Amazon Echo: These are the differences between the new devices and their predecessors

If you want to buy a smart speaker, you can't get past Amazon's Echo speakers with the Alexa voice assistant. We compared the Echo devices with each other and filtered out the respective advantages and disadvantages.

“Alexa, beam me up.” Today's voice assistants are not quite as capable, but the digital helpers are still very popular. So-called Smart Speaker , so intelligent speaker can, answered questions, entertain and control networked devices. However, if you want to purchase a smart speaker, you first have to decide on a model - but that's not an easy task. Because there are numerous digital voice assistants and even more smart speakers.

One of the most popular variants is Amazon's assistant "Alexa". The lady can be reached via echo loudspeakers, of which Amazon has a whole range in its range. Big and small, musical and functional, with and without a display, cheap and expensive - the selection of intelligent speakers is large and confusing. That is why we have compared all the relevant Echo smart speakers for you and distilled their strengths and weaknesses from the sea of technical data and marketing promises.

AMAZON ECHO DOT (3RD GENERATION): THE ALL-ROUNDER

The third generation Echo Dot represents the absolute all-rounder model among Amazon's smart speakers. The Echo does not offer any exquisite qualities such as a screen or excellent sound. The smart speaker includes all the essential Alexa functions and is therefore a good introduction to the world of smart home.

Specifically, the 300 gram Amazon Echo Dot offers a speaker with a diameter of 41 millimeters. If the integrated variant is not sufficient, the sound can also be played on another loudspeaker via the existing 3.5 millimeter audio output. When it comes to WiFi, the Echo Dot has both common frequency ranges (2.4 and 5 GHz) and most of the usual WiFi standards. However, you won't find Wi-Fi 802.11 ac here.

Amazon Echo Dot 3rd generation

The Echo Dot 3 comes in two versions that are absolutely indistinguishable apart from the color - at least when switched off. However, if you supply power to the smart speakers, it quickly becomes clear that one of the models has an integrated LED display. The time, outside temperature and a timer can be displayed on it.

AMAZON ECHO (3RD GENERATION): THE STANDARD MODEL

While the Echo Dot is the cheaper all-rounder model - designed for bargain hunters - the Amazon Echo 3 is the manufacturer's standard model. In general, the Echo does not offer any other functions, but better hardware has been installed in the crucial places. The third Amazon Echo comes with two speakers: a neodymium woofer with a diameter of 76 millimeters and a tweeter with a diameter of 20 millimeters. In addition, the Amazon Echo, in contrast to the Amazon Echo Dot, works with Dolby technology - the recommended retail price is 66 percent higher. If both Alexa speakers are on sale, the retail price of the Echo Dot (without LED display) can even be only a third of the price of the Amazon Echo (also reduced).

AMAZON ECHO PLUS (2ND GENERATION): HUB AND TEMPERATURE SENSOR INCLUDED

The Echo Plus 2 of the smart speaker is currently the latest version. Visually, it is almost a twin brother of the Amazon Echo (3rd generation), and the numbers also prove it. Both smart speakers have the same housing size (148 x 99 x 99 millimeters) and the same weight (780 grams). So it shouldn't surprise anyone that the speakers built into the Echo Plus are the same again - as are most of the other characteristics. So what are the differences between the two models then? After all, the Echo Plus (2nd generation) puts around 50 euros more on the price scale than the Echo 3 (both RRP).

The manufacturer Amazon names the most important differences on its website. These mainly affect two areas: First, the Alexa-controlled Echo Plus has a temperature sensor. Thus, in addition to the outside temperature (this information comes from weather services), the device can also name the room temperature in your own home. The second advantage is an integrated Zigbee Smart Home hub, which supports compatible Zigbee lamps, sockets and wall switches, among other things. The intelligent smart home devices can then be controlled via Amazon's Alexa.

ALEXA SPEAKER: THE BOTTOM LINE

Which echo speaker is best? Even if the purchase price is declared to be irrelevant, this question cannot be answered meaningfully. Although some models are in direct competition, such as the Echo 3 and the Echo Plus 2, this does not apply at all to other smart speakers from Amazon. After all, you can't compare good sound with a high display resolution. The choice of a suitable echo loudspeaker mainly depends on your wishes or the intended use.