- Both the Echo and Echo Dot are lightweight, portable devices, but both need an electrical outlet to function.
- The Echo features Dolby technology with two tweeters, a woofer, and increased volume, with the ability to fine-tune sound by sensing acoustics automatically.
- The Echo Dot is generally half the price of the Echo.
Choosing between the Echo and the Echo Dot is not as easy as it might seem. The designs, including available colors, are similar. Both devices have top-notch microphone arrays and need to be considered based on factors like sound quality, portability, and price.
Both devices are up to the challenge as smart speakers, but there are differences that we’ve looked at below. As far as the microphone array by itself goes, the Echo provides more with its seven microphones, but the Echo Dot’s four microphones are nothing to complain about, either. Most users can still get Alexa to understand them easily on either device when playing music. Unless you’re a heavy music user, either device should suit your needs. The Echo Dot is also the more affordable of the devices.
We’ll offer a comparison between the Echo and the Echo Dot below, although here’s a quick answer:
- Best for diehard music lovers: Echo
- Best for casual users on a budget: Echo Dot
Choosing Between Echo and Echo Dot
Although both devices have speaker arrays that will pick up your voice easily, there are differences in the setup that impact sound quality. The Echo features Dolby technology for a clearer, crisper sound. The two tweeters, the woofer, and the increased volume have the sound quality that you need. This device fine-tunes sound by sensing surrounding acoustics automatically.
The current generation of the Echo Dot has a larger driver offering better volume. One of the similarities in both models is that the sound quality is better. The Echo’s overall performance is better.
With both devices having a 3.5mm output jack, you can connect to an external speaker for the best overall user performance. However, if you need an input jack, this option is only available with the Echo. The Echo is your safest bet when you consider the best overall sound quality.
Both designs have undergone a redesign, with both models featuring the same shape, but the Echo and Echo Dot are different sizes. However, both models are lightweight, making them easy to move to new locations. However, they are not as portable as many prefer because both require access to an outlet.
Price is an essential consideration in the best overall user experience. As a smart speaker, the Echo Dot is the less expensive of the two options, although having the same shape and colors as its larger counterpart. If you’re a diehard music fan who settles for only the best, you may not mind the Echo’s higher price tag.
Echo vs. Echo Dot: Performance, Features, Specs
The Echo is a fully-featured smart speaker that uses voice controls courtesy of Alexa technology from Amazon. This speaker measures 5.7 x 5.7 x 5.7 in. and weighs 34.2 oz. The buttons include action and volume control buttons and an off button for the microphones. There is also a 3.5 mm audio output, a power jack, and a light-up ring. This speaker’s design incorporates a single woofer and two tweeters. With three decorative shells, it’s easy to match the Echo to the colors of your decor.
- Sound automatically adapts to any room
- Supports lossless HD audio
- Built-in hub to voice control compatible lights, locks, and sensors
- Privacy protection
The Echo Dot has many important similarities to the current-generation Echo. Measuring 3.9 x 3.9 x 3.5 in. and weighing 12 oz., the speaker is smaller than the original Echo. This version also features action, volume, and microphone off buttons like its larger counterpart. This device also features a light-up ring, a power jack, and 3.5 mm audio output. Unlike the Echo, the Echo Dot has a single 1.6 in. speaker. You can use three shell options for the Dot to match your décor.
- Most popular smart speaker with Alexa.
- Sleek, compact design
- Delivers crisp vocals and balanced bass for full sound
- Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, SiriusXM, and others
- Play music, audiobooks, and podcasts throughout your home with multi-room music.
- Ask Alexa to tell a joke, play music, answer questions, play the news, check the weather, set alarms, and more.
- Use your voice to turn on lights, adjust thermostats, and lock doors with compatible devices.
- Turn on compatible lights, play your Flash Briefing, or turn on the coffee maker when you walk into the room
- Twilight Blue
Please Note: As of July 15, 2023, the Echo Dot 4th Gen is currently unavailable on Amazon. If you cannot find the product elsewhere, please check back later.
|Adjusts to your room’s acoustics and setup
|Light-ring is less visible than in previous models
|This generation of Echo has a fast response time
|Energy-saving mode is only available in some circumstances
|Bluetooth connectivity for more connection options
|Easy setup and overall handling
|The manufacturer’s warranty is only a year
|Ideal size for small spaces
|The energy-saving mode only works when not in use
|Snooze mode for less power consumption.
|Sound performance is of lesser quality
Echo vs. Echo Dot: Key Differences
The key differences between the Echo and the Echo Dot are the price, size, sound technology in use, and the use of multiple speakers. Both devices are portable and convenient, but portability and convenience show in different ways. We found that both systems were exceptional, but were at their best in different circumstances.
Of the two, the Echo is larger than the Echo Dot. Although neither is exceptionally large, the Echo Dot fits into areas with limited space more easily. Both smart speakers require access to a reliable power source.
The Echo also boasts better sound quality due to the technology in use. The Echo makes full use of Dolby technology for better sound. When watching movies or concerts, we were blown away by the quality of the sound.
One feature the Echo Dot had that the Echo lacked was a clock display. We found this feature very helpful when using the Echo Dot as an alarm clock.
Differences in the number of speakers also impact overall performance. In bigger spaces, devices with multiple speakers including a woofer and tweeters worked best. We found that, despite the overall quality, the Echo Dot couldn’t compare when used in a bigger room.
|$99.99 and up
|$49.99 and up
|1 3 in. woofer
|1 1.6 in. speaker,
2 0.8 tweeters
Our Hands-On Experience
We used both of these products for a few weeks and we’re pleased with the results. Although each was stronger in some areas while weaker in others, we feel that both products are a wise buying choice.
Both speakers were easy to move between locations. Where we wanted to evaluate how well they worked in rooms of different sizes, moving both devices was easy. The Echo Dot was lighter to pick up, but the Echo was not heavy by any means.
We found that both speakers performed well, but were most impressed with the Echo quality. Dolby technology provided greater sound quality, especially when watching movies. One thing that we appreciated was not having to continually adjust the sound settings.
Both speakers fit in easily and required minimal disruption to find an ideal placement spot. Color choices helped make it easier for the devices to blend in. The Echo Dot’s LED clock display reduces your need for an extra clock.
Overall, both devices were easy to use. Alexa’s voice technology made it easier for us to communicate with the devices. The features that both included made everything easy, with the Echo being the best overall for versatility.
Echo vs. Echo Dot: Which Is Best?
Echo is our pick for the best overall user experience, for the following reasons:
- If you aren’t as concerned with the price and want the Alexa technology to allow you to control your smart home devices, this product is hard to beat.
- We found this device to offer the best overall user experience because of the sound quality in our test. However, we would have appreciated better functionality for the energy-saving options. Such circumstances are not a time to have limited functionality.