Amazon is making it a little easier to get started with a smart home. The internet giant is selling a bundle that pairs the latest-generation Echo with two Philips Hue white light bulbs for $80 — a full $50 below the official asking price. And when the Echo includes its own Zigbee hub, you won't need to buy any additional bridges to get started. It's not the absolute lowest price we've seen for this combo (it has dipped as low as $70), but we haven't seen a discount this sizeable for months.
The Echo may look like a light-up snow globe, but that's about the only significant quirk. Amazon's current-generation smart speaker delivers strong sound quality for the price, and the 3.5mm jack can serve as both output (if you have headphones or a more powerful speaker) and input (for devices that need a speaker, like a turntable). And of course, the Alexa ecosystem makes all the difference — you'll have access to a wide range of devices, services and skills.
This won't appeal to you if you prefer the Apple or Google voice assistants, of course. And as good as the standard Echo sounds, it won't compete with the Echo Studio or other, more powerful smart speakers. If you're simply looking for an all-purpose speaker that won't stretch your budget, though, you'll likely be satisfied.
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