books and my music. Also it can answer the phone when someone calls me. It definitely made my car feel more like a modern car with all the smarts. The only downside is if you don’t have cell service. Without service all you will hear is “I have lost connection to the cellular network, please try again later” and that can be frustrating.

2 Likes

I love mine and use it daily for my flash briefing (news and weather - you set up the sources and order in the Alexa app), Amazon Music, Audible, and podcasts. One of the best features is the drop in. I can “call” the Echo in my kitchen to let my family know I’m on my way home without hitting a button or looking at a screen.

1 Like

I rec’d mine under the invite-only program last year, and I use it almost every time I go for a drive since. Sure, like any Alexa product sometimes I scream at it when she doesn’t do what I want, but most of the time she does. I use it primarily for calling up whatever stream I feel like without having to take my eyes off the road, quickly check weather reports, etc etc.

One thing that I will say annoys me is Amazon’s engineers’ refusal to allow access to any routines that are not location based. There’s simply no logic to that holds water on that limitation. For example I have a morning routine (“Good morning Alexa”) that starts with some fact of the day, reads the weather, tells me my calendar for the day, and then tunes in to my favorite news stream. Yet, I can’t use it on the Auto. So if I’m in my car I have to perform all those steps manually, breaking the convenience of the Auto.

But beyond that, I find it a useful and inexpensive device, and it doesn’t interfere with my use of any other apps on the phone (like Waze).

I didn’t bother with the included mount, opting instead to Gorilla Tape mine down to a ledge on the instrument cluster. It’s stealth, and a great location for her to hear me. I also opted to hard wire it it a switched fuse for a clean install.

3 Likes

We have one that we use for our 2010 Honda Odyssey. No bluetooth but it does have an Aux port. Yes, the wires are inconvenient but it works well as a hands free device. We mostly use it as bluetooth receiver and hands free phone device. We use Waze for navi and have a subscription to Google Music. We use some of the Alexa features, but not many.

No issues connecting to the phone when I get in the car. The only issue comes up with both me and my wife are in the car. It gets confused as to who it should connect to but always chooses the phone it connected to last.

We got ours during the invite only time and got the flush dash mount instead of the air vent clip. I like it better because it’s much less noticeable than something sticking out from a vent.

All that being said, if you want a bluetooth receiver for an older vehicle that has an Aux Port then this thins is great.

1 Like

The biggest drawback is the Echo Auto is paired to a specific phone. If I get in the wife’s car and plug my phone in to use CarPlay, her EA won’t work.
That was a showstopper.
Having CarPlay / Android Auto renders it redundant anyway.

Why is there two selections for “Good” condition (Good & Good [1])?

Looks like some came in on a different SKU and we can’t combine them the way our system works.

2 Likes

I got one a year or so ago and it worked OK, but I didn’t like that the only option was for the audio to play through the Car’s Audio system (via Bluetooth.) This meant that you had to choose between listening to the Car’s radio or hearing Alexa’s response to your question. My next car had Android Auto (and Apple Car Play) that are VASTLY superior to Echo Auto and built in to the car. The Echo Auto has been sitting unused in a box ever since.

Ugh. I got one when they first came out after waiting many months. Less than a week later it was put back in the closet. Carplay is so much better.