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The best Echo speakers: Echo vs Dot, Show, and the others

Find the right Echo for every room.
January 9, 2022
A blue light ring on the Amazon Echo 4th-gen
Adam Molina / Android Authority

Amazon offers all shapes and sizes of speakers for all possible use cases. Predictably, this can make it hard to decide which smart speaker or display to buy. Which one is the best for your use case, requirements, and, more importantly, budget? We take a look at all the options available to help you decide. Come find out which are the best Echo speakers or displays for you!

Read: What is a smart home, and why you should want one?

The best Echo speakers and displays

Editor’s note: We’ll regularly update this list of the best Amazon Echo speakers and displays as new ones are released.

Echo Dot (4th gen): Great price, good quality

Echo Dot 2020 fourth generation ring of light from the front
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The fourth-generation Amazon Echo Dot is one of the most popular smart speaker choices, and for a good reason. It is small enough to fit in any corner of the home. It’s also very competitively priced. Not to mention it packs an audio quality you wouldn’t expect from advice so small and affordable.

Related: Everything you need to know about Amazon Alexa

As a speaker, the 1.6-inch front-firing speaker on the Echo Dot isn’t going to blow you away, but cranked up; it can fill up a small room. It is particularly effective if you prefer listening to podcasts or ambient music. If hard-hitting dubstep is your jam, steer clear of this one. The selling point here is the size. This intelligent speaker with a tiny footprint can occupy a small corner of your work desk or kitchen shelf. It’s definitely one of the best Echo speakers, as well as one of the most popular.

You can upgrade to the Echo Dot with a clock for a small mark-up. It adds a small LED clock to the Echo Dot’s front, making it a lot more useful on a desk or bedside table.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Echo Dot.

Echo (4th gen): The flagship Amazon Alexa smart speaker

Amazon Echo 4th gen mute switchjpg
Adam Molina / Android Authority

Just like the Echo Dot, Amazon’s flagship speaker takes on a spherical shape that’s quite aesthetically pleasing. Compared to the Echo Dot, the Echo is significantly larger, though it’s still small enough to stash in just about any room of your house.

For its larger size, you get significantly upgraded audio components. The speaker, for one, goes up from a 1.6-inch woofer to a combination of two 0.8-inch tweeters and a 3-inch woofer. In return, you get a speaker that can go much louder and produce room-filling sound. The dedicated tweeters ensure that the treble response remains great without getting too shrill or tinny. Bass is a bit more controlled, and though the Echo won’t shake up the room, the audio response is ideally suited for listening to pop music or internet radio all day long.

Also read: The best smart speakers

Of course, the speaker is more than capable of performing all manner of smart-home functionality, and it packs the full-featured Alexa smart assistant. One of its most significant advantages over the Echo Dot is that the full-sized Echo comes with an integrated Zigbee hub, which allows you to sync all your smart devices to it and decongest your Wi-Fi network.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Amazon Echo.

Echo Studio: The best sound quality Amazon has to offer

Echo Studio volume and alexa controls

The Echo Studio dwarfs the Echo Dot and regular Echo, both in size and audio quality. Five speakers come together to create a seriously loud speaker that delivers the goods across the spectrum and has a few exclusive tricks up its sleeve. The Echo Studio combines three mid-range speakers with a 1-inch tweeter and a 5.25-inch woofer to offer 360-degree audio support.

The Echo Studio is best served in a large living room, perhaps in a stereo configuration to deliver high-quality streaming audio. If you have a Fire TV device, it is possible to pair the Echo Studio with it as a Dolby Atmos capable speaker. It won’t be as good as a dedicated 5.1.2 speaker setup with dedicated Atmos channels, but it’ll serve in a pinch and double as an Alexa setup.

This one also happens to come with a Zigbee hub, so you can use it as a smart home controller for your house.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Amazon Echo Studio.

Echo Show 8 (2nd gen): The best balance between features and price

Amazon Echo Show 8 review front profile shot
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
The Echo Show 5 is nice as an affordable option, but we thought it was too small to be added to this list. At five inches, you might as well use your smartphone. The Echo Show 8 enlarges the display and starts offering something more appealing, though.

This device comes with an 8-inch 1,280 x 800 display, a couple of 2-inch speakers, and a very neat 13MP camera with auto-framing. The latter makes it possible to zoom into subjects and stay locked to them during video calls. It will make the video look as if it was shot with a camera that follows you.

Of course, you can use it to take full advantage of all Alexa commands and features, but its integrated screen makes it much more convenient. You can view complete weather reports, watch videos, follow recipes with visual elements, and more. The device even doubles as a security camera, as you can use its camera to see what’s going on at home.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Amazon Show 8.

Echo Show 10 (3rd gen): A fancy rotating display with the most oomph

Show 10 Netflix
Adamya Sharma / Android Authority

The 3rd generation Echo Show 10 is easily one of the coolest devices Amazon has to offer. It has a very unique feature; the screen can rotate and face you when called upon. It also follows you around during video calls.

The larger 10.1-inch display looks good, and features a 1,280 x 800 resolution. Audio has also been improved with a couple of 1-inch tweeters and a 3-inch woofer. It also doubles as a remote security camera so you can check on your house while you’re away. In fact, it’s a better security camera than the 8-inch Show, as this screen can rotate and look around the house.

More: The best smart displays around

Elsewhere, the 13MP camera is a significant step-up over what you get on the other models. Finally, like the Echo and Echo Studio, the Echo Show integrates a Zigbee controller for complete smart home automation. Understandably, the Echo Show is significantly more expensive at $249, but the upgrades tend to justify the price hike.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Amazon Echo Show 10.

Echo Show 15: The largest smart display available

Visually inclined users will enjoy having much more screen real estate, and nothing beats the Echo Show 15 so far. It’s one of the best Echo speakers if you need a large screen. It comes with a 15.6-inch display with a 1080p resolution, which is outstanding in the world of smart displays. It also has a clean and elegant design, reminiscent of studio frames.

Such a thin profile requires some sacrifices, though. Audio takes a bit of a toll, featuring two 1.6-inch speakers. It also has no Zigbee hub integrated, and the camera has been downgraded to a 5MP one.

With all that said, you’ll get a very nice screen for all your content, videos, notes, recipes, and more. Not to mention it will double as an excellent digital photo frame.

Which is the best device for me?

Amazon speaker on desk
Adam Molina / Android Authority

Amazon has a product for everyone, yet the differences between them are not quite drastic, so finding the best Echo speaker depends a lot on your needs. If you are on a budget, the Echo Dot is an almost perfect device to get into the world of home automation and connected peripherals. It serves very well as an accessory to add an assistant in places where audio quality isn’t paramount. Think small room, garage, basement, or even your bathroom.

However, if you are willing to fork out a bit more for better audio, the 4th-generation Echo is a great option. The speaker strikes the perfect balance between audio quality, functionality, and, more importantly, price. You can upgrade to the Studio if you want the absolute best audio experience for an entertainment room or a party area.

Next: The best Alexa commands to try out

The same advice stands true for Amazon’s smart displays. While the Echo Show 8 is acceptable as a desk accessory, the screen is smaller. The Echo Show 10, is great for a living room, where audio, mobility, and a larger screen are paramount. Meanwhile, the Echo Show 15 is great to use where visuals are more important, such as a kitchen.