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Alexa Echo VS. Dot: Which One to Buy? [Full Comparison]

Amazon Echo vs. Dot. VS. Echo Plus, Which one should you get? This definitive guide breaks down all the differences about the Echo, Echo Dot, and Enco Plus, including design, sound quality, voice recognition, functions, and price.

by Cody | 2019-07-03 Share:

Amazon provides several variants of the Echo smart speakers for you to choose, including Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus. They become more useful as Alexa's skill set expands with each update. These echo devices allow users to command Alexa to play music, order items for them on Amazon, browse the internet, or even control other devices at home.

If you are not sure which one to choose, read this Alexa Echo VS. Dot full compassion to help you make up your mind.

Alexa Echo VS Dot

The Design and Size

The Echo second generation is silky with a cylindrical shape, and it’s 5.8 inches tall and 3.4 inches in diameter. It has a removable outer shell that is made of fabric making it easy to hold. The smart speaker comes in charcoal fabric, gray fabric, sandstone fabric, or walnut finish.

Echo Plus seems bigger than the Echo with 5.8 inches height and 3.9 inches in diameter. It is actually lighter weighing 27.5 ounces while Echo weighs 29 ounces. It has an unchangeable fabric surface that comes in sandstone, heather gray, or charcoal.

The Echo Dot has an encased fabric design and a circular shape, which looks very similar to the Google Home Mini. Echo Dot is almost the same in diameter compared to the Echo but a lot of shorter in height, measuring 3.9 inches wide x 1.7 inches tall. The Echo Dot 3rd generation also has a fabric exterior which is available in three colors: heather grey, sandstone, and charcoal.

Echo Decorative Shell

Since the outer shell of the second generation of Echo is removable, more styles have been introduced such as wood finish, silver or walnut finish, and a light, dark or charcoal gray fabric. With all these color choices, it is easy to choose an Echo that perfectly fits your home’s decor.

Sound Quality

Alexa Echo smart speaker took advantage of Dolby speaker technology. If you listen to both the Echo and Echo Dot speaker, you can easily tell that Echo has better audio than an Echo Dot.

Both Echo and Echo Plus speakers tend to have similar midrange tones which means they are both perfect for your entertainment needs. However, echo plus has proven to be better when it comes to defining bass and treble effects thanks to the 0.8-inch tweeter while Echo has a 0.6-inch tweeter. You will get a better listening experience with the echo plus, and this was Amazon’s intention when of launching Echo Plus.

Voice Recognition

The Echo Dot 3rd generation has only 4 microphones on the top surface while the 2nd Dot has 7, but it is hard to notice a substantial difference in the overall microphone sensitivity compared to the 2nd generation Dot.

The huge win here is the Echo 2nd generation thanks to the Amazon Far-field video recognition. Amazon claims to have improved wake-word performance to hear you ask a question from any direction—even in noisy environments or while playing music at loud volumes.

However, in reality, Echo seems to have some difficulty detecting voices that come from below it, like any other Echo devices. The Echo Plus supports line in or out with 3.5 mm cable or Bluetooth, so you can connect your own microphone to the Echo Plus. 

TIP : Place it at or below eye level location to improve voice recognition performance. 

Convenience and Usefulness

While having a good speaker is all you want, the most important thing you need to know is the usability of the device or understand how far it can help in making tasks easier in your home. The original echo allows users to conduct a lot of tasks such as launching songs and movies or turn on wireless camera. Since most echo devices can easily connect with most smart devices at home, it will be easy to have a better experience when you connect your echo or echo plus speaker with your Fire TV. The good thing about the echo devices is that their microphones are strong enough to capture commands coming from a distance and noisy places.

Besides all that, the Echo Plus is also a smart-home hub that allows you to connect to smart appliances directly, so you can connect to compatible light bulbs and robot vacuum automatically without an extra smart home hub like Wink. The Echo Plus also has a temperature sensor that allows you to set commands related to the temperature in your home.

Echo Dot VS. Echo VS. Echo Plus Pricing

Alexa Echo VS Dot Pricing

The original echo model that comes with a cloth cover goes for $100 but for the models that come with a finish, will cost you $120. However, if you find these devices on sale, you can have them as low as $65.

The echo plus on the other hand goes for $150 at first and now it is $120. If you are lucky, it is possible to get a free smart bulb when you buy it.

The Echo Dot is the cheapest Echo device. Right now, it is only $30 from Amazon. If you buy 3 of them, you only need to spend $69.97. All these Echo devices are available in all shops that stock Amazon products.

Conclusion

When choosing among these three Echo devices, it is important to know how you plan to use it. As you can see, the biggest differences between the Echo Dot and the larger Echo devices is sound quality since they all run on the same Alexa software.

If you primarily care about audio quality and you already have a high-quality speaker, you can go for the Echo Dot, which saves a lot of money. You can enjoy high-quality music with the least cost just by connecting your external speaker and Echo Dot via a 3.5 mm cable or Bluetooth.

If you don’t want to mess up with external speakers while getting a relatively better audio quality, go for the Echo or Echo Plus. If budget is not a problem, then go for Echo Plus which has overall better performance in controlling your smart home devices.

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