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Do You Need A Echo Dot (3rd Gen) ?

I've been a cheerful owner of a ordinal generation Echo and 3 ordinal generation Echo Dots for a year currently, and that i was glad to feature this to the arsenal. when mistreatment it for some days i'm usually happy with it, however it will have limitations, particularly once it involves sound quality (no surprise there!). i'll begin by summarizing what is new regarding the third Generation Dot, then i am going to describe the device in additional detail, and eventually i am going to add some thoughts regarding the way to select that Echo device is also best for you.
The most obvious update to the Dot is that the new look: it's as if somebody took a ordinal generation Dot, inflated it with Associate in Nursing vacuum pump, and wrapped the sting in material. And it is not bad!

What's different/updated within the third Generation Dot:

  1. it's slightly larger than the ordinal generation device, activity three.9" wide x one.7" tall (2nd info was three.3" wide x one.3" tall), and also the prime and bottom edges ar a lot of rounded. it's additionally well heavier at nearly double the burden of the ordinal generation model.
  2. The ordinal generation Dot came in 2 color choices (black and white), every of that had a shiny plastic exterior that I in person thought looked a bit low cost. The third generation Dot encompasses a material exterior which supplies it a classier look, and it's offered in 3 colors: heather gray, sandstone, and charcoal. the material and rounded edges offer the third generation Dot a way softer look than its precursor.
  3. The third generation Dot encompasses a larger speaker (1.6", versus 1.1" on the ordinal gen), that is paired with a bigger driver furthermore. i am going to speak below regarding the result this has on audio quality.
  4. The position of the microphones is slightly different: whereas the ordinal generation had seven tiny far-field microphones on its prime surface; the third generation has four microphones.

Overall look

I purchased the "sandstone" version. {the cloth|the material|the material} may be a polyester woven  fabric created from lighter and darker shades which supplies it a lot of visual interest than if it were simply a solid, uniform grey. The neutral color blends in with nearly any ornamentation, and also the material offers the unit a softer look that is nice for areas of your house wherever you do not wish one thing that screams "I'm a device!"

Aside from its larger size and slight gibbose bulge, the highest of the device is sort of clone of that of the ordinal generation Dot: it's four buttons (volume up, volume down, mike off, Associate in Nursingd an "action" button) and a multi-colored light-weight ring round the prime edge that tells you regarding the Echo's standing. The facet of the device has Associate in Nursing input for the ability cable and a three.5-mm output jack.

One notable improvement is that the form of the ability cable, that sits blandish against the wall than the ordinal generation Dot's cable (see my exposure to envision them facet by side). this might sound like Associate in Nursing insignificant modification, however it makes a large distinction if you wish to plug the cable into Associate in Nursing outlet that's behind a chunk of piece of furniture.


Setting up the Dot could not be easier. you merely connect the ability cable, then use the Alexa app on your phone to attach the Dot to your local area network network. The app leads you thru everything, and also the whole method takes but a second. Boom.


I did a side-by-side audio comparison of the ordinal and third Generation Echo Dots, initial with music (orchestral, a jazz dance orchestra, {and some|and some} AC/DC) and so with a few newscasts. Everything will sound higher on the third generation Dot, however to be honest, the sound remains pretty anemic. Compared with the ordinal generation Dot, the sound is slightly fuller, not as annoyingly tinny, and encompasses a bit of bass presence (not abundant, however the ordinal generation had none). Newscasts and alternative spoken texts take pleasure in the fuller sound furthermore, however the distinction is a lot of pronounced with music. only for fun, I additionally compared the third generation Dot with my ordinal generation Echo, and that is wherever I noticed  an enormous distinction. Yes, the new Dot sounds a touch higher than its precursor, however they each sound weak compared to the full-sized Echo. (To its credit, Amazon does not claim that the Dot has room-filling sound.)

I'll be blunt: i actually just like the Dot, however i do not use it to pay attention to music. At all. With such a big amount of alternative speaker choices out there, there is simply no reason to use this as your primary music device.

