Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (2024)

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (1)

Echo Dot

Bottom Line

The Echo Dot is the quintessential budget smart home assistant, allowing you to summon Alexa at the sound of your voice and control other smart gadgets in your home.

$49.99 AmazonEcho Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (2)


Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (3)

Echo Pop

Bottom Line

The Echo Pop does almost everything the Dot does, but it lacks motion detection and temperature sensing capabilities. It’s a little cheaper, and it comes in fresher colors, too.

$39.99 AmazonEcho Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (4)

Table of Contents

Amazon has cornered the market on inexpensive and easy-to-use smart home devices with its Echo lineup. Two of its tiniest (yet still feature-packed) offerings are the Echo Dot (now on its 5th generation) and the Echo Pop, which debuted in 2023. Both have a price point under $50 and regularly go on sale for $20 to $30 — especially during Prime Day.

And while the two devices are remarkably similar, there are some key differences you should know before you buy. Here’s how the Echo Dot (5th gen) and the Echo Pop compare, based on my first-hand insights as someone who’s used both.

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Specs

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (5)

Credit: Chart: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

Design: We like color options

The Echo Dot and the Echo Pop are nearly the same size, but while the Echo Dot is round the Echo Pop has a flat face. It basically looks like a cross-section of the Dot.

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (6)

The Echo Dot (left) and Echo Pop (right) — as you can see, the Echo Dot has been graced with toddler spaghetti fingers.Credit: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

The Echo Dot also comes in three fairly muted colors (gray, white, and blue), but the Echo Pop is available in some, well, poppier colors (lavender and teal in addition to gray and white).

Overall, I like the appearance of the Echo Pop a little better. The brighter colors can add a cute splash of color to a corner shelf, or the Pop can serve as a more discreet Alexa assistant than the Echo Dot (which is fairly universally recognized as a smart home device).

Both have a modern, sleek appearance that can easily complement or blend into any style of decor.

Winner: Echo Pop

Setup and ease of use

Amazon has made setting up these devices extremely easy. You’ll need the Alexa app on your phone, and it walks you through setup step-by-step. The app is also where you’ll connect other apps like Spotify or Audible to stream them on your Echo devices using Alexa voice commands.


Echo vs. Echo Dot: Which Amazon device should you buy?

The devices themselves are also very straightforward. The physical buttons on them allow you to mute and unmute the microphone and adjust the volume. Everything else is done through voice commands or through the Alexa app. I had no problems setting up either device and both were highly responsive to my “Hey, Alexa’s.”

Winner: Tie

Sound quality is almost identical

Amazon describes the Echo Pop’s sound as a “full sound” that’s a good fit for bedrooms and small spaces and the Echo Dot’s sound as a “bigger vibrant sound” for any room.

In my side-by-side comparisons of the Echo Dot and the Echo Pop, I couldn’t detect a difference in sound quality between the two devices. Both devices were excellent for playing background music in my office or listening to podcasts while doing housework, providing fuller, clearer sound and increased volume compared to my smartphone.


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The Echo Pop does have an ever-so-slightly larger speaker. However, the Dot’s round shape can help it to fill a space with sound no matter where it’s placed.

Winner: Echo Dot

Alexa integration and smart home connectivity

Both the Echo Dot and the Echo Pop integrate with Alexa through the Amazon Alexa app. You can use Alexa to ask questions, check the weather, set timers and alarms, and open connected apps (like music or streaming apps including Spotify, Pandora, Audible, and Amazon Music).

Personally, I have always found Alexa devices most handy in the office and in the kitchen. They provide a hands-free, screen-free way to set timers (for productivity or pizza) or to stream audio. A centrally-located Echo device is also a great way to free up space in your brain. I’ve used Alexa to remind me to water my plants, put birthday cards in the mail, and check the water level in the pool at regular intervals when filling it up for the season.

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However, the Echo Dot edges out the Echo Pop here in two key ways: temperature sensing and motion detection. So your Echo Dot can execute Alexa Routines that involve temperature or motion, while the Echo Pop can’t. Some examples:

  • The Echo Dot can adjust your smart thermostat settings when it reaches a certain temperature

  • The Echo Dot can turn on smart lightbulbs when it senses motion in a room

Winner: Echo Dot

Considering additional features

The Echo Dot and the Echo Pop can both serve as WiFi extenders if you have an existing Amazon Eero network, adding up to 1,000 square feet of additional WiFi coverage.

However, once again the Echo Dot edges out the Echo Pop in terms of extra features. As mentioned above, the Dot comes equipped with motion and temperature detection capabilities.

Also, the Echo Dot with Clock ($59.99) comes with all the features of the 5th gen Echo Dot and a simple LED display that can show the time, temperature, and timer countdowns. The Echo Dot With Clock served me well for a time as my alarm clock, but it wouldn’t have earned that spot on my nightstand without the LED display so I could glance at the time.

Winner: Echo Dot

Our winner: Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (7)

Echo Dot

The Echo Dot and the Echo Pop are much more similar than they are different. The Echo Pop is about $10 less expensive and a little bit cuter (and available in more fun colors). However, it lacks the motion detection and temperature sensing that would allow it to execute some of the most helpful and practical Alexa commands and Routines.

If you’re just looking for an easy-to-use speaker to play music or set alarms in a room in your home, the Echo Pop is a fine choice. However, for a more functional smart home assistant, it’s best to pay the extra $10 and purchase the Echo Dot.

