Can Echo Dot Be Used Outside

TechRadar Verdict

The new Amazon Repeat Dot (4th Gen) delivers what you’d await in terms of audio quality and Alexa integration, but it feels like the same internal components from terminal year packed into a new spherical shell.


  • +

    Infinite-age aesthetic

  • +

    Piece of cake setup and integration

  • +

    three.5mm line-out jack


  • Directional, shallow sound

  • No Zigbee hub inside

  • No line-in bachelor

One-minute review

The Amazon Echo Dot (2020) is one of the newest products in the Amazon Echo range and the latest Repeat Dot. The Amazon Echo Dot – in its diverse iterations over the by few years – is 1 of the best options for people who aren’t certain well-nigh smart home tech just want to take the beginning footstep. With such an piece of cake set-up and such a low price tag, it’s a way to try connected tech without the commitment of too much time, money and free energy.

This small, sphere-shaped device provides a compact home for Alexa to live inside yours. Information technology also packs in enough sound performance to fill up most rooms – although audiophiles exist warned, this isn’t going to compete with your sound system. You can option up the Dot for under $50 / £50 / AU$80, which makes it easy to see why the Dot has so consistently been one of the most pop
smart speakers

on the market to date. Nosotros know many people that accept ii, iii, and more than in their homes considering they’re so useful.

This newest Dot, the Amazon Echo Dot (2020), lives up to the legacy set downwards by all of the previous Echo Dot devices that came before it – it’s small, decently loud and, cheers to Alexa, it’s pretty smart, too.

All the same, the unfortunate part of the new Echo Dot is that it seems to have many of the same foibles as its predecessors likewise – it doesn’t have a Zigbee hub inside and, the line-out jack, while cracking for folks who have a big
speaker system
, doesn’t cater to the oversupply who want to utilise the Echo Dot as a speaker for their audio actor. The sound is fine, but audio-lovers have note: information technology’southward not the all-time-sounding speaker in the world.

Simply put, the new Amazon Repeat Dot, while aesthetically unlike to the models that came before it, brings more of the same every bit last twelvemonth’s
tertiary gen
model to your home. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering how much we loved terminal year’southward model, and many that came before information technology. Just the latest Echo Dot doesn’t innovate plenty to push it within range of a four or four.5 star rating in our eyes – in instance y’all were wondering.

  • The all-time Alexa speakers
    the peak smart speakers to control your home

(Paradigm credit: Amazon)

Amazon Echo Dot pricing

The new Amazon Echo Dot is available in iii colors – Charcoal (dark gray), Glacier White (white), and Twilight Blue (grayish-blue).

The standard Amazon Echo Dot toll is $49.99 / £49.99 / AU$79, while the Echo Dot with Clock costs $59.99 / £59.99 / AU$99.

Buying an Echo Dot for your kid’s room? There’south now a special Dot just for them. Check out the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition. It costs slightly more than the standard Repeat Dot at $59.99  (likely £59.99 / AU$99 in the UK and Australia if information technology becomes available in those markets), but this super-beautiful smart speaker continues the ball-like blueprint and makes it kid-friendly with panda and tiger-style grilles.

There aren’t many other cheap smart speakers available to buy correct now, but the closest competitor nosotros think it’s worth mentioning here is the Google Nest Mini that’s supposed to cost $49.99 / £49 / AU$79, but is normally on sale for $35 / £35.

Amazon Echo Dot review (2020)

(Image credit: Future)

Echo Dot review: design

Amazon definitely took a unlike approach when it was coming up with this new Amazon Echo Dot: instead of a hockey puck shape like last yr, the new Echo Dot is a palm-sized sphere.

Like the larger Amazon Echo, the Amazon Echo Dot’s spherical chassis is divided into two parts: a layer of hard mesh and a plastic back piece with prophylactic feet on the bottom then that it doesn’t scratch your table. You’ll besides observe a plastic translucent ring along the lesser, which serves as the LED indicator low-cal, telling you when Alexa is listening (bluish), when the microphone is muted (red) or when the speaker has lost its internet connection (yellow).

On the top of the space age-looking speaker are four command buttons – book upwardly, volume down, microphone off/on and a push that summons Alexa. You lot won’t necessarily demand to utilise them if you don’t want to – equally near all of them can be replaced past voice commands – but they’re squeamish additions.

If you turn the speaker around you’ll find a power connector and a 3.5mm aux jack that can be used equally a line out port to send the audio bespeak to an external speaker. That’s an especially handy feature considering the Echo Dot’s less-than-sterling sound quality that we’ll talk over in a minute, merely it’s also somewhat disappointing that the 3.5mm aux jack doesn’t double as a line in port like it does on the full size Amazon Echo.

