Already have an Echo Dot (2nd Gen)? The new 3rd Gen model works the same, but offers considerably better sound quality and a design that's an improvement every way you look at it. This isn't a necessary upgrade, but it's one we think you'll be happy making if you're due.
These two generations of Echo Dot look quite different, but the share a lot of the same Alexa DNA. Let's see how they compare against each other:
|Amazon Echo Dot
|Amazon Echo Dot
|Weight||10.6 oz||5.7 oz|
|Size||3.9" x 3.9" x 1.7"||1.3" x 3.3" x 3.3"|
|Speakers||1 x 1.6"||1 x 1.1"|
3.5mm audio jack
3.5mm audio jack
|Smart home controls||Yes||Yes|
|Pair multiple for stereo sound||Yes||Yes|
|Finishes||Fabric — 4 colors
|Plastic — 2 colors
The Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is the tiny Alexa speaker to beat
No matter if you're just getting started with Echo devices or have various Alexa speakers throughout your entire home, the Echo Dot line has always done a good job of appealing to both camps. It's cheap enough that first-timers are comfortable with trying it out to see if Alexa is for them, whereas Alexa pros can easily add them to multiple rooms in a house/apartment to ensure that there's an Echo speaker everywhere.
2016's Echo Dot (2nd Gen) has done an admirable job for the last couple of years, but with the Echo Dot (3rd Gen), it's clear which is the better speaker.
Just look at the two side by side, and it's no contest as to which one is prettier. The 2nd Gen Dot's basic plastic build gets the job done, but it's boring, uninspired, and very clearly looks like a piece of technology, On the flip side, the newer 3rd Gen device swaps out the hard plastic in favor of fabric that's available in four different colors (Charcoal, Heather Gray, Sandstone, and a new Plum variant). It bears a striking resemblance to the Nest Mini, and that's not a bad thing at all.
Going past the design, the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) also takes the lead with vastly improved speakers. The 2nd Gen Echo Dot sounds OK for Alexa responses and playing a podcast or music in the background, but it's never been a speaker that was particularly enjoyable to listen to. Everything sounds flat, tinny, and kind of lifeless.
The Echo Dot (3rd Gen) won't be replacing your Sonos One anytime soon, but it sounds fuller, richer, and doesn't make your favorite songs sound like they're being played through a tin can.
And, no matter which model you choose, you can connect them to a more powerful speaker using a 3.5mm connector.
So should you upgrade?
It's tough to recommend that you throw out a perfectly good working product just because something newer and better has come along. However, the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is so much better than the second-generation Dot that we can't argue with you if you decide to move on. The fabric design is more fashionable, the speaker is better, and the multiple color options (including a pretty new Plum color) all make this an easy upgrade choice for us. Take those older Echo Dots and move them to a guest room, office, or garage, and feature the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) prominently and proudly in the busiest rooms in you home!
Awesome tiny speaker
An inexpensive entry into Alexa's world
Want an Alexa speaker? Get the 3rd Gen Echo Dot. It provides a ton of value for its small price tag, and even if you already own the 2nd Gen model, there are enough upgrades here to keep you interested.
This puck has passed
A reliable (if unobtainable) classic
It will be hard to find the 2nd Gen Dot anywhere but the reseller's market, and even then it may not be worth it considering the $50 price tag of the 3rd Gen. If you still have one, it's time for an upgrade.
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