It’s a strong look. He currently covers consumer electronics in the PC Labs as the in-house home entertainment expert, reviewing TVs, media hubs, speakers, headphones, and gaming accessories. And as for Alexa – the virtual assistant that can control your smart home and answer your spoken questions – it’s the same in every Echo, as it’s cloud-based and continuously updated. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. The Crystal Method’s “Born Too Slow” also sounds very good on the new Echo. Although Amazon has the same controls on top as it’s always had (Action button, microphone mute and volume controls), this time around the buttons are towards the back of the speaker, gently blending in with the material covering. After summoning the assistant with the wake word “Alexa” (or a few other options you can choose from), simply ask it to complete your desired task. Although Amazon has improved the design of its Echo speakers over the years, the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) marks the first time that the mini speaker has genuinely looked like it’s built to merge into your home. The fourth-generation Echo is a near-sphere, measuring 5.2 inches tall and 5.7 inches wide, available in black, blue, or white. While there's nothing new about what Alexa can do on this model, Amazon has boosted the audio quality so the occasional bit of music is pretty good and voice replies are really easy to understand. With its new spherical design, the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) is a far more interesting-looking product than the old model, better able to slip into your home without standing out for the wrong reasons. It’s not just the full-sized Amazon Echo that’s got a fresh new look for 2020. At higher volumes, music starts to lack the clarity that it has at lower volumes. Amazon Echo Dot 4th generation (2020): What you need to know. It's a fun new design, and looks similar to Apple's forthcoming HomePod mini. Alexa can provide general information like sports scores and weather; play music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, or SiriusXM; control various smart home devices (including Zigbee devices thanks to the built-in hub); and make voice calls to other Alexa devices in your home, along with phone calls. The main opposition comes in the form of the Nest Mini, which also goes for £50. Top volume is loud enough to be heard in a large room without distortion, although the midrange tends to get a bit muddled lacking the sophistication of more expensive speakers. It was already our favourite small smart speaker, and now it looks nicer with better sound for the same low price.
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