The Echo Dot in this piece is Amazon’s 3rd iteration from its series of low-end Echo Dot smart home speakers. Compared with its predecessor (the 2nd Gen) Echo Dot, the new Amazon smart speaker comes with much better processing capabilities, improve audio quality and redefined design. And while we will briefly talk about the modifications (new additions, improvements as well as the cutdowns) that were made on Amazon’s latest Echo Dot, let’s highlight some of its major specs and features.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Key Specs
- Size / Dimension: 3.9” x 3.9” x 1.7” (99 mm x 99 mm x 43 mm)
- Weight: 10.6 oz. (300 grams)
- Bluetooth connectivity: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) and Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)
- WiFi connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks. Does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks
- Package contents: 1 x Echo Dot, 1 x power adapter (15W), 1 x Quick Start Guide.
- Others: Four far-field microphones, 1.6-inch speaker, Alexa voice assistant
If you have previously seen or used the second-generation Echo Dot, the difference in aesthetical properties is the first thing you would, obviously, notice. Unlike the first and second generation Echo Dots with plastic exterior covering, the edges/sides of the new Amazon Echo Dot is covered in fabric grille material, giving it a ‘softer’ feel when touched and an overall premium appearance. In addition, the buttons on the top of the device are more tactile and soothing to click. The buttons configuration is, however, the same with previous Echo Dot models: volume up, volume down, microphone on/off, and the Alexa button.
The light ring around the buttons at the top of the Amazon Echo Dot is now brighter so as to make the light more visible from any angle and distance and likewise, help serve as a better and clearer indication to users that the speaker is listening before they give it a command.
Design-wise, this newly-released Echo Dot seems as though Amazon took a bit of inspiration from Google as the speaker shares semblance, to some extent, with the Google Home Mini. The Echo Dot blends perfectly with the environment where it is placed and to give users more options to choose from when making buying decisions, Amazon made the device in three new colours (Heather Grey, Sandstone, and Charcoal).
The audio technology Amazon used on the new Echo Dot is super impressive and makes the speaker about three times louder than previous Echo Dots. In fact, this comparison explains that the 3rd-Gen Amazon Echo Dot at 30% volume is just as loud as the 2nd-Gen on 100%. The bass has also been improved to give better thumping bass and overall, improved music listening experience.
This third generation Echo Dot comes with a 1.6-inch speaker which is capable of producing distortion-free 360-degree sound, unlike the smaller 1.1-inch speaker of the 2nd-Gen Echo Dot.
Asides from housing the physical buttons of the device, the top of the Amazon Echo Dot also carries the far-field microphones of the smart home gadget. Surprisingly, Amazon reduced the number of the microphones from seven (7) to four (4) but says the speaker will pick up voices and commands far better than older Echo Dots. So even if you are playing music at loud volume or the room is noisy and crowdy, the new Amazon Echo Dot will pick up the Alexa wake-word and other voice commands with relative ease.
To connect the Echo Dot to an external speaker, Amazon retains the 3.5mm audio jack. The mini USB port found on previous Echo Dots has, however, been replaced by a ‘barrel connector’. This means you wouldn’t be able to use a random USB cable to power the Amazon Echo Dot — which isn’t exactly a big deal. For wireless pairing with other devices, Bluetooth is still the medium of connectivity.
About the power adapter of the new Amazon Echo Dot, it is a 15W power brick. This is bigger and supplies more power than the 9W adapter of older Echo Dots. This is because the speaker is now louder, hence the need for more power.
The new Amazon Echo Dot comes is, obviously, a better smart speaker than its predecessors, particularly in the aspects of design, sound/loudness, and microphone functionality. However, aside from being powered by the same Alexa Voice Assistant technology, the new Amazon Echo Dot also, surprisingly, sells for the same $49.99 price as the second-generation Echo Dot.