echo show vs plus vs dot

Echo Show vs Echo Plus vs Echo Dot: Which Sounds Best?

In Recommendations, Reviews by Tim BrennanLeave a Comment

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Echo Show vs Echo Plus Vs Echo Dot: Want to know the best Alexa speaker for listening to music? Alright rock star, you are in the right place.

In this post, I’ll tell you which Amazon Echo devices I think sound best and are best equipped for cranking out your favorite tunes.


Echo Show vs Echo Plus vs Echo Dot: Comparison Chart

Let’s start with a comparison chart of my three favorite Echo Speakers for playing your favorite music.

Echo Show [2nd Gen]
Premium Pick
Full Alexa: Yes, plus 10” screen
Major Streaming Services: Yes
No of Speakers 2
Speaker Size 2"
Speaker Drivers: Neodymium
Bass: Passive Bass Radiator
Speaker Location: Front of Unit
Side Firing: Yes
Dolby Processing: Yes
Equalizer: Yes
Connects To Echo Sub: Yes
Echo Plus
Built for Sound
Full Alexa: Yes
Major Streaming Services: Yes
No of Speakers 2
Speaker Size 3.0” Woofer, .8” Tweeter
Speaker Drivers: Neodymium
Bass: Dynamic Bass Response
Speaker Location: Bottom 2/3rds of unit
Side Firing: 360-degree sound
Dolby Processing: Yes
Equalizer: Yes
Connects To Echo Sub: Yes
Echo Dot
Cheap Beats
Full Alexa: Yes
Major Streaming Services: Yes
No of Speakers 1
Speaker Size 1.6"
Speaker Driver: Standard
Bass: Standard
Speaker Location: Front of Unit
Side Firing: 360-degree sound
Dolby Processing: Yes
Equalizer: Yes
Connects To Echo Sub: Yes

Take It From a Former DJ

Best Alexa Speaker for Music

This was me in younger days [sigh]

One of the coolest features of the Amazon Echo is its ability to play your favorite beats on demand.

Whether you subscribe to Amazon Music, PandoraSiriusXM, Apple Music, or another compatible service [see full list below], Alexa can help you rock out, get down, ho-down, or simply chill out.

I used to be a DJ and love all kinds of music, so getting a voice assistant with a decent-sounding speaker for me was a must.


But, Which Alexa Speaker Best for Music?

Ok, I’ll cut to the chase:

I’ve tested pretty much every Alexa device out there, and the best Alexa speaker for listening to music is [drum roll please] the Amazon Echo Show 2nd Generation. With dual neodymium drivers for its two-inch side-firing speakers and passive bass, Echo Show 2 really does offer a premium listening experience. Pair it with a stand, and it delivers clear, crisp sound on its own or as part of a multi-room music configuration.

📚Related Post: Echo Show 5 vs Echo Show 2nd Generation

There are of course some additional high-quality Alexa audio options for cranking out your latest melodies.  In this post, I’ll review my picks for the three best-sounding Echo devices to help you pump up the jam.


My Top Pick: Echo Show 2nd Gen vs Echo Plus

echo show vs echo plus vs echo dot

Ok, so I may have a bit of bias here [that’s bias, not bass]. The Echo Show 2nd Generation is my favorite device for more reasons than just its awesome sound.  And it’s probably not fair that it edges out the Echo Plus in my book [the beautiful 10-inch touchscreen could be playing a factor]. The truth is this device absolutely takes the lead in my crib’s multi-room music configuration.  It could be that it sits atop a stand, or maybe because it has two side-firing speakers.  It could also be that the acoustics in my kitchen is pretty awesome. Regardless, for my money, this is the best sounding Echo Speaker.

Craig’s Tech Talk agrees that lifting the Show up off the counter makes it sound better. He also does a nice sound comparison of multiple Echo devices including the Echo Plus and Dot.

📚Related Post: 12 Best Stands for the Echo Show 5, 2nd Gen, & 1st Gen.

Pros

  • Sounds awesome in and out of a multi-room music configuration
  • A passive bass radiator is unique to the device
  • Delivers crisp highs and solid lows
  • It has an awesome, giant 10″ inch screen that displays artist info, music lyrics and more

Cons

  • It’s expensive
  • It really does require a stand for the best audio experience

🎸You can check out the Echo Show 2nd Generation at Amazon here


Built for Sound: Echo Plus vs Echo Show

echo show vs echo plus vs echo dot

If I wasn’t biased toward the Echo Show, the best Alexa speaker for listening to music award would go to the Echo Plus.

