Smart speakers are quickly becoming a household necessity. With capabilities ranging from playing music to controlling smart home devices, they are now considered the future of home automation. There are multiple smart speakers popping up on the market today, but if you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you may want to check out the very popular third-generation Echo Dot. As if its regular price of $50 isn’t low enough, before Prime Day.
The Echo Dot was originally created as an inexpensive way of accessing Alexa, without much attention given to sound. But all that has changed with the latest version. It’s bigger and more powerful than the previous models, thanks to its new design and vastly improved audio quality.
This smart speaker flaunts the signature hockey-puck shape but with a slightly wider base. The top sports an array of control buttons (two volume buttons, the microphone on/off button, the Alexa button) as well as four microphone holes. Other significant improvements include a cloth-covered finish, a small cylindrical power tip, and a rounded wall plug.
Inside is a single 1.6-inch speaker that fires 360 degrees, which is considerably larger than that of the prior models’ small speakers that leaked out audio through multiple portholes. It produces impressive sound quality with smoother treble and clear midrange and vocal timbres. Even at full volume, the Dot is pleasant to listen to.
The speaker acts as a gateway to the built-in voice assistant Alexa which can make phone calls, check the news, answer questions, and more. You can control compatible smart home devices with a simple voice command, such as locking the doors, switching on the lamp, and turning on the coffee maker. Further convenience is offered by the Alexa Guard that provides smart alerts in case the Dot detects the sound of glass breaking or smoke alarms, and the Alexa for Kids that automatically sets restrictions and assigns settings suitable for children.
The third-generation Echo Dot checks all the right boxes in smart home and entertainment, making it the best compact smart speaker at this price range. It even made our list of the best products for 2018.
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