With the recent 50% Black Friday sale on Amazon triggering a consistent market drop to £24.99 we thought we would look at the new Echo Dot 3rd Generation and see what all the fuss is about.
The 3.5mm audio output and Bluetooth connectivity is about as much as you get it. This means if you do want a bigger, better sound than the Echo Dot can deliver, then you can make a wired or wireless connection to another device.
Alexa can still play music, answer questions, read the news, check the weather, set alarms and control compatible smart home devices, from TVs to home cinema amplifiers and speakers. And you can control Spotify and TuneIn, as well as Amazon Music. Voice calls are a relatively new addition, while the number of Skills – devices that work with Alexa – are constantly growing and include a whole host of products from Sonos to Domino’s Pizza and Uber.
The new driver and a change to the microphone layout provide Amazon with the claim that the new Echo Dot is 70 per cent louder as a result. Interestingly there are fewer microphones, four rather than seven, but tweaks to the design aim to make performance every bit as strong.
The sound quality is arguably the most impressive upgrade with the new product. Despite similar dimensions, the change to the driver has clearly had a positive effect. It’s louder, for sure, but it’s better than that.
This means we really don’t mind the Echo Dot as a background music device. Of course, your main hi-fi system should be something better if possible, but for the kitchen or kids’ room, or for the occasional convenience, we don’t mind music playing on this tiny budget speaker. And that’s saying something. In the past the Dot has sometimes been talk down in comparison to its Google counterpart but the new upgrades have made Alexa sound much more agreeable at all times: clear, loud and easy to understand. Combining this with the improved clarity and volume from the device it makes it the current market leader and competitors need to change quickly to adapt and keep up in my opinion.
The new Echo Dot is the easiest, cheapest and best way to bring Alexa into your home. It works well on its own or can be nicely integrated into other smart home and AV products, bringing voice control and smart features just a command away. We would advise that for this Christmas the product of choice is the Echo Dot 3rd Generation but you will be lucky to receive it before the big day due to the massive demand.