3rd Gen Echo Dot Review – Smart Speaker with Alexa

The newest iteration of the Echo Dot is simply a better version of its predecessor. It looks and works better – at the same price tag! Thus, replacing the old Echo Dots in your entire household with new ones would not be a bad idea.  It will give you better and smarter control of your home.

Because of the prior Dot model’s inefficiency and apparent flaws, the improvements on the new smart speaker becomes more pronounced. While the new 3rd Gen Echo Dot may not be perfect, it is with little doubt the best smart speaker in its price point available on the market today.

3rd Gen Echo Dot Specifications


  • Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.7”

  • Weight: 10.6 oz.

  • Bluetooth Connectivity: A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) and AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Dual Band Wi-Fi that supports 5 and 2.4 GHz networks; don’t support peer to peer (ad-hoc) Wi-Fi networks
  • Package Content: 1 Echo Dot, 1 Quick Start Guide, 1 15W Power Adapter
Echo Dot connectivity

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  • Others: 4 far-field microphones, Alexa voice assistant, 1.6” speaker

What We Liked and didn’t Like about the Product

Pros

  • Surprisingly rich and loud sound; delivers much better sound quality than its predecessors
  • Alexa is still at the top of the heap of voice ecosystems for smart home control
  • Retains the same low price of the 2nd Gen Echo Dot
  • Much improved aesthetics
  • Arguably the best entry-level Alexa speaker at its price point
  • 3.5 mm jack paves the way for more powerful speakers

Cons

  • Alexa doesn’t quite match up with Google Assistant in terms of addressing broad information queries
  • Available only in limited colors (grey shades)
  • In the absence of an external subwoofer, bass response leaves a lot to be desired
  • New power adapter eats up a lot of space on wall sockets

Design

If you’ve used the 2nd Generation Echo Dot, you would notice the significant improvement in aesthetics with the new Echo Dot version. Unlike the first two generations of Echo Dot that came with plastic exteriors, the new Dot's edges and sides have fabric grille material covering. This gives the product a softer touch and a superior appearance.


Likewise, the buttons found on top are more tactile and easier to click, although the configuration of the buttons is the same: volume up and down, mic on and off, and Alexa. The light ring surrounding the buttons is brighter as well. This makes it more visible from all angles. This also helps users know that the smart speaker is on a "listening" mode before they issue any command.

To a certain degree, the design of the new Echo Dot gives the impression that it is inspired by Google's Home Mini. This is because of some design similarities that the two products share. However, many users familiar with both products are unanimous in saying that the Dot is better in terms of overall performance.


The 3rd Gen Dot blends smoothly with the surroundings wherever you decide to place it. It is available in 3 new colors: sandstone, charcoal, and heather grey. But, to some people, these colors are minimal. 

Echo Dot speaker with alex

Amazon used a remarkable audio technology on the new Dot. The result is a smart speaker that is thrice louder than older Echo Dot generations. To illustrate, the new model at 30% volume is as loud as the previous model at 100% volume. The bass is also much better thumping, giving an overall more luxurious music listening experience.

The new Dot’s 1.6” speaker in the new Dot is bigger than 1.1” speaker of its predecessors. It is designed to produce distortion-free 3600 sound.

Echo Dot sound

Microphone

Aside from the buttons and housing of the device, the top part of the new Echo Dot bears the smart gadget’s far-field microphones. Amazon has surprisingly lowered the number of mics from 7 to just 4. This allowed the speaker to pick up commands and voices better. Thus, even if the room is crowded and noisy, or even while playing loud music, the new Dot will easily get the Alexa wake word, as well as other voice commands.

Connectivity

Amazon retained the 3.5 mm audio jack in the 3rd Gen Echo Dot for connecting to an external speaker. The mini USB port on older Echo Dots, however, has been swapped for a barrel connector. With the substitution, you can no longer to use random USB cables for powering the smart speaker. This shouldn't pose any significant problems, though. Bluetooth is still available to pair the Dot with other devices.

Price

There is no doubt that the newest iteration of the Amazon Echo Dot is a highly improved version of the older models. You can easily tell the difference in terms of the design aspects, sound volume, and mic functionality. You would expect a significant price upgrade as well. But no!


Aside from the same technology (Alexa Voice Assistant) that powers the unit, the price has also remained the same! The new Echo Dot still carries the same  price tag!

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that the new Amazon Echo Dot is much better than its older counterparts. The new and improved design is mainly responsible for this marked improvement.


For one, it is noticeably bigger. This allowed Amazon to include a bigger, louder, and overall more powerful smart speaker inside. While a lot of Dot users complained that the previous Echo Dot sounded a lot like angry bees inside a can of tuna, the latest version is clear, loud, and full.


It doesn’t matter whether you’re listening to an audiobook, getting the latest weather report from Alexa, or playing your Spotify playlist at maximum volume, you will hear everything better on the new Echo Dot.


Throughout this review, we keep on mentioning that the new Dot is a lot better than the older dots. The truth is, the latest Dot is also better in many ways compared to Google’s Home Mini. The Dot is fuller and richer. Overall, it provides a more pleasant listening experience. 

(Last Updated On: August 25, 2019)
john andrews
 

HI, John Andrew here. I’ve been an audiophile since I was a little kid. I’m an original member of myaudiolover . It emerged as a way for me to share my passion and knowledge for audio technology. If you’re looking for tips, techniques, and insights about audio-tech, that can enable your productions that professional edge, then MyAudioLover is the place for you!

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