Amazon has finally launched the Echo Auto in the UK, bringing Alexa voice control to almost any vehicle.
Priced at £49.99, the small gadget connects to your smartphone and plays audio through your car’s speakers either via Bluetooth or by attaching to the auxiliary input jack. The Echo Auto then mounts to the dashboard using an air vent clip, and is powered by the vehicle’s USB port or 12V socket.
First arriving in the US back in 2018, the Echo Auto features a blue LED light bar so you know when Alexa is listening or muted, just like on all other Echo smart speakers. There’s also the same Echo buttons for muting the microphone and summoning Alexa manually – or you can just say “Alexa” as normal to get the voice assistant’s attention.
Eight microphones spread across the Echo Auto ensure Alexa hears you clearly over the sound of music, road noise, and air conditioning. You can then interact with Alexa just as you would at home, requesting music, checking the weather forecast, adding items to your to-do list, and making hands-free phone calls.
The Echo Auto uses the Alexa app on your smartphone, so you’ll need to have that installed and logged into first. But after that, just connect the Echo Auto to your phone and car, and you’re good to go. Data comes from your phone’s 4G connection, so if you’re playing a lot of music through Alexa and the Echo Auto, make sure you have a suitable monthly data allowance.
Amazon says the Echo Auto works with almost all vehicles, but there are some exceptions. These include vehicles that don’t have compatible Bluetooth systems, and those whose air vents don’t work with the Echo Auto’s mounting system.
Here is a list of vehicles and mobile phones that are incompatible with the Echo Auto’s Bluetooth system. And here is an image of air vents that are compatible and incompatible with the Echo Auto’s mount.