echo dot vs echo plus

Amazon Echo Dot vs Echo Plus: Go Big or Go Home?

In Reviews by Tim BrennanLeave a Comment

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In this article, I compare the Amazon Echo Dot vs Echo Plus [3rd Generation vs 2nd Gen]. I’ll review the pros and cons as well as contrast the similarities and differences, so you can see how these two smart speakers measure up side by side.

If you’re in a rush, and really want to know the main differences, here they are:

Apart from the obvious design differences, the Plus has a 2.5″ woofer and 0.6″ tweeter over Dot’s 1.6-inch speaker. The Plus also includes a Zigbee Hub and temperature sensor, adds a 3.5mm line-in jack, and has seven microphones for listening as opposed to four with the Dot. They will both let you control your smart devices, stream music, and take advantage of everything Alexa.

I expand on these differences and highlight a few more below.

Echo Dot Vs Echo Plus: Epic Speaker Comparison

How’s that for a dramatic title? I know, I know…save the drama for your mama, Tim.

echo dot vs echo plusBut hey, you’re still reading, right?

Both the Echo 2nd Generation and Echo Plus 1st generation were introduced by Amazon in September of 2018 along with the 2nd Generation Echo Show, Echo Auto, and some other products as well.

These two devices have both reaped the benefits of Amazon’s design and functional improvements over the previous generations. However, one of these speakers is significantly larger and proportionately more expensive than the other.

But why the substantially higher price tag?  Does the Plus really sound THAT much better than the Dot? And what the heck is a Zigbee Hub anyways? It sounds cool, but do you really need one of those?

Well, dear reader, that’s why we are here today, isn’t it?

Let’s take a closer look.


Quick Comparison Chart

Below is a quick comparison table highlighting the major features of the Amazon Echo Dot Vs Echo Plus smart speakers at a glance. I will provide a full detailed specifications table later in this post.

Echo Dot 3rd Generation
Budget Runner Up
Control Smart Devices: Yes
Everything Alexa: Yes
Dimensions*: 1.7 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches
Weight*: 10.6 oz.
Speaker: 1.6" speaker
Sound quality: Standard
Microphones for Listening: 4
Color Options: Charcoal, Heather, Sandstone
Line In/ Out: Line In Only [3.5mm]
Zigbee Hub: No
Temperature Sensor: No
Echo Plus 2nd Generation
Premium Sound and Hub
Control Smart Devices: Yes
Everything Alexa: Yes
Dimensions*: 5.8” x 3.9” x 3.9”
Weight*: 27.5 oz
Speakers: 2.5" woofer and 0.6" tweeter
Sound quality: Premium
Microphones for Listening: 7
Color Options: Charcoal, Heather, Sandstone
Line In/ Out: Yes both 3.5mm
Zigbee Hub: Yes
Temperature Sensor: Yes

*See the full specifications table somewhere down there 👇 for additional metrics.


echo dot vs echo plus

Ask, her I double-dog dare you!

I Love My Echos

Yeah, you heard right.  I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to Alexa.

At last count I have an Echo Show, two Echo Dot 3rd Gens, an Echo Dot 1st Gen, a FireTV cube, an Echo 1st Generation ❤️ and an Echo Plus. I also have the new Echo Show 5 and Echo Auto on order.

Moreover, I have done a TON of reviews and research on Alexa devices over the 14 months. And I spend a lot of time reviewing and replying to questions about Alexa out in forums like Quora and Reddit, so I guess you could say I am somewhat of an authority on Alexa. [Don’t believe all of that hype about Amazon listening to your every word, it just isn’t true.]

🐭Related: How to Improve Echo Privacy Settings in the Alexa App

Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know a bit about my qualifications and why you can trust my opinions in comparing the Echo Dot vs Echo Plus.

Now, let’s get into the actual review.

I’ll do a mini overview of each speaker, followed by pros and cons, we’ll take a look at what’s inside the box of each device, and I’ll include some video reviews too. Oh, and I’ll stick a detailed recommendations table at the end of the post as promised too.

Sound good?

Let’s take a deeper dive.


