Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Review 2020: Best Smart Speaker

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Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Review 2020: Best Smart Speaker

Connecting all your favorite devices is your thing. You love to impress your guests with your tech genius voice commands.

You want everything at your fingertips. And your smart home needs a voice command control that can deliver.

Yes, you want the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation). Click here if you’ve already decided.

Play songs from all your favorite streaming platforms with this smart little Bluetooth speaker. 

The Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)

The perfect Alexa companion, Echo Dot (3rd Gen), connects all your smart home technology in a snap. 

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is perfect for the beginner. It’s a fantastic Bluetooth speaker that introduces the newbie to all the joys of smart technology.

The 3rd generation design is better than its predecessor. But it’s not for the sound critic that lives and dies by their hand-picked music selection.

Amazon’s third try on this little Bluetooth wonder was a soaring success. 3rd Gen said goodbye to the cheap plastic puck look of Generation 2 and upgraded to a softer, more homey design.

See for yourself.

Photo by Lazar Gugleta on Unsplash

Don’t expect this little tech-savvy device to produce high-performance stereo sound.

Don’t get me wrong; it obeys your every command and has enough moxie to play your favorite songs.

It’s intended to help you enjoy all the smart home tasks you love with a simple voice command. No more getting up and flicking a switch or searching for a remote. You can turn on lights, music, and even operate your security system without ever leaving your chair.

And the best part is you can connect multiples of these little cuties for a complete hands-free home.

That’s just incredible. 

But in some instances, Echo Dot (3rd Generation) might not be right for you.

In my review, I give you everything you’ll need to consider before you pull the trigger on this smart little speaker.

Let’s dive right in.

Or, check out the table of contents below if you’re looking for something in particular.

Not Portable Without the Optional Battery Base

If you’ve read my recent review, Top 10 Best Bluetooth Speakers Under 50, in 2020, you’re probably wondering how this speaker ended up on my top ten list. 

Especially considering it’s not very portable, and that’s one of my ranking criteria.

I wanted to give my readers an option for smart technology since that is the latest craze. And for just under $50 Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is a fantastic buy. 

And, even though it requires plugging in when in regular operation, Amazon figured out a smart way to make the Echo Dot 3, portable.

Do Cords Make You Crazy?

You can buy a portable battery base for your Echo Dot 3. Yes, it’s an extra expense, but to get the most out of your investment, you may want to consider this option-especially if cords drive you crazy.

If you’re like me, you want to be able to take your speaker with you when you travel.  The Echo Dot (3rd Generation) is small enough to go along. 

Just know that without the optional battery base, you’ll have to be by a power source. That’s no problem for a hotel room, but walking on the beach is out of the question.

But if you’re using it for your smart home setup. So you’ll be all set as long as you have a spot to plug in your speakers. 

You’ll want to consider placement and layout if you’re trying to create the ultimate intercom system. 

The battery base works to gain in-home portability. That is if you don’t mind the extra expense or having to charge your battery base.

You can check out the optional battery base on Amazon by clicking here.

Limited Portability But You Can Display, Protect, and Dress It Up

There are many ways to display, protect, and dress up this little smart speaker.

Here is a list of some fun optional accessories, just click the link to see each one on Amazon:

If you can’t splurge on the battery base, you might be able to spend a few extra dollars on some fun ways to display your speaker.

Maybe you’re not concerned about portability. You might want to pair a few together to play music in multiple rooms of your home.

Double or Triple Your Fun

You’ve waited a long time to have a connected home. You weren’t even sure you understood what that meant. But now you’re ready to jump on the Alexa bandwagon. 

You’ve downloaded the Alexa App, so what’s next? 

Decide where you want to place your Echo Dot speakers, and pairing them is easy. Go to devices in your Alexa app and select the plus sign to add your new speakers. I’ll cover more on how to operate the device later.

You can do a multi-room setup in the Alexa app and listen to music throughout your house. Bounce from the laundry room to the kitchen and never miss a beat.

Keep in mind, the sound quality isn’t going to win any awards, but for the ease of setting up a smart home sound system, Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is delightful.

You can tell your speaker to make your coffee, set your alarm, call your mom, or play your favorite music. 

Of course, some of that is dependent upon your other equipment’s Bluetooth compatibility.

The point is all Echo’s are compatible with each other. And you can control them in any room you have Echo devices. 

