Amazon’s Echo is one of the most versatile smart home devices you can find. Powered by Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, it was such a hit that earlier this year Amazon released a smaller, budget alternative called Echo Dot. Now you can pre-order Amazon’s highly anticipated Amazon Echo Dot with select Bose Bluetooth speakers or an Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat and save as much as $50 in the process.
The Echo Dot is a puck-sized gadget with a big brain. The voice-controlled device features built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and seven far-field microphones. Thanks to Amazon’s constantly-evolving Alexa assistant, the Echo Dot can be used for anything from streaming music (Alexa can access various services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Prime Music) to ordering an Uber pick-up.
Alexa can also be used to make purchases directly from Amazon, though you’ll want to make sure you’ve checked your Amazon purchase preferences before making any orders.
The original Echo was a device we could heartily recommend to anyone. At half the price, the Echo Dot is an easy Editor’s Choice award winner.
The three bundle deals below take advantage of the Echo Dot’s capabilities in various ways.
Although the Echo Dot includes built-in speakers, we found its audio quality was on par with a tablet’s. That makes its speakers suitable for getting weather information, sports scores, or using the Echo Dot as an alarm. For music listening, you’ll want to upgrade the device’s audio capabilities. Fortunately, that’s easy because the Echo Dot can be paired with any Bluetooth speaker — such as the Bose SoundLink Mini II — or hard-wired to any audio system with RCA inputs.
The original Bose SoundLink Mini delivered massive, rich sound that was noticeably bigger than anything you’d get from similarly sized speakers. The newer SoundLink Mini II builds on its predecessor’s strengths and now includes a longer 10-hour battery (upgraded from 7 hours), speakerphone functionality, and the ability to charge via USB (in addition to via an AC jack or charging cradle).
Purchased on its own, the SoundLink Mini II costs $199 in Pearl or Carbon. Pre-order the Echo Dot with Bose’s speaker and Amazon shaves $35 off the bundle for a final price of $214.Amazon Echo Dot + Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat
Much like the popular Nest thermostat, the Ecobee3 aims to save homeowners money by adjusting your home’s temperature based on who is at home. It features a 320 x 480 full-color LCD for its controls and includes one sensor (additional sensors can be bought in packs of two for about $73).
Ecobee has been in the HVAC industry for years and we found that the extra experience makes the Ecobee3’s software and features really shine.
For instance, its smart enough to detect humidity and adjust room temperate accordingly. It can also recognize the temperature difference on a cool summer evening and use the outside air — instead of your more expensive air conditioner — to cool down your home. Purchased on its own, the Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat will set you back $249. This Echo Dot and Ecobee3 bundle saves you $50.
If you’ve been curious about Alexa or looking to dip your toes into home automation, the Amazon Echo Dot and Ecobee3 bundle is an excellent start. If you’re looking for new ways to stream music from your favorite services, the Echo Dot and Bose SoundLink Mini II is an equally impressive bundle. All bundles will ship on October 20.