Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker—it can also connect to your speakers or headphones over Bluetooth or through a 3.5 mm audio cable to deliver stereo sound to the speakers you choose. Dot connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly.
Echo Dot can hear you from across the room, even while music is playing. When you want to use Echo Dot, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Dot responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception). You can read here Sony WF-SP700N Earbuds Review.
Echo Dot (2nd Generation) Review
Sleek and compact design makes Echo Dot a convenient addition to any room in the house. With its built-in speaker, you can place Dot in the bedroom and use it as a smart alarm clock that can also turn off your lights. Or use Dot in the kitchen to easily set timers and shop tens of millions of Amazon products using just your voice.
Echo Dot can also directly connect to speakers using a 3.5 mm stereo cable, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi for compatible wireless speakers to add voice control to your home stereo system in the living room or den. Learn more about Bluetooth speakers and devices that work well with Echo Dot. With multi-room music support and connected speakers via cable, you can play music across multiple Echo devices (Bluetooth not supported for multi-room music).
What you can Do from Echo Dot (2nd Generation)
With the free Alexa App on Fire OS, Android, iOS, and desktop browsers, you can easily setup and manage your Echo Dot. Use the Alexa App to connect music services you already use like Spotify and Pandora. Link your calendar from Google, G Suite, iCloud, Outlook.com or Office365. Setup your smart home devices from Philips Hue, TP-Link, ecobee, WeMo, SmartThings, Insteon, Wink, Nest, Lutron, and more.
Make calls, view your conversation history, manage contacts, and get notifications when you receive a message (calling and messaging features available on iOS and Android only). See which books are available to read from your Kindle and Audible libraries. View shopping and to-do lists while on the go. Control your timers and set custom tones for your alarms, and much more. The Alexa App is also where you discover third-party skills.
Specifications – Echo Dot (2nd Generation) Review
1) Echo Dot (2nd Generation) is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, read the news, set music alarms, read audiobooks from Audible, control Amazon Video on Fire TV, and more
2) Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Play music simultaneously across Echo devices and speakers connected via cable with multi-room music.
3) Call or message almost anyone hands-free with your Echo device. Also, instantly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice.
4) Controls lights, fans, TVs, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Sony, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, and others
5) Hears you from across the room with 7 far-field microphones for hands-free control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
6) Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer; Amazon Echo is not required to use Echo Dot
7) Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Domino’s, DISH, and more
Echo Dot (2nd Generation) Review | Expert Review
Echo Dot provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music—just ask for your favorite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. You can also search for music by lyrics, when a song or album was released, or let Alexa pick the music for you. Set a music alarm to wake up to your favorite song or playlist. Listen to any song with Amazon Music Unlimited.
With Echo Dot, you can talk to almost anyone hands-free—no tapping or searching required. Use the Drop In feature when you want to connect instantly with compatible Echo devices in your home. For example, you can ask someone for help with a chore, or remind the kids to go to sleep—without having to raise your voice. With Alexa Announcements you can also use Echo Dot to broadcast a quick, one-way message to all other Echo devices in your home.
Making calls with Alexa is easy. Your contacts will see your number when they receive the call so they know who is calling. Set up your voice profile and teach Alexa to recognize your voice. When you say, “Alexa, call Mom”, Alexa will call your mom, even if you have multiple users in your home. Additionally, you can send messages via voice or text to anyone with a supported Echo device or the Alexa App.
Use Echo Dot to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn up the thermostat while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger…or even raising your voice. Control multiple devices at scheduled times or with a single voice command, like locking the doors and turning off the lights when you go to bed.
Echo Dot works with smart home devices such as lights, switches, TVs, fans, thermostats, and more from Philips Hue, TP-Link, Sony, ecobee, WeMo, SmartThings, Insteon, Lutron, Nest, Wink, Honeywell, and more. Learn more about compatible smart home connected devices, including starter kits for easy setup.
Tucked under the light ring is an array of seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation. With a more powerful processor, the Echo Dot has improved wake-word performance to hear you ask a question from any direction—even in noisy environments or while playing music.
When you want to use Echo Dot, simply say the wake word, “Alexa,” and Dot lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where the Alexa Voice Service is leveraged to recognize and respond to your request instantly. Learn more about voice recognition on Echo Dot.
Echo Dot (2nd Generation) Review | User Review – 1
Having worked in the electronics retail industry for years now, I’ve seen scores of Smart devices come and go. Until now, nobody quite got it right. In the Echo Dot, Amazon has created a near perfect blend of hardware and software. I’ve seen plenty of the former, but truly seamless multi platform software has eluded everyone but Amazon. We’re talking major players like Samsung and Google who have been at it for much longer than Amazon. The main problem is that excellent products like the Samsung Smart Things hub, which do a fantastic job of unifying a slew of different connected devices from different companies (Nest, Honeywell, Phillips, and so on), still lacked the web connectivity and entertainment support I wanted, so I’d still end up needing my tablet or phone. Thanks to fantastic third party support, the Dot has no problem controlling all of my smart stuff while allowing me to listen to music, order food, check the weather, listen to the radio, set alarms and timers, all of which is easily accomplished through simple voice commands. To me, this is the exceedingly rare product that I didn’t know I needed, and now can’t live without. Similar to the smartphone and tablet I use every day that didn’t exist just a few short years ago.
