Whats the Difference Between Amazon Echo and Echo Dot?


Amazon Echo and Alexa are relatively new technologies and have only been around since mid 2015. Many newcomers to the Intelligent  Assistant market are still trying to get to grips with the concept let alone the different device models available. So to assist you with this and to help you decided which device is best for your needs we are going to take a look at the difference between Echo and Echo Dot. In this “Whats the Difference Between Amazon Echo & Echo Dot?” post we will assess what each device offers and run a full Echo vs Echo Dot comparison.

Amazon Echo Price Compare – Devices & Accessories

Compare Amazon Echo device prices and a range off compatible smart home accessories.

Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo
Ask questions, set reminders and control your home using your voice. Includes larger speaker. Can be used as full audio system.
Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon Echo Dot
Ask questions, set reminders and control your home using your voice. Control many of your home appliances. Your own personal assistant.
Philips Hue Bulbs
Philips Hue Lights
Control the lighting in your house over wireless with Alexa! Compatible with both Amazon Echo and your phone. Control your home lights when you are on vacation. Requires Hue bridge.
SONOS Play 1 Speaker
SONOS Play 1
Control your sound with Alexa! Stream audio from the internet or wireless devices. Controlled by SONOS app. Link multiple speakers to stream to any room.

Whats the Difference Between Amazon Echo and Echo Dot?

If you are completely new to and Alexa then see our full Amazon Echo Dot Review. In terms of functionality there is little difference between Echo & Echo Dot. They both operate in the exact same way and both use the full Alexa software. For the different tasks that you can do and the different commands that you can use both devices offer exactly the same solution. So whats the difference between Amazon Echo and Echo Dot? [Read: Amazon Echo Dot Review – What is Alexa & what can She do?]

Echo vs Echo Dot Comparison – The Three S’s

Although the two devices look very different and are both at different price points there are minimal differences between the devices. These include:

  • Size of Device
  • Speaker System
  • Sockets Available

In this Echo vs Echo Dot comparison we will be looking at the 2nd Generation version of each device which is the latest at time of writing. [Read: The Best Things You Can Do with Amazon Echo & Alexa]

Whats the Difference Between Amazon Echo and Echo Dot
Amazon Echo & Echo Dot Devices

Size – Bigger Isn’t Always Better!

The first and key difference between Echo & Echo Dot is the size of the devices. As the name suggests the is the smaller of the two coming in at a fraction of the size of the full Echo. Both devices have a similar sized base at a diameter of approximately 3.3 inches but it is the height that sets the two apart. The Echo Dot stands at a mere 1.3 inches tall whilst the Echo dwarfs this at 5.83 inches. This is simply to accommodate the larger speaker and sound system discussed next. [Read: How to Control Plex with Alexa – Media Streaming Voice Control]

Speaker – Sound Quality

Next on our Echo vs Echo Dot comparison is the speaker. This should really be the main factor in determining whether you opt for the or the Echo Dot. The Echo Dot comes with what Amazon call a 0.6” tweeter speaker only. This speaker is absolutely fine for operating Alexa, asking questions and listening to her responses. You can of course play music on this speaker alone but it sounds very similar to playing it on a mobile phone or a tablet rather than a true sound system. You can of course hook the Echo Dot up to an external speaker system. This is discussed next. The speaker solution is the biggest difference between Echo and Echo Dot. [Read: Steam Link Review – Stream Games to Every Room]

Difference between Echo and Echo Dot
Amazon Echo 2nd Generation

If your intelligent assistant is to become your main music streaming system then the Echo has far more grunt when it comes to sound output. It uses the exact same 0.6” tweeter speaker but also houses a 2.5” subwoofer. These combined produce a far greater level of sound and something much more comparable to a modern digital audio system. If music is to be a regular part of your Alexa routine then the full Echo will provide you with a far superior experience. [Read: Best TV Box for Netflix and Online Streaming Services]

Sockets – Connectivity to Other Speaker Systems

Sockets used to be a key difference between Echo and Echo Dot but this has since been removed with the release of the 2nd Generation devices. Originally it was only the Echo Dot that came with an audio line-out socket for connectivity to external speaker systems. This is no no longer the case as both the Echo & the Echo Dot devices have the same sockets and can both be hooked up to external sound systems.  You only need to consider external speaker connectivity if you are purchasing a 1st Generation Echo device. [Read: How to Install Amazon Store on Android – For Apps & Offers]

Echo vs Echo Dot comparison
Amazon Echo Dot 2nd Generation

One final consideration in the “Whats the Difference Between Amazon Echo and Echo Dot?” debate is of course price. You can expect to pay more or less double the price for the full Echo and this is of course due to the 2.5” subwoofer. [Read: Best NAS for Plex – A Network Media Server]

HMP Verdict – Difference Between Echo and Echo Dot

Whether you choose the Echo or the Echo Dot you will undoubtedly be impressed by Amazon’s Intelligent Assistant technology. Both the Echo & Alexa provide a great basis for any smart home solution and the technology is in a league of its own. Who wins the Echo vs Echo Dot battle comes down to sound and really depends on your needs. In terms of functionality and what Alexa can do the devices are the same. If you want the device for asking questions, setting alarms, creating to-do lists or switching on and off your lights then take the lower priced Amazon Echo Dot device. But if sound quality is important to you and your Echo device is to become one of the main sound systems in your home then the full sized Echo is definitely worth the additional expense. [Read: Sideload Apps to Amazon Fire TV & Stick using ADB]