Speakers

Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen (2020) Review

Amazon Echo Dot Review

Amazon’s new Echo Dot is a reliable smart speaker, and it also possesses a skillful entry point into the market, but it is still competing with the 2018’s still-awesome Dot, which the cost has reduced in past weeks to as low as $19. Apart from the price range, the new Amazon’s $100 full-size Echo possesses an incredible upgrade in sound quality and smart home control.

Amazon Echo Dot Design

Image Source: Tech Radar

Without a doubt, Amazon has taken a different method regarding designing this new Amazon Echo Dot: rather than the former Echo Dot design of a hockey puck. The new Echo Dot is designed like a palm-sized sphere. And this new Dot comes in three different colors (light blue, light gray, and dark gray), although all the three colors come to possess a white power cord, which may be quite frustrating if you purchase a darker colour speaker. 

Echo Dot’s spherical chassis is divided into two parts: it has a rigid mesh layer and a plastic back piece that includes rubber feet on the bottom to prevent it from scratching your table. There’s also a plastic translucent ring close to the bottom, which is the LED indicator light, that turns blue whenever Alexa is listening, turns red when the microphone is muted and turns yellow when the internet connection of the speaker is lost. 

Image Source: Tom’s Guide

At the top of the speaker are four different control buttons, and they consist of (microphone off/on, volume up, volume down, and a button that commands Alexa. Besides, you may even want to use them since almost all of the buttons can be replaced by voice commands. Asides from that, the control buttons are certainly an excellent addition.

At the back of the speaker, you’ll discover a power connector and an aux jack to transmit the audio signal to an external speaker. This is a handy feature. However, it’s also quite displeasing that the 3.5mm aux jack doesn’t double as a line in port the same way it does on the full-size Amazon Echo.

Underneath the top layer of the Amazon Echo Dot and you’ll discover a single 1.6-inch complete-range front-firing speaker. This small but adequate and powerful speaker is in charge of producing the speaker’s whole frequency range of sound. Unfortunately, the results aren’t precisely exciting or inspiring.

Image Source: Tech Radar

Anyways, there’s the added microphone collection packed inside the Amazon Echo Dot, and there haven’t been many complaints about the Echo Dot’s ability to hear voices over the dull roar of the music. Thus, it processes every command correctly. 

Amazon Echo Dot Performance 

Image Source: Tech Radar

Aside from the design, another significant upgrade in the new Echo Dots is certainly the audio performance. It is compelling than its predecessor, and it is a 1.6-inch speaker, even more, significant than the 3rd Gen’s 1.1-inch speaker, and a little more potent than the 1.5-inch Nest Mini. Besides, during testing, the new Amazon Echo Dot sounded extremely powerful and fuller than the other two speakers.

Image Source: Digital Trends

With the new Echo Dot, you get to enjoy the audio except if you want a massive bass from it. It is mildly loud and possesses a keen mids for incredible vocals and speech, but the deficiency of bass might be disappointing to the R’n’B or trap fans. The round shape it has might make you feel it provides directional sound, but it’s uni-directional. Besides, the soundstage is relatively shallow. 

The new Echo Dot’s audio is louder than the former generation Dot, but it does experience some competition from one of its counterparts Mi Smart Speaker. Even at a similar price, the Mi Smart Speaker possesses a bigger and more generous size at 2.5-inch. The 12W full-range driver beats the Echo Dot in terms of the audio’s loudness and bass. 

Image Source: Tech Radar

The 4th Gen Echo Dot provides improved-defined audio, while on the contrary, its competitor is somewhat on the softer side. Anyways, none of these two speakers is suitable enough to turn up a party, but if you are interested more in the details rather than its loudness, then the Echo Dot 4th Gen should be your option.

If you desire to use your smart speaker as a go-to music player, you may pair two of the 4th Gen Dot speakers to get stereo sound, but you may go for a Google Nest Audio or the 4th Gen Echo. But if you’ve listened to the former Echo Dot speakers and you are pleased with them or find them accurate for your use, then the 4th Gen is fantastic enough for every use case. 

Image Source: Tom’s Guide

The microphone performance of the new Echo Dot is quite more appealing than the audio version. Besides, it doesn’t disappoint at picking up voice commands. The microphones are sensitive, and the AZ1 Neural Edge processor does an outstanding job at both the recognition and response aspects.

However, you’ll only have to increase your voice’s intensity if the speaker is at volume 8 or above, and you are also more than 10ft away from the speaker.

Conclusion

The Echo Dot 4th Gen is a fantastic entry-level smart speaker that barely provides people with the opportunity to complain and draws attention to itself based on its attractive design. The two significant compelling reasons to purchase this speaker are its design and its somewhat louder audio output. In case you’re working on a budget and you’ll like to save more money, you can still purchase the 3rd Gen Dot since there’s nothing much or significant to lose. On the other side, if you are in love with the new design, paying additional money isn’t a bad idea.

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