Amazon Echo Dot Vs. Amazon Echo with Clock Vs. Amazon Echo Kids: Which should you buy?

Amazon’s Echo Dot is one of the best smart speakers around. It doesn’t have especially robust audio quality or offer many flashy features, but it sports a unique, spherical design in a range of colors, it’s small and easy to find a spot for, and it’s cheap for a connected device – especially around Prime Day. There are a few different versions, though, and while they’re all quite similar, each meets different needs. Not sure which one you should get? Read on to find out.

Echo Dot: The default

The Echo Dot is Amazon’s entry-level smart speaker. The current version is the fourth generation – the first Dot with the new, divisive spherical design (older models were smaller, puck-shaped speakers). It’s chunkier than previous generations were, but it’s not as large as it looks in photos; at 3.9 inches wide, it’s just a little bigger than a softball.


It’s got four microphones to pick up your Alexa commands and a speaker with a 1.6-inch driver to play responses and media. Like other Echo speakers, you can add your Echo Dot to larger Alexa speaker setups for multi-room audio. The speaker sounds okay given its compact size, but it can’t muster much oomph on its own – though it does have both Bluetooth and a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary port, so you can output its audio through any larger speakers you may have.

The standard Dot is available in three colorways: Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue. It retails for $ 49.99, but you can often find it for $ 30 or so on sale.

Echo Dot with Clock: A smart, affordable upgrade

The creatively named Echo Dot with Clock is exactly what you think it is: a standard Echo Dot with a simple LED display on the front. By default, the display shows the time, but it can also act as a timer if you’ve got one set.

This version of the Echo Dot comes in the same Glacier White and Twilight Blue colors as the regular one, but it’s not available in the dark gray Charcoal colorway. The luxury of a built-in clock isn’t all that pricey, either: at $ 60, the Echo Dot with Clock is only 10 bucks more expensive than normal Dot, and it’s not unusual to find it on sale for about $ 45.

If you’re shopping for an Echo Dot to put anywhere you’d benefit from having a visible clock, this model’s kind of a no-brainer – assuming your heart wasn’t set on a dark gray Dot.

Echo Dot Kids: Kid-friendly features and an extended warranty

In terms of hardware, the Echo Dot Kids is exactly the same as the standard Echo Dot – same footprint, same audio quality. But it comes in cute, animal-themed designs – tiger or panda – and includes a year of Amazon Kids +. Kids + is a subscription service that offers access to kid-friendly content ranging from pre-schooler to pre-teen; on the Echo Dot, that includes audiobooks from Audible, educational content, and ad-free radio stations. Billed annually, Kids + costs $ 48 a year for Prime members and $ 79 a year for everyone else. Monthly subscriptions are also available. (You can check out Amazon’s page about Kids + to learn more.)

Like many of its kid-focused products, the Echo Dot Kids comes with what Amazon calls a “worry-free guarantee” that means you can exchange the device for a new one if the original breaks within two years of your purchase. Depending on how hard your kids are on electronics, that might be worth a lot to you.

The Echo Dot Kids costs $ 60, a $ 10 premium over the normal Dot – though it’s frequently discounted to $ 40 or less. It’ll be worth considering if you’re shopping for a speaker specifically for your kid’s room, especially if you’re worried they might break it.

Buy the standard Echo Dot if …

  • You want the cheapest Dot
  • You can’t live with a white or blue smart speaker

Buy the Echo Dot with Clock if …

  • You want a smart speaker for your bedside table
  • You don’t need the Charcoal finish only available on the standard version

Buy the Echo Dot Kids if …

  • You’re shopping for a kid’s room
  • Your children would enjoy Amazon Kids +
  • You really like tigers or pandas

Buy Echo Dot:

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Buy Echo Dot with Clock:

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Buy Echo Dot Kids:

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