What Is the Newest Echo Dot Out Now?
Since smart speakers hit the market, it’s incredible how humans can now use their voices to control devices. For instance, you find out how the weather is, ask questions, order goods online, stream your favorite content, etc., without operating your phone manually.
But there’s always room for improvement, and Amazon is well aware of that. That’s why the company continues to upgrade its Echo Dot models, and there’s no sign of slowing down any time soon.
Keep reading to discover the newest Echo Dot out now and what it offers.
Newest Echo Dot Out Now
While Amazon has no regular schedule for launching new Echo Dot models, one thing is certain; every release is an improvement on its predecessor in form and function.
That said, the newest Echo Dot out now is the Echo Dot 4th Gen, and it was released in 2020, just a year after the release of the Echo Dot 3rd Gen. Now, let’s look at some of the speaker’s features so you can decide whether it’s a worthy upgrade or just a conversation piece.
Design and Impression
One of the noticeable differences between the Echo Dot 4th Gen and its predecessors is the design. The company has replaced the cylindrical shape that blazons all the other speaker models with a whimsical spherical one. The Echo Dot 4th Gen looks like a ball (or a dot) with a flat base that’s graced with LED light rings that activate whenever you turn on the device. When you say your Alexa’s wake word, the light ring turns blue. When paired with another speaker, it glows yellow, and when in set-up mode, it turns orange.
For the record, the Echo Dot 4th Gen has a height of 13cm, a width of 14cm, and weighs 0.75 lbs.
The speaker comes in three shades; twilight blue, charcoal, and glacial white. It is made from fabric and aluminum, which the company claims are 100 percent recycled.
The Echo Dot 4th Gen has four controls at the top, including the volume up and down buttons, the mute mic button, and an action button that activates Alexa. Unlike its predecessor which uses a DC charging port, this speaker has a USB charging port. It also has a 3.5mm jack port that you can use to connect it to external speakers, especially if you want a more resounding buzz.
The speaker houses two 0.8-inch front-firing tweeters and a 3-inch woofer that supports Dolby audio – a digital stereo encoding mechanism that reduces the amount of data required to generate high-quality sound. The speaker’s drivers are similar to those found in Echo Dot 3rd Gen and the Echo Plus, except that it has dual tweeters instead of one.
The Echo Dot 4th Gen is faster and more responsive than its predecessors, thanks to Amazon’s AZ1 Neural Edge processor. This processor is a brand-new silicon module explicitly created to speed up machine learning applications. According to the company, the processor is supposed to allow new features to run locally on the device or in the cloud without necessarily having to make requests to the Amazon servers. The speakers powered by this processor will therefore respond to voice commands more quickly. It will also enable users to communicate with the voice assistant more naturally as they would with other humans.
But above all, the speaker will learn and understand you over time, making it easier to serve you better.
The Echo 4th Gen has a small design, but its audio doubles up well compared to all the previous models. It has a larger woofer than the Echo Dot 3rd Gen, giving it more a refined and powerful audio. It also has two tweeters which amplify the audio even further.
In addition, you won’t notice any distortion in audio, even at its highest volume. You can connect it to an external speaker if you want a more profound listening experience.
Generally, don’t expect wall-shaking audio from this speaker alone. But you really can’t complain because it outperforms many speakers at this price point.
The Echo Dot 4th Gen launched at a retail price of $49.99, and the price has remained constant ever since.
Support for Alexa
Of course, the Echo 4th Gen supports the Alexa voice assistant – it would be a mockery if it didn’t. In fact, the speaker features many home automation skills and has set the bar high for future speakers.
So, how exactly does Alexa perform on this speaker compared to other voice assistants? The Echo Dot 4th Gen is powered by Amazon’s most powerful machine learning processor that will eventually improve its intelligent capabilities. But for now, the speaker model still has a long way to go compared to other competitors, especially Google Assistant.
Sometimes, Alexa won’t be able to find the correct answers to complex questions, so it’s best to limit it to simple queries.
Smart-Home Automation Hub
The Echo Dot 4th Gen is the first generation of Amazon’s smart speakers with a built-in smart-home automation hub. This is partly thanks to integration with Zigbee – a low-power and low-cost wireless technology that allows smart-home devices to communicate over long distances. In addition, the speaker has a temperature sensor meaning you can use it to control temperature-sensitive devices in your smart home ecosystem.
Additional technologies that enable the speaker to serve as a smart-home automation center include integration with Bluetooth Low Energy(BLE) and Amazon Sidewalk. Given these integrations, here are some cool things you can do with the Echo Dot 4th Gen:
- Lock and unlock the doors
- Turn the lights on and off
- Turn up the thermostat
- Detect intruders in your home
- Turn on the coffee maker
Setting Up the Device
Like other generations of the app, the set-up is done using Amazon’s Alexa app. To set up your device, check that both your phone and the speaker are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, then go to the “Add device” section and follow the on-screen instructions.
Using the Alexa app, you can change your wake word, edit your speaker’s name, adjust the EQ level, enable new skills for your smart-home appliances, and much more.
