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While this is a review of the 5th Gen Echo Dot with Clock, we anticipate performance on the Echo Dot 5 to be very similar, just without the LED display we’ve come to expect on the Echo Dot with Clock.
I spent a few days with the 5th Gen Echo Dot with Clock, testing out Alexa, sound capacity and ease of use, here’s my review of the Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen).
Echo Dot 5th Gen: Design and Usability
The design on the Echo Dot (5th Gen) is eerily similar to that of the 4th Gen, with both being spherical in shape and featuring a fabric-covered mesh top. You’ve got four buttons up top, including volume controls, an action button and a mic on/off button for privacy.
Additionally, the new Echo Dot with Clock also features tap interactions. This means you can lightly tap the top of the speaker to play/pause songs or even snooze your alarm — this feature is also on the regular Echo Dot (5th Gen).
There’s a non-intrusive light ring along the base, that lights up blue when you speak to Alexa or orange when it’s connecting to a network.
The LED display also gets a slight upgrade, now being able to show you the weather, song titles and even alarms.
The only major design difference between the Echo Dot 4th Gen and the 5th Gen is the missing audio jack on the back of the device. The main reason for this feature was to let you pair the Echo Dot to another bigger speaker for better sound. That said, you can still pair the Echo Dot wirelessly with another Dot or Echo device, for example, for surround sound.
I tried using Amazon’s ‘Play Everywhere’ feature to test this out and found no delay with my music playing across every room of my home. You might notice a small delay when you pause the music on these Amazon devices, but it’s barely noticeable and still a great way to get booming audio throughout your home.
As for what colors the new Dot is available in, you can pick up the usual Glacier White or the new light blue color tone.
Echo Dot 5th Gen: Big Sound in a Small Package
I personally really liked the sound of the Echo Dot 5, especially considering its price and compact design.
The Echo Dot 5 has a slightly larger driver, for bigger sound. This means it should easily sound better than the Echo Dot 4th Gen and include better bass than its predecessors. There’s still little distortion at the loudest volumes and you might still be a tad disappointed with the bass on heavy EDM songs, but all in all, it works well as a mid-range bookshelf speaker.
I liked listening to Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ album on the Echo Dot 5 — I could easily hear the lyrics over the instruments and found the sound to be both clear and room-filling. (I have my Echo Dot set up on my bookshelf in my den and the sound filled up the room nicely, even at lower volumes).
To sum it up, it does give you an upgrade from the Echo Dot 4’s sound, and if you got a smart home full of Echo speakers, pairing them for stereo sound can definitely help deliver that party style, well-balanced bass you need.
Echo Dot 5th Gen: Alexa Continues to Shine
Alexa still remains my favorite part about the Echo Dot line, and there’s a lot you can do with your nifty voice assistant.
If you’ve got multiple Echo devices, you can use Alexa to make announcements throughout your house. You can even set routines or turn your smart lights on/off with simple voice commands. Alexa can also announce calls, or texts and can even connect to a smart camera to keep you appraised of the goings on around your home.
All Amazon devices connect through the Amazon Alexa app, which means you can keep track of your multiple smart devices and even monitor your devices in-app. If your friends also have Alexa devices, you can use the ‘drop in’ feature to directly speak to them via their Echo devices — kinda like a walkie-talkie.
Routines are great too, as you can set up dim lights or auto lock on your doors tailored to the time of day — like say at 10 p.m. Routines can also be triggered by sounds, like Alexa reminding you to drink water if it detects a cough sound.
While these features aren’t technically new to the Echo Dot (5th Gen) or Echo Dot (5th Gen) with Clock , it is one more reason to invest in an Amazon smart speaker.
Echo Dot 5th Gen: Verdict
While at first glance there isn’t that much significant difference between the Echo Dot 4th Gen and 5th Gen, it’s definitely worth the buy if you’re looking for a starter smart speaker at an affordable price.
The Clock feature is great to keep an eye on the time, and the added temperature sensor will keep you updated on how hot or cold it is.
The sound’s better too and if you’ve been waiting to make the jump from an older Echo Dot (like the Echo Dot 3rd Gen), now’s the time to do it.
The Echo Dot 5th Gen with Clock retails at just $59.99 and delivers on well-balanced sound, smart Alexa features, and a compact futuristic design, perfect for small spaces.