Although there are now a number of smart speakers that support Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, arguably the best experience is still simply using an Amazon Echo speaker. The full functionality of Alexa is reserved for Echo smart speakers, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes at a variety of prices, from the affordable Echo Dot series to the high-end Echo Link devices.
Amazon recently launched two new Echo speakers in India – Echo (3rd generation) and Echo Dot (3rd generation) with watch. 9,999 and Rs. 4,999 respectively, these new devices are updated versions of the previous models, with new features added. We explore what’s different about these two devices in our review.
Amazon Echo (3rd Generation) Design and Specifications
Starting with the larger Echo (3rd generation), things are a little different, yet very familiar. The new version is bigger than the second generation Echo, actually matching the bigger Echo Plus (2nd generation) in size, design and most of the specifications. The device has a 3-inch woofer, 8-inch tweeter, and tuning by Dolby – just like the Echo Plus. Essentially, you’re getting audio performance similar to the Rs. 14,999 Echo Plus, but Rs. 5,000 less.
There’s one thing that sets the Echo (3rd generation) and Echo Plus (2nd generation) apart – the latter has a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, which will come in handy when you want to use your Echo for home automation. have intention. If that’s not important to you, the new Echo will do just fine. Users upgrading from the older Echo will notice a difference in sound quality.
On the top of the speaker are the standard four buttons—two for volume, one to mute the microphone, and an action button that does a bunch of things, including activating Alexa, without having to use the wake word. There is also a light ring that illuminates for various functions. The exterior of the speaker has a fabric cover, and is available in four color options – Black, White, Blue and Grey. It’s largely the same familiar Echo experience, but with the promise of better sound at a more attractive price.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation) with watch design and specifications
The smaller Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation) with the watch is, for the most part, very similar to the Echo Dot (3rd generation). As its name suggests, there is one major difference here – the digital clock display on the front of the device. The version with the watch is available in only one color – white – and features an LED display that shows the classic digital number.
Once set, the device will display the time, and can also be used to show the outside temperature, timer status, and volume level to be adjusted. It changes contextually depending on how you interact with the device; For example, if you ask Alexa to set a timer, the display will show the countdown to the timer.
The brightness of the display can be adjusted via the Alexa app on your smartphone, but it can also be set to automatically adjust based on ambient light. The display doesn’t do much, but it does make the device more useful if it’s kept at your bedside, even when not being actively used as a speaker or for voice commands. Its price is Rs. 1,000 more than the version without the watch, but we think the extra features provided by the display are totally worth it.
Like the Echo Dot (3rd generation), the Echo Dot with Clock has a single 1.6-inch full range speaker driver, and has the same familiar four-button top panel and light ring. If you use the Echo Dot with the clock as your bedside alarm clock, a tap on the top will snooze the alarms, while turning them off requires a press of the action button.
Amazon Echo (3rd generation) performance
Compared with the previous generation Echo devices, the Echo (3rd Generation) is a significant step forward in terms of audio capabilities. It’s big, has a dedicated woofer and tweeter, and is capable of a lot of loud noise. However, this isn’t a new sound experience by any means, and we found that the audio quality was largely on par with what was already experienced on the Echo Plus (2nd generation).
The speaker can get quite loud, largely powered by the large woofer, which translates into a punchy, aggressive sound with strong bass. That’s more than enough even for a large room, and the sound quality is good enough for casual listening. We listened to music using a Bluetooth-connected smartphone, along with streaming content, and we found the sound quality to be adequate in both cases.
Listening to Netsky’s Love Is Gone, we liked Drive and Attack, but the experience certainly couldn’t compare to using a proper two-channel wired setup at the same cost, or even something we did. Saw it on good high-end wireless speakers as well. Such as Ultimate Years Boom 3. It’s still a single-box speaker at the end of the day, and the soundstage was a bit narrow as a result. You can set up two Echo speakers to work together for wider stereo sound, though we weren’t able to test this ourselves.
Sound tuning was focused a bit toward vocals, given that the Echo is a smart speaker and most of its functionality will involve Alexa responding to commands. As a result, we found the mid-range to be a bit high, while the high and low still seemed powerful. The microphones were great at taking voice commands out of a room clearly, and Alexa continues to improve in terms of its capabilities and responses.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation) with watch display
The smaller Echo Dot (3rd generation) with the watch has the same sound as the version without the watch. It’s naturally much softer than the larger Echo (3rd generation), working well for smaller rooms, or if you’re within a short distance from the speaker. That said, it’s particularly loud for an instrument of its size, and works well for personal listening when it comes to volume.
The quality pales in comparison to what you hear on a smaller wireless speaker like the Sony SRS-XB12. We found that our music sounded dull at times, and there wasn’t much detail to hear. However, given that this is an Alexa-powered smart speaker with the full capabilities of a voice assistant, we found the sound quality to be acceptable for what it is, though it’s important to remember that this device doesn’t have a battery and It therefore lacks the portability offered by competing alternatives.
The device was easily able to take voice commands when we were close to it, but moving about 10 feet away from the Echo Dot also made the device less likely to respond.
Although technically new products, the Amazon Echo (3rd generation) and Echo Dot (3rd generation) with Clock, are not fundamentally different from what has been available for some time now. The larger Echo has the same capabilities as the Echo Plus (without the home automation hub) at a lower cost, while the smaller device adds a digital clock to the front. While the Echo (3rd generation) speaker does what it’s supposed to, we think the Echo Show 5 is a better value offering for its screen. The Echo (3rd generation) certainly does sound better than the Echo Show 5, if sound quality is a high priority for you.
In our opinion, the more affordable Echo Dot with watch is definitely worth buying over the regular Echo Dot (3rd generation). We found the watch very useful, and definitely worth the extra Rs. 1,000. While they still aren’t the best-sounding speakers in their respective price ranges, these new Echo devices are one of the most versatile thanks to the ever-increasing capabilities of Alexa.