Amazon Echo Dot (Third gen)
“The brand new Echo Dot is one of the best compact good speaker in the marketplace by a large margin.”
- Spectacular full sound high quality
- Cheap introduction to good residence management
- Alexa smarter than ever
- Improved aesthetic befitting trendy residence design
- Higher microphone sensitivity
- Material protecting may present filth over time
- New energy port is much less common
The Echo Dot has at all times been extra good than speaker. Initially designed to ship low cost and quick access to Alexa, the Echo Dot was by no means about sound high quality. Apart from making Alexa’s voice audible and taking part in music again at a quantity stage that simply barely served as a wake-up alarm, the Dot’s greatest utility was as a sound supply for an even bigger speaker system. With the most recent model of the Echo Dot, nonetheless, that’s all modified.
Larger and extra highly effective than earlier than, the third-generation Echo Dot ($50) is a correct speaker. In truth, this new Dot has us questioning if it would eat into Amazon’s customary Echo speaker gross sales – it’s that significantly better.
Out of the field
Cracking open the Echo Dot’s turquoise field reveals a speaker that has clearly acquired an overhaul. The brand new Dot remains to be hockey-puck formed, and it’s nonetheless compact sufficient, however you may see it’s significantly bigger. Choosing up the speaker makes it clear it’s placed on some weight as nicely.
The brand new Dot’s barely wider base is handled with a good grippier unfold of anti-slide silicon, and it feels nice. The highest of the speaker sports activities the identical array of 4 management buttons, every subsequent to a pin-sized microphone gap, although the microphone mute button has a unique icon this time round.
The brand new Echo Dot wrapped in sandstone sits beside the Google Residence Mini and the earlier technology of the Echo Dot. Wealthy Shibley/Digital Tendencies
The circumference of the speaker is wrapped in material (charcoal, heather grey, or sandstone relying on shade alternative) very similar to the Apple HomePod, which seems like it’s sure to choose up stains, particularly if it sits in a kitchen, although we’re hopeful a sponge and a few delicate detergent may assist preserve it respectably clear.
One stunning change for the brand new Dot is a brand new energy connection. Amazon has ditched the micro-USB port and gone with a small cylindrical DC energy tip and a rounded wall plug.
Underneath the material hood is a single 1.6-inch speaker firing 360-degrees. It is a huge leap up from the prior fashions, which used one tiny speaker and let the sound leak out of a number of port holes in a weak effort to persuade customers that it broadcast sound out in each course.
Larger and extra highly effective than earlier than, the third-generation Echo is a correct speaker.
Outdoors of that one key distinction, the core performance of the Dot stays the identical. The speaker is the gateway to the built-in voice assistant Alexa, which might reply questions, make telephone calls, set kitchen timers, present the most recent information, and extra.
The flexibility to regulate good residence gadgets stays the identical as nicely. For instance, saying “Alexa, activate the main bedroom lights,” will do precisely that, offering you could have these lights related by way of the Alexa app. Alexa works with hundreds of good residence gadgets (listed below are a few of our favorites) together with locks, lights, cameras, and video doorbells. Heck, there are even robotic garden mowers that Alexa can management.
A current Alexa App overhaul brings user-friendly usability to the set-up course of, permitting you to rapidly connect with suitable gadgets.
Organising the brand new Echo Dot stays easy. The gadget will come registered to your Amazon account until you particularly request in any other case on the level of buy. Android and iOS customers might want to obtain the Alexa app to a cellular gadget if not already put in, then check in to their Amazon account.
From there, the newly refreshed model of the Alexa app makes including gadgets and creating teams simpler than ever. Click on add gadget, choose Echo speaker, and the brand new Echo Dot will seem prepared and awaiting task. A pair extra clicks, and the speaker is able to go.
In case you favor to make use of Spotify to Amazon Music or Pandora (together with Pandora Premium), you’ll need to set Spotify as your most popular music service inside the Alexa app. This fashion, when asking Alexa to play music or playlists, the speaker will default to Spotify – it’s not essential to specify that you really want your “starred playlist from Spotify,’ for instance. Simply say, “Alexa, play my starred playlist.”
We’ve already let the cat out of the bag – the brand new Echo Dot sounds dramatically higher than the prior model — however we additionally need to level out that this new speaker sounds rattling spectacular for its dimension. To place issues in perspective, we examined the brand new Echo Dot towards the Google Residence Mini, and the Dot gained by a mile. The Echo Dot has smoother treble, respectably clear midrange and vocal timbres, and presents far more low-end response than the Google Residence Mini. By comparability, the Google speaker sounds barely harsh – at louder volumes we needed to flip it down, however the brand new Echo Dot may be pushed to full quantity and isn’t solely louder however avoids distortion and is nice to hearken to.
Wealthy Shibley/Digital Tendencies
What’s extra, the tiny speaker was nonetheless in a position to register our wake-word command even with music blaring at full quantity. The Echo Dot excels in all significant methods, making it one of the best compact good speaker in the marketplace at this time.
The brand new Dot comes with a 90-day restricted guarantee and repair. Non-compulsory one-, two-, and three-year prolonged warranties can be found as a separate buy.
Is there a greater various?
For this value level? No approach. The Google Residence Mini ($49), beforehand the Dot’s largest competitors, doesn’t sound wherever close to as stable as the brand new Dot. Until you’re married into the Google Assistant household already, the Dot is the clear winner right here. We’d even advocate the Dot over Amazon’s flagship Echo, which prices twice as a lot because the Dot and options related sound high quality.
These in search of extra bells and whistles in a wise speaker, like a display, ought to try the Echo Spot alarm clock ($130) or Echo Present ($230). The Lenovo Good Show (beginning at $199) is a superb choice for Google Assistant lovers.
How lengthy will it final?
Amazon has a confirmed observe report with Echo gadgets. With common firmware updates and upgrades to Alexa that make the voice assistant brainier than ever, this Third-generation version Dot ought to final awhile, at the very least till Amazon releases a brand new one in a couple of years. Even then, at $50 a pop, you may afford to purchase the 4th version when it’s launched.
We’re somewhat shocked by the 90-day guarantee, as usually Amazon merchandise include a one-year guarantee. Nonetheless, until you’re treating the gadget as a hockey puck, it ought to simply final you a pair years or extra. Amazon and Alexa aren’t going wherever.
Must you purchase it?
Sure, surely. That is the best-sounding little good speaker in the marketplace, and also you gained’t be disenchanted.
Up to date November 20, 2018 to notice that the Echo now helps Pandora Premium.