Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Amazon ECHO or DOT, which one should you choose

I have been asked many times what is the difference in the ECHO and the Dot.  It is a question I sort of learned the hard way.  I bought an ECHO and a DOT at the same time.  I hooked up my ECHO and all was cool.  Keep in mind, your ECHO or DOT have to be assigned to an Amazon account.  If you have multiple accounts in your home, you will have to decide which one it associates with.  I would recommend using one Amazon prime account.  If you do home automation, you will only need to set it up once and not for each account.

Each ECHO and DOT are independent devices.  You do not need an ECHO to use a DOT.  You just have to have them connected to an Amazon account.  You can have all DOTs in your home.  This is an assumption by a lot of people but is not true.

Both ECHO and DOT use Alexa to do everything.  There is nothing different in how you talk to it or what it can do.

Price of an ECHO is about $139 to $179.

Price of a DOT is about $39 to $59.  You can buy six packs and get a discount.

The main difference is ECHO is a good music player for big rooms.   The DOTs are a music player too but just a little better sound quality than an iPhone.  You will not get the deep rich sounds, like an ECHO or external bluetooth speaker.  The cool thing is you can connect a DOT to a bluetooth speaker or use the 3.5 audio out.

If you have a large room and like to play Internet music like Amazon Music with great sound quality, go with the ECHO.  If you already have a good music solution like Sonos or through your AV receive, then a DOT gives you everything you need at a lower price.

We have an open kitchen, living and breakfast area.  We have an ECHO there and love it.  We can say Alexa turn on the TV, turn off up stairs lights, play top Christian or turn down the temp from anywhere in that area.  We can walk into a room with the DOT and say the same things because they are all registered on the same Amazon account.  They all have the same Skills and smart home devices.

We have a DOT in our girls rooms, my office and our master bath.  Our girls use it for an alarm or to play music while they sleep.  They can turn off their lights too.
We can tell Alexa to play music, turn on our fan or turn off the lights from our master bedroom to the DOT in our master bath.  I was surprised it would work that well.

Future wish item:
Today ECHOs or DOTs can't control other ECHOs or DOTs.  It is a common ask to Amazon to be able to turn off or execute commands to other ECHOs or DOTs but they don't have it yet.  To be honest, it is not a huge need.

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