Voice recognition

As i discussed on top of, the quantity of microphones on the highest surface has born from seven to four. i am undecided what the principle for this was, however when testing the Dot's ability to choose up my voice from totally different distances and angles, I did not notice a considerable distinction within the overall mike sensitivity compared to the ordinal generation Dot. just like the alternative Echo devices, though, it appears to possess a lot of problem sleuthing voices that come back from below it (which happens if I sit down with it whereas i am on the ground fiddling with my daughter).


The bottom line is that the practicality -- what the third generation Dot "does" -- is sort of clone of that of the previous generations (and of alternative Echo devices, or a minimum of those while not screens). this is often mostly as a result of the Alexa assistant software package on that all Echos operate is run on Amazon's cloud, not your individual device. this suggests that as Amazon adds new options and updates to Alexa they mechanically become offered on all Echo devices. So, you'll use any of them to:
  • Stream music via local area network from multiple sources
  • management sensible home devices along with your voice
  • build hands-free calls to alternative Echo devices or phone numbers in North America
  • build purchases from your Amazon Prime account
  • hear news feeds, podcasts, etc.
  • Do the rest in Alexa's ever-growing talent set, like build searching lists, set timers/alarms/reminders, play games, tell you your daily schedule, and the other skills Amazon dreams up for Alexa within the future.

If you do not wish to use the Dot's inbuilt speaker, you'll connect it to your own speakers via Bluetooth or by mistreatment the three.5-mm output jack.

One new feature for the third generation Dot may be a very little puzzling to me: you'll try 2 Echo Dots in a very "stereo mode," supplying you with basically left and right speakers. i attempted this in brief and also the results were just about what I expected: affirmative, it's stereo, however it's still weak sound! you'll additionally try Associate in Nursing Echo Sub with the Dots, making a bit a pair of.1 system. Frankly, i am undecided why you'd do this; if I were putting in place for stereo sound, i might wish speakers that ar designed for good audio performance, not 2 Echo Dots.
Alexa's talent set is big and perpetually growing. In fact, a part of the fun of owning Associate in Nursing Echo device is seeing what new skills Amazon comes up with (even if several new skills ar simply silly or entertaining). i am going to mention 2 of my favorite skills here: the Flash informing and also the drop-in feature. The flash informing is totally customizable daily digest of stories and alternative info that you'll hear any time by asking "What's my flash informing?" there's a large list of content you'll increase your briefing as well as news updates, weather forecasts, sports and traffic updates, and academic snippets along side many who ar simply hilarious or diverting. mistreatment the Alexa phone app or your Echo account page you'll choose precisely what content you wish in your informing and in what order you wish to listen to it. for instance, I organized mine with news feeds from NPR, BBC, and Reuters. i really like having Associate in Nursing on-demand abstract of the most recent news from my favorite sources.

My alternative favorite feature, "drop in," basically opens a 2-way channel between any two Echo devices, form of like Associate in Nursing communication system. merely raise Alexa to "drop in on [the front room, the room...]" and you're instantly connected. My married woman and that i use this feature to speak from opposite ends of the house. you'll flip drop-in capability on or off for every of your Echo devices singly, and will|you'll|you'll be able to} additionally select whether or not every device can come by with ANY Echo device or solely those in your house.

[Note that the drop-in feature isn't identical issue as Alexa's hands-free business feature. Hands-free business permits you to decision most phone numbers and Echo devices within the U.S., Mexico, and North American country from your Echo by spoken language your contact's name or variety. similar to with a telephone, the opposite person should favor to answer your decision before you'll communicate. against this, with the drop-in feature communication is instantly established. For this reason you may most likely wish to use drop-in solely along with your nearest family and friends, and doubtless just for bound rooms in your home!]