The bad news is that they are not compatible with other brand Bluetooth speakers using the multi-room setup.

The good news is that each speaker plays as a separate device. You can listen to music from one source while another person in the house listens to something on another source.

However, you can’t have two people in different rooms trying to listen to different music from the same source. 

Amazon recognizes one account as the same user. But you can get a family account, so your Echo allows stream switching between devices

If you’re looking for exceptional sound quality, though, you might want to consider another option.

Sound Quality Is What You’d Expect For The Price

For the price, Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) has a clear and precise sound quality. It’s distortion-free and sounds incredible on max volume.

But if you want bigger bass and stereo quality music, you’ll need to use the 3.5mm output and hook into something beefier for that. 

Echo Dot 3rd Gen has a 4cm driver with four microphones for louder sound and sensitive pick-up

The microphones enhance Echo’s ability to hear your commands. And the performance is outstanding.

You can have something playing in the background, and Echo Dot 3 effortlessly picks up your command. Even if you’re not in range to your speaker, you can use your phone app to control it from another room.

The bottom line is Echo performs as expected in sound quality. It’s not going to give you deep lows and booming bass, but it performs a lot like the OontZ Angle 3 in the sound category. 

That’s pretty great for a Bluetooth speaker in this price range. But if you’re looking for higher sound quality and loudness for your smart home setup, you’ll have to spend more money. 

The larger Amazon Echo is an excellent option.

The larger Amazon Echo (3rd Gen)

Check it out on Amazon by linking here.

But Echo Dot 3 is plenty loud, and with its clarity; you’ll enjoy listening to this incredibly smart speaker.

Now, what about the range?

Eagle Ears On This Smart Device

Range means a couple of different things when it comes to Bluetooth speakers. I’m not talking about how far away the speaker can be from its audio source and still play.

I’m talking about how far away Dot 3rd Gen can pick up a voice command. 

The answer is an incredible 30 feet. That, of course, depends on obstacles like walls and background noise. 

But most reviews were fantastic for range in voice recognition. Echo Dot (3rd Gen) gets 4.6 out of 5 stars with more than 2,000 reviews. Can you say, WOW?

Another nice feature is the upgraded 802.11ac dual-band WiFi support. The WiFi range extends on both 2.4 and 5GHz networks.  

The Bluetooth connection uses Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), used for audio streaming capabilities. 

For a smart speaker, Echo Dot 3rd Gen is quite remarkable.

And speaking of smart…

Top of Its Class for Smart Home Technology

You won’t find a better performing speaker in this price range and some higher-priced devices.

Amazon has made incredible advances in the Echo family, and the Dot (3rd Gen) is no exception.

I won’t get into the 100,000 plus smart commands Alexa understands.

This review is based solely on Echo Dot’s performance. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least tell you that through Echo Dot (3rd Gen), Alexa can:

  • Start your car
  • Help you make a fantastic dinner
  • Play your favorite music
  • Tell you the days weather
  • Check your bank balance
  • Play your favorite music
  • Turn off your lights
  • Make your shopping list
  • Play your messages

And the list goes on. And through the Echo Dot, Alexa comes alive in your home. But it does have limitations.

Multi-User Disappointment

This beautiful little Bluetooth speaker pairs with your stereo so you can hear your best music throughout the house. It can control just about any smart home device, too.

It also acts as an intercom system. You can call your kids for dinner without yelling. Remember those days?

One area needs significant improvement, however. 

Amazon’s Echo Dot speakers can’t switch accounts without being told. Google Assistant has much better voice recognition when it comes to multiple users. 

If you have someone else using the voice commands at the same time, this issue can be a pain.

You can work through it by installing the family account feature I mentioned earlier, but that adds an extra cost.

Still, Amazon is a superior performer when it comes to smart home control.

Am I Safe To Use Echo Dot Speakers?

Let me put your mind at ease. Amazon implemented new technology designed to protect your privacy. They addressed problems related to harmful apps that could listen in through the Echo speaker.

There are multiple layers of protection and controls now to help you block such activity. You can shut off the microphone as you see fit.

You can view and delete any of your voice recordings.

As scary as this all sounds, there are ways to protect yourself and manage unwanted privacy concerns. 

As an example, using the Alexa App, you can set your settings to enable a voice command for Alexa to delete what you say. You can also set a schedule to have recordings automatically deleted. 

