Amazon Echo (original) vs Echo Tap vs Echo Dot vs Echo Look vs Echo Show vs Echo (2017) vs Echo Plus vs Echo Spot: What’s the difference?

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Amazon’s Echo lineup is insane at this point.

It wasn’t long ago that a voice-controlled speaker and smart home assistant was the stuff of science-fiction, but in a relatively short time, it has become reality. Amazon’s Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices offer just that and although Amazon isn’t the only manufacturer to build voice recognition and internet interactivity into household gadgets, it’s certainly one of the most successful.

The Echo family of products has grown rapidly over the last couple of years, with a flurry of new devices announced in September 2017 to add to the portfolio, meaning there’s something out there for everyone.

Here are all the Alexa-enabled Amazon devices compared to help you work out which one best suits you.

  • Availability: Replaced by all-new Echo in September 2017, though refurbished versions still available on some retailers
  • Refurbished: Available in the US (Amazon US order page)
  • Price: Originally $179 / £149
  • Dimensions: 235 x 83.5 x 83.5mm, 1045g
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO)
  • Power: Plugs into a wall outlet
  • Audio capability: 360-degree sound (2.5 inch woofer and 2.0 inch tweeter)
  • Alexa: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)

The original Amazon Echo launched in 2015 in the US and 2016 in the UK as a 9.25-inch-tall cylinder speaker with a seven-piece microphone array. It responds to the wake word “Alexa” and is capable of voice interaction, controlling compatible smarthome devices, music playback from smart devices over Bluetooth, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, reading PDFs, providing weather forecasts, warning you of traffic conditions, answering trivia, and supplying other types of information in real-time.

Echo requires a Wi-Fi connection in order to respond to voice commands and fetch content for you, and it must remain plugged in for power. Users in the US will see Alexa have an American accent, while UK users will hear a British accent.

  • Availability: Available in the US (Amazon US order page) / Not available in the UK
  • Price: $129.99
  • Dimensions: 59 x 66 x 66 mm, 470g
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and supports 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • Power: Relies on a charging cradle (9 hours of playback)
  • Audio: 360-degree sound (dual 1.5-inch drivers and dual passive radiators)
  • Alexa: Yes (Not always-listening by default; Must touch mic button to access Alexa or enable hands-free option in Settings)

Amazon Tap is a 6.2-inch-tall cylinder speaker with a 7-piece microphone array and full access to Alexa, making it a smaller, more portable, more affordable version of the original Echo. Unlike the Echo though, the Amazon Tap is wireless and must use the included cradle to charge but it can do all the same tricks as Echo as long as your connected to Wi-Fi.

Amazon says the Tap will stream up to 9 hours of audio on a full charge, or last up to three weeks in standby mode. The Tap isn’t an always-on by default like the Echo is. To wake it, you need to press the mic on the front or you can enable the hands-free option in the Settings section of the Alexa app to wake Alexa without having to tap the Tap, though this will drain battery.

  • Availability: Available in the US (Amazon US order page) / Available in the UK (Amazon UK order page)
  • Price: $49 / £49
  • Dimensions: 38 x 84 x 84mm, 250g
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO)
  • Power: Plugs into a wall outlet
  • Audio: Voice-feedback only (Must be connected to external speakers)
  • Alexa: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)

Echo Dot is 1.6-inch-tall cylinder with one tiny speaker. It’s basically just the top section of the original Amazon Echo and half the price, though equally as smart. It supports always-on Alexa, connects to the cloud to stream music, controls your smarthome devices, and it offers all the same features as Echo.

The main difference between Dot and Echo is that the full-size speaker is gone. The idea is you’ll hook Dot up to your own audio setup (via out jack or Bluetooth), so you can use Alexa with your existing speakers. That tiny speaker won’t output much audio; it’s only for Alexa voice feedback, which, again, requires Wi-Fi. For those with multiple Echo Dots around their home, there is a feature on board that means only one Echo Dot, and the closest one, will respond to your request.

  • Availability: Available in the US – invite only (Amazon US order page)
  • Price: $199
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Connectivity: Dual-band, dual antenna (MIMO. 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)
  • Power: Power adapter (21W) with 7.9 ft. cable
  • Camera: 5-megapixel sensor
  • Audio: Built-in microphone array, built-in speaker
  • Alexa: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)

Echo Show is a $199 Wi-Fi camera that offers full Alexa functionality plus hands-free photo and video. It is pitched as a cloud-connected fashion consultant that allows you to snap pictures of yourself in various outfits. Alexa’s software will automatically blur the background in each image to make your outfit pop, and then it uses machine learning guided by “fashion experts” to serve up recommendations about what you should wear.

