Amazon’s Echo line-up offers a wide range of smart home devices. From small speakers to large displays, Amazon’s smart-speaker lineup comes in different sizes and retails at diverse prices. Until now, the Echo Dot sat at the bottom of the pack as the most affordable entry point into the smart home ecosystem. However, it has now been replaced by the Echo Pop — a smart speaker with an aesthetic touch.
The Echo Pop is an entry-level smart speaker that prioritizes looks and design. It has a semi-circular construction and as the name suggests — is available in peppy and vibrant colors. All of this, at an attractive price of $39.99.
While this may interest many people, it’s worth noting that the Echo Dot — with added functionality — is available for just $10 more. So the question is — is the Echo Pop worth buying? Who is it for? And should you buy it over the Echo Dot? We’ll answer all of those questions throughout the course of this review.
Color Color Which Color Do You Choose
Echo speakers generally come wrapped in white or black hues. While those are neutral colors that fit into most environments, some users may want a more funky-looking accessory. If you belong to that category, the Echo Pop is precisely for you.
Amazon sells the Echo Pop in four color options — Charcoal, Glacier White, Lavender Bloom, and Midnight Teal. To no one’s surprise, the Lavender Bloom and Midnight Teal colorways stand out. The colors appear bright and vivid and they will undoubtedly liven up your space.
Besides the new colors, the Echo Pop brings a fresh design to the mix as well. Think of it as the Echo Dot slashed in half to form a hemisphere. We personally found the design of the Echo Pop to be attractive. Pick it up in a bright color and it’s sure to turn the heads whenever you have visitors at your place.
The front of the speaker has a fabric mesh similar to most Echo speakers. At the top of the circumference lies the LED indicator to tell you when the speaker is active or when the mics are muted.
Speaking of which, the Echo Pop ships with three microphones positioned at the speaker’s top. The mics are flanked by buttons on either side. These buttons can be used to mute the onboard mics and control volume levels.
It’s clear that Amazon is targeting a specific audience group with the Echo Pop. The speaker is an excellent addition if you prefer bright colors or have a penchant for uniquely-designed tech. The Echo Pop also looks more modern compared to other speakers from Amazon.
Impressive Sound With Reduced Bass
During our interaction with Amazon’s product team, we were told the Echo Pop has better sound quality compared to the more expensive Echo Dot. After testing the speaker for a few days, we can indeed confirm that the output from the drivers on the Echo Pop sounds better than that from the Dot. But — there’s a caveat.
While audio from the Echo Pop sounds clear with excellent instrument separation, it lacks bass compared to the Echo Dot. Apart from the speaker unit, the lack of bass can also be attributed to the size and shape of the Echo Pop.
The Dot has a considerably larger footprint and a 360-degree throw. This can impact the acoustics of the speaker. So if you often listen to genres like hip-hop and EDM, you might be slightly disappointed by the audio output of the Echo Pop.
However, the Echo Pop excels in terms of vocals. It also gets rather loud for a speaker this size. In fact, you can use the Echo Pop to fill up a small to medium-sized room during a house party. Do note though that due to its design, the sound from the Echo Pop is unidirectional.
Throughout our usage, we didn’t face any issues with voice commands being recognized via the onboard mics. However, with music playing at loud volumes, we had to repeat the “Alexa” hot word a couple of times. This is pretty much normal and in line with other Echo speakers.
All the Smarts You Need
Like every Echo device, the Echo Pop also comes with Alexa integration. Once the speaker has been interfaced with your Wi-Fi via the Alexa app, you can use the voice assistant to get a myriad of things done. To name a few, Alexa can play your favorite songs, answer queries, read out the news, and even control other smart home devices.
For example, if you have an IoT-enabled light bulb or a smart ceiling fan, you can control them using your voice. The Routines feature on the Alexa app can also help you set up instructions for various scenarios. As such, you can set up a morning routine where saying “Good morning” turns off your AC, opens your curtains, and reads out the day’s weather information along with the latest news – the possibilities are endless.
Rest assured, the Echo Pop comes with all the essential features you would expect from a smart speaker. That said, it’s worth noting that the Echo Dot includes more smarts. There’s a temperature sensor built into the Echo Dot that can be used to perform certain functions. For example, you can set a routine for Alexa to turn on your AC when the ambient temperature in the room exceeds 80F.
Apart from this, the Echo Dot can also act as a hub for other IoT devices. So if you have smart home devices that run over the Zigbee protocol, you can connect them directly to the Echo Dot. However, you must pick up a separate hub when using the Echo Pop.
The differentiation is quite clear. If you don’t use too many smart devices, the Echo Pop will serve you well for basic commands. But, if you’re building a smart home with several connected devices, the Echo Dot is a better fit.
Amazon Echo Pop vs Echo Dot: Which One Should You Buy?
As prefaced initially, the Echo Dot costs just $10 more than the Echo Pop. For the price, the device offers better bass, more voluminous sound output, and smarter features. However, the Echo Pop hits right back with slightly better sound quality and more importantly, an attractive design.
At the end of the day, it’ll all boil down to your personal requirements and preferences. If you want a good-looking smart speaker that adds a jazz of color to your home decor, the Echo Pop is the way to go. But if you prefer functionality over form, the Echo Dot will serve you better.
Last updated on 30 June, 2023
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