Home / Reviews / Amazon Echo Dot with Clock review: The display—limited as it is—justifies the $10 upcharge

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock review: The display—limited as it is—justifies the $10 upcharge

The Echo Dot with Clock is the exact same third-generation machine because the Echo Dot, however with one function added: a easy LED show beneath the material band encircling the machine that does virtually nothing greater than show the present time. After dwelling with one for a few weeks, I can actually say that addition simply makes it price $10 greater than the common Echo Dot.

The Echo Dot with Clock’s show may even present the present outside temperature, and if you happen to set a timer, it can flash a countdown. These options are useful, too, however they should be initiated with vocal instructions (e.g., “Alexa, what’s the temperature?”), so that they aren’t almost as helpful. On condition that essentially the most frequent query customers ask Alexa is, “What time is it?” it’s a marvel that Amazon’s Echo product managers didn’t consider this earlier—and that their counterparts at Google didn’t beat them to the punch once they designed the Nest Mini.

This evaluate is a part of TechHive’s protection of one of the best good audio system. Click on that hyperlink to learn evaluations of competing merchandise, together with a purchaser’s information to the options you need to contemplate when procuring.

echo dot w clock buttons Michael Brown / IDG

The buttons on the Echo Dot with Clock are the identical because the common third-gen Echo Dot.

Audio efficiency

By way of being a high-quality music speaker, the Echo Dot with Clock comes no nearer than anything in Amazon’s arsenal—save maybe for the Echo Studio, which I’ll be reviewing subsequent; in reality, the Nest Mini delivers a superior sonic efficiency. The Echo Dot with Clock delivers first rate bass response for its dimension, however a relatively muddy midrange makes it tough to differentiate one instrument from one other.

However you don’t must depend on the Echo itself for audio copy: You’ll be able to pair it with an outboard Bluetooth speaker, or you possibly can plug in any self-powered loudspeaker that has a 3.5mm analog aux enter. Bass lovers, in the meantime, can pair one or two of those audio system (for stereo) with the Echo Sub for superb bass response. By way of music, you gained’t discover these final two options on the Nest Mini, however that good speaker’s capacitive contact pause button is vastly superior to yelling “Alexa, pause!”

echo dot w clock aux output Michael Brown / IDG

A 3.5mm analog aux output is certainly one of two methods you possibly can substitute the Echo Dot’s inner speaker with one thing extra sturdy (Bluetooth is the opposite).

Setup and set up

This good speaker could be very straightforward to arrange, particularly if you have already got different Echo gadgets in your house, for the reason that Alexa app will bear in mind your Wi-Fi credentials—you possibly can simply choose the one you wish to hook up with from an inventory. There’s a dual-band Wi-Fi adapter onboard, so you possibly can join it to both a 2.4GHz or 5GHz community.

You even have the choice of making a multi-room audio system with different Echo audio system, Echo Present good shows, or Echo-compatible audio system, together with Sonos good audio system (the Sonos One, Sonos Beam soundbar, and the Sonos Transfer moveable speaker), and the Polk Audio Command Bar.

echo dot w clock temp display Michael Brown / IDG

Ask Alexa concerning the climate, and the Echo Dot with Clock will show the surface temperature for you (don’t trouble asking about temps inside the home, although).

Utilizing the Echo Dot with Clock

Apart from the LED show, each part contained in the Echo Dot with Clock is an identical to the third-gen Echo Dot, so the consumer expertise is strictly the identical. It’s nonetheless not as fairly because the Nest Mini, however its bodily buttons—other than the absence of 1 to pause music playback—are simpler to make use of.

[ Further reading: The best smart speakers and digital assistants ]

You’ll be able to’t use the Echo Dot with Clock for direct management of your good residence gadgets except these gadgets have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth radios onboard.  If you would like a sensible residence hub, you’ll must step as much as both the Echo Plus or the Echo Studio, each of which have Zigbee radios onboard. That stated, a sensible residence hub that doesn’t additionally have a Z-Wave radio onboard is at an obstacle to hubs—just like the Samsung SmartThings—that do.

echo dot w clock volume display Michael Brown / IDG

If you inform Alexa to alter the speaker’s quantity degree, it can show affirmation of the requested setting.

Higher than the Echo Dot?

If you have already got a clock within the room the place you plan to deploy an Echo good speaker, there’s no important benefit to be gained by spending an additional $10 to purchase the Echo Dot with Clock—except you discover the temperature, timer countdown, and quantity setting shows indispensable.

However if you happen to’re placing it in a bed room or any room that doesn’t have a clock, that show is clearly price the additional 10-spot. I put in mine in my residence theater, and I actually like not having to interrupt a film to test the time after I’m not carrying my wristwatch.

But it surely seems as if the plenty don’t agree with my evaluation. Once I appeared on the Amazon Finest Vendor listing for electronics, which will get up to date hourly, completely different colours of the plain Echo Dot (3rd Gen) held the #1 (charcoal), 3 (heather grey), 4 (sandstone), and 13 (plum) spots. The Echo Dot with Clock (sandstone) was listed means down at place 35. C’est la vie.

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