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亚马逊儿童版Echo智能音箱测评:孩子高兴 全家开心

Don Reisinger 2018年05月22日

孩子们试用几天后,我可以告诉大家,这款Echo设备值得买给孩子。


我测评科技产品多年,老实说,这是第一次依靠孩子完成评估。

上周,亚马逊公司发给我一款儿童版Echo Dot智能音箱。我家里已经有很多应用亚马逊虚拟个人语音助理Alexa的Echo系列设备,但这次的儿童版音箱却不是给我和妻子用的,是给孩子的。孩子们试用几天后,我可以告诉大家,这款Echo设备值得买给孩子。

很多家长不喜欢孩子和亚马逊虚拟语音助理Alexa讲话,我可以理解。作为家长,看到孩子似乎天生就会懂得跟设备沟通,晚上还主动要求床头圆乎乎的虚拟助理讲最喜欢的迪士尼电影故事,你难免感觉不安。当孩子找Alexa讲最喜欢的故事而不是找你,或者你在隔壁房间听孩子们跟着喜欢的歌曲音乐起舞,你可能也会觉得不是滋味。这些太容易实现了,孩子们对着机器说一声就行。

但我也要告诉你,亚马逊做得很出色,因为提供了家长控制选项。

拆封儿童版Echo Dot智能音箱完成设置以后,我就获得了所有的控制权,可以决定孩子怎样用以及何时使用。我可以通过亚马逊应用FreeTime的家长控制功能,选择孩子可以接触的内容。我可以决定孩子何时不能和Alexa交流。如果想关掉亚马逊音乐服务播放的歌曲(也确实试过),只要通过手机确认即可。

没想到的是,设置好家长控制功能并确认正常后,我不再担心让孩子在房间里跟Echo Dot智能音箱玩了。我也不介意儿子把早上闹铃的声音换成最喜欢的一些角色声音,或者要求音箱给他讲爱听的故事。

硬件方面,我比较欣赏亚马逊的儿童版Echo Dot是普通版Echo Dot改装版。设备体积很小,像个磁盘,随便放在屋里哪个角落都很方便。不过,你很快会发现其内置扬声器声音效果特别差。连我的孩子都说,和家里其他设备比,儿童版Echo Dot播放的歌曲效果很差。如果你想听起来效果好些,最好连上外部扬声器。

这款Echo Dot售价80美元,称得上价廉物美。可事实证明,实际花费可能远远不只80美元。

购买设备以后,你有一年时间免费收听无广告插播的迪士尼广播等广播电台节目、免费月度Audible音频书,还可以给孩子设置一些专门的提醒功能。一年之后就得在亚马逊的应用FreeTime Unlimited上注册,才能继续享受孩子喜欢的服务。届时一个孩子就得花每月4.99美元(如果是亚马逊Prime会员,每月可以降到2.99美元),要是想为四个孩子办一个家庭套餐,每月要付9.99美元,Prime会员的套餐价是每月6.99美元。

尽管如此,倘若你想找一款新设备给孩子用,儿童版Echo Dot仍是不错的选择。

Echo Dot强大的功能可能同时也是家长选择时最大的障碍。这款设备可以代替父母、广播和闹钟做很多事,可如果你不喜欢看到孩子和机器讲话,就不适合。

另一方面,如果你想找一些无需家长(过多)监督也能放心让孩子使用的科技产品,儿童版Echo Dot就非常适合你,也适合你的孩子。(龙8国际|官网)

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

 

I’ve been reviewing tech products for years. But I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve relied so heavily on my children’s opinion before filing a review.

You see, last week Amazon sent me the Echo Dot Kids Edition. Although I have several Echo devices in the home all powered by Amazon’s virtual personal assistant Alexa, the Echo Dot Kids Edition isn’t for me or my wife—it’s for our children. And after several days with the device and time for the kids to try it out, I can tell you that the Echo Dot Kids Edition is worth buying for your children.

Now I can appreciate that there are many parents that don’t like the idea of their children talking to Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa. And I can tell you that you will feel a little uneasy when you see your children, seemingly born with the knowledge of how to communicate with a gadget, ask the virtual assistant in the small disc on their nightstand to tell them a story from their favorite Disney movie. You might also find it odd when your children request to have Alexa read them a story from a favorite book instead of you or listen from the other room as your kids are dancing to some of their favorite songs—all accessible with a simple request.

But I can also tell you that Amazon has done an outstanding job of giving you, the parent, control.

As soon as I broke the Echo Dot Kids Edition out of its box and set it up, I was given full control over how and when my kids could use their new toy. I was able, through Amazon’s FreeTime parental controls, to decide what kind of content my kids could access. I could decide for myself the times when they couldn’t communicate with Alexa. And if I wanted to turn off explicit songs from Amazon Music (and I did), I only had to confirm that choice from my phone.

In an odd twist, after my parental controls were set up and I confirmed they were working, I didn’t worry about leaving the Echo Dot Kids Edition in my child’s room. And I also didn’t mind when he asked to have some of his favorite characters wake him up with the alarm clock or ask for a story he loves.

On the hardware side, I liked that Amazon simply re-purposed its already popular Echo Dot. The device is small, disc-like, and easy to place anywhere in a room. But you’ll notice quickly that if you try to use its built-in speakers, the sound quality is downright awful. My children even remarked at how poorly their songs sounded on the Echo Dot Kids Edition compared to some of the other speakers we have in the house. If you want better-sounding audio, then, you’ll want to connect the device to external speakers.

At $80, the Echo Dot Kids Edition is nicely affordable. But your total cost of ownership might prove to be far more expensive.

The device comes with one year of free access to ad-free radio stations, like Radio Disney, audiobooks from Audible, and special alarms your kids might like, among other features. After that, you’ll need to sign up for Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited, which gives you access to all the content that, after a year, your child probably won’t want to lose. That’ll set you back $4.99 per month (or $2.99 a month if you’re a Prime member) for a single child. If you want the family membership with up to four kids, you’ll be paying $9.99 per month or $6.99 per month if you’re a Prime subscriber.

Despite that, the Echo Dot Kids Edition still offers a nice value, if you’re in the market for a new device for the kids.

And perhaps that’s the biggest hurdle the Echo Dot Kids Edition will face. The Echo Dot Kids Edition does everything you, a radio, and an alarm clock can do. But if you’re not so keen on your kids talking to a machine, it’s not for you.

But if you’re looking for some tech that your kids can enjoy without (too much) parental supervision, the Echo Dot Kids Edition is the device for you—and your kids.

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