Tear abroad the elevation layer of the Amazon Repeat Dot and you’ll find a single i.6-inch full-range front end-firing speaker. This tiny-but-powerful speaker is responsible for producing the unabridged frequency range of audio for the speaker and the results, well… aren’t exactly inspiring.

That said, at that place’s also the included microphone array packed within in that location besides and we don’t have whatsoever complaints almost the Echo Dot’s ability to hear us over the dull roar of our music and process our commands perfectly.

Amazon Echo Dot review (2020)

(Image credit: Future)

Echo Dot review: Alexa phonation commands

Getting the speaker setup is simple – especially if you have one or more Alexa devices already setup in your house. If that’south you, all you need to do is head into the Amazon Alexa app and tap the plus icon in the Devices section – the app will do a quick scan for nearby devices and earlier you know it you’ll be upwards and running with your new smart speaker.

If you don’t take the Alexa or an Echo Device already installed, you’ll accept to go through the process of downloading the app and signing into your Amazon account, but then information technology’s more or less the same process as above.

In one case it’due south set up, you tin can ask Alexa to set timers, create calendar events, play music, tell you the weather, call other Echo speakers and mobile phones, and read the news, as well as a host of other deportment thanks to Alexa Skills.

Disappointingly, while the Amazon Echo Dot 2020 tin control other smart home devices that yous’ve previously paired with another Amazon Echo device, information technology can’t pair whatsoever devices on its own because it lacks a built-in Zigbee hub. You can enquire Alexa to do everything from turning your smart lights on to locking your forepart door, but you’ll however demand another Amazon Echo to set up those devices.

While the Echo Dot actually isn’t a great buy for flourishing smart dwelling enthusiasts, the Kids Edition is dandy for parents who want a little more privacy for their piddling ones: Amazon has added a new feature alongside the Echo Dot in the form of Alexa Voice Profiles for Kids which allows Alexa to automatically modify its responses to be kid-friendly when it recognizes a child’southward voice is speaking to information technology.

While using it in this fashion, Amazon says children can “enquire Alexa questions, set creature sound alarms, get assist with homework, and call approved friends and family unit” and you lot won’t have to worry nearly them getting into something they shouldn’t. There’southward also a new Alexa feature called Reading Sidekick that helps with your kids reading, and offers encouragement when they’re struggling that’s perfect for quarantine learning.

None of these features make up for the lack of a Zigbee hub if you’re looking to build out your smart home, simply for families the Kids Edition is a nice choice that should allay parent’s fears of keeping a smart speaker effectually their kids.

Amazon Echo Dot review (2020)

(Image credit: Time to come)

Echo Dot review: performance

In terms of sound quality, the Amazon Echo Dot actually hones in on the mid-range, presenting clear vocals in songs and emphasizing voice communication in podcasts. Conversely, however, the soundstage isn’t particularly wide and instead is adequately shallow with little separation between instruments.

Now, its spherical design might lead you to believe that it will offer 360-degree sound, but in actuality you’re getting pretty focused, directional audio that’southward at its all-time when you lot’re standing a few feet in front end of it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just it’s worth noting.

Songs nosotros’ve tested include pop hits like Hey Jude past The Beatles and Justin Bieber’s Alone, equally well equally some classic funk and rock equally well. The trend seems to be the same throughout: great vocals in that midrange sweet spot but at the expense of the trebles and bass response that sound muted at virtually whatsoever book level. Like the larger Echo, you tin can tweak each of these areas individually by request Alexa to raise the bass, midrange or treble, but it doesn’t radically touch the sound of the speaker.

In terms of overall volume level, the Amazon Echo Dot gets moderately loud if yous max it out, nonetheless information technology doesn’t seem to exist able to hold that volume level for an extended period of time and eventually drops to a more sustainable level. If you’re looking for a good party speaker, this isn’t it.

So what are you to make of the Repeat Dot’s performance? Well, as a desk-bound speaker that sits in front of yous and plays music for a one-half-hour at a fourth dimension, it’s perfectly fine – but as a home speaker that you lot’ll use to play songs during parties? Well, the Dot doesn’t really cut information technology.

Should you buy the Amazon Echo Dot (2020)?

Amazon Echo Dot review (2020)

The new Amazon Repeat (on left) next to the Amazon Echo Dot (on correct).

(Paradigm credit: Future)

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

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Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar’s sister site, Tom’due south Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He’s also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in reckoner science he’s non using if anyone wants it.