AI assistants are the future, and every home ought to have one right now. They are capable of making your life so much easier, and all you need is to speak out commands and ask for basic information. No longer do you need to take out your smartphone just to perform basic tasks.
Right now, the Amazon Echo is the closest we get to this without stepping into Terminator territory. The only problem with the Echo is that it will prove a little too big and expensive for some. Enter the Amazon Echo Dot – a smaller and more affordable alternative that offers almost everything the larger Echo does, but for half the price.
The Echo would make a fantastic addition to any home, but now that its key features are available in a smaller and more affordable format, Amazon has crossed the line into must-buy territory. Every home could be improved by the addition of an Echo Dot.
Its closest rival is the similarly priced Google Home Mini, but the Amazon’s audio output makes it the better device. It’s also worth checking out the Amazon Echo Spot, another diminutive device but one with a useful screen.
Design & Features
Echo Dot can hear you from across the room, even while music is playing. When you want to use Echo Dot, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Dot responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception). Learn more about ESP
Sleek and compact design makes Echo Dot a convenient addition to any room in the house. With its built-in speaker, you can place Dot in the bedroom and use it as a smart alarm clock that can also turn off your lights. Or use Dot in the kitchen to easily set timers and shop tens of millions of Amazon products using just your voice.
Echo Dot can also directly connect to speakers using a 3.5 mm stereo cable or using Bluetooth to add voice control to your home stereo system in the living room or den.
Echo Dot provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music—just ask for your favorite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. You can also search for music by lyrics, when a song or album was released, or let Alexa pick the music for you. Listen to any song with Amazon Music Unlimited.
Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.
Setup and Ease of Use
With the Alexa App, conversations and contacts go where you go. When you’re away from home, use the app to make a quick call or send a message to your family’s Echo. Alexa calling and messaging is free—to get started download the Alexa App.
Use Echo Dot to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn up the thermostat while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger…or even raising your voice.
Echo Dot works with smart home devices such as lights, switches, fans, thermostats, and more from Philips Hue, TP-Link, ecobee, WeMo, SmartThings, Insteon, Lutron, Nest, Wink, Honeywell, and more.including starter kits for easy setup.
Alexa—the brain behind Echo Dot—is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. The more you use Dot, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. And because Echo Dot is always connected, updates are delivered automatically.
Whether you use the 3.5mm connection or Bluetooth, what you get is much better than the speaker built into the big Echo.
The Echo Dot is everything that’s great about the larger Echo speaker condensed into a small puck that costs one-third of the price.
Alexa isn’t quite the all-conquering voice assistant it promises to be just yet, but the Dot gets the job done in a way nothing else can.Cons
- really needs to be connected to a speaker for music
- can’t always answer the question
- always-listening object in your house
- doesn’t support multiple user calendars or personal information
- only one Spotify or Amazon music account can be linked at any one time
- excellent mic array means it can almost always hear you
- small but loud enough to be heard clearly
- great device support
- clear mute
- turns your old Hi-Fi into a smart one
- voice-controlled speaker
- voice control IoT devices