If you’re even a little bit curious you owe it to yourself to give the dot a try. Add a good speaker and enjoy just how simple a connected life can be!
Update: After a bit more time with the dot, or maybe I should say dots since I went out and bought another one for my living room, I’ve come up with a few tips.
- Use the best speakers you can with it. I found that while Bluetooth was convenient I got much better sound out of my JBL duet computer speakers.
Take the time to voice train Alexa at least once. It’s kinda tedious but really improves the accuracy. I’ve now gone through three trainings with each dot, the phrasing gets more intricate with each, and it really is amazing how much of an improvement it makes. Kinda hard to quantify, but I’d guess Alexa is at least twice as likely to understand long, complex phrases and has also gained noticeable accuracy when ambient noise I’d present.
If a phrase doesn’t yield the results you’re looking for, reword it and try again. For instance, “Alexa, lower the temperature to 75 degrees” got no result, so I tried “Alexa, Honeywell Thermostat, 75 degrees” and she picked it up perfectly.
Take the time to look through all the skills. There’s a lot of helpful and just plain fun stuff in there, from strange facts to a calculator and everything in between, that really helps to enhance the experience.
I’d never really used my prime music prior to setting up my dots. Now I can’t live without it! I can say basically whatever I want and I get a result. My favs so far: “Alexa, play 90s music”, “Alexa, play indie music”, and “Alexa, play thunderstorm sounds”. The last one I ask to repeat and it plays all night. Really a great “freebie” if you’re a prime member.
I was a bit worried initially that Alexa might be triggered accidentally by ambient TV or general household noise, so I’m really impressed that it’s only happened twice so far. Both times in my living room when I was watching TV at high volume. If it’s a concern, the mic can be temporarily disabled, so the dot won’t trigger and listen accidentally.
I’ve had no problem pairing the dot to a variety of devices including: two different Bluetooth speakers, my Galaxy S7 edge, and pioneer receiver. I need to look into it further, but each time I paired my phone the Bluetooth connection to the speaker was lost, so I ended up having to listen to the built in speaker. Definitely not ideal for music, but no big deal if you’re using wired speakers. Plus, most Bluetooth sets offer an auxiliary input for wired listening.
It’s fun to ask Alexa general questions to see if she’s capable of finding the answers. So far I’ve gotten accurate responses to “Alexa, what’s the definition of”, “Alexa, how far away is”, “Alexa, Wikipedia” (just about anything you can think of and she’ll tell you more if you ask “Alexa, tell me more”). If you have the time, ask her a set of questions and you’ll quickly get used to her nuances.
Even though the microphones are extremely sensitive and quite accurate, I’ve found that the Dot works best when placed on a surface that’s close to the level of the person speaking to it. Generally speaking, three to five feet off the ground. Alexa had some trouble hearing my requests when the dot was placed above or behind me. If you’d like to place the dot higher, it works much better when flush with the wall, instead of sitting on a shelf etc. I tried both setups and found with a couple nails set apart to make a cradle facing the dot out towards the room works best for me (sorry for the run on sentence lol).
Suggestions for Improvement:
- Unlike the upcoming Google Home BT speaker, the Dot and other Alexa devices are unable to answer general web queries. They do a decent job of answering factual questions like “How far away is the sun” but I’d really like too see Amazon add a “search” function.
Not Amazon’s fault, but several of the news briefing skills update infrequently and volume levels vary enough that I’d find myself constantly changing the volume level to match.
I enabled briefings from several outlets like NPR, BBC, AP, and so on. I’d suggest you pick one or two and stick with them, otherwise you’ll here the same news over and over. I ended up going with BBC and AP briefings.
Echo Dot (2nd Generation) Review | User Review – 2
So I don’t normally write reviews but I just has to this time. Recently, I lost my cat best friend to cancer 2 days after Christmas. It was the worst day of my life. Imagine losing your friend that’s been with you through every breakup, every apartment, nearly being homeless and more. When he passed I felt such an emptiness in my home.
A few days ago I was searching for something to put my mind at ease and saw the advertisement for the Amazon Echo on the Amazon app. I remember watching a Mr. Robot episode where some FBI agent who suffers from insomnia was using Alexa to keep her entertained.
