Amazon Echo Dot Review

Amazon Echo Dot Review
8.6 Total Score

$49.99

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  • All Alexa functionality at a fraction of the cost of a full-sized Echo
  • Music playback from Amazon, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Spotify and TuneIn
  • Small size

If you already have an Amazon Echo in your home, you’re probably wishing that Alexa was available in another area of your house. Thanks to the Echo Dot, you can now have Alexa respond to you in more places.


The Amazon Echo Dot is basically a little sister to the original Amazon Echo. At a fraction of the size, the Echo Dot is meant to compliment your main Amazon Echo by providing voice services in a different room or a different floor of your house. The Dot handles voice commands as you would expect, such as checking the weather, reading news headlines, setting alarms, and handling smart-home commands.

The main different between the Echo Dot and the Echo Tap is that the Dot is always listening for the wakeup word (the Tap requires a button press before Alexa starts listening). The Dot can also link it to a Bluetooth speaker for better sound quality when playing music. Or, connect a speaker using a standard audio cable. The Amazon Echo Dot can connect to the Amazon Prime Music Library, iHeartRadio, Pandora, TuneIn, and Spotify for streaming music.

In my experience, the Echo Dot worked just as well as the original Amazon Echo as far as understanding what I said. The multiple-microphone configuration allows you to talk to the Echo Dot in your normal speaking voice, even when you’re not near it.
One current limitation is that the Echo Dot cannot sync music playback with another Echo in your home, like Sonos or Google Chromecast Audio currently can.  The Echo Dot can “remember” the pairings for multiple Bluetooth speakers, but it can only connect to one speaker at a time (so no multi-speaker playback).

However, if you already have an Amazon Echo and you wish Alexa could here you throughout the house, the Echo Dot is an ideal “satellite” speaker that provides all of Echo’s functions in a smaller form factor.

PROs

  • Functional: The Echo Dot does basically all the same tasks as the original Amazon Echo.  Most of your settings on the original Amazon Echo (smarthome settings, Pandora logins, Flash News Brief settings, etc) all carry over to the Echo Dot without reconfiguration.
  • Bluetooth pairing: You can connect the Echo Dot to your own Bluetooth speaker for improved sound quality. Most Bluetooth speakers will automatically reconnect to the Echo Dot upon power on.
  • Line-out: If you don’t want to mess with Bluetooth, you can also use the included audio cable to connect your speaker.
  • Small form-factor: The Echo Dot is ideal for small spaces, such as a night stand.
  • Accurate listening: Like the original Echo, the Echo Dot can hear you accurately, even if you are not directly facing the unit.

CONs

  • Built-in speaker: The speaker built-in to the Echo Dot is very tinny and definitely not comparable to the original Amazon Echo.
  • Bluetooth controls don’t pass through: If you press the “skip forward” button on your Bluetooth speaker, this does not make it to the Echo Dot.
  • No coordination between the Echo and Echo Dot: If you stand within “ear”shot of both speakers and give a command, they will both respond.

Check out the Amazon Echo Dot on Amazon

Also, be sure to check some tips and tricks that you can perform on the Echo and Echo Dot 

8.6 Total Score
Great

The Echo Dot is a great way to get started in the world of Alexa for a small investment. It is also ideal to use as an "Alexa extension" for other rooms of your house. Sound quality is lacking, so it is not ideal for listening to music. However, it can be paired with a Bluetooth speaker for better sound.

Sound Quality
6.5
Alexa Functionality
10
Hardware
9
Value
9
PROS
  • All Alexa functionality at a fraction of the cost of a full-sized Echo
  • Music playback from Amazon, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Spotify and TuneIn
  • Small size
CONS
  • Audio quality is lacking

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) - Black

$49.99
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as of August 19, 2017 7:58 am

Features

  • Echo Dot (2nd Generation) is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, read the news, set alarms, read audiobooks from Audible, and more
  • Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn
  • Introducing Alexa calling and messaging, a new way to be together with family and friends. Just ask Alexa to call or message anyone with an Echo, Echo Dot, or the Alexa App.
  • Controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others
  • Hears you from across the room with 7 far-field microphones for hands-free control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
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