Pros of the Echo Dot 4th Generation
- Better sound quality because of a larger woofer and dual tweeters
- Built-in smart home automation center
- Sleek look and design
Cons of the Echo Dot 4th Gen
- The LED lights are not as bright compared to other speakers
Echo Dot 4th Generation Kids Edition
As the name suggests, this is the Echo Dot 4th Gen version for kids. It’s suitable for children above three years old and comes in panda and tiger versions. Upon purchase, you get free access to Amazon Kids+ content for a year. Once a year is elapsed, you have to upgrade to a subscription which will set you back $4.99 per month. However, you’ll only pay $2.99 per month if you are a Prime member.
Parental control makes the Echo Dot 4th Gen Kids Edition a go-to for many parents. You can restrict access to explicit content, see what your kids have been up to, and set daily consumption limits.
The technical details of the Echo Dot 4th Gen Kids Edition are similar to those of the Echo Dot 4th Gen, except that the exterior is made to look like the head of a tiger or a panda.
Using the speaker, kids can ask Alexa questions, listen to beautiful stories, set alarms, play songs and games, and even get help with their homework.
Note: This device is not a toy and should not be used for children who are three years old or younger. Some of the device’s components are small and can be a choking hazard. Therefore, be sure to educate your kids about the product upon purchase.
Echo Dot 4th Gen With Clock
The Echo Dot 4th Gen with Clock is another edition of the original Echo Dot 4th Gen. The interface is pretty much the same, but the clock version comes in two shades only; glacial white and twilight blue. The main difference between the two speakers is that one has a clock and the other doesn’t.
Previous Dot Models
Echo Dot 1st Gen
The Amazon Echo Dot 1st gen was released in March 2016 at a starting price of $179.99. Since then, the price has declined to just a fraction, and you can get it on sites like eBay for as low as $30.
Unlike the latest model, this speaker is cylindrical and has a diameter of 3.3 inches, a height of 1.3 inches, and weighs 0.55 lbs. The top of the speaker has two buttons; one that mutes the speaker’s mic and another that activates Alexa. To adjust the volume, move the speaker’s crown to the left or right. The speaker’s crown is graced with a light ring that automatically turns on when the speaker is activated.
The audio quality of this speaker is pretty decent compared to what we see in recent models. Fortunately, you can pair it with other speakers for improved listening pleasure.
So, the question is, can you still purchase this speaker in 2022? The short answer is “yes”. Besides the sound, the speaker still works great when querying Alexa. However, the sad thing is you’ll not be able to control smart home devices powered by Zigbee because they don’t integrate with the technology. But again, not many devices rely on Zigbee, which makes it a safe bet.
Echo Dot 2nd Gen
Amazon Echo 2nd Gen was released in October 2016 and was a significant improvement to its predecessor both in form and function.
Like the Echo Dot 1st Generation, this speaker is cylindrical but with a much shorter height. The speaker has a diameter of 1.3 inches, a width of 3.3 inches, and weighs 0.36 lbs. It comes in shades of white and black and has four controls at the top; the up and down volume buttons, the mute mic button, and an action button that activates Alexa.
Unlike its predecessor, the Echo Dot 2nd Gen doesn’t fall short on voice recognition abilities. It has an omnidirectional speaker and can detect your voice even if the devices around you are noisy.
Echo Dot 3rd Gen
The Echo Dot 3rd Gen was launched in 2019 and saw a slight design improvement. Yes, it’s still cylindrical, but it weighs a bit more than the Echo Dot 2nd Gen.
Unlike both of its predecessors, the speaker isn’t made of plastic. Instead, the cylindrical part is made with a recyclable fabric, giving the product a premium feel. The top and the base are made from plastic and aluminum, which are also recycled. The product comes in shades of black, white, and gray. On the sides, you’ll find a 3.5mm jack connector for audio input and output, but unlike its predecessors, the USB charging port was replaced with a DC power inlet.
Should We Look Forward to the Echo Dot 5th Gen in 2022?
It’s been almost two years since we saw a major Echo Dot release from Amazon, and users can’t help but anticipate a new release this year. However, considering that Amazon has not made any official announcement, it’s best to remain patient.
How safe is your private data when using Amazon Echo Dots?
Echo Dots connect you to the internet – a place that is not short of people who crave to misuse your data or use it for advertising unwanted products. As such, it would help to know that the device you’re using is not in fact selling you out. Well, don’t fret. On the product’s page, Amazon clearly states that they are not in the business of selling your data. So, rest assured that your privacy is protected.
In addition, the devices have a mic control that you can use to mute the device, so it stops recording when you don’t want to. Further, you can delete or hide your voice recording. You can also turn off motion detection if you don’t want the device to track your every move.
Stay on Top of the Trends
Considering the improvement in design and sound, it’s safe to say that the Echo 4th Gen is a worthy upgrade. The speaker also doubles up as your smart-home automation hub, which makes it worth every penny. But there’s certainly more room for improvement; and not just in design but also in the number of tasks that the Echo Dot can do. As it is, other competitors like Google Assistant are setting the bar higher for Amazon, and users can’t help but raise their expectations of the company.
Which Echo Dot are you using now, and how has the experience been so far? Please let us know in the comments section below.