Echo Plus 2 (2018) Vs the Echo 4th Gen (2020) and Echo 3rd Gen (2019): Which Echo is the Best?

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Ladies and gentlemen, they have arrived. If there was ever a time to get excited, it is absolutely now. Amazon has released the Echo 4 (2020) and Echo Dot 4. To be fair, we know exactly what you are thinking. This is amazing – uh, but which one do I get? Don’t worry, we are here to save your day.

Echo Plus 2 vs Echo 3 and Echo 2

We have put up the Echo Plus 2 Vs Echo 4th Generation so that you can get a better idea of which Echo product is the right one for you. But we’re going to make one thing clear from the start: you have got to get your hands on one because they are amazing.

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Contents

If you’re not a big fan of scrolling a whole page just to find out which one is better, we are just going to hand you your answer right here at the top. Call it too easy but we don’t care. So, without further ado – spoiler alert!

While we love both of these Amazon products, the Echo 4th Gen is our favorite here. The Echo 4 has all of the awesome fixings that you can get out of an Echo 3rd Generation – but with the added bonus of having a built-in woofer and “voice control” so you can still control other devices when the internet is down!!! Oh, and it has an improved sound system

  • Woofer Speaker size
  • Tweeter Size
  • Built-in Zigbee hub for setup smart devices
  • Streaming music with wifi
  • Control Smart Devices
  • 3"
  • 0.8"
  • 3"
  • 0.8"
 

Echo Plus 2 and Echo 4 Comparison Table
But if you are a fan of details, we’ve got a lot of useful information on these two products that may help you to make your new favorite purchase.

All-new Echo (4th Gen – 2020) Alexa Smart speaker (Popular Gift Idea)

Compare and Check Price on Amazon

The 4th-generation of the original Echo is another beautiful item to add to your household. The last Echo was innovative and immersive, just like the latest version is. The new Echo 4 builds on the strengths of its older brother while updating its technologies. There is a lot to love about this product with its countless positive characteristics like:

  • Apperance: Right away, a quick glance at the Echo 4 will show that something is different. Purely cosmetically speaking, it has departed from the pillar-like design of earlier Echo products in favor of a spherical round shape that could easily be mistaken for another company’s smart speaker.
  • Smart Hub Technology: Of course, cosmetic differences aside, new features have also been added. Most notably, the 4th generation Echo is designed to be highly compatible with Zigbee SmartHub products.

    This is notable because it opens the door to a wide range of new home automation features, perfect for people who are trying to move in a direction that is closer and closer to that of the Jetsons.

  • Alexa-Enabled Skills: The cloud-based voice service that allows you to make calls, play music, and check the news (and so much more) is the hallmark of the Echo. And while Alexa is already a great tool to have around, she is always getting better!
  • Far-Field Voice Sensing: Even if you have the best music turned way up on your Echo, Alexa will hear you asking for another favor. The microphones in the sidewalls of the Echo make it so you can be heard from any direction.
  • Hands-free Calling and Messaging: Using your Echo, you can make calls to your loved ones and text your friends with just your voice. No need to go find your phone or go through any buttons with your Echo.
  • Sustainable: As an added bonus, the 4th gen has also been made with the environment in mind, using recycled materials that may assuage your conscience a little bit.

The Echo Plus 2 with built-in Hub (Free Philips Bulb) (Best Seller 2019)

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Amazon is continuing their push toward providing the world with serious smart home technologies through the release of the Echo Plus 2. The Plus 2nd Gen 2018 is meant to be an all-in-one package to transform your home from the usual to the intelligent. It’s easy to see where the Echo Plus would bring a whole new life to your home with features like:

      • Built-in Smart Home Hub: This is where the Echo Plus shines. If you intend on getting other smart home appliances for your home, the Echo Plus is a must. You need a hub to command your smart home electronics and the Echo Plus does just that all the while providing all of the other awesome benefits of a regular Echo.
      • Temperature Sensor: This new feature allows you to control the temperature in any room- even if you’re not home. For instance, if the living room hits 75 degrees and you want it at 72, the sensor will register this, and Alexa will notify you and engage the room’s fan to cool it. Just think, you’ll never need to get out of bed again to turn the heat up.
      • Local Voice Control: With this new feature you can stay in total control of all the devices hooked up to the Plus 2 when there is no Internet connection. Thanks to compressed Alexa controls built-in you can still turn the lights on or off when you lose connection.
      • Enhanced Sound: If you are a stickler for high-quality speakers, look no further than the Echo Plus. The speaker (3 inch neodymium-woofer and 0.8″ tweeter) locked into the casing of this unit features the best Dolby sounds that Amazon has put out yet and is significantly louder than the previous generation.
      • Improved Aesthetics: Available in 3 fabric colors, heather gray, charcoal, and sandstone, the Plus 2 has more rounded edges that give it a modern yet cozy feel. It looks great in any room and is the perfect compliment to your other electronics.
      • Always Getting Smarter: Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa is constantly learning. She already has tons of useful skills but will constantly be adding more as time goes on. Order pizzas, Ubers, ask for jokes, and all sorts of interesting things to see if Alexa can handle your wishes.