It will work like any other Alexa-enabled device, allowing you to access music, traffic timers, weather, and a vast library of “skills.” The device is wall-mountable, too, and includes a a 5-megapixel sensor, built-in microphone array, and built-in speaker. It also has LED lights (used for the flash). No other specs have been announced yet and there is no date set for when the Echo Look will start shipping to customers. Currently, it is available in the US only via an invite-only scheme

  • Availability: Available in the US (Amazon US order page), Pre-order open now in the UK (Amazon UK pre-order page)
  • Price: $229 / £199
  • Dimensions: 187 x 187 x 90mm, 1170g
  • Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5 GHz)
  • Power: Power adapter/cable (6 foot)
  • Camera: 5-megapixel sensor
  • Audio: 8-microphone array, dual 2-inch stereo speakers
  • Alexa: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)

Amazon’s Echo Show is a touchscreen device with built-in Alexa and it can do everything the regular, voice-only Echo can do (like setting timers and play music), but it has a built-in display to offer a new level of interaction. It’s meant to show you more information about your Alexa queries, such as display a full weather report, steps in a recipe and it can even serve as a digital photo frame, fetching your pictures stored on Prime Photos or display lyrics when playing songs from Amazon Music.

You can connect Echo Show to your Wi-Fi-enabled security cameras in order to check your video feeds and you’ll also be able to place and receive calls – both video and voice. A feature called Drop In allows you to specify which friends and family can make a call at any time, with the receiver offering a 10-second timeframe to reject a Drop In call or go into audio-only mode.

  • Availability: Available in the US (Amazon US order page) / Available in the UK (Amazon UK order page)
  • Price: $99.99 / £89.99
  • Dimensions: 148.5 x 88 x 88mm, 820g
  • Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5GHz)and Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • Power: Power adaptor/cable (5.9ft)
  • Audio: 2.5-inch woofer and 0.6-inch tweeter
  • Alexa: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)


The original Amazon Echo is dead. Long live the Amazon Echo. That’s right. Amazon has retired the original Echo model and replaced it with a new connected Alexa speaker that’s shorter and Dolby tuned. It offers better sound quality as well as a range of different finishes for a nicer, more contemporary look. But it still offers the same Alexa power as it did before, serving as the centre of the universe.

It’s just better designed to fit into your kitchen, thanks to those new shells. It’s very much realigning itself as a competitor to the Google Home, but Amazon is also talking up the sound quality. It’s available to buy now in both the US and the UK.

  • Availability: Pre-order in the US (Amazon US pre-order page) / Pre-order in the UK (Amazon UK pre-order page)
  • Price: $139.99 / £149.99
  • Dimensions: 235 x 84 x 84mm, 954g
  • Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5GHz)and Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • Power: Power adaptor/cable (5.9ft)
  • Audio: 2.5-inch woofer and 0.8-inch tweeter
  • Alexa: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)


Amazon Echo Plus is now top of the Echo tree. It looks just like the original, canister-shaped Echo. The main difference between the two comes down to sound, according to Amazon. Remember, criticisms of the original Echo speaker concerned it not being a great speaker. Echo Plus has all the Alexa skills you know and love, but now, it’s a much more capable smart home controller, thanks to ZigBee.

Amazon said it has a built-in smart home hub so it can natively control other devices using apps or skills, thus reducing the setup process. Put clearly, it can directly control your Philips Hue lights without you needing to mess around with the Alexa app like you had to do before. In fact, every Echo Plus will come with a Hue White bulb to get you started. It’s available to pre-order in both the US and UK.

  • Availability: Available in the US (Amazon US pre-order page), Not yet available in the UK
  • Price: $129.99
  • Dimensions: 32 x 84 x 84mm, 163g
  • Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5GHz)and Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • Power: Power adaptor/cable (5.9ft)
  • Audio: Built-in speaker, 3.5mm stereo audio output
  • Alexa: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated)


The Amazon Echo Spot is what you’d get if you cross the Echo Show with the Echo Dot. It’s a compact Echo to sit beside your bed for alarms. It has a small 2.5-inch screen, which can be used for basic tasks and skills, like music, but it does a lot more, as Amazon said during its surprise press event in Seattle. Like the Echo Show, for instance, it can be used to make video calls.

So, it basically offers the same functions as the Echo Show, but in a much smaller form factor. It can also connect to your Bluetooth speakers, or via line-out. The Amazon Echo Spot will be available in the US in December for $130, and it will come to the UK in 2018.

