If you want to upgrade your house into a smart-home, the first step is getting a hub that all your fancy new devices can connect to. Amazon’s Echo devices are perfect for that. There are a lot of different options in the Echo line, such as smart speakers and smart displays. Choosing which model is best for you will come down to your available space and what you intend to use the device for. We’ve broken down every model and generation of the Echo that is currently on sale, so read on to find out which one is best for you.
Best Amazon Echo deals
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. You can ask Alexa to play your favorite songs or playlists, set timers and alarms, or control the other smart devices in your home. 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. 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 (5th Gen) — $40, was $50
- Improved sound quality
- Temperature sensor
- Motion sensor
- Deeper bass
The biggest improvement between the 4th Gen and the 5th Gen Echo Dot is the sound quality. If you want to use your Echo Dot as a speaker itself, and not just on as a voice control for another speaker in the room, you’ll want to shell out a few more bucks for the 5th Gen model. Of course, it has all the usual smart controls. You can still use your voice to summon up emails, the weather and music. The 5th Gen even has some new sensors, including a temperature sensor and a motion sensor. You can set nifty automatic responses into the Echo Dot. For instance, if the temperature in a room drops below a certain degree, Alexa will activate your smart thermostat. If you walk into a room at night, Alexa will turn on the lights for you.
Amazon Echo Auto — $45, was $55
- Use Bluetooth or a 3.5mm cable
- Powered via USB
- Great for cars that don’t have Bluetooth capabilities
- Eight internal microphones
Don’t text and drive! For busy folks who just can’t put the phone down during their commute, there are safer, hands-free ways to check your texts. The Amazon Echo Auto plugs into your car and helps you adjust music, change stations, check your email and more. Just summon up the same Alexa who knows you from the smart devices in your home. The Echo Auto connects to your care via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm cable, and connects to your phone via Bluetooth. It can pull power right from a cigarette lighter with a USB cable. Ultimately it does the same functions as Alexa does on your phone, but it’s easier to access when you’re driving and can help bridge the gap between your phone and your car if your car is too old to have Bluetooth.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) — $80, was $100
- 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
The fourth generation of the Echo Dot arrived in 2020 with 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.
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. 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 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 8 (2nd Gen) — $75, 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 vs. 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. 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.
Amazon Echo Studio — $175, was $200
- Amazon’s best sound quality
- Dolby Atmos capabilities
- 3D Soundstage audio
- Alexa smart features
If you need a quality sound system in your home, why not make it a smart speaker? The Amazon Echo Studio is your answer. It’s Amazon’s highest quality speaker available, and it has almost all of the smart speaker features that the Echo Dots have. The speaker has Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio support, so you’ll get cinema quality sound all the time. It has 3D Soundstage abilities, meaning you’ll feel the whole room fill with sound, even if you hide the Studio in a corner of the room. It still has all of Alexa’s abilities to check the weather, respond to emails, and control the other smart speakers in your room. The Amazon Echo Studio is the smart speaker audiophiles have been asking for.
Amazon Echo Show 15 — $225, was $280
- 15.6-inch screen
- 5MP camera
- Customizable widgets
- Audio controls
If the Amazon Echo Show 5 or 8 just isn’t big enough for you, spring for the Amazon Echo Show 15. It’s basically a TV with Echo capabilities. It even comes with its own remote. If you like having a TV in your kitchen, the Echo Show 15 is a great way to give that screen some smart abilities. You can control all of the things a standard audio-only Echo can control, such as access to texts and the ability to control the lights in your house. But you also get all of the visual features, like the ability to watch your security cameras or video chat with friends and family. You can also stream all of your favorite shows from any streaming app you can think of. You can customize the home screen to include widgets of your favorite go-to info, like the time, weather, notifications and more.
Amazon Echo deals FAQ
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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