In any case, in terms of determining which model is better, it seems that the 4th gen pretty much unambiguously takes the day. It’s like the 3rd gen but better. What’s not to like about that?

See the difference between The Echo Plus and Echo 2nd Gen in this Video.

Echo 3rd Gen Speaker (2019) – Our Best-Seller 2020 (Stock is Limited)

All-new Echo (3rd Gen) Smart Speaker
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The third generation of the original Echo is another beautiful item to add to your household. The original Echo was innovative and immersive, just like the latest version is. The new Echo 3 builds on the strengths of its older siblings while updating its technologies. There is a lot to love about this product with its countless positive characteristics like:

      • Alexa-Enabled Skills: Alexa is always improving and this time around is no different. The hallmark of Echo, this cloud-based voice service allows you to make calls, play music, track fitness, control movies and entertainment, check the news, set timers and reminders, check the weather, and adjust smart home controls.
      • Far-Field Voice Sensing: Even if you have the best music turned way up on your Echo, Alexa will hear you asking for another favor. The microphones in the sidewalls of the Echo make it so you can be heard from any direction.
      • Hands-free Calling, Messaging and Intercom: Using your Echo, you can make calls to your loved ones and text your friends with just your voice. No need to go find your phone or go through any buttons with your Echo. Okay, though, my very favorite feature is using it as an intercom to other compatible devices – no more shouting through the house after the kids.
      • Kids Content: By allowing Amazon FreeTime in the Alexa app, kids’ content is available at no extra charge while even more kids’ content can be accessed including Audible books, radio stations, Disney and Nickelodeon content and more!
      • Sound Quality: Echo 3rd Generation surpasses Echo 2 in sound quality. It is nearly equal to the premium sound offered by Echo Plus 2 with similar sized woofer and tweeter.
      • Price: This is the part most people will like. Echo 3 is just around $100, a very reasonable price, and the middle level of the three, for the amount of simplification and automation it brings to your life.
      • Color Choice: Who doesn’t like having more choices? There is the fourth color option of Twilight Blue for Echo 3rd Generation. Choices are always a plus.
      • Line-in: If you want the ability to have a 3.5 mm line in, now Echo 3 matches the Plus for this feature as well.

Echo 3 (2019) Versus Echo 4 (2020) Differences: Which one is Better?

Appearance

As mentioned earlier, the Echo 4 makes a pretty stylistic departure from other devices of its kind. It’s spherical where other Echos have typically been a column.
Aesthetically speaking, one would have a hard time making an objective case as to which design is better, but the 4rth gen certainly wins out in terms of freshness.

Sounds Quality

As with any new generation of the Echo, the 4th gen has been upgraded somewhat when it comes to the department of sound. If you are super into your music, you will probably prefer this model.

Hub Feature

As mentioned elsewhere, the 4th gen echo now includes a hub feature that allows it to better sync up with smart home technologies. Amazon has partnered with Zigbee to significantly enhance the connectivity potential.

This is a particularly exciting development when viewed with an understanding of just how big automation is going to get in the next few years.
Smart devices are expanding by the billions each year, so now is definitely the time to invest in a really good hub!

What you can do with Echo these Days

The Echo functionality extends on an almost daily basis like setting your alarm, reminders, weather forecast, news-headline etc.

Literally. New skills and functions are added on a literal daily basis. For example, Echos are increasingly more compatible with smart home appliances, light bulbs, security devices, etc. As the world of IoT explodes in the next several years this will certainly be a good thing to keep in mind.

In terms of how new Echos differ from the old ones, it’s mostly a matter of performance. Better sound quality is a very common upgrade that is extended from one generation of Echo to the next. As has always been the case with Echo products, however, the sky is the limit!

The more you learn about your device, the more useful you will be able to make it so take a look at some of the top Echoskills to really maximize the effectiveness of your product.

Echo Plus 2 Versus the Echo 3nd Gen (2019): Which is Better?

What is the difference between Echo 2 and Echo Plus 2 (2018)?

Then what about these products makes them different? While a lot of the strengths of these two Echo gadgets are common to each other, there are some major, key differences that are important to note. Of those dissimilarities, the ones we think are the most important to see are:

After watching this video, click to vote your favorite: The Echo Plus or Echo 2nd Gen.

        • Smart Home Hub Capability

For this reason, the Echo Plus 2 is a whole different beast than its friend. When it comes to the Echo Plus vs Echo 3rd Generation discussion, this is where the rubber meets the road. The Echo Plus doubles as a hub for the rest of your smart home technology while being a smart home appliance itself.