  • Availability: Available in the US (Amazon US order page), Not yet available in the UK
  • Price: $34.99
  • Dimensions: 130 x 90 x 29.5mm, 126.9g
  • Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz)
  • Included cables: Power adapter, Micro-USB cable, RJ11 splitter, phone cable
  • Audio: N/A
  • Alexa: Yes (Always-on/always-listening/voice-activated, but requires Echo device)


The Echo Connect is a box that you plug your landline phone connection into to turn it into a voice-controlled system. The box, which will be launched in the US first and come to the UK and Germany early 2018, works with an Echo to give you Alexa control over your conventional phone line. You will be able to make and receive calls in the home simply by telling it answer or ring a contact.

As it uses your existing landline number, you won’t need to sign up for any additional services either. Plus, it all connects to other Echo devices around the home so you can call from an Echo speaker in the kitchen, say, or a Dot in the bedroom. It effectively signals the end of the basic handset. The Amazon Echo Connect goes on sale in Q4 in the US, priced at $34.99.

  • Availability: Not yet available yet in the US or the UK
  • Price: $19.99/£19.99 for two
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Connectivity: N/A
  • Included cables: N/A
  • Audio: N/A
  • Alexa: N/A


Echo Buttons are Bluetooth-connected, multi-coloured devices that can connect to Alexa for gaming. Imagine playing a game, such as Jeopardy, and being able to slap these buzzer buttons as you play. Jeopardy, of course, has long been a popular skill on Amazon’s Alexa platform, so it makes sense that the company would want to develop an accessory that takes advantage of it.

But you can use these buttons for any Alexa-enabled game skill, including trivia ones. Amazon demoed such use-case scenarios during its event, showing how they interact, glow, and respond to touch. Keep in mind Amazon isn’t afraid of playing with different form factors and ways of using Alexa. Amazon said its Echo Buttons will cost $19.99 for a set of two in the US, or £19.99 in the UK.

They are not yet available to pre-order or buy.

Amazon Echo (original) is ideal if you just want to have a stationary speaker that doubles as an always-on personal assistant. It’ll provide you with room-filling audio that’s sufficient for casual listening but it gets sort of tinny when turned up too much. If you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you can ask it all sorts of questions and get it to control your stuff and it is available in the US and the UK.

Amazon Tap is supposed to do all of that, including provide a similar sound experience, but it ditches the cord and uses a charging cradle in order to be portable. As it’s not always plugged into power, always-on Alexa isn’t available by default. You have to push a mic button to access the service or enable a new hands-free option. Tap is useful if you’re going to the beach or are on the go, and it is only available in the US.

As for Dot, just think of it as a little, always-on Alexa hub. It’s not a speaker but works with your speakers. It’s available in six and 12 packs so you can ensure every room in your home has Alexa listening. Next, there’s Echo Look. Although it has a speaker so you can hear Alexa, we imagine it’s not really meant to be a music player. This device is all about snapping photos and serving up style advice.

Next up, Amazon offers Echo Show. We get the feeling Amazon is trying to pitch this device has the centerpiece to an Echo experience. It works with other Echos and offers a screen so you can view video feeds from your Wi-Fi connected cameras. It also offers audio and video call capabilities. Any like any other Echo-branded device, you can use with Alexa voice commands and skills.

As for the latest Amazon Echo devices, first, there is the all-new Amazon Echo (second-generation), which is basically the same thing as the original, only it is shorter, has Dolby sound, costs half as much, and comes with different finishes. Then, there is the Echo Plus, which looks just like the original Echo, but it has, again, better sound, as well as ZigBee support and a built-in smart home hub.

It also comes with a Philips Hue light. Then we have the Echo Spot, which is a combination of the Echo Show and Echo Dot. You can use it for video calls or connecting to external speakers. The final two Echo devices are more like accessories; we have the Echo Connect, which requires an Echo and essentially lets you place landline calls for free, and then we have the Echo Buttons, which are like game buzzers.

So, if you’re more into music, look at the Echo 2 and Echo Plus, Tap, and Dot, but if you’re into fashion, the Echo Look might be more up your alley. And if you want something to tie your existing Echo speakers together or something that gives you a little more functionality with not only Alexa queries but also placing audio and video calls, then Echo Show is definitely the device to get it.

If Echo Show is too expensive for you, get the Echo Spot, which is half the cost. As for the Echo Connect and Echo Buttons, these only enhance what you can do with Echo devices – whether you want to place a landline call or play Jeopardy, respectively.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about the latest Echo devices.




Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn