Do you want to know what the main differences are between these two smart home devices? This will be an Amazon Echo vs. Echo Dot comparison where you’ll be able to see the pros and cons of each. Side by side breakdowns are a convenient way to see all the information at once. This will help you make the best choice for your needs and wants.
Whether you’re curious about the differences in sound quality, Alexa-enabled voice features, ability to connect multiple devices at once, or customization options – all your questions will be answered.
The world of wireless smart speakers is growing year by year and you want to make sure you’re on top of one of the next big technological waves. They may look similar (because they are) but there are some clear-cut differences between the two that you should definitely consider before making your choice. Keep reading to take a closer look.
Amazon Echo vs. Echo Dot – What’s The Difference?
Shared Functions and Features – Echo & Echo Dot
- Make calls to Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.
- Stream any audio via Bluetooth (or use the 3.5 mm aux port)
- Set appointments
- Listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts, etc.
- Order pizza
- Set an alarm for any time of the day
- Get the current and future weather forecast
- Control and operate smart home devices
- Order items from Amazon’s website (for Prime Members only)
- Ask Alexa questions about anything you can think to ask
- Send/Receive messages
Basic Dimensions – Does Size Matter?
Echo (2nd Generation):
- Weight: 5.7 ounces
- Dimensions: 5.8″ x 3.4″ x 3.4″
Echo Dot (2nd Generation):
- Weight: 29 ounces
- Dimensions: 1.3″ x 3.3″ x 3.3″
As you can clearly see in the pictures above, there’s a clear difference in size. Does size matter? In this case it does, for a couple different reasons. Not only does the size make a difference, it also plays a role in the actual sound quality and volume of your media.
Volume/Sound Quality Differences – Which One Sounds Better?
Echo Dot (2nd Generation)
- Quieter audio playback
- Contains one 0.6” speaker
- WiFi Music Streaming-ready
The Dot only has one 0.6″ speaker inside. Since it doesn’t have the same components as the bigger version, the volume will be much quieter. If you don’t plan on using it in a bigger room it shouldn’t be much of a problem. If you’re looking for a smart speaker to play music, etc. throughout your entire house (or in a bigger living space) it’s probably better to consider the Echo.
Echo (2nd Generation)
- Louder Volume
- Contains dual speakers
- Has a 2.5″ subwoofer and 0.6″ tweeter
- WiFi music streaming-ready
In the picture below you can see the internal components of the Echo. It features a 2.5″ subwoofer, and a 0.6″ tweeter. The tweeter/subwoofer combination works in unison to supply clean mids, highs, and low frequencies.
The Echo will be able to produce much louder volume output. If you do like the smaller design of the Dot, but you also want more volume in more rooms – you can pair 2 or more speakers to achieve that. (We’ll get into that in more detail below, don’t worry.)
Built-In Microphones – Can They Both Hear Me (The First Time)?
Both of these smart devices feature 7 omnidirectional microphones (fixed on the top of the device). An omnidirectional microphone is a mic that can pick up the sound of your voice from any direction. You don’t have to be standing right in front of it to be heard. It’s especially important for a device like this because if Alexa can’t hear your voice, you won’t get any answers to your questions.
It can be annoying having to repeat yourself over and over again, which is exactly why Amazon made sure to include so many mics. Take a look at the list below to see where the differences are with the mic setup.
Echo Dot (2nd Generation)
- 7 onmidirectional mics (with noise-cancellation tech)
- Able to control smart home devices
Echo (2nd Generation)
- 7 omnidirecitonal mics (with noise-cancellation tech)
- Able to control smart home devices
The Alexa-voice features are pretty much the same between these two speakers. Since they both have the same number of microphones, the main difference here is the quality of audio playback. Another great feature that Amazon added to the mics is the noise-cancellation technology. Instead of your mics picking up unnecessary background noise, they’re designed to keep ambient noise from distorting your voice commands.
Can You Control Smart Home Devices With Both Speakers?
You can operate and control a variety of smart home devices by asking Alexa to dim the lights, find your favorite Netflix series via Fire TV, lock your front door, and operate the temperature of your house without having to touch a single remote or dial.
Much like the Sonos One, you can pair multiple smart speakers/devices in order to play your media in more than one room. You can choose to play the same song throughout your house, or you can play completely different songs on each separate speaker.
How It Comes In Handy For Get-Togethers or Super Bowl Parties
Let’s say you’re having some friends/family over for a get together. You can have some laid-back classical music playing in the kitchen while you’re preparing your meal. If some of the party’s also happening outside in the back, you can have some more lively music playing for them.
It’s pretty incredible how versatile these devices are getting. Instead of having to force everyone else to listen to your favorite songs, you can have a more guest-friendly playlist playing and still keep your jams going. This feature is available for both the Echo and Echo Dot. Keep in mind that if you do want to utilize the multi-room setup, you’ll need more than one speaker.