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$49.99 Amazon Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (8)

TopicsAmazonAmazon AlexaAmazon Echo

How we tested

I tested the Echo Pop for a few weeks shortly after it debuted in 2023 and wrote about it here. I went through the entire setup process, tested a variety of Alexa commands, and even did some sound quality tests comparing it to the Echo Dot With Clock during that review process.

However, the Echo Dot With Clock was a personal purchase for me — it lived in my office as a hands-free assistant briefly before I moved it to my nightstand and became my alarm clock. In the roughly two years I was actively using it, I tried many different Alexa features but found it most helpful for streaming audio and setting timers and alarms.

Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? (2024)


Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop: Which Amazon device is right for you? ›

If you're just looking for an easy-to-use speaker to play music or set alarms in a room in your home, the Echo Pop is a fine choice. However, for a more functional smart home assistant, it's best to pay the extra $10 and purchase the Echo Dot.

Is Echo Pop better or Echo Dot? ›

The Amazon Echo Dot is still superior to the Echo Pop. It has unidirectional audio, along with a temperature sensor built-in, and a clock model, for those who want one. But that doesn't mean that the Echo Dot is the better choice for everyone.

Do you need Echo or just Echo Dot? ›

Do I need an Amazon Echo to use a Dot? All Amazon Echo products can be used on their own. While the Echo Dot is essentially just a smaller version of the Echo, it's not an extension of it.

How do I choose which Alexa device to drop in? ›

Open the Alexa app on your phone and select the Device icon on the bottom of the screen. You'll see a list of your devices. Select the one for which you want to enable or disable Drop In.

Which Amazon Echo device has best sound quality? ›

If you're looking for the best sound quality in the Echo lineup, the Echo Studio is absolutely the best pick. It's also a great choice for smart homes because, like the 4th-gen Echo, it has a built-in Zigbee hub.

What is the difference between pop and dot? ›

Sound: Dot Offers Better Quality

While the Echo Pop does have a slightly larger speaker, the speaker in the Echo Dot is generally considered to be better. Both devices can produce pleasing audio, though most reviewers hear the Pop losing some sound definition at higher volumes.

What is better than Echo Dot? ›

Google Nest Mini (2nd gen)

Google Assistant now has almost as many capabilities as Alexa, making the $50 Google Nest Mini a solid alternative to the Amazon Echo Dot if Google Assistant is your preference. Plus, per our tests, Google Assistant is slightly smarter than Alexa.

Do you need a monthly subscription to use Echo Dot? ›

There is no subscription cost to use echo, but if you are an Amazon Prime member ($99.00 a year) you will get a lot more out of it. Prime members get free music. You need a free echo app for your PC, Tablet, or smartphone.

Is the Amazon Echo louder than the Dot? ›

Side-by-Side Comparison

The Echo has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it can reproduce a more extended low-bass. Also, it gets louder, though it has some more compression at max volume.

Can someone drop in on Alexa without you knowing? ›

Anytime someone tries to drop in on your device, you'll be notified on your smartphone or tablet if you've allowed alerts for Drop-In calls in the Alexa app. Check the Alexa app or the notification area on your device for these alerts. Be aware of your notifications so you can be alerted.

Why can't I drop in on my Echo Dot? ›

The Drop In feature might be turned off in the app, so you may have to opt in to use it. Step 1: Head to the icon at the bottom of the Alexa app that says Devices. Step 2: In the devices menu, choose the device on which you want to enable the Drop In feature.

How do I stop people dropping in on my Alexa? ›

Turn Drop In On or Off for Your Device
  1. Open the Alexa app .
  2. Open Devices .
  3. Select Echo & Alexa, and then select your device.
  4. Select Communications.
  5. Select Drop In, and then select which permissions to enable or disable.

What is the difference between an Echo Dot and Echo Pop? ›

The Echo Pop is loud enough to fill a regular-sized room but lacks the range of the Echo Dot, including the warmth and bass produced by the Dot. High-end tracks can also sound harsh and muddled, making the Echo Dot the stronger choice of the two for music fans.

Which is better, Echo Dot 4 or 5? ›

4th-gen Echo Dot vs 5th-gen Echo Dot: Worth the upgrade? The differences between these two speakers are minor, but the 5th-gen Echo Dot opens up a range of possibilities through the addition of new sensors that the 4th-gen Echo Dot can't match. The newer Echo Dot also sounds better and has more tech inside.

Is the sound good on Echo Dot? ›

And despite its small size, it's surprisingly loud and clear, even at high volume. The Dot would satisfy anyone looking to replace a bedside or desk radio, and the fifth generation has better bass than previous models, though the overall sound isn't quite as robust as our recommended Alexa speakers for music.

What does Echo Pop do? ›

But the Echo Pop does perform all the basic tasks that can be performed with a voice command such as switching on and off smart home devices, checking the weather, playing music and podcasts and anything else you desire to ask Alexa at any given moment.

Can you connect Echo Pop to Echo Dot? ›

This means that all your Amazon smart speakers, including the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Pop, Echo Show, or Echo Studio, can be connected to work in tandem with one another.

Can Echo Pop connect to TV? ›

In the app, tap the Devices icon at the bottom and then choose the Echo device you wish to use. Tap the Settings icon and then select Bluetooth Devices. Tap the button to pair a device. At the Bluetooth settings screen on your TV or receiver, wait for your Echo to appear and then select it to connect the devices.

Is Echo Pop good for kids? ›

The Kids+ subscription more than justifies the extra $10, and the silicone bumper makes it better suited for accident-prone children than the larger, louder Amazon Echo Dot Kids ($59.99). That earns the Echo Pop our Editors' Choice award for kid-focused smart speakers.


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