It doesn’t feel too long ago that the Echo Dot went through its first big redesign. However, at its 2020 hardware event Amazon announced a redesigned Echo Dot 4th gen and Echo Dot with Clock smart speaker.
Both speakers have identical specs, and but the Echo Dot with Clock adds an LCD screen to show the current time. The biggest change is that the new Echo Dot speakers have dropped the hockey puck design of previous versions and gone for a more distinctive, spherical look – and we rather like it.
All the latest Echos are powered by Amazon’s first-generation AZ1 Neural Edge processor – an all-new silicon module that’s been purpose-built for machine learning applications. According to Amazon, the AZ1 can process speech faster, making Alexa even more responsive.
We were wondering if Amazon was gone to spruce things up in terms of colour and they’ve stayed pretty much the same with Charcoal, Glacier White and Twilight Blue options. But they do look better on the new Echo Dot than the older one, and the all new Echo Dot seems like it’s moving towards more of a lifestyle design.
Related: Best smart speakers
In terms of sound, the Echo Dot has a 1.6-inch front-firing speaker that Amazon says offers crisp vocals and balanced bass performance. Controls remain the same with an Action button, volume controls and a microphone toggle. At the rear of both Dot speakers are a 3.5mm audio output for hooking up an external speaker.
Also announced was an Echo Dot Kids version, which features a spherical design but is more inventive in terms of its look with new Panda and Tiger designs, alongside more animal-themed alarms. Each Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription, so families can access thousands of kid-friendly Audible books, interactive games and educational skills.