Can You Answer Calls On Both Devices?
The short answer is yes. If you need to answer a call mid-song, you can answer, talk, and hang up – all with the sound of your voice. You also have the option to set your speaker to a “Do Not Disturb” mode. This disables any incoming calls from being received and interrupting your music/media. It’s kind of like a digital version of the “Do Not Disturb” door signs that they pass out to hotel guests. (It’s actually a pretty convenient feature that could’ve easily gotten overlooked.)
Hands-Free Calling, Drop-In, and Speech-To-Text Features
The hands-free calling feature is available for both devices. You can also use text-to-speech or speech-to-text for communicating with friends/family. Another recent update to the voice-recognition capabilities is something called the Drop-In feature. The Drop-In feature allows you to access your speakers (in any room) and act as an intercom.
If you have kids and you want to check in and make sure they’re doing their homework while you’re out running errands, you can activate Drop-In and make sure everything’s in order. You can see this feature in action towards the end of the video below.
This video will give you a brief demonstration of the hands-free calling, text-to-speech, and drop-in features:
If you have any more questions about the Drop-In feature, you can use the link here to see Drop-In related FAQs on Amazon. Once again, these Alexa-enabled voice features are compatible with both the Echo and Echo Dot.
What Streaming Services Are Compatible With These Devices?
- Automatic (car-monitoring app)
- Dominoes Pizza (order dinner right from your speaker!)
- Capital One
- Quick Events
- NBC News
- Tidal HiFi Music Streaming
- Spelling Bee
- 7-Minute Workout
- Google Calendar
- USA Today Network
- Kayak (for mobile-only travel deals)
- Kids MD
- OurGroceries (for grocery list management, recipes, etc.)
- Amazon Music (Prime and Unlimited)
The List Goes On…
As you can see, there is quite a long list of Alexa-supported apps that you can use to make your life easier in a variety of ways. You’ll be able to order dinner for the family (or yourself), track/monitor your car’s performance, stream high-fidelity music, call an Uber, check the news, set appointment reminders, and much more.
The idea is to make as many (normally menial tasks) as automated as possible. It’s an honorable pursuit to try not to use technology for every aspect of your life but if the option’s available, why not go for it?
Customized Options Available
You can choose between 6 different color options for the Echo Dot. The Dot comes in either black or white. If you decide that you want to customize it with a different case, you can choose from any of the colors below.
- Dot Cases come in 6 different colors
The Echo is available in any of the 6 color options (pictured below). After you make your purchase, if you decide you need to change it up, you can get a decorative shell with an oak finish or sandstone fabric.
- Echo Cases come in 6 different colors
After Side by Side Comparison – What Are The Results?
The main differences between these two smart wireless speakers are actually pretty subtle (other than the clear difference in size/appearance).
Different Sizes For Different Rooms
The Echo is a bigger speaker with better sound capabilities. The subwoofer/tweeter combination produces enough volume to fill any size room.
The Echo Dot is smaller and only contains one 0.6″ speaker, making it a quieter speaker that’s suitable for smaller rooms.
You Can Pair Both, or Only Use One
They can both be paired together, so if you wanted to get a Dot for your bathroom/bedroom and an Echo for your kitchen/living room – that would work too. They also both perform the same functions. All of the Alexa-enabled features that we went over above will work with both speakers. This includes ordering pizza from Dominoes, controlling smart home devices, reminding yourself to workout, streaming music, etc.
Simple, Easy-to-use Setup
No matter which size of speaker you decide to go with, the setup (for both) is super easy and intuitive. It’s really as simple as the 3-step process that you see in the picture above.
Which Color Do You Like The Best?
You also have slightly different case/decorative shell colors to choose from. That shouldn’t be too much of a concern (unless you’re really picky about speaker aesthetics).
The customer and peer reviews speak for themselves. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far. The only way you’ll know for sure, is if you try one out yourself!
What’s The Price Difference?
The price difference varies (depending on periodical sale prices/promotional offers) between the two as well. The Echo is usually about double the retail value of the Echo Dot.
If you’d like to see the current asking price for the Echo (2nd Generation) use the button below.
If you think that the Echo Dot (2nd Generation) is closer to what you’re looking for, click the button below.
Were Your Questions Answered?
I hope this was helpful for answering any questions you had about Amazon Echo vs. Echo Dot smart speakers. It’s always cool to see the evolution of technology and devices like these two are taking us closer to a fully-automated existence. If you’re still curious, you can always ask a question or leave a comment below. I always do my best to respond as soon as possible.
Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read through this comparison! Also, feel free to bookmark this page if you plan on revisiting again in the future.
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