On September 14, 2016, Amazon released the 2nd generation of the Echo Dot. Many of our readers are wondering how this new Echo Dot compares to the Amazon Echo and Amazon Tap, and which one they should buy?
The Amazon Echo, and Alexa, have come on strongly in the past few years with sales of Alexa devices reaching in the millions of units. Alexa, the code name for Amazon’s voice enabled service, is becoming smarter and smarter every day. Just recently, Amazon announced that it had increased the number of “skills” Alexa has to over 3000. This number is 3x the amount just 3 months ago. Prices for devices are coming down too, so that means a lot of users are getting interested in having one of these just because it’s so inexpensive. Click below to check out the best price for each device on Amazon:
What is the Amazon Echo Dot?
As per Amazon, the Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms, and more. It can do a number of things just using your voice. For example, it can connect to speakers or headphones via Bluetooth and play music via Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, etc. It can also control smart home devices such as lights, fans, switches, thermostats, sprinklers, and garage doors using just your voice! And the best part of it is that it can hear your voice even if there are loud noises in the background because it is a unique proprietary system of 7 microphones that will recognize your voice.
Some of the coolest things you can do are displayed in the picture below (Source: Amazon.com)
Alexa is very intuitive, and we have had very good experience using it. It is smart, user friendly, and just plain awesome to be able to use your voice to do things. It will check traffic, weather, and calendars. You can even order from Amazon directly and have it set up to deliver things so you don’t actually have to click and buy things! Find more information on all of the things the Echo Dot can do by clicking here.
Echo Dot 1st generation vs. Echo Dot 2nd generation
So what has changed between the 1st generation Echo Dot and the new 2nd generation Echo Dot? Here are some changes we noticed:
1) The new Echo Dot is smaller and more compact. It is 1.3 inches tall instead of 1.5 inches tall.
2) The microphones are slashes instead of tiny circles which makes it look a little nicer. I am sure the mics have been upgraded as well.
3) Volume buttons were replaced with a volume slider button
4) 5.7 ounce weight vs 8.8 ounce making it easy to take around anywhere
5) Improved, Glossy side finish
6) Other things that have changed include a 90 day warranty (vs 1 year), No power indicator, and No Audio cable included
Echo Dot vs Amazon Echo vs Amazon Tap
The main difference between the Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot is that the speaker quality is vastly different. We found the Echo Dot to be suitable for those who want light background music or simple music for the kids. However, if you are looking for a good music experience with quality speakers, you will need to upgrade to the Echo or get a pair of good bluetooth speakers (you can find one by searching highest ranked bluetooth speakers on Amazon). The Amazon Tap is basically a smaller version of the Echo, but the speakers are very nice and provide full sound (Dolby powered). It’s great for on the go and for use when you get together with friends (like the beach, parties, etc). Iit uses the “tap” feature to take in commands as well. Plus, it comes in 6 different bright colors.
What’s the conclusion? Which one is right for me?
If you want the complete package — good speaker, total home control with Smart devices, and a personal assistant, all controlled by your voice — then go with the Amazon Echo.
If you want the same thing as above, but prefer a more compact, smaller size and are able to connect it to a Bluetooth speaker, then choose the Echo Dot. It’s definitely the best value considering that it’s only $50 and you can get a Bluetooth speaker for under $30. Note that if you want to take it around, it’s not the best device since you’ll have to lug your speakers too.
If you want a portable Bluetooth speaker combined with Alexa and smart capabilities, but do not need to control other home devices, then choose the Amazon Tap. The best part about the Tap is the ability to take it around to difference places and still have a quality speaker.