The Scoop on the Echo Plus 

echo dot vs echo plus SEE IT AT AMAZON

The Echo Plus gives you everything you love about Alexa, and it delivers better sound than its predecessor. In fact, this is probably the best sounding Echo device of them all.  The Echo Plus’s rich base works great in a single or as part of a multi-room music configuration.  I actually have six devices connected together but this one just brings the sound to a whole new level.

🤓Update: Amazon announced a new speaker in September called Echo Studio that provides even better sound than the Plus. You can read my review comparing them here: Echo Studio vs Echo Plus: Which Alexa Speaker Really Rocks?

While the Zigbee Hub isn’t really a big deal in my world, it might be for those who subscribe to the Zigbee ecosystem. The main benefit is that devices that rely on the Zigbee protocol will just work with the Echo Plus, without requiring that you purchase the Hub separately.

The temperature sensor is hot. [See what I did there.] You can pair it with a learning thermostat such as Nest or Ecobee for complete temperature automation.  It’s also cool just to get the room temperature. I wasn’t able to get this before.

Our friends over at Pocket-lint have a nice article on Zigbee, so I won’t bore you by trying to replicate any of that here.

The input jack is another nice addition here. With this, you can hook up your Echo to other components via a wired connection.

Thanks to our friends over at Digital Trends for the helpful video review.

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Improved design
  • 7 microphones for listening means Alexa listens better
  • Full smart home control, including Zigbee, Nest, Ring, Phillips Hue [with separate Hub], Lifx, and hundreds of others]
  • Stereo pairing and input/output jacks
  • All of the benefits of Alexa

Cons

  • It’s a bit pricey
  • I think the Sandstone fabric could get dirty over time
  • A few customers had complained about issues with the Line In feature but it seems to be fixed now


Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation

echo dot vs echo plus

SEE IT AT AMAZON

I bought a 3rd Gen Echo Dot last Black Friday, and after I received it I was literally blown away by how much of an improvement it was over the 2nd Gen Dot. I am one of the few who actually LIKED the 2nd Gen Dot [mostly because it’s small size works great in my kitchen]. But, the 3rd-Gen is waaay better. And it’s super cheap.  The sound quality is also really good for such a little speaker.

🐭Related: Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation vs 2nd Gen: What’s the Difference?

CNET has a nice video intro to the Echo Dot 3rd Generation.

Pros

  • It’s inexpensive – huge value for what you get with Alexa
  • Compact size is unobtrusive.
  • Updated design complements other Echo devices.
  • Great sound from a tiny speaker, astonishingly better than its predecessor
  • A better power supply that previous version
  • Cooler light ring than the previous version
  • Works great in multi-room music configurations

Cons

  • Fewer microphones mean sometimes you need to repeat commands
  • No Zigbee Hub like the Plus [but hey, did I mention this is cheap! LOL.]


Echo Dot vs Echo Plus: Similarities and Differences

Similarities

  • Both the Plus and the Dot give you the world of Alexa.
  • They both come in Charcoal, Heather Gray or Sandstone [or as we like to say in Boston, black, gray and white].
  • Both have Alexa’s updated design and light ring.
  • They will both let you control smart home stuff.
  • Both the Plus and the Dot allow you to stream music.
  • You can use both speakers in multiroom music configurations.
  • They both have an output jack so you can hook up an external speaker, like the Echo Sub for instance.

Differences

  • Echo Plus weighs more an is bigger than the Dot.
  • The Echo Plus has more speakers for listening and does actually listen better.
  • Echo Plus has two premium Dolby speakers [0.8” Tweeter and 3” Woofer] compared to Dot’s single-but-much-improved speaker.
  • The Echo Plus is significantly more expensive than the Echo Dot [by a factor of five at the time of this writing].
  • Echo Dot does not include a Zigbee Hub but the Echo Plus does

The Verdict

I think the question to ask when trying to decide on the Echo Plus vs the Echo Dot is: Where are you going to put the thing?  If it’s going beside your bed or in a small bedroom, then the Echo Dot [or even the Echo Spot or new Echo Show 5] is probably a better choice. Or if it’s going in a smaller room maybe. Like a bathroom.  I have a Dot than hangs from a GFI plug in my bathroom using a mount and it’s really cool.

