echo dot kids vs echo dot

Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot: 7 Big 2024 Updates

In Echo & Alexa by Tim Brennan

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In the post, I cover all of the key differences between the Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot.

If you are short on time and simply want to know the main differences, here they are:

While both sport Amazon’s spherical design, only Amazon’s latest-gen Echo Dot Kids Edition is available in fun animal-themed designs (Owl and Dragon). Plus, only the Kids Edition includes a longer two-year warranty and a free one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. Moreover, Echo Dot Kids comes with additional parental controls.

Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot: Head to Head

I was thinking about getting an Echo Dot as a birthday gift for my friend’s daughter, who is turning nine. I wanted to get her an age-appropriate gift, so I did some pretty extensive research on the differences between Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot.

echo dot kids vs echo dot

If you have children and are considering introducing them to the wonderful world of Amazon Alexa, this article is for you.

Got concerns?

Of course, you do. They’re kids!

Alexa is pretty bright, allowing kids to listen to music, hear stories, play games, and much more. Plus, she makes an epic homework helper for kids and parents alike.

No question. Alexa is a big part of the reason 43 million Americans now own a smart speaker—a market that is projected to topple $30 billion by 2024 [Sources: Marketwatch and Edison Research].

However, there is some content out in Alexa-land that is NOT appropriate for children. And you don’t want your kids ordering up an Uber—or 1,000 pizzas. Yikes!

In this article, I will outline the differences between Amazon Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot (5th Gen).

📚 Related: Why is Echo Dot Red?

Features Comparison Table

The following table compares Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot [5th Generation].

Note: You can compare the Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot side-by-side on desktop computers and most tablets. Viewing this on your smartphone? You will see a separate table for each product.

Table could not be displayed.

Tech with Brett does a nice job at highlighting the differences betwee the Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot.

Reed from SmartHomeSolver crushes it in his video explaining the benefits of the Echo Dot speaker. The biggest difference between the 4th Gen and the new 5th Gen Echo Dot is that the 5th Gen has vastly updated audio hardware (i.e., it sounds better).

Seven Kid-Friendly Differences

The Kids Edition offers seven key benefits over the standard version for kids and their parents or guardians who love them. The main differences between Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot 4th Gen are detailed below.

Difference #1: Parental Controls

The Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot has many features geared toward parents to give them more control over the content that kids are exposed to. These include the ability to:

  • Set daily time limits
  • Review your child’s /activity
  • Automatically filter explicit songs
  • Select the best music services for your child

There is a special parent dashboard that lets parents or guardians log in to adjust settings and review a child’s activity. See difference #4 below.

Amazon has a great FAQ that explains how FreeTime and Alexa work together to protect your child’s privacy.

Difference #2: Kid-Friendly Designs and Colors

In comparing the Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot 5th Gen the most obvious is the animal-themed designs with the kids’ speakers. These brighter kid-friendly color options include the fun Owl and Dragon design choices.

Difference #3: Amazon Kids+

Echo Dot Kids Edition includes a one-year Amazon Kids+ (formerly FreeTime Unlimited) plan with tons of kid-friendly content.

Kids+ includes thousands of age-appropriate songs, hundreds of Audible books [like Beauty and Beast, Tom Sawyer, Peter Pan], games [like Name That Animal, Disney Personality Quiz], and activities [like The Queen’s Mathematician, Batman’s Heroic Adventures, Disney Sing-a-long] for kids of all ages.

Plus, you get special content from networks that kids already love, like Disney and Nickelodeon.

Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot: Difference #4: Parent Dashboard

OK, so for parents comparing Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot, this is where the differences stand out.

Kids Edition with Kids+ includes a Parent Dashboard that lets mom, dad, or guardian monitor use and commands greater control over the content.

While all Echo devices support some degree of parental control, the dashboard available with the Kids+ subscription makes monitoring use easier.

echo dot kids edition parent dashboard

For example, you can pause content, limit the content to PG-13 or lower, or schedule Alexa on and off-hours [so the kids can’t keep talking to her after bedtime]. You can also put restrictions on online ordering.

Difference #5: Kid-Friendly Documentation

The next difference between the Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot 5th Generation [and 2nd Gen] smart speakers is the documentation. The Echo Dot Kid’s Edition comic-book-style documentation is appropriate even for the youngest readers.

Difference #6: Longer Warranty

happy boy

Amazon brilliantly extended the warranty for the Kids Edition. They know that kids break stuff. And more parents will buy Dot Kids with additional peace of mind.

Amazon’s generous, two-year “Worry-Free Warranty” ensures that the Echo Dot will be replaced even if the kids break it one year and 364 days from now.

This is way better than the 30-day limited Echo Dot warranty.