This is something that the Echo 3rd Generation simply can’t do. Zigbee can run a search for other smart devices in your home and set itself up to make your work easy. All you will have to do is direct Alexa.

        • Special Features

The Plus 2 has a few features the Echo 2nd and 3rd Generations doesn’t besides the built-in hub, mainly a temperature sensor and local voice control.

The temperature sensor is a big plus, as you can use it to have your AC on before you get home or raise the heat in your kid’s room if it gets chilly.

And the local voice control allows you to keep going even when the Wi-Fi is on the fritz for exceptional control you won’t find anywhere else.

        • Speaker Size

Now this is a slight difference between Echo 2nd gen. and Echo Plus, but no longer for Echo 3rd gen.

To the music buffs out there, it may make a huge difference. The woofers and tweeters on the Echo Plus and Echo 3rd generation are the same, but it’s a full 0.2 inches larger than the tweeter on the Echo 2nd Generation and 0.5” smaller woofer on Echo 2nd Generation.

So, if you are big on your speaker arrangement, the larger speakers on the Echo Plus and Echo 3 might be where your head’s at. To separate those two, you will need to keep comparing.

        • Price

No beating around the bush here. The Echo Plus 2, with its grander capabilities costs a little more. The Echo Plus 2 is priced at $150 while the Echo 2nd Generation is only $70. But we’re going to be honest, the value of the Echo Plus provides is far greater than that $50 difference IF you plan on having other smart home devices.

Having the hub built into your Echo makes setting up your smart home a cinch and you’ll appreciate its ease of use. If not, Echo 3 might be the way to go at a price point around $100 right in the middle.

        • Size

Another difference that we found is that the sizes of these three machines are slightly different. While this may not be the biggest deal in the world to some, having a bulky devices sitting on a tabletop may not be what some people are going for.

The Echo 2nd Generation is smaller at 5.9 inches tall and 3.5 inches in diameter. The Echo 3rd Generation is 5.8” tall by 3.9” in diameter.

The Echo Plus 2 is 9.3 inches tall and 3.3 inches in diameter. So, the Echo Plus is pretty much unnoticeably thinner but it is about 3 inches taller than the others. It is also heavier at 954 grams since the Echo 2nd Generation is only 821 grams and the Echo 3rd Generation is the lightest at only 780 grams.

Since these are plug-in devices and you won’t be carrying them around too much, this may not be a big deal but the amount of space it takes up where you home it might be.

        • Finishes

The last major dissimilarity between these options are the finishes that give the Echo its look. The Echo Plus 2 comes in sandstone, charcoal, and heather gray.

The Echo 3 comes in those same colors with the addition of Twilight Blue and the Echo 2nd Generation currently has three options in charcoal fabric, walnut finish, and oak finish. To some folks, the look of their Echo may not be their biggest concern.

However, maintaining the appeal of the home may be of chief importance to some homeowners and you don’t want your device to stick out like a sore thumb. Matter of fact, these are sleek and beautiful, and almost appear like a piece of art on your counter.

        • Summay

So, from these differences, we can pretty clearly see what Amazon’s intentions were with these three Echo devices. The Echo Plus 2 is clearly designed for those who are looking to turn their home into a smart home. With current technology, smart home appliances require a hub – and the Echo Plus 2 delivers just that with the Zigbee Smart Home Hub.

But, of course, you have to pay for this added technology. The Echo 2nd Generation is there to pick up the slack for those who don’t need those capabilities.

However, the Echo 3rd Generation is right there in the middle ground if you want the sound capability, size/power, and color options for just a little bump up in price. So, side by side by side, we see that each of these Echo products provide something different for different users.

So, from these differences, we can pretty clearly see what Amazon’s intentions were with these two new Echo devices. The Echo Plus 2 is clearly designed for those who are looking to turn their home into a smart home. With current technology, smart home appliances require a hub – and the Echo Plus 2 delivers just that.

But, of course, you have to pay for this added technology, to the Echo 2nd Generation is there to pick up the slack for those who don’t need those capabilities. So, side by side, we see that each of these Echo products provide something different for different users.

What’s similar about these three products?


In short, there is a lot about these two products that make them quite similar. But we aren’t going to try to hide that fact. Why?

Because just about everything about both of these Echo products rocks. Of course, Alexa always has your back with her various skills that allow you to do everything you need.

Alexa

In a word, just Alexa. By now I am sure you have heard about her. She can make your life a breeze when you call out her name she is ready and performs many daily functions.

Sound Quality

Each of the Echo devices will give you great sound whether it is music, messaging, checking the weather or really anything. If you are truly a music aficionado, you might just like the Plus best.