🐭Related: 15 Best Amazon Echo Show, Dot & Spot Accessories for 2019: Stands, Wall Mounts & Cases

Our friends over at All Things Tech seem to agree that the location is really an important factor in deciding if you want to the Echo Dot vs Echo Plus:


I like to ask Alexa to read my Flash briefing when I’m in the shower in the AM. The Echo Plus is more appropriate for a larger bedroom, living room, family room, den, dining room or anywhere that you want to have a better music experience.

To summarize:

Buy the Echo Plus If

  • You want a premium sound experience and can afford it.

Buy the Echo Dot If

  • You want a great little smart speaker with Alexa at an affordable price.

Heck, Buy Both If

  • You can afford it and want to pair two great Alexa speakers together in a multi-room music configuration.

Full Technical Specifications

Following are the full technical specifications comparing the Echo Dot vs the Echo Plus,

NOTE: If you are on mobile, you may need to swipe left/right to the see the full details.

 Echo Dot (With Clock)Echo Plus
What’s In the BoxSee section below.See section below.
Dimensions3.9” x 3.9” x 1.7” (99 mm x 99 mm x 43 mm)9.7” x 6.9” x 4.2”
Weight10.6 oz. (300 grams)62.2 oz. (1765 grams)
DesignSolid state plastic with fabric wrapper and rubber non-slip bottomSolid state plastic with fabric wrapper and rubber non-slip bottom
Color ChoicesCharcoal, Heather Gray, SandstoneCharcoal, Heather Gray, Sandstone
Supports All Alexa Audio SkillsYesYes
Plays Music from all major streaming media servicesYesYes
Temperature SensorNoYes
Built-in Zigbee hub for smart home connectivity [control smart lighting, security cameras, outlets, thermostats, locks, and more]NoYes
Sound QualityStandardPremium
ButtonsVolume Up/Down, Mics On/Off, Action ButtonVolume Up/Down, Mics On/Off, Action Button
Audio Input JackNoYes
Audio Output JackYes 3.5mmYes 3.5mm
Speakers1.6" speaker3" neodymium woofer and 0.8" tweeter
Number of Microphones for Listening47
Wi-Fi ConnectivityDual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks.*Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks*
Bluetooth ConnectivityAdvanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming
SetupAmazon Wi-Fi simple setupAmazon Wi-Fi simple setup
Warranty1 Year Limited Warranty [with options to extend]1 Year Limited Warranty [with options to extend]

Did I forget any specs that interest you? Leave me a quick comment below and let me know. Thanks!


What’s in the Box?

This section details what’s in the box for each remote.

Echo Plus

echo dot vs echo plus

The Amazon Echo Plus box contains the following:

  • Echo Plus
  • Power Adapter (30W)
  • Quick Start Guide

Echo Dot

echo dot vs echo plus

The Amazon Echo Dot box contains the following items:

  • Echo Dot
  • Power adapter (15W)
  • Quick Start Guide

Echo Dot vs Echo Plus: Your Turn

echo dot vs echo plusSo what do you think of my review of the Echo Dot vs Echo Plus?

Do you like the smaller size and smaller price of the Dot over the Plus?

Or are you a music lover and can’t wait to try out the premium sound that the Plus delivers?

Please leave me a comment below and let me know. I read, reply to, and publish every comment that you guys send. Well, at least the non-spammy ones.


Related Links

If you liked this post comparing Echo Dot vs Echo Plus, you may also enjoy some of our other Alexa posts. I’ll list a few of them below.

Echo Show 2nd Generation vs 1st Gen: Review & Comparison Guide

Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation vs 2nd Gen: What’s the Difference?

Echo Show vs. Google Home Hub [Now Nest Hub]: Which Screen Is Smarter?

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition vs Echo Dot 3rd Generation [and 2nd Gen]

Echo Show vs Echo Spot [2nd Generation vs 1st Gen]: Is Bigger Better?


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About the Author

Tim BrennanTim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger

Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.

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