A few (minor) complaints

Unfortunately this third Generation Dot shares Associate in Nursing annoying attribute of its predecessors: wide varied volume levels at intervals the daily Flash informing. As you hear the informing, some elements (such as BBC News) come back through quietly whereas others (like Reuters) ar abundant louder. Not a deal-breaker, however slightly annoying.

Also, often once Alexa misunderstands a command, you've got to "start over," which might be very irritating. for instance, if Alexa thinks you asked to show on a light-weight however you actually asked one thing else, she is going to repeatedly say "In that room?" till you say "Alexa, stop" and so begin over. i am estimate this kind of issue can improve over time as voice recognition software package becomes a lot of advanced. this is often very a lot of of Associate in Nursing Alexa issue than a Dot issue, however it drives American state round the bend sometimes.

Finally, I would like the Alexa phone app was easier to use. It works, however its organization isn't intuitive and it feels rather awkward to navigate. Again, this is often a lot of of Associate in Nursing "Alexa" issue than a "Dot" issue, but still... Hopefully Amazon can still build enhancements to it!

A few tips

  1. The Dot appears to choose up voices best once placed at or below eye level (i.e., roughly the amount from that your voice emits). Mine has bother sleuthing voices returning from below it, thus i do not advocate inserting this on a high shelf.
  2. After you choose news feeds for your Flash informing i like to recommend choosing one U.S. supply and one international supply (I use NPR and BBC - each ar excellent). If you add too several feeds you will get a great deal of overlap and listen to identical story many times.
  3. If you've got multiple Echo devices in your home, typically chatting with one can cause others to reply furthermore, particularly if they're in shut proximity (like in adjacent rooms). a method to stop this is often to alter the wake word of 1 of the devices to "Echo" or "Amazon." the sole draw back is that you just then need to bear in mind that wake word you assigned  to every device!

Echo Dot vs. Echo vs. Echo Plus: that one to buy?

(Please note that i'm solely scrutiny Echo devices that don't have screens.)

When selecting between the Echo Dot and one in all the larger Echo devices, maybe the foremost vital question to raise is "How abundant does one arrange to hear the device?" This question is vital as a result of one in all the largest variations between the Echo Dot and also the larger Echo devices is sound quality: the one.6" speaker of the Dot merely cannot match the fullness and heft of the Echo or Echo and. (Remember, all of them run on identical Alexa software package, which implies all of them have nearly identical talent sets!)

So, if you do not presently own Associate in Nursing Echo device, begin by thinking rigorously regarding however you intend to use it. several Alexa skills make up one in all 2 broad categories: people who swear heavily on the speaker and people that do not. for instance, options that take pleasure in smart sound quality embrace taking part in music/newscasts/podcasts, the drop-in feature, and hands-free business. (This is why I selected Associate in Nursing Echo and for my room - i take advantage of it each morning to pay attention to the news.) If you intend to use your device mostly for these sort of options, you'd most likely appreciate the higher sound of the Echo or Echo and.

On the opposite hand, if arrange to use the Echo chiefly for "non-listening" functions like voice-controlling your sensible home devices, then the sound quality is not as vital and a Dot is maybe all you wish. In fact, you may even save cash by getting a ordinal generation Dot instead -- particularly if it is not about to be in a very extremely visible location otherwise you do not mind its shiny plastic look. I actually have many "single-purpose" Dots in my house in rooms wherever i need to voice-control one issue, like a lamp within the area, and ordinal generations Dots ar simply fine for this -- and currently that their value has gone down they're a good value!

Bottom line

The Echo Dot is an awfully helpful and versatile device -- one that becomes a lot of helpful all the time as Alexa's talent set expands. The third Generation model encompasses a nice trend, however despite marginal enhancements within the speaker, it's still pretty dissatisfactory as a playback device for music or newscasts. As long as you're willing to just accept its acoustic limitations, the Dot is an exquisite device to possess in your home. And if you are doing wish higher sound quality for the options you utilize most frequently, you'll perpetually connect the Dot to your own system via Bluetooth or the three.5-mm audio jack. Hope this was helpful!

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