The Amazon Echo comes in lots of different flavors. The Echo already came in three varieties and they’ve just added a fourth with a fifth on the horizon. You may have already elected to choose Alexa over the Google assistant but there This is quite a bit of variety which can make it tough to find the best Amazon Echo for you.
The Echo has been around since 2015 and since then Amazon has released a few variants, each with its own specific niche. They all ship with Amazon’s cloud assistant Alexa.
There are currently three different flavors to choose from. The Amazon Echo, The Amazon Tap and The Echo dot. That’s a lot of varieties to choose from. How about we lend you a hand and help you break down the best Amazon Echo for your needs?
The Original deal. The Echo is a 9-inch smart speaker that comes with the ability to play all your favorite music, podcasts and pretty much anything else. It can also double as a smart controller for your home and let you connect to your smart lights, thermostats or whatever other “smart” devices you have in your home.
The Echo can do pretty much anything that doesn’t require a screen. Alexa can read you audio-books, tell you how rough the commutes going to be and let you know what the weather’s like outside.
The Echo is always connected Amazon’s Alexa network, so it’s always listening. The more you use the device the more it learns your preferences, speech patterns, and vocabulary, which allows Alexa to improve your experience the more you speak to her.
This is the best Amazon Echo if you’re after the complete, original Alexa experience. The Echo will let take advantage of all of Alexa’s features and comes with a solid speaker built into it. The Echo is designed to become the control center of your home and sells for $179.99
The Dot somewhat resembles a high-tech hockey puck. At its core the Echo Dot is a miniature version of the Amazon Echo. It shares similar capacities to the original Echo at a reduced cost and size.
The Echo Dot is significantly more compact than its siblings and unfortunately this means that it comes with reduced speaker capacities. The Dot counteracts this by including a 3.5mm audio-jack and bluetooth connectivity. Allowing you to connect it to an existing speaker setup.
Alexa is always on so long as the Echo Dot is connected to wifi. This means that like the Amazon Echo it learns from you as you use it. The Dot can connect to numerous streaming services and can be used as a remote to control your other smart home devices.
The Echo Dot ships for $49.99 and can be bought in a six-pack. This allows users to scatter Echo Dots around the house and connect them together, to provide complete microphone coverage.
The Echo dot is by far the cheapest option on our list. It comes with all of the features of it’s older sister and the only real downside is the reduced speaker capacities. This is the best Amazon Echo device for you if you have a good speaker setup in place already or want to try out Alexa before you shell out for an Amazon Echo or Amazon Tap.
The Tap is an Echo for somebody on the go. It shares many of the features of the original but has been freed from the tyranny of the cord. The Tap has around 9 hours of playback time between charges and comes with a wireless charging cable.
The Tap’s newfound freedom comes with the loss of one of Alexa’s key features. In order to save on battery power Alexa requires a tap of a button in order to rouse her from her slumber. Amazon did release a firmware update in February 2017 that would let you turn Alexa on all the time but this drains the battery too rapidly to be practical.
In general the Tap comes with most of the same features as the Echo. You can connect to your smart home devices and it can stream music using Amazon’s cloud services. It’s basically a slightly smaller, slightly cheaper, Echo that you can use anywhere.
The Tap is perfect for someone who likes to move around. It also works well for someone who is concerned about Alexa’s microphone always listening, since it only turns on when you tell it to. You can pick up at a tap for $129.99.
So what’s the best Amazon Echo device for you?
There are a couple of other Echo models on the horizon, including the Echo Look and the mysteriously named “Project Knight” but these three are the ones you can buy now.
Which one to pick really comes down to what you need. If you want the full-package, go for the Amazon Echo, if you want a control center for your existing speakers or you’re not sure if Alexa is for you, get the Echo Dot and if you want Alexa on the go, grab the Amazon Tap.
Which one did you choose and why? Let us know in the comments!