Amazon Alexa devices are growing increasingly popular. Having originally launched in November 2014, there are now numerous models available. Each performs differently. Which one is the right one for you? Check out our guide below to get the answers you need!
Amazon Alexa Buying Guide
There are currently seven different Amazon Echo smart speaker/display product lines, each providing something distinct. There are also a few other products that bear the Echo name, including wireless earbuds, in-car smart assistants and even smart buttons. However, for the purposes of this article we will be concentrating solely on the home smart speaker/display devices.
Amazon Echo (4th Gen, 2020)
The design of the latest Echo is a departure from the cylinders of old. However, the changes run deeper than simply physical design. The addition of a second 0.8.mm tweeter means the new Echo can adjust to the acoustics of the room and produce something resembling stereo audio playback. Amazon Alexa is as helpful as ever, and Zigbee support means the Echo has replaced the Echo Plus, doubling as a smart home hub for your lighting or thermostat.
The Amazon Echo 4th Gen. is the new standard model. It’s a good all-round speaker but doesn’t deliver any extras such as a screen or an integrated camera.
Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen. 2021)
The latest Echo Show 5 remains the cheapest way to own a decent-sized smart screen with Alexa. The front-facing camera is 2MP (up from 1MP on the previous model). The speaker offers the usual suite of Alexa smart assistant functions and the sound quality is pretty good. Those who want video-calling and the photo display functionality will be satisfied with this device.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen. 2020)
The Echo Dot has had a style overhaul, but Amazon Alexa’s smallest smart speaker is pretty much identical to its predecessor on the inside. This includes the same 1.6mm tweeter providing the audio. It also comes comes with a built-in LED digital clock face if you spend a little more. The Echo Dot 4th Gen. is good for those who want the Amazon Alexa functionality, but have a pre-existing sound system as the sound quality doesn’t match its peers.
Amazon Echo Studio
Are you looking for a high quality sound system alongside Amazon Alexa? If so, look no further than the Echo Studio. The device has five audio drivers – one tweeter, three mids and one woofer – that work in tandem to produce the best sound of any Echo speaker to date. The Echo Studio also supports Hi-Res audio (24-bit/up to 192kHz) and Dolby Atmos as well as Amazon’s proprietary 3D Audio format. It can also pair via Bluetooth with the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Cube for your TV-watching.
Amazon Echo Dot Kids
Featuring a cutesy design, this is a 4th Gen. Echo Dot that is optimised for children. The easy to use parental controls allow you to set daily time limits, filter out explicit songs etc., but there’s also a number of automatic restrictions. Your child can play music, ask Alexa questions, and call approved friends and family, but not much more. The device also includes one free year of Amazon Kids+, which offers access to child-friendly Audible books, educational materials and interactive games.
Which is Right for You?
That completes our rundown of the most popular Amazon Alexa Echo devices currently available! Which one did you pick? Let us know in the comments section below!