Some protection technology can be life-saving. Alexa has wake word technology that listens for breakage and alarms to alert you when Alexa suspects danger. 

With a few simple steps, you can enjoy your new smart speaker without worry.

And the Echo Dot is a pretty slick looking little speaker too.

Small, Round, and Compact Like a Doughnut

The 3rd Generation of Echo Dot has a much more updated look. There is a beautiful fabric covering the circumference of the speaker.

The look and feel of the soft fabric give warmth and inviting appeal to this cute little soundbox.

There are six earth tone color choices and one sassy rainbow-striped option for the child at heart. 

There is a spunky light-up ring around the top of the speaker, but it’s not overbearing, and it serves a purpose. The colors change for different functions.

  • Blue means it’s powered on and listening. 
  • Orange indicates it’s connecting to WiFi. 
  • Purple means it’s in a Do Not Disturb state. 
  • Red means the microphone is disabled. 
  • White signals volume change.

The small size is almost equivalent to a donut making it easy to incorporate anywhere in your home. I know it sounds weird, but it does remind me of a doughnut. Don’t you agree?

Now that we’re all hungry for doughnuts let’s look at what comes in the box.

What Comes With the Echo Dot (3rd Gen)?

Although the warranty only covers 90 Days, Amazon offers additional coverage for a nominal price.

You can get up to three years of extended coverage (for U.S. customers) at just under $10.

Amazon’s customer service is excellent. Amazon backs the products they sell, and it’s easy to resolve product issues.

As always, don’t wait to try out your new speaker. Get the bugs worked out within the first 90 days of purchase and contact customer support if you run into problems.

What Else Do You Get? 

Your speaker comes in a compact, light blue box with a plastic covering protecting the control buttons and ports.  

The speaker is small and round. It fits comfortably in your hand, weighing 10.6oz and measuring 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.7 inches

Also included are the user’s booklet and a 15W power adapter with a 6ft. Cord. There’s also:

  • 4 built-in mics for utilizing voice commands.
  • An auxiliary port, but you’ll need to purchase the Aux cable separately

A Great Little Conversation Piece

Its beautiful fabric covering looks fantastic, and it’s small enough to sit on a shelf or in a corner. But, cool enough to be a conversation piece for those invited party guests.

There is a protective silicone bottom to provide extra grip on smooth surfaces.

The control buttons are easy to see and feel making operation simple.

Let’s see how easy it is to operate the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation).

Easy Operation Even For A Beginner

Follow these easy steps, and you’ll be on your way to amazing smart home experiences.

  1. Plug your Echo Dot into an outlet and wait for Alexa to say hello.
  2. A blue light ring spins, indicating the power is on.
  3. Alexa greets you and walks you through the setup process.
  4. You’ll need to download and install the Alexa app.
  5. Change your WiFi network when prompted.
  6. Go to your WiFi settings on your phone and select the Amazon-TFN option.
  7. Go back to your Alexa app and select continue.
  8. Select your WiFi.
  9. You’ll hear a prompt that your device is ready.

Set up is easy, and you’ll be enjoying your new smart speaker in minutes.

Now let’s look at what things I like and what I don’t.   

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – What I Like

  • Limitless smart technology platforms to connect with this device
  • Superb voice recognition technology
  • A beautifully designed focal piece
  • It’s a ton of fun to interact with your guests
  • A user-friendly smart speaker for the newbie

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – What I Don’t Like

  • It’s not battery operated. You have to buy a separate battery base.
  • It’s not portable without the battery base.
  • It’s not waterproof.

Who It’s Best For?

If voice controlling your music and other audio is your thing, this Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is perfect for you.

You love the latest gadgets, and entertaining your guests with your cool toys is a fun pass time for you.

You have smart home technology and want everything automated so you can focus on other important life tasks.

You’re all set with all you need to know about the Echo Dot (3rd Generation). 

You’re not a beginner any longer. You’re ready to buy one, and Amazon is the best place to find the color and options you want. Click here and get your new Dot (3rd Gen) now.

You don’t have to worry about setting it up either. You’ve got everything you need in this review to enjoy a voice commanded life.

Spend time on all the people you love instead of time-sucking tasks. The Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation) has you covered.

And if you want to check out more Bluetooth speakers under $50, here is my top ten list for 2020.

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