The Plus was designed to provide a more premium audio experience that previous standalone Echo devices.  And with its Dolby 360° audio, an onboard equalizer, and crisp vocals and “dynamic bass response” this baby delivers.  You can also pair it with a 2nd Echo Plus for a premium stereo experience or connect it to Amazon’s new Echo Sub to deliver higher performance bass. In fact, it looks like the configuration of two Echo Pluses with an Echo Sub is Amazon’s recommendation for a true premium sound experience.

I don’t own the Sub but I heard a demo at the Amazon Store and it sounds really great.

Stu from none other than Stu’s Reviews does a nice job of demoing the Echo Plus and Echo Sub paired together for some really great sound.

Pros

  • Like the show, leverages Amazon’s premium audio driver
  • Able to connect it to Echo Sub
  • 3”-inch speaker is larger than other devices
  • Provides both 3.5 mm Audio Input and Output

Cons

  • No screen
  • More expensive than other Alexa options

🎵 Learn more about Echo Plus at Amazon here.


Great Sound on a Budget: Echo Dot

echo show vs plus vs dot

The Echo Dot continues to be ‘the little smart speaker that could’ for Amazon. This is truly a blockbuster product for them. For months, it has occupied multiple spots on Amazon’s Top Seller’s lists. The company said it sold “millions of units” during last year’s holiday shopping season alone.

The Dot remains probably one of the most cost-effective ways to get a quality smart speaker with everything Alexa. I won’t rehash the benefits of the latest generation over the previous one. You can check out this post here for that: Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation vs 2nd Gen: What’s the Difference?

Reed from Smart Home Solver goes a step further in his video review with an actual decibel test. Nice work as usual, man.

Pros

  • It’s inexpensive
  • Sounds dramatically better than previous generations
  • Sounds great when paired with other devices here in a multi-room music configuration
  • Delivers awesome highs and surprisingly good lows
  • 3.5 mm stereo audio output for use with external speakers (audio cable not included).

Cons

  • No Dolby
  • Smaller size = smaller speaker
  • No equalizer so can’t adjust the bass or tremble

🎹 You can read Amazon customers’ reviews about the Dot here


Do I Have to Pay for Music with Alexa?

No. Amazon Echo devices come with Prime Music. The only catch is that you are somewhat limited in what you can play and the unpaid Prime Music service contains ads.

Say: “Alexa, Play Music”

Pricing for music services has gotten super competitive in the past few years. If you consider what you would otherwise have to pay for albums or CDs or individual downloads these services are a great way to get the music you want on-demand, uninterrupted, and at an affordable price

You can also stream thousands of live radios stations for free via iHeartRadio.  Try saying: Alexa, play Kiss FM. Again, you will have to deal with some ads, but still pretty cool.


What Music Services Are Compatible with the Amazon Echo?

For the latest list of music services compatible with your Alexa devices, open the Alexa app and click on the “Play” icon at the bottom.

amazon echo show vs plus vs dot

To add a new service, just click the plus (+) icon beside Link New Service at the top of the screen.

You can then select the service you want and follow the instructions to add it. Easy peasy.

echo show vs plus vs dot

Here is the full list of music services compatible with Amazon Echo devices at the time this post was published:

  1. Amazon Music
  2. Pandora
  3. Apple Music
  4. iHeartRadio and TuneIn.
  5. Spotify
  6. Deezer
  7. SiriusXM
  8. Tidal
  9. Gimme
  10. Vevo

In a future post, I’ll take a deeper dive into explaining all of these music services in more detail.


What are Some Common Amazon Alexa Music Commands?

Here are some examples of music commands:

Try: “Alexa, Play Music.”

Say: “Alexa, Play Chill on Sirius XM.”

Try: “Alexa, Play How to Save a Life Radio on Pandora.”

Say: “Alexa, Play U2 Radio on Pandora.”

Try: “Alexa, Play Tim’s Playlist on Apple Music.

Say: “Alexa, Play Steel Drum Music Everywhere.

Try: “Alexa, Play Taylor Swift on Spotify.”

I’m sure you get the idea. 😉 Hit me up in the comment field below if you have a specific question about a command. I will respond to each and every comment.


Echo Show vs Echo Plus vs Echo Dot: Your Go

So what do you think about the Echo Show vs Echo Plus vs Echo Dot smart speakers?

If you already own multiple devices, do you agree that the Echo Show 2nd Gen is the best sounding Alexa speaker of the bunch?

Or are you planning to rock out to Amazon’s recommended Echo Plus and Sub configuration?

And how about that little Echo Dot? It really does have great sound for such a little device.

Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts. It would be great to hear from you.


Related Posts

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like some of our other posts about Amazon Echo devices and Alexa.  Here are a few of the most recent.


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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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