Amazon Echo Dot 2: How Is It Different From Echo Dot 1st Gen?

The Alexa powered smart speakers have been a surprise hit for Amazon. The Amazon Echo is a very popular device, which has garnered a lot of attention from users & developers and the company has made sure to maintain the momentum by adding new devices like the Tap and Echo Dot to the roaster. The Echo Dot, launched in March this year, was the most affordable of the lot but it had its fair share of limitations. Keeping that in mind, Amazon recently introduced the new Echo Dot 2. While the Echo Dot 2 is very similar to its predecessor, there are some very important changes. So, if you are planning to buy an Echo Dot 2, here’s what it brings when compared to the original Echo Dot. Let’s start with the hardware changes in Echo Dot 2.

Hardware Changes

The Amazon Echo Dot 2nd gen looks pretty much the same as the first gen Echo Dot, featuring the same Puck-style design. However, there are subtle changes like a different speaker grill and more. The new Echo Dot features a glossier finish and does away with the rotating volume dial. Instead, it features volume buttons on the top. This is a decision made by Amazon to decrease the cost of the device.

Also, the new Echo Dot is smaller, lighter and does not come with the 3.5mm cable, which was part of the original Echo Dot package. The Echo Dot 2 is available in a new White Pearl version along with the usual Black one.


Overall, I liked the original’s design better, considering I’m not really a fan of the glossy finish and hardware volume buttons. Having said that, I understand that Amazon had to cut corners somewhere.

Improved Voice Recognition

If you have used the older Amazon Echo Dot, you must have noticed that its voice recognition is a little patchy, when compared to the Echo and Tap. Well, that changes with Amazon Echo Dot 2. Like its predecessor, the Echo Dot 2 features seven microphones with far field voice recognition to make sure it does not misses your commands. However, it also packs a new speech processor, which is incorporated to enhance the device’s voice recognition accuracy. So, if you did not buy an Echo Dot due of reviews suggesting average voice recognition, you made the right decision.


Echo Spatial Perception (ESP)

Amazon has also introduced a cool new Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) technology with the Echo Dot 2. If you own multiple Alexa devices in your house, the ESP feature will make sure that when you speak to Alexa, only a single device responds, instead of multiple responses, which is what happens now. It also makes sure that the device which is closer to you responds by detecting the clarity of your voice. According to Amazon, the feature should get smarter with time.

While Echo Dot 2 will come with ESP enabled, Amazon Echo, Tap and Echo Dot 1st gen will get the ESP feature via a software update.

Better Availability and Price

One of the major criticisms that Amazon faced with the first gen Echo Dot faced was its limited availability. The Echo Dot was only available to order from an Alexa device, which means that only people who have an Echo or Tap or a Fire TV could order the device. However, Amazon has learned the lesson and the Echo Dot 2 is available right from the Amazon website for anyone to buy. The device is available for pre-order in the US, UK, Germany and Austria.


Also, the price has been slashed by almost 50%. While the first gen Echo Dot was available for $89.99, the new Echo Dot is available for $49.99, which makes it a steal. Plus, Amazon is also offering a buy 5 get 1 free and buy 10 get 2 free offer on the device, so you can set them up in every room. Another difference between the two devices is that the original Echo Dot came with a warranty of 1 year, while the Echo Dot comes with a 90-day warranty, which does not bode well for the long run.

Specs Comparison

 Amazon Echo DotAmazon Echo Dot 2nd Gen 
Dimensions1.5 x 3.3 x 3.3 inches1.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 inches
Weight250 grams163 grams
ButtonsMute, ActionMute, Action, Volume Buttons
LightsLight RingLight Ring
WiFi802.11a/b/g/n Dual Band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)802.11a/b/g/n Dual Band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)
Bluetooth Audio InputYesYes
Bluetooth Audio OutputYesYes
AUX Audio InputNoNo
AUX Audio OutputYesYes
SpeakerSmall Speaker only for Alexa voice feedbackSmall Speaker only for Alexa voice feedback
PowerAdapter (not portable)Adapter (not portable)
Alexa ActivationVoice or Action buttonVoice or Action button
All Alexa FeaturesYesYes
Speech ProcessorNoYes
ESPComing via OTA updateYes
Warranty1 Year90-day
AvailabilityOnly through Alexa devicesAmazon website
ColorsBlackBlack, White

SEE ALSO: Amazon Echo vs Tap vs Echo Dot: Which One Is For You?

The Amazon Echo Dot 2 is a steal at $49.99


Other than the changes mentioned above, the Echo Dot 2 remains the same as its predecessor, with support for hands-free Alexa commands, connection to external speakers via Bluetooth or 3.5mm cable, a small built-in speaker and more. While the hardware might seem a little cheaper when compared to the first Echo Dot, it’s certainly superior on other fronts. To sum things up, the Echo Dot 2 at $49.99 is certainly worth the money and if you haven’t bought an Alexa speaker yet, you are really missing out on some great tech. Also, if you live in a country where the Echo Dot 2 is not available, don’t worry, you can still buy it and set it up.

