Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen vs 3rd Gen: Which One Is Good for You?

Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen vs 3rd Gen

This is the review of the comparison between two smart speakers from the same brand and from the same series. The comparison here is between the Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen and the Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen. To know which one is good for you, go to the detailed review.

Amazon Echo Dot 4th GenAmazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen
Amazon Echo Dot 4th GenAmazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen
Eye-catching spherical design.
Space-age aesthetic.
Alexa functionality keeps getting better.
The LED clock display is natural for the Echo Dot.
InexpensiveSurprisingly strong audio quality.
Cleaner, airier presentation.
Tap-to-snooze alarm clock and timer.
Somewhat bigger than its predecessor.
Directional, shallow sound.
Considerably taller than its predecessor.
The sound quality is underwhelming.
Sample variation may be an issue.
The Alexa app is still kind of confusing.
The new power port is less universal.


ModelEcho Dot 4th GenEcho Dot 3rd Gen
Connectivity InterfaceBluetooth, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/acBluetooth, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Internet Streaming ServicesAmazon Music, Apple Music, Audible, SpotifyAmazon Music, Audible, NPR, Pandora, SiriusXM internet radio, Spotify
Integrated Componentsclock
Hands-Free FunctionYesYes
Amplification Typeactiveactive
Crossover Channel Qty
Audio Amplifierintegratedintegrated
Connectivity TechnologywirelessWireless
Controlsmute microphone, volume
Sound Effects360° omni-directional
Surround System Class
Audio Formats
TypespeakerSmart speaker
Speaker Typesmart speakersmart speaker
Speaker Channel Typemono
Driver typefull-range driverwoofer driver
Driver Diameter1.6 m1.6 m
Internet of Things (IoT) CompatibleYesYes
Communications Typecloud
Communications TechnologyBluetooth, WiFiBluetooth
Intelligent Assistant CompatibleAlexa
Voice Controlleddirectdirect
Typeaudio line-outaudio line-out
Connector Typemini-phone stereo 3.5 mmmini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
Bluetooth ProfilesAdvanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)
Width3.9 in3.9 in
Depth3.9 in3.9 in
Height3.5 in1.7 in
Weight12.39 oz10.58 oz
FeaturesThe sleek, compact design delivers crisp vocals and balanced bass for full sound.

Voice control your entertainment – Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, and others.

Ask Alexa to tell a joke, play music, answer questions, play the news, check the weather, set alarms, and more.

Control your smart home

Connect with others – Call almost anyone hands-free.
Echo Dot is our most popular voice-controlled speaker, now with improved sound and a new design.

Ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, read the news, check the weather, set alarms, control compatible smart home devices, and more.

Stream songs from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and others through the built-in speaker with a more full sound.

Call and message almost anyone hands-free. Instantly drop in on other rooms in your home or make an announcement to every room with a compatible Echo device.

Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new skills like tracking fitness, playing games, and more.

Detail Review:


Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen

The Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen is the updated version speaker of the 3rd Gen Echo Dot. This speaker is retailing for around fifty dollars currently on Amazon which is quite affordable considering this is a smart speaker. 

Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen

It seems like in this generation everybody has or at least knows about a smart speaker and we basically know what smart speakers do. They play music, they answer questions for you, you could control your other smart home appliances with them or anything and this speaker is one of the great smart speakers in the market.

Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen


Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen

As far as the first impressions, I would say is that it is relatively bigger than the Echo Dot 3rd Generation. Although the size of the driver is very similar in both, exactly the same in fact. But, the Echo Dot 4th Generation comes in a spherical shape compared to a rather flat circular shape on the Echo Dot 3rd Generation. At the back, we get the 3.5-mm headphone jack and we get the power socket input. At the top, we have our volume up and down button, and along with that, we have the power button and also the mute button for the Echo Dot 4th Generation.

Apart from this new globe shape I absolutely love this blue color. I personally liked this blue color better than the blue color we had on the third generation honestly and one more thing that you will notice is that the blue ring light which was at the top before is at the bottom in this and honestly initially it really looks very cool. But I can see a use case where this can be a little problematic because the blue light is at the bottom it will not be visible from every corner of the room from some of you out there. What is still here is that fabric finish that I like a lot in these Echo devices and one thing you’ll also notice is that the Echo Dot 4th generation is more directional so you can actually face it towards you and this is why it also sounds a little louder when compared to the 3rd Generation Echo Dot.

Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen

On top of the Echo Dot unit itself, you still do get that beautiful light ring that we’ve come to love and all of our favorite Echo devices. I feel like that light ring on top of the Echo Dot or any of the echo Speakers is actually a little underappreciated. It’s pretty cool when you think about it, that light ring on the Echo devices lets you know when the Echo starting up, when it’s listening to you, when it’s talking to you, and muted. It is such a cool-looking speaker but also super easy to understand and use features built into all the Echo devices themselves. Also, on top of the Echo Dot unit, you will see four physical buttons as we had on the second-generation model. you get a volume up button, a volume down button, a microphone on/off button which basically is just a mute button, and also, your action button.

Again, the same four buttons you’ve had on the second generation model, each button being pretty self-explanatory, it’s just nice to have a physical button to press if you’re near your Echo and you don’t have to use your voice to change some of the settings. On the back of the Echo Dot, you still do have your 3.5-millimeter audio output jack right there but this time no longer do we have a micro USB power interface, it’s just your regular power adapter that you’re probably so used to seeing by. So when it comes to the physical changes things are pretty similar but with the design and the fabric around it being the main differences. Then you could also take into consideration that the new Echo Dot is just a tad bit larger than the second-generation model not by much but it is.

Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen


Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen

The box says that the device has a 3.5-mm headphone jack, also Bluetooth capability and there is also a microphone On/Off button. The good part about the unboxing is that we don’t really need a knife because Amazon has provided a small hook to unbox and I can easily break the seal. Inside the box, at first, we get the New Echo Dot 4th Gen then we get some paperwork, and then we get some important information which is just some safety instructions. Unlike some companies, Amazon actually claims that most of the material used to build this Echo Dot 4th Generation, and this packaging is made out of recycled materials, and despite that, they have not removed any sort of charger or cables from the box.

To set up the Echo Dot 4th Generation: First, plug it in and wait for it to enter the setup mode. After that download and open up the Alexa app on your device > go-to devices > go to add device and follow the instruction to complete the setup process. Amazon has also included a brand new AZ1 Neural Edge Chip through which Amazon claims that it will be two times faster than the 3rd Generation when it comes to responding to your commands or instructions. Honestly, I didn’t notice a lot of difference maybe there is a slightly maybe milliseconds of difference but so overall when it comes to the responsiveness of Alexa both the 3rd Generation and 4th Generation are fairly quick.

Another thing that Amazon has introduced with the new Echo devices is something called low power mode. So when in low power mode, your Echo device will consume less energy as compared to older Echo devices but there is a catch. Amazon has listed down a lot of use cases/situations where this will not be valid so for example, if you have a Spotify account linked to the Echo Dot it will not work, if you have another Bluetooth speaker linked to the Echo Dot it will not work. So I think these use cases are very specific and they kind of make this feature useless. But I’m still glad it’s here and I’m pretty sure it will work for some of you out there.

Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen

It really does not matter what a smart speaker looks like or sounds like if it can’t hear you because if they can’t hear you, it kind of defeats the purpose of it being a smart speaker. The interesting thing about the Echo Dot 3 is we only have four microphones as opposed to the seven we used to have in the second generation, so we do have a decrease in the number of microphones in the microphone array that this device actually uses to hear you and listen to you. However, I have not found that to be a problem at all. I really ever haven’t a problem with the Echo Dot 3 hearing me or understanding my commands even with only four microphones pretty much at any angle, even at distances from beyond ten feet and at various different voice levels, I do not have problems with the Echo Dot 3 actually hearing me, listening to me, and recognizing what my commands are.

It’s literally to the point where if I did not look up and know just from looking up that this thing has three fewer microphones, I wouldn’t know the difference. So even though we’re only working with four microphones that are not an issue, it still works fine that’s what Amazon probably thought was going to be the case with those four microphones, that it wasn’t going to be an issue because it’s not. It’s actually probably a good thing because the removal of those three additional microphones which probably weren’t needed probably made way for the additional speaker elements we have in here to make everything sound good, sound better than the second-generation while keeping that price point as we said before sub $50.00. When it comes to the Echo Dot 3 microphone array, these things listen just as well as how great they sound.

I still think Alexa is the number one artificial intelligence or virtual assistant that you could get on the market today. Sure we have Siri, sure we have Google, sure we have Bixby, we have a couple of different virtual assistants, artificial intelligence we could choose from but time and time again, I keep finding myself going back to Alexa. She’s so good, she’s been great, and she continues to become even greater and out of the box, I think Alexa is just easier and can do certain things better than the other virtual assistants can. Then when you take into consideration the Alexa skill store, there’s literally not a whole heck of a lot that these things cannot do, there’s not a whole lot that Alexa cannot do.

Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen


Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen

As far as the sound quality of this speaker, although the driver is of the same size as the 3rd Generation which is at 1.6 inches to be exact there is a minor difference in sound First, the music you listen to on the 4th Generation will sound more full and also, the vocals and mids definitely got a boost so you would be able to hear the vocals a lot clearer on the 4th Generation as compared to the 3rd Generation. The second thing you will notice whenever you ask something to your Echo Dot, Alexa’s answer or voice is also a lot clearer on the 4th Generation as compared to the 3rd Generation.

Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen

Once you actually power this thing up, the next biggest thing you will notice is a difference in sound quality. Probably the number one complaint and a complaint I personally have as well on the older generation models of the Echo Dot was pretty horrible sound quality. On the old Echo Dots the audio quality was pretty bad it sounded very tinny, very plasticky which makes sense considering the design, a lot of times actually the audio quality I was getting on my iPhone speakers was better than that I was getting on the Echo Dot. But that does not matter because no longer is that the issue we have a very large sound quality improvement on the third-generation Echo Dot.

The new Echo Dots actually blow the old Echo Dot out of the water like there’s pretty much not even a comparison here to be made between the two. That’s how much better the sound quality is in the new Echo Dot. The entire soundstage on the new Echo Dot has been greatly improved from the base to the midst of the highs that honestly to me is pretty impressive considering the size and price point that this thing sells for. The Echo Dot third generation is 70% louder than they used to be and with better bass mids and highs especially, with the bass. As soon as you turn this thing on, you will hear the bass that you otherwise could not hear that was basically missing in the two and the one.

Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen


If you already have the 2nd Generation Echo Dot I think the Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen would feel like a much bigger upgrade in terms of the sound quality and the design. On the other hand, if you’re coming from the 3rd Generation, I would say unless you absolutely want the new globe shape I don’t think there is a lot of reasons to actually upgrade to the 4th Generation. On the other hand, if you are planning to buy your first smart speaker and you have decided that you will go for Amazon Echo devices I think the Echo Dot 4th Generation is a perfect start in my opinion.

Expert Reviews of Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen:

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