The Amazon Echo remote is coming back in May! Woohoo!
The Echo remote is awesome, especially if you use your Echo for playing music. It’s much easier to press up/down next song/previous song or pause on a remote than it is to speak the verbal command equivalent.
The little magnetic holder makes it easy to keep it on your bed frame or desk or wherever it sticks. It’s also great for trolling people (run into the bathroom with it, whisper “Simon says, ‘You are a poopy head'” into it and Alexa will repeat it for whomever is sitting near the Echo). Okay, more seriously, it’s great for issuing commands quietly without having to yell across the room.
Clearly everyone else thought they were awesome, too, because Amazon ran out around the holiday season last year and never restocked (I checked constantly). In the meantime, people sold them on eBay for $100-$200. I now have a second Echo in my weekend place, and wow, do I wish I had a second remote to go with it – but I don’t $200 wish-I-had-a-second one.
I actually considered eBaying mine while the selling was good, but I didn’t want to live without mine for an unknown amount of time (forever?!) while Amazon got its remote factory back up and running. That’s how good the remote is! My remote gets a ton of use, and when its batteries died and it took me a week to replace them, I actually stopped using my Echo for music because it was such a hassle to interact with the music player using voice alone.
The remote doesn’t seem to have changed at all from its 2015 version. It’s a good little device the way it is, but many of us wish you could pair multiple remotes with a single Echo. Given the “over the air” updateability of the Echo, though, perhaps this could change someday without having to upgrade hardware.
So there’s the big news for this weekend: Echo remotes are coming back in May! That’s less than 2 months. You’ve made it this long without one, you can make it another 6 weeks. But given how popular they were before, and how much people were willing to pay for them on eBay once Amazon’s remote production went on hiatus, I’d strongly suggest preordering yours right now.