Amazon Echo is the hub of Amazon’s smart home ecosystem, featuring a voice-enabled speaker and smart assistant. The smart speakers come in multiple models, from the original Echo to car-specific Amazon Echo devices, with new features and capabilities added regularly.
In this article, we’re only focusing on products from Amazon that are part of the Amazon Echo lineup of smart speakers and similar ones. There are numerous other devices that do not come from Amazon but which still use the Alexa Voice Service.
During this span of nearly 7 years, Amazon has invested heavily in its Echo lineup of smart speakers, spreading their features and use cases.
Top Amazon Echo devices for your home
When it comes to Amazon Echo devices designed for in-home use, there are many models included. However, them being designed for in-home use, doesn’t mean you can’t use them in your workplace or any other space you wish to. You can use them anywhere for as long as they are connected to a power supply.
Amazon Echo series: the standard one
The newest fourth-generation Echo has a nearly spherical shape. It measures 5.2 inches in height and 5.7 inches wide, available in black, white, or blue. The full light ring has been moved to the base of the device and now glows with a subtle blue glow when “Alexa” is activated by any voice command.
The top panel holds buttons for Alexa, volume up & down, and mic mute. At the back of the Amazon Echo, you can find the power adapter port and a 3.5mm audio output.
The device also includes a 3-inch woofer and dual 0.8-inch front-firing tweeters. Through this setup, the device supports Dolby’s digital surround sound. These are the same drivers in the Echo Plus and third-generation Echo, but with two tweeters instead of one.
The fourth-generation Echo is equipped with a Zigbee smart home hub and support for Bluetooth Low Energy. It’s a great choice for those who want to build a smart home, but don’t want to use an extra Hub. Also, the fourth-gen Echo supports Amazon Sidewalk, which extends the range of low-bandwidth devices.
Amazon Echo Dot Series: the small-form Echo
The fourth-generation Echo Dot comes with a design similar to its bigger brother Echo but smaller in size at 3.9 x 3.9 x 3.5 inches. We can find similarities in its cosmetics, button & light ring position. It is available in dark grey, blue or white. One obvious difference is the fact that one version of the Amazon Echo Dot comes equipped with a led clock.
However, you will always find at the back the power adapter input and the 3.5mm audio output. This will allow you to connect the Echo Dot to a larger speaker if the sound quality of the 1.6-inch speaker isn’t enough.
As for the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition, the main difference worth noticing is its design resembling cute animal faces.
Amazon Echo Plus
The Amazon Echo Plus was an improved version of the previous generations’ Echo devices. We say it was because Amazon has discontinued such a model in 2020. With it, you can control your smart home devices, listen to news updates, play music, and much more.
But, what made the difference is the fact that it has a built-in temperature sensor and a Zigbee home automation hub.
It comes equipped with a 0.8-inch tweeter and a 3-inch subwoofer. This package gives a great sound output compared to most of the other Echo devices released at the same.
Echo Flex: the simplest one
Amazon Echo Dot seems like a good deal when you want an inexpensive Echo device. However, if you want to use several Echo devices in different locations of your home, Echo Flex comes as the best solution.
At first glance, the Amazon Echo Flex doesn’t look like a smart speaker. It looks more like a charger. It’s small and only takes up the space of one plug. Its speaker and its far-field microphone are both small and hidden within the device.
You can use the Amazon Echo Flex to charge your phone or add a night lamp to your bedroom. Also, you can add to it a clock or a motion sensor.
Echo Look: the smart camera
The Echo Look, which was made publicly available in June 20218, is a camera that can be used for taking selfies and recording quick videos. It has a 5-megapixel camera along with Intel RealSense SR300 integrated for depth-sensing. It connects to the internet and shares similar features with other smart speakers from the Amazon Echo lineup.
The Amazon Echo Look is quite compact at 2.4 x 2.4 x 6.3 inches, which makes it practical in space matters. However, its sound quality isn’t the best out there amongst Echo devices.
A great feature of this Alexa-enabled smart camera is the ability to submit two photos of yourself to Style Check for a second opinion. This helps to determine which outfit looks best on you.
Amazon Echo devices with a display
It is true that Amazon Echo devices are meant to offer a voice-first experience. However, having them equipped with a display creates a far better experience for every occasion.
Amazon Echo Spot: the mini display
The Amazon Echo Spot comes in a spherical shape with one side flat where the screen is located. It measures 4.1 by 3.8 by 3.6 inches and has a circular 2.5-inch, 480-by-480 touchscreen.
