This is an Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Smart speaker (with Alexa) Review for those who have some form of Alexa device or are thinking of getting one. I have an Echo Dot 3rd Gen and an Amazon Echo 2nd gen and love them both.
Sound quality is the best I’ve heard on a speaker of this size!!! Definitely worth paying a little extra for this Echo Dot over the 2nd generation model. I’m not going to discuss the functionality of what Alexa has to offer as there’s tons of info already out there. For starters though, you can turn your lights on, tv on, control the volume of tv, play music, reorder products from Amazon, just by talking to Alexa. Simply say, “Alexa, order more dog food,” and Alexa places the Amazon order for you.
I’ve been a happy owner of an Amazon Echo 2nd generation and three 3rd generation Echo Dots for a year now, and love them. I’ll add some thoughts about how to choose which Echo device may be best for you. My main use is streaming music on both, either from Amazon’s music streaming (The Echo products have built in bluetooth and wifi card for talking to the internet) or via bluetooth to my iPhone. I used to use headphones to my iPhone while working out in the basement but that was a hassle. I also got sick of the smaller sound from the iPhone when working on projects while in the basement. This is what prompted the purchase of the Echo Dot…now I stream from my iPhone to the Echo Dot via bluetooth.
The most obvious update to the Echo Dot 3rd generation is the new look: it’s as if someone took a 2nd generation Dot, inflated it with an air pump, and wrapped the edge in fabric. And it’s not bad!
What’s different/updated in the 3rd Generation Dot:
1) It is slightly larger than the 2nd generation device, measuring 3.9″ wide x 1.7″ tall (2nd gen was 3.3″ wide x 1.3″ tall), and the top and bottom edges are more rounded. It is also substantially heavier at nearly twice the weight of the 2nd generation model.
2) The 2nd generation Dot came in two color options (black and white), each of which had a shiny plastic exterior that I personally thought looked a little cheap. The 3rd generation Dot has a fabric exterior which gives it a classier appearance, and it’s available in three colors: heather grey, sandstone, and charcoal. The fabric and rounded edges give the 3rd generation Dot a much softer look than its predecessor.
4) The 3rd generation Dot has a larger speaker (1.6″, versus 1.1″ on the 2nd gen), which is paired with a larger driver as well. I’ll talk below about the effect this has on audio quality.
5) The placement of the microphones is slightly different: while the 2nd generation had seven small far-field microphones on its top surface; the 3rd generation has four large microphones.
The Echo Dot has the BEST speaker I’ve ever heard for under $50. The functions of the echo along with the music playing functionality and the sound quality makes it a steal at this price point. It can get pretty loud, while keeping the nice punchy bass. If you like deeper bass you can feel, I recommend the Amazon Echo.
If your primary motivation for a speaker is to listen to music, go with the echo. If your budget is under $50 then go with the dot. The dot will only flourish is an enclosed space. It needs walls nearby to bounce off to add to the bass response.
I’d recommend this Echo Dot for someone who needs an echo for their kitchen, bedroom or bathroom. I use mine in the workout area of the basement, while the Amazon Echo stays in the kitchen.
If you’re looking for a great-sounding Alexa unit that streams music, takes commands from Alexa, looks great and is needed for an average room, I recommend the Echo Dot.
If you’re looking for a larger, full-sound you want to crank up, I recommend the Amazon Echo. I have both the Echo and Dot and love them each for what they do.
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