echo dot 5th gen vs 4th gen

Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen: Big Orb Update? [2024]

In Echo & Alexa by Tim Brennan

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In this article, I compare Amazon’s latest Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen, its predecessor.

If you are short on time and want to learn the key differences between the two, here they are:

Echo Dot 5th Gen enhances audio with a 1.73″ speaker and improved bass, adding a built-in Eero Wi-Fi extender, temperature, and motion sensors for advanced smart home integration. The 4th Gen, with a 1.6″ speaker and audio jack, also supports Alexa but lacks these additional features and sound enhancements.

There are other additional differences I will go into in more depth below to help you decide which little Amazon orb is best for you.


Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen

Smart speakers are all the rage, and for good reasons. These smart devices offer numerous advantages that make life easier and more enjoyable.

echo dot 5th gen vs 4th gen

In addition to playing your favorite songs, they also let you set timers, create shopping lists, check the weather, get the latest news and sports scores, and much more.

I am a big fan of the Amazon smart home ecosystem, and at last count, I have no less than 10 Echos in my little apartment here.

Apparently, I am in good company. According to Statista, the number of smart speaker shipments is expected to surpass 200 million annually by 2024. 

I own every generation of the Echo Dot, and now with the new Amazon Trade-In Program, they make it easy to cash in your old Echos for the new ones.

So when Amazon announced its release of the new Echo Dot 5th Gen, I did a bunch of research to see how it measured up again the 4th Gen to see if I wanted to trade up to the latest model. Then, of course, I went ahead and ordered one. LOL.

So how does the Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen measure up?

Let’s take a look at a side-by-side comparison of key features.

📚 Related: Echo Show 10 Vs 15


Echo Dot 5 vs 4: Side By Side Comparison

Following is a side-by-side comparison to highlight the tech specs between the Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen.

Table could not be displayed.

Echo Dot 5th Gen Explained

The Echo Dot 5th Gen speakers have caused a bit of a buzz thanks to their new smart home features and better sound quality. While the 5th Gen sports an identical look to the 4th generation model, the audio architecture of these speakers is more souped-up. Amazon claims the sound is two times better than the previous model.

The 5th Gen Alexa-powered speakers use Amazon’s AZ2 neural edge processor. They also have some new controls such as tap gestures, motion and temperature sensors, and an upgraded LED display which provides a brighter and higher resolution. When comparing Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen, the clocks are the same, but additional info can be displayed on the LED readout, such as the title and artist of a song playing.

Echo Dot 5th Gen

My Echo Dot 5th Gen

The new Echo 5 Dots can help facilitate smart home routines. For example, you can have a light turn on when motion is detected, or you can have Alexa automatically turn up the thermostat if the temperature drops.

In addition to the Glacier White color that can be had with a digital clock, the fifth-generation Dots are also available in Charcoal and Deep Sea Blue. There are also two new kid-specific designs (Dragon and Owl) with the 5th Gen Echo Dot Kids edition.

📚 Related: Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot

Pros

  • Better mid-range clarity and bass resulting in enhanced sound.
  • Set routines using the new motion and temperature sensors.
  • Multiple layers of privacy protection,
  • Extend Wi-Fi signal with support for Eero mesh networks.
  • Optional beautiful LED clock with a digital display.

Cons

  • No 3.5mm audio output, unlike the previous generation.

Video Review

Reed from Smart Home Solver does a nice job comparing Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen in this YouTube video.

Video Credit: Smart Home Solver


Echo Dot 4th Gen Explained

You don’t have to follow the Echo Series up close to know it has undergone major changes since its inception. From its hockey-puck-like, cylindrical iteration to a sleek sphere, these smart speakers have survived the test of time and remain among the most popular Amazon devices.

Released a few years back, the Echo Dot 4th Gen speakers measure 5.7 inches wide and 5.2 inches tall and are available in White, Blue, and Black.

The 4th Gen and 5th Gen speakers sit on a flat base, surrounded by a LED ring light that activates every time you adjust the volume, enable or disable the microphone, or give other voice commands.

Echo Dot 4th Gen

My Echo Dot 4th Gen

The controls are pretty simple as well. With just four physical buttons covering all the basic functions, from adjusting or muting volume to silencing an alarm, Echo Dot is straightforward to use.

Compared to the new 5th Gen, the sound system of the Echo Dot 4th Gen is subpar. Comprising a middling frequency response accuracy, these speakers can struggle to reproduce the details in the treble range, and other low-bass sounds. This is the most compelling reason to update a 4th Gen Dot to a 5th Gen Dot, in my opinion.

Pros

  • Sleek, compact design available in three colors
  • Good speech recognition
  • Enhanced privacy settings
  • Utilizes an easy-to-navigate Amazon Alexa App
  • Excellent value for the price

Cons

  • Mediocre sound quality; if you’re into music, go with the 5th Gen Dot.

