Amazon might be an e-commerce giant, but they also make a dizzying array of smart home devices. Chief among this is its excellent line of Echo smart speakers and smart displays, which all feature Amazon’s Alexa AI voice assistant. These handy speakers can do much more than play music and videos: They can also serve as command hubs for your broader smart home ecosystem (if you have one or are setting one up for the first time). But with so many models now available, choosing the right Amazon Echo device can get confusing. Let us help you out with this roundup of the best Amazon Echo deals, which lays out the different features of each along with the best prices you’ll find right now. These devices are currently all listed at full or close to full retail price, but check back often because Amazon drops new deals often.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) — $25, was $40
- The cheapest Echo speaker
- Good sound for the price
- Compact and unobtrusive design
- Intuitive Alexa voice controls
Amazon’s Echo Dot smart speaker is the most popular device in the entire Echo product line, primarily because it is the least expensive fully functional Alexa-compatible smart speaker. The third-generation Echo Dot is still available in two versions: the Echo Dot and the Echo Dot with Clock. The third-generation Echo Dot Kids Edition seems to have been discontinued with the introduction of the Echo Dot 4 Kids Edition.
Despite its pared-down hardware design, the Echo Dot 3 supports full voice interaction with Alexa — the Amazon Echo smart home platform’s digital voice assistant. You can ask Alexa to play your favorite songs or playlists, set timers and alarms, or tell you the current weather, sports, or news. You can also use an Echo Dot as a command center for a houseful of smart home devices. There are more than 100,000 Amazon-certified Alexa Skills, the term for special-purpose programs that respond to voice commands.
In addition, you can use Dots to make calls to other people with or without Dots. The standard Echo Dot has microphones and a speaker, and while the current version has better music playback quality than the first two generations, it won’t fill a room with sound for a party like the larger Amazon Echo or Echo Plus — but it’s by far the cheapest entry point into the Alexa-powered smart speaker ecosystem. If you like the Echo Dot’s compact size and want a slight upgrade in sound quality, then you may want to consider the fourth-gen Echo Dot instead.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) with clock — $60
- Packs a surprising punch for its size
- Full suite of Alexa voice controls
- The speaker to beat in the sub-$50 price bracket
- Optional LED clock is a great feature
After three generations of its successful puck-shaped Echo Dot speaker, Amazon rolled out the new fourth-gen model in 2020, which featured a complete redesign. Gone was the hockey puck, and in its place was something more akin to a softball. The sphere-shaped Echo Dot 4th gen was a delightful surprise and brought with it some welcome upgrades over the third-gen smart speaker.
For starters, the sound quality is a noteworthy improvement. Amazon has done a good job of improving the audio output of its smart speakers with every new release and didn’t skip this when designing the fourth-gen Echo Dot. The spherical speaker design and internal driver deliver a surprisingly loud punch for such a small device, and while it’s a little bigger than its predecessors, the Echo Dot 4 still fits nicely in smaller spaces.
And, of course, it has all the Alexa AI functionality as the other Echo devices, so it’s good to go for your smart home ecosystem. The Echo Dot with Clock adds LEDs on the side of the fabric-covered puck-shaped device. The LEDs can display the time, outside temperature, or the time remaining on a countdown timer — which makes it handy in the kitchen. We felt that this should be default on all of the newer Echo Dot models, but on the bright side, the non-Clock variant is barely more expensive than the Echo Dot 3.
Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) — $45, was $85
- Compact and attractive design
- Smart display adds a lot of functionality
- Great for video calls and security systems
- Very affordable
The Echo Show smart displays have all the functions of an Echo smart speaker but they add touchscreens. You might not want to watch a full movie on an Echo Show, especially the smaller Show 5 or Show 8, which feature 5.5-inch and 8-inch displays, respectively. More common uses for the various Echo Show models are for showing news clips, step-by-step recipes or song lyrics, digital photos, weather and news reports, your calendar, and other visual content.
The Echo Show 5 is also great for video calls as all Show models include a video camera along with the standard microphone and speaker. You can use software settings or physical controls to block the camera lens for privacy, but the Show camera’s primary use is for video calls. You can connect with friends and family members via voice and/or video; even if they don’t have their own Echo Show, they can take your calls on their mobile device using the Alexa mobile app.
The Echo Show 5 smart display also works with Alexa-compatible video doorbells and security cameras with support for a two-way talk with compatible security devices so you can see and talk with visitors without opening your door. Echo Show smart displays automatically adjust the screen brightness based on ambient light, which makes them appropriate as digital bedside assistants, ready at all times for your voice request.
Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) Kids version — $45, was $95
Realistically, this is the same Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) model you’ve come to know and love with some added frills meant for younger audiences. The chameleon-like design, for example, is something kids will love. Kids can ask Alexa to play videos, help with homework, and make video calls to contacts that you approve — they cannot interact with anyone unauthorized. It comes with one year of Amazon Kids+ too, giving them direct access to games, media, Audible books, and more.
Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) — $80, was $130
- 8-inch screen is a great sweet spot in size
- Solid sound quality
- Responsive touch display
- Simple setup and use
Choosing between the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 is a linear process: a larger screen size also means higher image resolution, sound quality, and price. If the larger 10- and 15-inch Show models are too expensive and the Show 5 display is a bit too small for your taste, then the Show 8 may be the right fit for most users with the best compromise of all four factors. At 8 inches, it sits in the Goldilocks zone in terms of size, and it’s a pretty great value, too.
We found the Echo Show 8’s eight-inch touchscreen to be a bit more responsive than the 5.5-inch display on the Echo Show 5, which can feel a little sluggish at times. The on-device setup process for the Echo Show 8 also could not be easier and doesn’t even require a smartphone, companion app, or anything external to get it up and running. Connect it to your local internet, input your account credentials, and you’re ready to start syncing it with your other smart devices and enjoying its many features.
The Echo Show 8 has all the features you’d expect from an Alexa-powered smart display, including the ability to make video calls with friends and family (even if they don’t own a Show device themselves). It’s a great hub for smart home security devices, too, such as cameras and video doorbells. It’s pricier than the other Amazon Echo deals on our list, but for around a hundred bucks, the Echo Show 8 hits the perfect sweet spot in price-to-performance, in our opinion, and it’s the Echo device to get if you want a smart display and have the budget for it.
When are the best Amazon Echo deals?
Amazon typically joins the action during big seasonal and holiday sales (think July 4, Labor Day, and Black Friday), so any of these events are great opportunities to shop for Amazon Echo deals. However, since this is Amazon we’re talking about, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Prime Day, which is rivaled only by Black Friday and Cyber Monday as far as annual sales go.
Prime Day is a yearly celebration of Amazon’s birthday that typically takes place in mid-July. You can think of it as Black Friday in the summer, although Prime Day itself is exclusive to Amazon and the official deals are limited to Prime members. That said, other retailers compete with Amazon by running sales concurrent with Prime Day, although Best Buy is the only other place you’ll find Amazon Echo deals. If you don’t have a Prime membership, keep your eyes on Best Buy instead (or you could always take advantage of an Amazon Prime trial if it’s available to you).
How much should you spend on an Amazon Echo?
The short answer is: Not much. If you’re shopping for your first Echo speaker, we recommend sticking with one of the cheaper Echo Dot models, as this is an inexpensive way to give Alexa a spin and get a grip on all of the features. Because many households eventually buy more than one Echo device, there’s no reason to buy one of the most expensive Echoes or Show devices right off the bat.
If you start with an Echo Dot or an Echo Show 5 and later want to add more devices or choose another device with better sound or a larger screen, the first device will surely find a home quickly in another place, such as your bedroom. Your Echo devices will all sync together, too, so you can control everything with any of them. If, on the other hand, you find that you don’t use your Echo device much or at all, by buying a less expensive model, you won’t feel like you wasted a bunch of money.
If you’re still having trouble choosing which model you want, just know that they all boast the same features when it comes to the Alexa AI. The most significant difference among the Echo smart speakers is audio quality. The Echo Dot is fine in the kitchen or a home office for background music, but if you want to fill a room with sound or use Echo smart speakers for a party, choose a full-sized Echo or even an Echo Plus. You can pair two same models of Echo smart speakers for stereo sound and also connect them with an Echo Sub to act as a subwoofer. If you hook up your TV for Fire TV video streaming, you might even decide to equip your audio-video setup with Echo smart speakers.
The Echo Show displays, as mentioned earlier, vary in screen size, video resolution, and sound quality, directly proportional to price. Note that you can also use a Fire TV setup with a Fire TV Stick or Fire TV 4K Stick or an integrated Fire TV as an Echo smart display. Newer-model Fire TV remotes are Alexa hands-free capable, so you can ask Alexa to show you the front door camera, for example, to see who’s on your porch on a large screen. A smart display adds a lot of functionality to the original Echo smart speaker design, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if it makes sense to pay extra for that or if it’s overkill for a simpler smart home system.
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