Smart home assistants are the future in our modern homes, and every home can have benefit from owning one right now. Smart Home Assistants are able to make your daily life so much more convenient, and all you need to do is to speak out commands and ask for basic information. When you have a smart home assistant you need no longer to take out your smartphone to complete standard tasks.
Right now, the Amazon Echo is the best option to be able to manage this kind of smart home features. The only issue with the Echo speaker is that for some customers it will be a little too big and expensive. But in this case the solution is the Echo Dot by Amazon – a smaller and more low-cost alternative to the Echo speaker, and the Echo Dot offers almost everything the larger Echo speaker does, but for around half the price.
The Echo speaker will make a great improvement to any home, but now that its key features are available in a smaller and more low-cost format – The Echo Dot device – Amazon has therefore entered the field of the must-buy area. Every home could be improved by the addition of an Echo Dot device.
With Amazon’s recently updated Echo Dot device you will be able to bring Alexa assistance to any room in your home, and the Echo Dot device will be able to offer you fairly impressive features for such a small device.
First, and most clearly, the Echo Dot device will make use of the Alexa Voice Service – Alexa – to provide user service with everything from music playback to the latest sport and news updates, and with the Echo Dot device you can even control your smart home devices (if compatible, anyway!).
The Echo Dot device is also smart enough to find out which Echo device you are more closely to (if you have more than one Echo device) and get in touch, with only the speaker you are nearest, regardless of being noticed having several Echo speakers in the room.
Further, the Echo Dot device also includes Bluetooth functionality, which allow you to connect the Echo Dot device to any Bluetooth speaker in your home, and being able to provide the Alexa functionality to a more high-end Bluetooth speaker if needed. The Echo Dot device also allows you to play music from services like Spotify, Prime Music and Pandora without having the need for a computer or smartphone.
The virtual assistant is activated by simply saying “Alexa” and thanks to its “far-field voice
recognition” it can pick up commands from across the room while music is playing from the speaker – You can read more about the Alexa feature – Click Here
The Echo Dot device also have features in a built-in speaker, allowing the Echo Dot to be used in different situations from simulating an alarm clock in your bedroom to checking out a menu in the kitchen, and can be connected up to an existing speaker system via a line out cable.
What is the Echo Dot by Amazon – The design of the Echo Dot Device
If you imagine an ice hockey puck, then you are pretty close to visualizing the Echo Dot device. If you are not a hockey fan, then you can try to visualize a small tin of beans.
Either way, the Amazon Echo Dot device is short and round, and therefore easy to place inside almost any room in your home.
Although the original Echo speaker and the Echo Dot are about the same in diameter (the Echo speaker is 3.5 centimeters, while the Echo Dot is 3.3), the Echo and Echo Plus speakers are much higher and heavier than the Echo Dot device.
If you think of the Echo speaker as a cylindrical device, then the Echo Dot device weighs about less than half a pound and looks as mentioned a bit like a thick ice hockey puck.
At an inch and a half in height, the Echo Dot device is a lot shorter than the standard Amazon Echo tower. The volume of the big Echo consists of a speaker, and not everybody will need such a big speaker.
Perhaps you already have your own speakers or maybe you have no interest in music at all, and you just want a device for its web-based smart features. If this is the case, then the Echo Dot device could be interesting for you.
There is a very small speaker built into the Echo Dot device, but this is mainly so that the voice assistant, Alexa, can talk to you. If you need good speaker effects you have both Bluetooth and 3.5mm outputs in the Echo Dot device, which means, that you can bring Alexa to almost any sound system.
You can both use portable speakers, a desktop micro-systems, and you can also plug the Echo Dot into your hi-fi system with a stereo amplifier and some big speakers.
The reduction in size and the extra feature of audio outputs are the most significant differences between the Echo Dot device and the original Echo speaker, but there have been a few other changes too. The color is now shiny instead of matte – matte is better at hiding dust – but the Echo Dot device is so small that the change is hardly visible.
Another improvement is a set of volume buttons added to the top of the Echo Dot device. The big Echo had a twisty top that served as the volume knob. Given the Echo Dot’s compressed sizes, however, it makes sense that such functionality hasn’t made the cut. Lastly, the power supply is now via micro-USB, in contrast to a unique plug. There is still no built-in battery, and the reason must be, that the Echo Dot devise is aimed at home use.
The micro-USB port technically means you can run the Echo Dot in a portable setup with a battery pack and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, but I don’t see the reason for doing that.
The Echo Dot device is also just a small fraction of the Echo speakers height, with the Echo Dot clocking in at 1.3 inches and the Echo at 5.8 inches. In comparison to its larger brother, the Echo Dot device wins in terms of mobility.
You can easily put your Echo Dot in your handbag to bring it along to other events, and it is easy to find space for the Echo Dot device in your home even if you do not have a lot of shelf space for smart home devices.
What is the Echo Dot by Amazon – The Features of Echo Dot Device
In short – the Echo Dot Device lets you control it by talking to it via the Alexa system.
The Echo Dot Device will always listen for your command, except if you press the mute button. You activate the Echo Dot device with your selected start-up word (“Amazon”, “Echo” or “Alexa”) and with your start-up word the Echo Dot Device will turn into action and get Alexa to response to your command.
You can ask Alexa any number of basic questions, and most of the time Alexa will be able to find the right answer on Bing:
You can for example ask Alex questions like:
“Alexa, what is the weather like today ?” And Alexa could answer – “Right now, in New York, it is 15 degrees with clear air and sun. Today you can expect rain during the day, with a high of 18 degrees and a low of 10 degrees.”
