Amazon Echo Dot
THE SMALLEST, CHEAPEST MEMBER OF THE ECHO FAMILY DOES A LOT, BUT AUDIO QUALITY IS DECIDEDLY LACKING
The baby of the Echo family, the diminutive Dot squeezes a fully functional Alexa “brain” into a little hockey puck that can be discreetly tucked away on a shelf or desk. As be ts such a low-pro le role, it comes only in plain black or white . However, if you want to show it off there’s a selection of coloured fabric and leather cases.
Despite its size, the Dot features the same seven-microphone array as the regular Echo, meaning voice recognition is impressively sharp and accurate. Its controls and capabilities are entirely identical to those of its bigger brother – you can ask questions, control your lights, play music and so on.
The key difference is that there’s no room inside for a dedicated bass driver – so when you do kick off the tunes, the effect is rather like listening on a tiny laptop speaker. It’s not too bad at low volumes; it might be acceptable for background music while you’re working, or for a quiet bedtime playlist. For everyday listening, though, you’ll want to use the 3.5mm audio jack, or the Dot’s built-in Bluetooth capabilities, to route the audio through a more substantial speaker.
At $58, the Dot is Amazon’s cheapest smart speaker – but we’d hesitate to recommend it as an entry point to the world of Alexa, as music is a big part of the Echo’s appeal. It makes a lot more sense as a secondary device: stick it in the kitchen, for example, and it’s a convenient way to control your smart home devices, set timers etc.
$58 • www.amazon.com.au/Echo