Difference #7: Voice Calls

Finally, the Echo Dot Kids Edition will let you customize who your kids can call from their list of available contacts.

It works with Amazon Kids+ so you can limit calls to only those folks you want your kids to call. For example,  “Alexa, call Grandma, Dad, Mom, or Uncle Tim.”

This is a great new feature that can go a long way to address privacy concerns with these devices. Also, speaking about privacy, you and your child always have the choice to turn off the microphone which works on both Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot.

Sound Quality

When comparing the sound quality of the standard Echo Dot vs Echo Dot Kids, which one of these smart home devices takes the first prize? Well, if you had asked me about the previous model of the Echo Dot Kids Edition, I would have said the grown-up version sounds better.

Previous versions of the Kids Edition sounded pretty bad.

I would avoid buying the older model of the Kids Edition for this reason. With the marginal price difference, you may want to avoid older Echo Dots altogether (including the 5th generation Echo Dot).

With Amazon’s update to the child-friendly smart assistant. including the 1.6-inch speaker and 0.8-inch tweeters, the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition Alexa speaker sounds just as good as the grown-up version.

📚 Related: How To Improve Alexa Sound Quality

What Kids Can Ask Alexa [Examples]

There are hundreds of games, activities, stories, and much more through the FreeTime Unlimited trial. The Alexa voice assistant has some great skills for kids built-in natively too.

Today’s Parent has a great list of 30 fun things that kids can ask Alexa.

Here are some of my favorite examples of voice commands kids can ask Alexa using the wake word (regardless of whether you use Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot):

  • Just say: Alexa, Read me a Dinosaur Story.
  • Ask: Alexa, Do you know any jokes about bunnies?
  • Say: Alexa, Open Disney Stories.
  • Ask: Alexa, Can you play Kids Hits playlist?
  • Or: Alexa, Open SpongeBob Challenge.
  • Say: Alexa, Play True or False.
  • OK, one more. Ask: Alexa, How do you spell pterodactyl? [Yes, I needed to ask her too.]

Is Upgrading an Older Echo Dot Kids Worth It?

In a word, upgrading to the fifth generation is worth it, YES. If you bought the 4th generation of the Kids Edition, you might have noticed that it sounds a bit “tinny” compared to the newer-gen smart speakers.

To me, this is worth the upgrade for this reason alone. The latest generation model just sounds better. This counts double if your child likes music or if you have included the speaker as part of a multi-room music setup.

Also, the new design choices are cooler, too, although I am surprisingly more “Team Owl” than “Team Dragon.”

Generally speaking, the features are pretty much the same when comparing Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot. What the newer model gets you is the updated design and latest [better sounding] generation of technology from Amazon.

Amazon has a device trade-in program where you can trade in your older devices for a newer model.

How To Set Up Echo Dot Kids

The setup is essentially the same for both devices using the Alexa App. It’s super simple. You just plug in the Echo and do what Alexa tells you. Listen to her instructions and follow the prompts in the app.

You no longer need to “pair” the device with your network. Alexa finds and connects to your network automatically.

For the Kids Edition, you have some additional options to set up parental controls. If you have trouble with setup, get the kids to help!

You can feel free to reach out to me as well.

Best for Youngsters: Echo Dot Kids Edition

Because of the benefits stated earlier, when comparing Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot, the Kids Edition is the best choice for the younger set.

The actual age range is going to depend on the developmental needs and maturity of your child. The Echo Dot Kids Edition might be a hard sell to a 15-year-old, but it depends on your kid.

Echo Dot (5th Gen, 2022 release) Kids | Designed for kids, with parental controls | Owl
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03/07/2024 01:35 pm GMT

Best for Older Kids [and Adults]: Echo Dot

Amazon’s recent improvements to the design and sound of the Echo Dot 5th Generation [now with a cool LCD clock] smart speaker make this our choice for older kids and adults.

Here’s an unboxing video that I recently made over on my Tec Timmy YouTube channel about all the latest generations of the Echo Dot.

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Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot – Your Turn

echo dot kids vs echo dotWe hope you found my review and comparison of the Echo Dot Kids vs Echo Dot helpful.

Do you plan on buying a Kids’ Edition of the Echo Dot for your kiddos? If so, which color do you like best?

I did have a thing for the Punch Red one in the previous generation- sad to see it go. I’ll leave the Hawaiian Punch guy here for nostalgia reasons.

Or maybe your kids are older, and you are considering getting the standard version of the Dot?

Please let me know by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Oh, and please social share this using the buttons at the top and bottom of the page if you found it useful. I appreciate your support!

📚 Related: Echo Dot 5th Gen Vs 4th Gen

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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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