A layperson’s exploration of all things voice

August 14, 2019

Is the “Echo Wall Clock” Worth It?

Some of the voice products available seem like a stretch to me. One of those is the “Echo Wall Clock.” At first glance, it seems fairly cheap at $30 – but you can buy a cooking timer for only $3. Of course, you don’t need to even spend the measly $3 if you already have an Echo – because your voice assistant can serve as a timer for you. But using your Echo as your timer does have a disadvantage – it can’t display how much time you have left. Hence, Amazon is selling this wall clock. “Alexa, set a 12-minute timer” – and see time count down at a glance.

Note that the Echo Wall Clock must be paired to – and within 30 feet of – a compatible Echo device. So the $30 becomes $60 if you don’t already own a voice assistant. And one other limitation – when your compatible Echo is playing music in stereo pairing or speaker groups, or multi-room music, your clock will be temporarily disabled. Since many people play music while they cook, this may be a problem for more people than it might seem. And finally, some of the clock’s reviews indicate it is shoddily made – the hour/minute hand apparently is fragile…