This is a review and comparison of three amazon smart speakers: Amazon Echo Dot, Echo 2 and Echo Plus. What model is the best? I am going to highlight the major reasons why you may want to get one over the other. All the models have their advantages and you must know about these advantages before making your purchase decision.
Echo Dot is the smallest device among the all three. It’s also the cheapest one. You may purchase it for $50 most of the time. Sometimes you may get a sweet deal and buy it for $40.
The most important advantage of this model is that it’s very affordable. You may get 4 of them for $200 or even less to place them in different areas of your house. If your house isn’t large you may even need only 2 of them to cover the whole area. Alexa will be able to listen to your commands everywhere in your house.
Though this device is wired, you may get an extra accessory to make it portable. You need to connect the Dot to this accessory and it will power it making it portable.
There is a small speaker inside and you can try to listen to the music using Echo Dot but I don’t recommend doing this just because of low sound quality. The speaker is small and the quality is not good at all. It was not designed for listening to the music.
If you want to listen to the music I recommend to connect it to a separate Bluetooth speaker using Bluetooth or auxiliary Import feature.
- It’s really affordable. The price is low and sometimes you may even get a deal for purchasing 2 or 3 of them simultaneously.
- It’s small
- It can be portable (but it will become larger with extra accessory, so the size advantage will be lost)
Echo 2 (2nd Generation)
Echo 2 (2nd Generation) costs almost 2 times higher than Echo dot. It has a larger size and absolutely different appearance.
In general, it has all the features of the Echo Dot but with a larger and much better sound system inside. It has a subwoofer which makes the music quality very good. The bass isn’t great but the overall sound quality is nice. I like the sound.
This smart speaker is for those who sometimes like to listen to music. As for me, this thing is the best among all three:
- It’s also affordable
- It has all the features of the Echo Dot
- It sounds very good (almost like the Plus model)
- It has almost all the features the Plus model has
Echo Plus is basically the larger version of Echo 2. It has almost the same hardware but with some improvements.
It has a ring on the top for adjusting volume. This ring is more comfortable to use than the buttons of previous models. It allows controlling the volume very easy.
The largest difference from the previous competitors is that it has a built-in Zigbee Smart Home bridge. A lot of Smart Home products are using Wi-Fi. But if you have a lot of them it may be tough to manage all of them. Zigbee Bridge allows managing all these products easily.
Pay attention, that there is a limited number of products that use ZigBee right now. The list will definitely grow in future.
The Echo Plus model is for those people who use different Smart Home features. It costs about $150 and the main difference from the Echo model is this Zigbee hub. If you are not going to use Smart Home things you don’t need to overpay. Go with Echo 2 instead. But if you want to use the modern Smart Home stuff you can go with this largest model and save money because you will not need a separate hub for all the smart things.
- It's not as affordable as previous models
- It has built-in Zigbee Bridge
- Sound quality is slightly better than Echo 2 offers
- It has the best design and better usability
Features of all Three Models
You know about the most important differences. And now I want to tell you about the features all three models have:
You can connect them to the internet with Wi-Fi and stream the music. You can stream the music from your favorite streaming sources. There are different customization options: you can listen to music by author, genre, artist or playlist. The default streaming service is of course Amazon Music, but it also supports Pandora, Tunein, iHeartRadio, Spotify, SiriusXM.
You can manage Smart Home products that support Amazon Alexa.
You can shop at Amazon. You can ask the device to add a product to your shopping cart. This feature is used by many people and it’s comfortable.
You can do a lot of extra stuff: ask about the weather, ask about news updates from a source you wish, start timers and do other things.
If you are not interested in Zigbee Bridge you should go with Echo 2 just because it is almost as good as the Plus. But if you want to use all the advantages of Smart Home stuff go with Echo Plus. Echo Dot is the simplest model and doesn’t allow listening to music. I wouldn’t recommend it just because you can add an extra $50 and buy Echo 2 with a very good sound system. The Dot is a very good thing if you just want to try Amazon smart speakers and you are not sure about if you are going to use them in future.