Echo (4th Gen) | With premium sound, smart home hub, and Alexa | Charcoal
$99.99
Buy Now
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03/03/2024 12:34 am GMT

Video Review

While there isn’t a direct comparison of Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen, I really like this 4th Gen video review from CNETB

Video Credit: CNET


Similarities & Differences

Here is a rundown of the similarities and differences between the Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen.

Similarities

  • Orb-shaped design with LED base light on the top of the device
  • Four standard control buttons
  • Lossless High Definition Audio Support
  • Built-in microphones
  • In-app privacy controls
  • Compatible with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant

Differences

  • 5th iteration of the Echo Dot includes an Eero mesh router, offering up to 1000 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage
  • 5th Gen has built-in motion detection and temperature sensors
  • Speaker size, sound quality, and color options have been upgraded in the 5th generation
Pro Tip: If you want an amazing deal on either, wait until Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Amazon Prime Day. The fifth-gen Echo Dot was on sale at a huge discount over the holidays this year.


Design

When examining the Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen at first glance, the spherical design doesn’t offer much visual contrast. However, differences emerge when you look at the back of the device. The 4th Gen includes a power connection and a 3.5mm audio jack, while the 5th Gen only retains the power connection.

Despite these differences, both speakers maintain a sleek appeal with their Glacier White and Charcoal color options. Additionally, the new Amazon Echo Dot 5th Generation offers a more detailed digital display clock than the previous generations.

📚 Related: Echo Dot 3rd Gen Vs 2nd Gen


Audio Quality

When it comes to the Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen sound capacity, the 5th Gen houses the highest excursion speaker of any Echo Dot, delivering Amazon’s best-sounding speakers so far.

The 5th-gen Dot promises an immersive sound experience with double the bass and half the distortion. Additionally, the new model replaces the standard Dolby audio with high-definition Dolby Atmos audio support for a superior sound experience. This can turn any space into a concert, especially with larger speakers like Echo Studio for a multi-room music setup.


Alexa Support and Other Features

Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, is a standard feature in both Echo Dot 5th Gen and 4th Gen. This provides users seamless access to music services like Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Pandora and supports tasks like setting Alexa routines.

However, the 5th Gen Echo Dot takes the lead with its built-in temperature sensor and motion detectors that automate routines, improving the user’s comfort and experience..

📚 Related: 17 Awesome Echo Device Gifts


Setup

Setting up these capable smart speakers is effortless. Whether you’re unboxing the Echo Dot 5th Gen or the older 4th Gen model, all you need to do is connect the device to your phone through the Alexa app. Alexa will then automatically connect to your Wi-Fi network, ready for you to stream your favorite tracks.

With each review of the Echo Dot, whether the Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen, it’s clear that Amazon continually evolves its Echo Dot line to adapt to the latest trends and customer needs. And with features like the new temperature sensor and improved sound quality, the 5th Gen is undoubtedly one of the best Alexa speakers on the market.


What’s in the Box?

Here is a quick overview of the box contents for the Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen.

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Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen: Which Should You Buy

When choosing between the Echo Dot 5th Gen vs 4th Gen, the aesthetic differences between these spherical Echo Dot speakers are minimal. However, the 5th Gen Echo Dot outshines the older model with its superior sound capacity and innovative sensors. Although the promised “twice as much bass” might be a subtle improvement, the slightly larger driver and better sound quality make the 5th Gen Dot an ideal addition to your larger speaker setup. Pair it with your Fire TV for a big sound experience.

Nevertheless, if budget is your primary concern, the 4th Gen Echo Dot is still a capable smart speaker that won’t disappoint, offering the standard Echo Dot experience at a more affordable price. Remember, if you’re eyeing these devices for less, Black Friday or Prime Day are the best times to hunt for deals. Despite the price difference, both Echo Dot generations remain among the best smart speakers, leveraging the power of Alexa for everyday use, such as controlling smart lights, playing song titles, and setting up Alexa routines.

What are your thoughts on the 5th Gen vs 4th Gen Echo Dot? Are the updated features, including the Eero network for expanded Wi-Fi coverage, worth the extra dollars? Or do you prefer the reliable performance of the previous version, complete with its 3.5mm audio jack and volume control buttons on the top of the speaker? We’re interested in your opinions, so please tap the ‘new tab’ to leave your comment below. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Brennan

Tim Brennan, a tech blogger and host of the @TecTimmy YouTube channel, writes about smart homes at oneSmartcrib, home theaters at UniversalRemoteReviews, and AI in writing at Writeinteractive. He holds a Journalism degree from Northeastern University and has covered technology for three decades. He lives on the ocean in Nahant, Massachusetts.


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