Like its big brother, the fourth-generation Echo Dot has gone spherical for 2020. Hopefully the AZ1 processor will make Alexa easier to talk to over time, though at the moment Google Assistant still offers more flexible language recognition, making it easier to talk to casually. It was already our favourite small smart speaker, and now it looks nicer with better sound for the same low price. That effectively means that a lot of people won’t save any power at all. But the biggest change is a … If you want better stereo separation, you can pair two Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) speakers (including the With Clock variant): see, how to create an Amazon Echo stereo pair for more information. How to watch The Undoing for free in the UK, US and abroad, Best mid-range phone: Don’t waste a fortune on a flagship, Best webcam: HD and 4K cams from £26 PLUS Black Friday deals, Find the best indoor Freeview aerial for a low price, Best Samsung phone 2020: Intergalactic warfare, The best budget smartphones money can buy, Samsung Galaxy A21s review: The ‘s’ stands for savings, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9: Another budget superstar, LG CX review: The best OLED TV is £400 off, Bose SoundLink Revolve review: High-class Bluetooth audio, Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i review: Putting the Flex in flexible, Braun LE03 hands-on review: Minimalism meets modernity, Amazon Echo Dot 2020 review: Round sound is better, Amazon Echo 2020 review: Alexa, show me brilliance, Amazon Echo Studio: Amazon's best-sounding smart speaker, Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen): The best budget smart speaker, Best Wi-Fi extender: Better coverage, faster downloads. How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad, How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill, How to Find Free Tools to Optimize Your Small Business, How to Get Started With Project Management, Read Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) Review, The Best Bluetooth and Wireless Speakers for 2020, How to Use an Amazon Echo as a Speaker for Your Television, Apple Announces $99 HomePod Mini Smart Speaker. Featured on Echo Dot (4th Gen) with clock Customer Questions & Answers See questions and answers. PCMag Digital Group. Top volume is loud enough to be heard in a large room without distortion, although the midrange tends to get a bit muddled lacking the sophistication of more expensive speakers. 3.8 out of 5. Your subscription has been confirmed. Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) by Sascha Segan Sep 30, 2020. Gone is the plastic hockey puck of the first two generations, and the slightly fatter fabric look of the third: in its place, a sphere slightly larger than your average cricket ball. With its funky new design and better audio, the new Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) is a step up from the old model. Copyright © Dennis Publishing Limited 2020. We also like Google's Nest Audio for its easier-to-talk-to voice assistant, but the Echo edges past it in sound quality and the ability to control more smart home devices, earning the speaker our Editors’ Choice nod. While the third-generation Dot sounds a bit murky, the new Dot is a lot more crisp and clear, with more distinction between each instrument on a track. The fourth-generation Amazon Echo speaker takes the sound quality and smart home hub capabilities of the Echo Plus and puts it in a new round package.
Will Greenwald has been covering consumer technology for a decade, and has served on the editorial staffs of CNET.com, Sound & Vision, and Maximum PC. Amazon has announced the fourth-generation version of its main Echo smart speaker, bringing a new spherical design and better sound performance. Amazon Echo Show vs. Google Nest Hub: Which Smart Display Should Be in Your Home? If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. All rights reserved. Tapping this speaker is easier than with the old Dot, as you’ve got more surface area to aim for and can avoid hitting a button by mistake. Sept. 30, 2020. The backbeat doesn’t get quite enough low-frequency presence to sound properly ominous (it seldom does on speakers this size), but it provides enough thump to drive the track, while the guitar riffs and vocals stand out in the mix. With its new spherical design, the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) is a far more interesting-looking product than the old model, better able to slip into your home without standing out for the wrong reasons. For once, the differences between the two Echo Dots really is in the title. Amazon Echo Dot 4th generation (2020): What you need to know. 3.8 out of 5 stars. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Alexa still lags behind Google Assistant in some ways: Google’s better on directions, local businesses and it can use Google Search to answer more questions, but the gap is narrowing. It can read your calendars, tell you what the weather is like and it can answer general knowledge questions to some degree. 2. I’m especially keen on the trademark ring of blue light that appears when the wake word is said. It can also reach louder volumes without distortion, although it’s still not a speaker you’ll routinely want to push past 5/10 on the volume dial. And, if you’d benefit from having a clock as well, the Echo Dot with Clock (4th Generation) is a great choice. While most would accept a year with a full-blown pandemic as a valid excuse for an iterative update, Amazon has found time to come out with a whole new look for the Echo Dot and Dot with Clock, too. There are a couple of caveats, though. You can now make free outbound calls with Alexa, and if you’re on EE or Vodafone, you can pair your phone number with the speaker to get incoming calls, too.
While on previous generations, this would appear at the top of the device, it’s now on the bottom, so it reflects softly against whatever surface it’s on. As powerful as the Echo Plus Strong bass for the size Built-in smart home hub Certainly, podcasts and talk radio sound very good on this speaker and you won’t wish for more detail. With (just) more compatible devices, you’ll not have problems getting your smart home to play nicely with your speaker, and Alexa Routines are more powerful than the Google Home ones. Alexa pulls ahead in other ways, particularly with the smart home. The third-generation Echo Dot was a huge improvement on the previous Dots. Pushing the audio forwards means that you’re not losing any sound by bouncing it off the wall behind or up into the air. Buying a new Echo speaker doesn’t generally get you a whole load of new features, as the cloud-powered Alexa works the same on every Amazon smart speaker. But that doesn't detract from the fact that Alexa is a formidable voice assistant with a larger library of third-party skills than the competition. Absolutely. Can it make that much of a difference? Amazon has also moved the light ring, pushing it to the bottom of the speaker, so that it shines down, rather than up. As with other Echo speakers, the light ring shows the volume level, filling up as you increase volume. At this size, the new Echo Dot doesn’t take up a lot more desk space than the old one, although the new model is considerably higher. Notes for Echo 4th Generation. Like the full-sized Echo, it’s about two-thirds covered in fabric, with the remaining third a hard matte plastic.
Expert Reviews™ is a registered trade mark. Amazon Echo vs. Apple HomePod Mini vs. Google Nest Audio: Which Sub-$100 Smart Speaker Should You Buy? Last year’s model sees a £10 price cut and can now be had for £40, although unfortunately the clock version seems to have been discontinued. And as for Alexa – the virtual assistant that can control your smart home and answer your spoken questions – it’s the same in every Echo, as it’s cloud-based and continuously updated. The result is that everything is pushed out towards you. Other than that, the fourth-generation Echo Dot and Dot with Clock are virtually identical: same dimensions, same sound quality and same Alexa, with just a 10g weight difference between the two, according to Amazon. The audio performance here easily eclipses what you get with the $50 fourth-generation Echo Dot, which is only a cosmetic upgrade from the previous model and falls far short of the Echo in the bass department.
This new model is available in three colours (Charcoal, Glacier White or Twilight Blue), losing the Plum option of the old Echo Dot: a move that I think we can all live with. So, how does it perform?
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