There is a circular speaker at the bottom, a camera at the front, and the power input and a 3.5mm audio output at the back.
These specifics make it perfect for a bedside companion or any other location since it blends in easily, far better than the Echo Dot.
It can be considered as the best option for an alarm clock, kitchen assistant for timers and reminders, yet not so good for video calls compared to Echo Show versions.
Amazon Echo Show 5
Audio is supported by a 1.7-inch 4-watt driver, which offers a nearly plausible quality considering the price. For the video instead, it has a nice quality and considering you can now watch Netflix with it, makes it even better.
Its measures are 3.3 by 5.8 by 3.2 inches and have a camera equipped with a privacy slide on the top corner. At the top, you will also find the mute and volume buttons.
At the back as always, is the micro USB port for service, a 3.5mm audio output, and the power connector.
Also, you can use it to check into your camera’s feed, if you have any. But it doesn’t have a Zigbee hub, so you will need a separate hub with it for smart home controls.
Amazon Echo Show 8
The Echo Show 8, exactly as the name indicates, has an 8.inch 1,280-by-800 touch screen and measures 7.9 by 5.4 by 3.9 inches.
It has two 2.0-inch speakers of 10 watts that offer a far better sound quality compared to Echo Show 5.
The other hardware details like the camera, the buttons, and the back are similar to the smaller Echo Show 5. It comes as a great solution from daily tasks and communication to video streaming with Amazon Video, Netflix, or any other service available.
Amazon Echo Show 10
The Echo Show 10 3rd Generation represents the best of the best when it comes to Amazon Echo devices equipped with a screen. It has a 10.1-inch motorized touchscreen. Motorized means it faces you wherever you go in the room once it locks to your face.
The screen is attached to a 6.7-inch cylindrical base.
At the top of the screen are a 13-megapixel camera and the standard buttons. It has a mute button for the microphones that also electronically disables the camera apart from the mechanical cover.
It has a 3-inch woofer and two 1-inch tweeters that offer a greater audio experience in comparison to other Echo Show devices. And to make it even better it supports a Zigbee hub for a more extensive smart home device connectivity, along with Amazon Sidewalk.
The Amazon Echo devices you can use for a better audio experience
Echo Studio: the ultimate audio quality
The Amazon Echo Studio is an 8-inch tall black cylinder measuring 6.9 inches wide. The Echo Studio is covered with a soft fabric, has two cutouts for the bass in front and back.
The black plastic ring on the top holds the far-field microphone array. Here are also located the small buttons for volume up/down, mic mute, and the action button.
Echo Studio is Amazon’s most advanced and loudest smart speaker. Echo’s five drivers and Dolby Atmos-enabled surround sound provides wonderful audio for movies, music, and games alike. The small cut below the rear bass port holds a connector for the included power adapter, a micro USB port for service, and a 3.5mm combination aux and optical port.
The Dolby Atmos-enabled surround sound is provided from 5 different drivers, which are run by a total of 330 watts.
- A 5.25-inch woofer fires downward
- A 1-inch tweeter fires forward
- Three 2-inch drivers fire right, left, and up.
This setup creates a unique 3D audio experience, especially if you are playing an Ultra HD music format.
The Echo Studio also includes an integrated Zigbee home automation hub, like the Echo Plus or the 4th Generation Echo. The Zigbee hub allows you to control compatible smart home devices using voice commands.
Echo Sub: a powerful subwoofer
Echo Sub is a wireless subwoofer designed to be paired with one or two Echo speakers. The cylindrical device measures 7.9″ high by 8.2″ wide and weighs under 10 pounds. It’s a great match for those who need a large room-filling sound to fill up the entire space of an average living room (or studio apartment).
Very different from other Alexa-enabled devices, the Echo Sub lacks any physical buttons and can’t control volume or play music without a connected speaker. It also doesn’t have a microphone, so you can’t control it using voice commands. It can’t work without being connected to one of the other Echo devices (Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus). Also, it does not connect to other devices via Bluetooth either.
Echo Link: for high-fidelity music
The Amazon Echo Link is a smart device designed for those who already have an audio receiver or home theater system in their home. If you want to add a high-fidelity Alexa option the Echo Link is a perfect choice. It can stream high-quality audio from an Amazon Echo or Amazon Echo Dot.
It features a built-in digital to analog converter (DAC) that helps deliver better sound quality and greater dynamic range than solely connecting an Echo Dot to the receiver.
The Amazon Echo Link Amp is a device meant to upgrade your home music system with Alexa’s voice recognition and hi-fi streaming.