So I started researching YouTube videos and reviews and took a chance and ordered it. It arrived today and the setup was super easy. I immediately started asking it questions and had it play music and play the news. Then I discovered some zen type apps that go with the echo and I completely fell in love with it. It’s almost like having a real personal assistant who lifts up your spirits when your down. It suggested new music which I actually liked and the built in speaker isn’t bad at all for the price.
The Amazon echo did not replace my beautiful cat kouga but it did bring stop the empty feeling around the house for now. I added a picture of my cat instead of the echo since everyone already knows what the echo looks like.
I would totally recommend buying this product. I don’t see any negatives other than the fact you can’t really ask it followup questions like google assistant but I’m sure they’ll make it happen.
Thanks for letting me rant
Echo Dot (2nd Generation) Review | User Review – 3
I am a prime member. This was my first purchase of Echo and I gave it to my mom who did not want it or think she needed it, haha I purchased Echo dot for 2 reasons, 1) I had wanted the original echo but thought the near $200 price tag was too steep so this price was perfect and 2) I wanted to get something for my mom that would open her mind to the power of technology and the need for change because ultimately I want her to have amazon fire tv because her monthly cable bill is insanely high but she has always been resistant to change. She had no wifi in her bedroom but I resolved that when I purchased TP Link AV500 Wi Fi Range Extender, Powerline Edition which did what no other wifi extender I purchased in past could do, gave my mom’s room a secure wifi connection; apparently using already existing phone lines. All I know is that she now has wifi in her room. So I got Echo as a way to test her wifi connection with something cool. I easily connected Echo to TP-Link and it worked. We asked Alexa a few basic questions, We laughed a little but then I had to leave.
When I returned the next day, I walked in and there was music playing (oldies but goodies) and I walked into my moms room and she was singing but was emotional. I asked her if everything was ok. She was in awe. She was happy. She was emotional because Alexa helped mom find songs at a blink of an eye that mom had not heard since her childhood and she demonstrated it to me. The speed that Alexa found the song and played it was mind-boggling. Mom was also planning a dinner in August and needed to know what day of week it was. She would normally need to leave her room and go to her main calender in the kitchen and find the date. But this time she just asked Alexa who gave her the information in like 2 seconds lol. TP-Link and Echo / Alexa have given my mom a whole new level of excitement, bewilderment, curiosity and wonder and we have only scratched the surface to the power of Echo. 2 more Echo dots are on the way as I type and more in the future i am sure. What a great gift to give to someone at a great price.
Echo Dot (2nd Generation) Review | User Review – 4
Whether you just want the weather, latest sports scores or help with a math problem, Alexa will help. We now have 3 in the house and will be adding two more. With a simple $3 subscription to Amazon’s music service, you can stream almost any music you can think of by simply asking Alexa for it!
Perfect work with my meidong QQ Chocolate bluetooth speaker, I also recommend this speaker Meidong Universal Water Resistance QQChocolate Portable V4.0 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with 10W Dual Driver and Built-in Microphone
And use this code for less $5: GHAQE5YF(I got it from somewhere else.)
For the paranoid – this device is NOT for you. The echo dot is always listening and while the design is supposed to only listen when you say the name of the device (Alexa, Amazon or Echo – your choice), there are enough times that I hear one in another room say “sorry, I did not understand the question” to tell me it misunderstands these prompts to have been said when they weren’t pretty often.
- Good product support
- Good voice recognition
- Because of the size it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb in a room
Doesn’t differentiate between voices. If you keep it closer to a speaker than you are, then it will sometimes get confused and start picking up words from both the speaker and you when commands are given. Placement of dot is crucial for a good experience.
- Only supports english and german for now
- Not very competent at answering general questions and you need to activate skills to expand this functionality. This makes asking question less intuitive since you then need to use commands like “Alexa, ask wikipedia….”
- If you have smarthome devices named the same as internal functions, it will get confused at times. This may require renaming of the smarthome devices.
Echo Dot (2nd Generation) Review | User Review – 5
NEEDS security! Anyone in range of this things Bluetooth can connect and start playing music or speaking through this thing on cell calls. First few times I started hearing random voices in my living room, I was a bit weirded out, because I had no idea where they were coming from. Then one day, I heard Alexa announce that a bluetooth device had connected, so I opened the app and discovered numerous devices, that weren’t mine. After kicking them all off, I attempted to find some kind of security protocol to keep out unwanted connections, but soon discovered that there wasn’t any. Now, I get to randomly hear other voices or music start playing, in the middle of the night, anytime the people in the apartments behind me decide they wanna screw around.
Other than that, the thing’s works pretty well. Some of the functionality, like the particular nature of commands, takes a little getting used to, but about 99% of the time, it understands perfectly.
Until amazon decides to add, what should’ve been a no-brainer, security feature, I cannot give this thing a good rating. The fact that anyone can be woken up in the middle of the night, by a random person connecting to their device, is ridiculous. Fix it.
It is necessary to try using the best robot vacuum for carpet as some of them can work with voice control via Amazon Alexa.