Other than being a search engine help with voice feature, the Echo Dot device is also developed to manage different smart home products in your daily life. Amazon calls this “Skills” and there are many of them. The more useful ones include Spotify, Just Eat, Hive and the Philips Hue system – You can read more about the Philips Hue system – Click Here
With the Echo Dot device you will be able to control your music, order a takeaway, finding restaurants near you, or control the lights in your home simply by talking to Alexa.
The far-field voice recognition is just as impressive with the Echo Dot device as it you see it with Echo speaker.
A new feature that has been introduced with the Echo Dot Device is what Amazon calls ESP – Echo Spatial Perception. In case you have several Echo units, this new feature enables the devices to work out where you are, so that only the one Echo unit nearest to you will respond to your command. This means, that you won’t ever have two Echo devices answering your questions at the same time.
Another feature launched with the Echo Dot is the ability to shop by voice, as long as you have a Prime account.
Here are some features, that you can do with the Echo Dot device:
The Echo Dot device is created for all kind of rooms
The Echo Dot device can be placed anywhere. You can place the Echo Dot in the bedroom and use it as a smart alarm clock that can also turn off your lights. Another possibility is to use the Echo Dot in the kitchen to easily set timers and shop using just your voice.
The Echo Dot device can make voice control of your music
The Echo Dot device offers hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.
The Echo Dot device makes multi-room music support
The Echo Dot device helps you to play music throughout several Echo devices at the same time. Note that Bluetooth is not supported for multi-room music.
The Echo Dot device can manage voice control of your smart home
With the Echo Dot device you can switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn up the thermostat while relaxing in your sofa, or dim the lights from the bed to watch a film.
The Echo Dot device has Far-field voice recognition
The Echo Dot device has a range of seven microphones with advanced noise cancellation. With a powerful processor, the Echo Dot device has an upgraded wake-word performance, so it is able to hear you ask a question from any direction, even in loud environments or while you are playing music.
The Echo Dot device can bring Alexa to an Existing Speaker
You are able to bring voice control to an existing speaker by linking the speaker to the Echo Dot device using a standard audio cable or Bluetooth connection.
The Echo Dot device can make Alexa calling and messaging
Amazon has a service, which allows Echo customers in the U.S. to call and send voice messages to family and friends. When this is set-up, you just ask Alexa to call or message anybody with an Echo, Echo Dot, or the smartphone via the Alexa App.
Alexa is always getting smarter
The more you use the Echo Dot device, the more Alexa adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal references. The Alexa system is getting smarter every day, and therefore you get more and more benefit of your Echo Dot device. You can read more about the Alexa system – Click Here
The Alexa app
With the free Alexa App on Fire OS, Android, iOS, and desktop browsers, you can easily setup and manage your Echo Dot device.
What is the Echo Dot by Amazon – The Sound Quality of Echo Dot device
Even though both Echo and Echo Dot have a built-in speaker, then Echo Dot’s Bluetooth speaker is no match for the Echo’s larger, higher-quality, 360-degree speaker.
To fit into the Echo Dot’s small body, then its associated speaker is also very small, and for that reason, less powerful. The sound quality of the Echo Dot device will be similar to what you see in a smartphone.
However, keep in mind the Echo Dot was not primarily designed to give you good sound music quality.
Therefore, as a result of the Echo Dot’s small dimensions, the built-in speaker is not high-end quality. The speaker is fine to play as an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and is primarily designed to answer to your commands via Alexa, and here the speaker is loud and clear enough, so that you can have a quick chat with Alexa.
The speaker is also designed, so it is clear and smooth enough that you can hear Alexa responds without giving you a headache.
The Echo Dot speaker is not designed if you like listen to a lot of music, as mentioned the sound of music can be compared with the way you listen to music on your smartphone. For music, you would want to plug in with 3.5mm cable to a better speaker or connect to Bluetooth.
Many people will have the 3.5mm cable connected to a stereo amplifier, which is then connected to some hi-fi speakers.
Check out the quick video below to see the Echo Dot Device in action:
What is the Echo Dot by Amazon – Final verdict about the Echo Dot Device
Basically, the only difference between the two Echo devices, other than size, is the sound. If you are just looking to be introduced to Alexa and don’t need a speaker for music, you will be fine with the Echo Dot device. It has all the smart features of Alexa in a small speaker. If you do want to be able to play music, I will recommend that you consider the Echo speaker, that is much better for music. You can read more about the Amazon Echo speaker – Click Here
If you are mainly looking for a device, where you want to use the Amazon feature Alexa, then the Amazon Echo Dot is simply a better buy than the standard Amazon Echo. The Echo Dot device does everything its big brother does, but gives you better mobility and it costs half of the price.
Therefore if you are looking for a voice assistant to take control of your home, or even if you just are curious to take a look at the future of home automation, this Echo Dot Device is a no-brainer.
That low price of the Echo Dot device also means you could consider buying several Echo Dots and put them around your home. Having Alexa in every room significantly increases the benefits of Alexa, which just isn’t possible with only a single, more expensive unit in one room.
So if you are just looking to pick up an Amazon Echo to create a multi-room, with an Alexa-enabled experience then the Echo Dot Device is a great choice. The Echo Dot device even comes in a kid-friendly version if you want to put it in your child’s room.
If you like the Amazon Echo Dot’s small form factor but want a more complete Alexa assistant experience, it’s also worth checking out the Amazon Echo Spot. You can read more about the Amazon Echo Spot device – Click Here