Amazon’s Echo Dot speaker was dethroned by Google Home mini earlier this year as the best-selling smart speaker. And this is arguably due to the fact that most smart speaker owners use the device to stream music. Yes! Amazon has always put the smart first; and the speaker part? Not just impressive. Some of our phones even sound better than the device. But that has changed with the new generation – the Amazon Echo Dot 3.

The third generation of Amazon Echo Dot is a lot different from the previous Echo Dot in terms of appearance and mostly sound quality. And just like Amazon’s culture – to make products affordable, the price is not hiked. It’s indeed, a $50 smart speaker you need to have.

Improved design

The hard plastic shells Amazon traded in its Alexa flagship is gone! That must have taken the retail company a comparison between its Echo Dot and Google Home to come up with this competitive decision of using a soft cover all through. We still have the oval shape like the original but the rounded edges of the speaker’s circumference are now covered by something you would love to have in your living room.

The new Echo Dot share the same array of buttons with the second-generation; two buttons (+ and -) for volume control, a button to activate/deactivate Alexa and the microphone button, which now has a new symbol. A notable difference is the presence of four pin holes which represents independent microphones that now makes it easier for Dot to hear your voice better from a distance.

Amazon Echo Dot 3 is also ringed with LEDs that light up (white) to indicate your volume level and also turn blue when Alexa is listening. It’s also slightly larger with a diameter of 3.9 inches and 1.7 inches tall, that’s about 0.6 inches wider and 0.4 inches taller than the original version.

Sound Quality

When we learned that Amazon was releasing a new Echo, we thought to ourselves: all they have to do is to make it sound better and that will be a huge win. To be honest with you, they exceeded our expectations in that regard. It was actually a torturous experience playing songs on Amazon’s previous Dot and the company responded well with the new Dot.

The sound party from the new Echo dot is great volume jump compared to the second-generation Dot. It’s fuller, richer and with more clarity. Unlike the previous version, users can increase or reduce the bass quality between -6 and +6; Alexa could do that. And at each level, the sound quality is different and better than sound from Google Home Mini.

Most interestingly, Amazon introduced a new stereo pairing feature. That means you can enjoy stereo sound with two Echo Dot speakers on the same network. It’s really an impressive development but the sound from Dot is still nowhere near what you can get from a full-size Echo, which has a dedicated tweeter and a subwoofer.

Bottom line

The third generation of Amazon Echo Dot is actually the best budget smart speaker available now. Aside from the impressive sound quality, buying the new Dot is an affordable means of getting Alexa into your home, at just $50. In addition, with the new Dot design, you won’t be required to buy extra accessories or skin packs to change its look. Amazon Echo Dot 3 is definitely a good buy.