Alexa Echo devices you can use on the go
Amazon’s most famous smart speakers are most definitively the ones designed to be used at home. However, a considerable amount of attention has always gone towards the ones you can use on the go. Devices like Echo Auto and Echo frames are gaining more and more popularity considering their usefulness.
Amazon Tap: the one with a built-in battery
Initially, it seemed like a good idea for people who wanted to use Alexa outside of their home. However, it turned out that they were not very popular, and Amazon discontinued the service. However, you still can find them online. The battery on the device can last up to eight hours and comes with Dolby Audio technology.
One major reason for the Tap’s failure was its lack of Alexa’s hands-free voice activation feature. The Echo’s hands-free voice control made it the best-selling smart speaker in the world. Without the ability to control other connected products by voice only, the Tap did not gain enough traction to survive in a competitive market.
As a Bluetooth speaker, the Tap did not gain enough traction to survive in a competitive market.
Amazon Echo Auto
The Echo Auto has a rectangular shape that measures 3.3 inches in width and 1.9 inches in height. On top of it, we can find the action and the mute buttons along with eight microphones. The eight microphones help the device hear you considering the background noises and the noise of the car’s engine.
Also, it has a micro USB port, a 3.5mm auxiliary port, and the standard light strip that reacts when you interact with Alexa.
Amongst many positive features, you should consider that, for Echo Auto to work, you need to connect it with your smartphone’s hotspot. This can be a bit heavy on your mobile data plan.
The wearable Echo devices
Echo Frames: the smart glasses
The first-generation Amazon Echo Frames were launched in 2019 and were only available through an invite-only process. The release of the 2nd generation Echo Frames was in late 2020, and the Alexa-enabled smart glasses are now available to the general public.
Amazon Echo Frame is an Amazon Echo device with Alexa as its default virtual assistant. However, users can also use other virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Siri.
It connects via Bluetooth to the smartphone’s Alexa app. This allows you to access the Alexa features just like other Amazon Echo devices.
Echo Loop: alexa on a ring
The Echo Loop is a smart ring that’s designed to work with Amazon’s voice assistant, but it can also work with Google Assistant and Siri. However, you should consider Amazon has discontinued the Echo Loop.
It’s a fun alternative to traditional smartwatches because it can be wired up to Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, and the company’s line of smart home products. You’ll need to use the Alexa app to alter settings and sync up with the ring, but otherwise, its functionality is built-in.
The ring has two built-in microphones, a small speaker, a battery, a Piezo haptic feedback module, and an integrated Bluetooth 5.0 wireless antenna. When you press the action button on the rear of the ring, it activates the microphones and then you can issue your voice command. Now you can communicate with Alexa via her built-in speaker the same way it does with similar Echo smart speakers.
Apart from commonly known Echo devices like the standard Echo, Echo Dot, or the Echo Show series, there are also other Echo devices that can be used mainly as accessories.
Amazon Echo Input Is a small device measuring nearly 3.2 inches wide and 0.6-inches tall. On top of it, you can find the action button you can use to wake Alexa and issue a command. However, there are also 4 far-field microphones to better pick up your voice commands and the wake word. Instead of a light ring, there is only a LED dot light in the center, which lights up when Alexa interacts with you.
The Echo Input gets its power by a power supply that plugs into your wall. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack for connecting to other devices. As the name says, the main use of the Echo Input is to receive commands just like most of the other Echo devices. However, there is the fact that it cannot reproduce audio. Issue which you can solve using the 3.5mm output or the Bluetooth connection and a simple speaker
The Amazon Echo Buttons are a set of multicolored light-up plastic buttons. The Buttons are small enough to fit inside the palm of your hand. They are set inside 2.95-inch black plastic bases, with multicolored LEDs inside.
They are part of the Amazon Echo smart speaker line, although they are used only as accessories. When used in conjunction with the Alexa voice assistant, they allow you to play a range of Alexa-based party games and trivia challenges.
The Amazon Echo Buttons are a fun way to play interactive trivia games, giving your Echo device a physical button. The buttons are designed with two purposes: to help you “buzz in” to trivia games, or to flash different colors in various game modes.
The Amazon Echo Glow is a small version of the Echo Dot that’s intended to be used as a bedside lamp. The Echo Glow is a smart lamp that you can control with Alexa and make it part of your routines. It measures 3.9 inches wide by 4.7 inches tall and its bottom half is designed to sit on your desk or table. This design makes it easy for you to interact with the device. At the back of the device, you can find the power cable and an On/Off button.