Smart Device Controls

Control everything in your home that is “smart” (thermostat, locks, lights, security system, etc.) from one local control just at your word.

The Look

Amazon knows you care about the look in your home and not only do they provide several color scheme choices but every Echo looks chic and complements any room.

The far-field voice recognition

Is clutch for when you are bumping your favorite tunes. And the speakers on these two machines are outstanding. They’re compact, easy to use, and look great sitting in the right spot in your home.

So, while we would love to recommend both products to you, we won’t get greedy. Let’s stick with one for now. (But putting one into several different rooms wouldn’t be a bad idea in the future, would it?)

Echo Plus 2 (2018) vs Echo Plus (2017)

To understand the beauty of the Plus 2 we need to compare it to the original. Both devices work great but the Plus 2 is the better option thanks to the temperature sensor and local voice control. The ability to gauge and adjust a room’s temperature makes this device a must as it truly improves your quality of life.

Now, you can come home to a cool room after a long day of work or up the thermostat when it gets cold- without leaving your couch. And the voice control is just beyond cool and convenient as life doesn’t have to stop just because the Wi-Fi did!

Common FAQ – Still have questions?

Question: Music is my thing. Which one has the best sound?

Answer: All of the Echo products have a great sound and can play all your favorite music apps through WiFi, but if you want the best sound of these three choices, I would go with the Echo Plus 2.

Question: Which one will fit in small spaces like an RV or small studio apartment?

Answer: The answer to that is first of all make sure you have access to WiFi and, if you do and need something on the smaller size, I would go with Echo 2nd Generation.

Question: Which one is the best value for the price?

Answer: Obviously you want to get the one that best fits your needs, but if value overall is what you are looking for, I would say that Echo 3rd Generation has the most value for your buck.

Question: If I am not very techie, will I be able to get this going at my house?

Answer: One of the greatest things about the Echo line of products is the easy setup. Echo Plus 2 includes Zigbee Smart Home Hub and this will be your best best to coordinate all your smart home devices easily.

Question: Is there some sort of monthly fee for using Alexa?

A: Amazon Alexa is completely free to use. There are several paid services that can be added to and implemented using Alexa. For example, the Amazon streaming services of Amazon Music Unlimited, or Audible can both be added to your
services for a fee.

However, if you just want to enjoy the basic Alexa experience, this can be enjoyed without any additional expense. The basic form of Alexa can still do many of the things you expect such as cooperating with IoT appliances, playing music, accessing the radio, syncing up with your phone, and more.

Alexa also has free access to a wide number of skills, some free and some paid, that further enhance its effectiveness.

Question: Can multiple users access Alexa?

A. You can sync up multiple different accounts on a single Echo device. Doing so may cause a bit of a logistical problem.

You don’t need to sign out and sign in a lot, but the good news is that Alexa is voice-activated, she can recognize your voice and tone, be accomplished relatively quickly with minimal effort on your part.

She can profile you and your habit and music preference etc.

Question: What if I have more than one Eco device? Will they all work through my single Amazon account?

A. The nice thing about upgrading to a new Echo is that your old one will still serve as a welcome element of your home entertainment strategy. Echo products typically pair very well together. For example, you can play the same music on different Echos spread throughout your house.

This is a great feature if you are having a party, or just cleaning up around the house. Conversely, of course, you can also activate each Echo individually depending on your particular needs at a given time.

Question: Will I have to reset my Echo if it gets unplugged?

A. Most of the time, an unplugged Echo will require no initial effort on your part when it comes time to fire the device up again.

The device may troubleshoot on its own for a while as it tries to sync back up with your internet and account information, but should otherwise be totally fine!

Question: What is the difference between Alexa and the Echo?

A. This is a very typical point of confusion, largely because people tend to use the two words interchangeably. And yet, they are not, strictly speaking, the same thing. Alexa is the voice that comes on when you activate your Echo.

It is an AI feature that is available on a wide range of different products these days, including some phones. The Echo is the smart speaker itself. Ultimately, the difference is a little like that between the iPhone and Siri.

Now What?

Well, hopefully it is easy to see which device will work for you with all this information.

If not, maybe ask Alexa! Really though, each of these devices do an amazing amount of daily tasks with very little investment and you can’t really go wrong.

Final Thoughts

So who gets the final word here in the Echo Plus vs Echo 4th Generation battle? To our minds, it has to be the Echo Plus. We are really big on encouraging our readers to get into smart home technologies because of the ultra convenient – and fun – capabilities that these appliances provide. But, of course, the decision is up to you and that makes you the real winner here.

If you’re the type that just wants Alexa’s assistance and skills with the added bonus of a sweet speaker, the Echo 4th Generation is yours. So, either way, you’re making a great buy that should upgrade your home for years to come.

9 / 10 Reviewer
Quality
Ease of Use
Price

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