Think of smart speakers, and almost everyone’s mind goes to the Amazon Echo Dot. Eight years in with five iterations to marvel at, it remains one of the best smart speakers you can buy. 

While the 5th generation device may look the same as previous models, it offers some subtle differences. These aren’t the differences that necessarily make it a must-buy if you have the fourth or even third generation of the Echo Dot. However, this is the go-to option for anyone seeking a new, affordable smart speaker. 

Like its predecessors, the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) takes just seconds to set up. Even the less tech-savvy among us won’t have a problem figuring it out with spoken instructions and the Alexa app doing all the hard work. If you have an existing Echo setup at home, it’s even faster. 

This time around, besides excellent voice assistant support and the most relevant of buttons up top, you also get a room temperature sensor, which proves beneficial for certain Alexa skills. In the US, Eero (Wi-Fi extender technology) is built-in to extend your Wi-Fi, although that feature has yet to come to other countries.

Also new to the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) is tap gestures. Ever so slightly undermining the point of a voice assistant yet being somewhat helpful, you can tap the device to pause music or snooze alarms. Sure, you could speak to it, but we think this is practical when you don’t want to open your mouth first thing in the morning.

Close up of Amazon Echo Dot (5th gen)

Eight years in with five iterations to marvel at, the Amazon Echo Dot (5th gen) remains one of the best smart speakers (Image credit: Jen Allen)

As with all Echo Dots, the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) has a massive wealth of Alexa skills catering to almost everything you could ever want or hope to do with a smart speaker. You can set alarms, ask for news or the weather, check sports scores, get it to entertain your kids with quizzes or games, and, of course, play music and radio stations. 

This time around, the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) sounds better too. It has a larger 1.73-inch front-firing speaker that offers more bass and better range than the previous Echo Dot. It doesn’t rival the larger and more expensive Echo speaker, but it still provides a noticeable improvement to its predecessor. 

Ultimately, the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) focuses on convenience. Like most Apple products, it just works. Taking seconds to set up and seamlessly fit into your life like it’s always been there, it’s a desirable solution for any part of your house.

It’s not a portable speaker, so you’ll need a power point. Still, it’s small enough to fit on your home office desk, kitchen cabinet, living room bookshelf, or even in the bathroom. 

Such convenience combined with the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) being very well-priced, it’s the kind of device you could end up buying many of. Amazon Black Friday deals are on their way too, so we wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up a little cheaper. 

Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation): Price and release date

  • Released October 20, 2022 and available in USA, UK and Australia
  • Price: $49.99 / £54.99 / AU$79

The Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) was released on October 20, 2022 in the UK, US and Australia. Priced keenly to begin with, it’s also the kind of Amazon product you’re likely to see reduced throughout the year as part of any Amazon sale. For now though, $49 / £54.99 / AU$79 is a fairly reasonable price for what it offers.

Colour scheme-wise, you can choose charcoal, deep sea blue or glacier white, with at least one sure to look good in your home. 

Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation): Design and features

  • New temperature sensor
  • Tap gestures
  • Takes seconds to set up

We really can’t overstate how easy the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) is to set up. It takes only a couple of minutes and you’re good to go. The design and layout of the unit are similarly straightforward. With the same spherical design as previous generations, it weighs just over 300g and measures 3.9 x 3.5 inches. Even with small hands, it’s simple to grip onto, being more of an oversized tennis ball than anything else.

The 3.5mm audio jack is no more which is frustrating for anyone looking to connect it to larger speakers. You can always use Bluetooth instead. Plus, this all means there’s only one cable to plug in – the power cable. 

Up top is volume buttons, an Alexa action button, and a button to mute it so it can’t hear what you’re saying. If you hit the latter button, the speaker illuminates red to let you know it can’t hear anything, with red denoting it’s actively listening for a command. 

It’s simple, intuitive, and ideal for everyone. 

Close up of control on Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)

The latest iteration of the Amazon Echo Dot includes tap controls  (Image credit: Jen Allen)

New to this Echo Dot are tap controls too. Tapping the top of the speaker pauses a song, ends a call, or snoozes an alarm depending on the situation. A cheeky part of us wonders if that’s a return to more traditional tactile speakers than the voice assistant days of now. Still, being able to tap it to shut up early one morning is always welcome. 

The Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) works much like previous generations in everyday use. Say ‘Alexa’ followed by seemingly any request and it’ll do its best. Accuracy is high; other than a half-hearted whisper request, it never failed to hear us speak. Alexa skills are vast in nature so there’s a lot you can do here, especially once you’ve set up all your smart home devices with it.

The Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) now also has a built-in temperature sensor. If you want certain Alexa routines to automatically run when the temperature changes, things just got far more accessible. 

In the US, the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) also works with Eero so you can increase Wi-Fi coverage. However, we couldn’t test this due to being in the UK.

The supporting Alexa app is easy to use, so you can quickly browse for Alexa skills you may not have considered before, as well as set up routines, pair up an ever-growing list of devices, and make your home near terrifyingly automated at times. Did we mention how easy it is to do? You’ll be surprised if this is your first Echo Dot and forever content if you’ve been here before. 

  • Design and features score: 4/5

Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation): Sound quality

  • Better bass than before
  • Works with seemingly every service possible
  • Well-balanced

The Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) works with nearly every music service imaginable. That includes Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify, Tidal, TuneIn, and Amazon Music. However you listen, the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) isn’t the strongest performing speaker out there, but it makes a good attempt at things. 

Compared to the previous 4th generation Echo Dot, it’s a bit more bass-heavy. Depending on the track you’re listening to, it can get a touch muddy. However, songs like Foo Fighters’ All My Life still has the energy it deserves, even if cranking up the volume can disrupt things. 

Listening to something more subtle and technical like Beach Boys’ God Only Knows is where you notice that the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) can’t get the nuances quite right with some weaker clarity and lacking some crispness. But we’re not convinced anyone is buying a small Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) to get their audiophile kicks. 

This is a speaker of convenience and while the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) could be better aurally, at this size, we don’t expect it to be. 

  • Sound quality score: 3/5

Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation): Value

  • Simple yet effective
  • Inexpensive

The Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) is a highly affordable smart speaker that doesn’t scrimp on essential features. With a remarkable amount of depth to its Alexa skills, a lot can be done here. 

Whether you want the basics covered with your requests or you want something that can help you manage your whole smart home, the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) makes it easy and at a reasonable price.

  • Value score: 5/5

Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) Should you buy it?

Don’t buy it if…

Also consider

Denon Home 150
The Denon Home 150 is a pricey smart speaker, but it offers some great listening options while also providing you with a wider soundstage and better audio than the Echo Dot. 

Apple HomePod mini
Committed to Siri? The Apple HomePod mini offers great design and excellent sound quality while only costing a little more than the Echo Dot. 

Google Nest Audio
Similarly, if you prefer a Google Assistant approach, the Google Nest Audio is a great smart speaker but with slightly poorer sound quality.