The Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 is a budget-friendly speaker with built-in Alexa voice assistant capabilities. It has an outstanding voice assistant performance, as the speaker can understand you even if you aren't close by or if you're in a noisy setting. You can even mute the microphone if you want privacy. However, its sound profile is a bit dark and dull, and it also lacks low-bass. Fortunately, there are bass and treble adjustments in the Amazon Alexa app.
The Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen is middling for music. Its balanced mid-range reproduces vocals and lead instruments clearly, but it also sounds a bit dark and veiled. Like many of the small speakers we've tested, it also struggles to reproduce low-bass, and it doesn't get very loud. However, the Amazon Alexa app offers bass and treble adjustments to help you customize its sound.
The Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen is disappointing for videos and movies. It can reproduce voices clearly, though they may sound a bit dark or veiled. However, it lacks low-bass, so you don't feel the thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. It doesn't get very loud, either. While its latency with Android devices may be too high for watching videos, it performs better with iOS devices. Some apps compensate for latency, so your experience may vary.
The Amazon Echo Dot is acceptable for podcasts. It has a neutral mid-range that can reproduce voices clearly, though they may sound a bit dark or dull. However, it doesn't get very loud. You can stream podcasts from your phone or tablet to the speaker wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but you can only pair it to one device at a time, which can be disappointing.
The Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen is amazing for voice assistant support. It has built-in Alexa capabilities, and the speaker is voice-activated. It can understand you even if you aren't close to it or if you're in a loud setting. There's also a mic mute feature, which is handy if you don't want the speaker to listen to you. However, it doesn't get very loud.
The Amazon Echo Dot has to be plugged into an outlet to work, so it isn't suitable for outdoor use.
The Amazon Echo Dot is a small speaker with a distinctive spherical design. It sits on its base, which is flat. There's a ring of light that surrounds the base of the speaker that activates for voice commands, volume adjustments, and when you turn the microphone off. However, it doesn't flash when your music is playing. You also can't change the color.
This speaker has middling portability. It's small and lightweight, and you can easily carry it with one hand. However, it's only powered by AC, so you have to keep it plugged into a wall outlet for it to work.
The Amazon Echo Dot has a passable build quality. The speaker itself feels solid, and the fabric surrounding the speaker is tight and doesn't seem like it could rip easily. However, it isn't rated for dust, water, or impact resistance like some of the other speakers we've tested, like the Sony SRS-XB23.
The controls are mediocre. The four physical buttons let you adjust the volume, mute/unmute the microphone, or activate Alexa without using the wake word, "Alexa". You can also hold down the Action button for 25 seconds to reset the speaker or tap it to silence an alarm. Also, tapping the front of the speaker snoozes your alarm.
The Amazon Echo Dot has middling frequency response accuracy. It struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce vocals and lead instruments clearly, but it lacks detail in the treble range, so your audio can sound dark or dull. However, you can use the bass and treble adjustments in the companion app to adjust the speaker's sound.
The soundstage is okay. It has to downmix stereo content into mono to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive. Fortunately, its directivity is impressive, so the soundstage is perceived as open and spacious.
The Amazon Echo Dot has sub-par dynamics. It doesn't get very loud, and it has some compression artifacts present when you play it at max volume. It may not be suitable for listening to music at parties.
This speaker doesn't have a battery, and you need to plug it into a wall socket to operate it. According to the manufacturer, it enters 'Low Power Mode' when it's idle to help reduce its energy consumption, but we don't test for this.
The Amazon Echo Dot has exceptional voice assistant support. It has built-in Alexa support, and you can activate it with your voice. It understands you, even if you aren't very close to the speaker, and it can separate your voice from background noises. Also, you can mute the microphone if you don't want it to listen to you.
The Amazon Alexa app is incredible. It offers bass and treble adjustments, so you have some control over the speaker's sound profile. You can pair two Echo Dot speakers together to create a stereo pair, which helps create a wider soundstage. Also, you can connect multiple speakers to play music across a large area or through multiple rooms in your house thanks to the Party Mode and Multi-Room features.
The Amazon Echo Dot comes with a 3.5mm AUX port, so you can wire your devices like your smartphone to the speaker to play audio.
This speaker is Bluetooth-compatible. Thanks to its superb range, it stays connected even if your device isn't very close to the speaker. While its latency with Android devices may be too high for watching videos, it performs better with iOS devices. However, some apps compensate for latency, so your real-world experience can vary.
The Amazon Echo Dot has fair Wi-Fi connectivity. While it's Wi-Fi compatible, it doesn't support Apple AirPlay or Google Chromecast connections.
We tested the 4th Gen variant of the Amazon Echo, which has a smaller spherical design that sets it apart from the previous generations. This speaker is available in several different colors, including 'Glacier White', 'Charcoal', and 'Twilight Blue'. We tested the 'Charcoal' variant, and you can see the label here. We expect the other color variants to perform similarly.
Amazon also offers an Echo Dot variant with a digital clock feature, which is available in 'Glacier White' and 'Twilight Blue'. Unlike the variant we tested, it has an LED clock display to help you keep track of the time. Also, there's a Kids Edition of this speaker, available in 'Panda' or 'Tiger', that comes with additional parental controls.
If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.
The Amazon Echo Dot is a small, budget-friendly speaker with a built-in Alexa voice assistant. It's an excellent choice for voice assistant support, and the speaker can understand you even if you aren't close to it or if you're in a noisy setting. However, like most small speakers, it struggles to reproduce low-bass and it doesn't get very loud.
The Google Nest Mini and the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 are similar speakers, so depending on your usage habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Amazon is better for voice assistants since it has a better ambient noise performance, so the voice assistant can understand you better in noisy settings. While the Amazon has built-in Alexa support, the Google has built-in Google Assistant. Unlike the Amazon, the Google also supports Chromecast.
The Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 is better for voice assistants than the Apple HomePod, but the Apple is a better choice for music, videos, and podcasts. The Amazon comes with a mic mute feature, it supports Bluetooth, and it has bass and treble adjustments, unlike the Apple. However, the Apple has a more balanced sound profile out-of-the-box and a better soundstage. It can get louder, and it supports Apple AirPlay.
The Google Nest Audio and the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 are similar speakers, so depending on your usage habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Amazon is better for voice assistant support, as it has a better ambient noise performance. However, the Google is better for music and videos. It has a more balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it gets louder. It also supports Chromecast, unlike the Amazon.
The Sonos Move is a more versatile speaker than the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4. The Sonos can be battery-operated, so it's portable enough to use outside. It has an IP56 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It also has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it can get louder. However, the Amazon is a bit better for voice assistants thanks to its ambient noise performance, which helps the voice assistant understand your commands more clearly in noisy environments.
The Amazon Echo Gen 4 and the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 are both excellent voice assistant speakers, however, the Echo is a better choice for listening to music. The Echo has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it can reproduce a more extended low-bass. Also, it gets louder, though it has some more compression at max volume. It's a bit bigger than the Echo Dot, too.