Well, those are my thoughts but I’d love to hear from you. So, let us know what you think of the Echo Dot 2 in the comments section below.

comment Comments 20
  • Evan says:

    Who edited this article?!

  • Angela Robertson says:

    I want to listen to my amazon music in my bedroom so which one has the better speaker 1st or 2nd generation dot I don’t have any speakers to connect it to,I already have the full sized alexa in my kitchen.

  • bill says:

    i need to connect to my dot to the internet there are no instructions ?

  • Nick says:

    Echo dot 2 works great in my small apartment. The speaker is loud enough for listening while doIng chores and stuff around it. You can connect a Bluetooth speaker and given the small size of my apartment I’m able to put the Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen to continue listening.

    It seems to pick up my voice well in the other room, although I’m not sure if it’s using the microphone from the Bluetooth speaker or just picking it up from a distance

  • Juan C. Diaz says:

    I was one of the first to buy the Amazon Echo and I also bought 6 Dots when they first came out, so will I be able to update my older versions to the newer version, (2nd gen.) as far as what they are capable of doing? Or do I have to buy the newer versions? Also, if we cannot upgrade the older version, will owners of the older version get a discount to replace the older version with the newer version??
    One thing I like about the newer version is been able to communicate with Dots in different rooms like I saw on the commercials & will I be able to play the same song at the same time on all the Dots around the house?

  • Vicki says:

    My issue with the Dot2 is 70% of the time when I ask a question it interrupts in the middle of me speaking? The other thing is a lot of things I ask Alexa doesn’t know? Is their a way to remedy either of these?

  • Mary Ellen says:

    I was given Alexa as a gift in December 2016. Want to buy the dot now and don’t know if my Alexa is a 1st or 2nd generation. Can any dot be used? Keep in mind I’m 76 and trying to keep up with all these electronic devices, but can sometimes get a bit confused. I love my Alexa and she’s all we need at our house, but want a dot for the bedroom. Thank you for your help.

    • Connor says:

      I don’t think that it matters which Echo you have. I don’t think that you need one to use the Echo Dot.

      • Pete says:

        You don’t need one to use the Dot. All Echo devices can work alone or together.

    • Nick says:

      You can use any echo device together. Even the original tap works with newer models

  • Steve says:

    Although this does not apply to the echo dot, I am surprised that only the dot and not the full sized echo has the 3.5mm output.
    I was surprised and disappointed by the lack of this feature.

    • Chris says:

      Steve, the full-size Echo has a built-in full-size speaker (really nice) and has no need for the 3.5mm jack.

      • Nick says:

        Yeah but it would be nice to plug it into a media center in my living room. You can however do this using a Bluetooth bridge pluged into your tv unit. If you don’t care about the loss of audio quality due to using Bluetooth (I can’t notice a difference )

      • Tony says:

        I have an original Echo (probably 1st gen, but I’m not sure). It does have a 3.5mm output jack, although it’s concealed under a rubber plug next to the power input jack. I don’t need it, but I did try it and found it has enough power to drive a small pair of non-amplified speakers.

  • C. Fiske says:

    I purchased a 2nd Gen Dot at the end of November, not realizing there were two generations already. I used it a lot to listing to the radio, find out about weather, etc. and liked it. Suddenly two weeks ago, it stopped connecting to WiFi. I tried to reset it but the orange light was totally nonexistent. Amazon customer service did the same troubleshooting that I had done already, and then told me it was not repairable and (bonus points) out of warranty, so there was nothing they could do for me. I had to repurchase, and now have to wait 3 weeks for delivery because both colors are back ordered (did you ship them all to Best Buy at Christmas?). I’ve been a Prime member for years and normally can’t say enough good things about Amazon. While they agreed to give me a discount on the new unit after I asked for one, I find this warranty issue to be terrifically disappointing.

    • Scarlet says:

      Buy it from John Lewis, 2 year guarantee included on Alexa Echo 2nd gen and the 1st gen dot. Same price as Amazon. Still don’t know whether to buy 1st or 2nd gen dot. Just got a 2nd gen echo though

  • Lisa says:

    You mention purchasing 5 get one free. But… How do I do that? I’m on Amazon placing an order and do not see that offer

    • Raja ram says:

      I see you mentioned 3.5mm cable, my bad.

  • Tony Vid says:

    I’ve got both now and can easily report the speaker on the older Dot is far better and louder than the new version. I’ve done a comparison with electronic music and its obvious. The other thing I’m battling with at the moment on the new Dot is I can’t get a steady stream of music to play from TuneIn Radio without it stopping after less than a minute. Playing the same stream and station on the old Dot has no such issues and they are on the same wifi network.

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