Confused by Alexa / Echo/ Dot - can anyone help please?

(42 Posts)
Chaotic45 Mon 16-Nov-20 07:49:56

I'm considering buying DS 'an Alexa' but I'm confused by all the options and I don't seem to be able to find a simple 'Alexa'?

We have no other Alexa type devices in the house, and the idea was that it could be a speaker for DS to keep in his room and use to connect to his iPhone to play music, and a way to play Spotify tracks, plus maybe an alarm?

Can anyone help me untangle their options please!

OP’s posts: |
LegoLady95 Mon 16-Nov-20 07:54:44

Echo Dot is the basic speaker with Alexa that will do what you require.

LegoLady95 Mon 16-Nov-20 07:55:39

By the way, the sound quality is good on the dots for playing music.

Chaotic45 Mon 16-Nov-20 07:56:38

@LegoLady95 ah I see! Thank you. So we need an Echo.

Am off to look at the different echos....

OP’s posts: |
Azerothi Mon 16-Nov-20 07:57:28

An echo dot would fulfill all those options and do much more if needed. Just ask Alexa to do those things and she'll do it.

We have 2 dots in the house and an echo show in our motorhome. I'm much, much older than your son and it is easy for us so it'll be a breeze for him.

MarmaladeTeepee Mon 16-Nov-20 07:58:06

They're basically all the same thing (we have all 3 🙈). The echo dot is the smallest and doesn't come with a display, the echo is a bigger speaker and then the echo show comes with a display which I think you can also use to video call?

If it's just for playing music and asking random questions I'd look at getting the echo (the taller speaker) the dot's ok but the sound quality is better on the regular echo.

Pascha Mon 16-Nov-20 08:01:46

Alexa is just the voice interface for the software - the voice that answers questions and searches for info you ask for.

Echo is the Amazon range of hardware - the speakers.

Dot is the actual speaker. It's round and quite flat. There are other Echos such as the Spot and the Show. The Dot is fine for your son.


BikeRunSki Mon 16-Nov-20 08:06:56

If you wait til Black Friday, they’ll be discounted. We have 3 Echo Dots, never paid more than £25 for one.

Glendaruel Mon 16-Nov-20 08:10:32

Dot should work fine, you can get one with a clock, which might be handy if he's using it as alarm. Worth doing it on black friday, in prime day they were half price and often reduced in black Friday as well.

Jedstre Mon 16-Nov-20 08:14:55

Agreeing that a dot would be fine for what you want. I bought two last year (Black Friday) for the kids bedrooms.

betterwithouthim Mon 16-Nov-20 08:16:40

Agree the dots were really cheap last year on Black Friday £18/£20 I think.

I also have a feeling they may have come down in price just before the Friday itself - they did seem to go very quickly so you need to look earlier rather than later but maybe now more people have them there won't be such a rush!

myhobbyisouting Mon 16-Nov-20 08:23:21

Pretty sure they were almost free for first timers with an unlimited music subscription...wait for black Friday and just get the basic echo dot

TheDogsMother Mon 16-Nov-20 08:24:06

I've just bought the Echo Dot on the Amazon Prime sale day for £18 and I think it would be perfect for your son. Alexa is the software which you can use with any smart speaker. Our main speaker is a Bose and I have the Amazon Music app which includes Alexa so I just use it in the same way as I would the Echo Dot.

WeAllHaveWings Mon 16-Nov-20 08:40:09

We have just starting playing with the Echo after we were given a second hand Echo and 2 Dots at the weekend. I have also bought ds a Echo Show with a 5" screen for Xmas to replace his alarm clock. So we have the Echo in the Living Room and an Echo Dot in the kitchen and ds's room.

There are different Amazon devices that all use Alexa - Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock, Echo Show, Echo Spot.

The Show and the Spot have screen which have extract functions such as showing a clock, having a camera call, showing temperature etc. Check out youtube to see what they do.

All will play music, they are linked to ds's spotify account, but I haven't worked out yet how we can play different music on different devices.

For an alarm/clock look at the Dot with a clock or one with a screen. There are new 4th generation ones available this year that are ball shaped rather than the 3rd gen puck shaped ones. 3rd gen ones should be going cheap soon and I expect they will discontinue them eventually, but I couldn't find any 3rd gen with a clock and eventually decided on the Show instead as the price difference between that and the 4th Gen Dot with clock wasn't much.

If you get another one for downstairs you can "drop in" on upstairs and use as an intercom which we are finding very handy, saves shouting upstairs. Or "announce" a message, useful for things such as "dinners ready now".

The other function I am finding useful, if you get one for downstairs is the shopping list. Alexa add toothpaste to shopping list and it shows on the Alexa app.

You load the Alexa app on your phone/tablet and can also use the drop in/announce functionality from there to a Dot upstairs and can view your shopping list (or any other list you have created).

We haven't got as far as using the smart home features yet as they seem to need more bits, but have bought colour changing bulbs (cheap ones that don't need a home hub) for ds for xmas and his Echo Show came in a pack that contained a free smart plug which I hope he can use for the fan in his bedroom with "Alexa switch fan on/off".

LegoLady95 Mon 16-Nov-20 08:51:00

Yes, be warned they can be addictive. We now have three dots in bedrooms and a Show in the kitchen/diner. Use it a lot to 'drop into' kids rooms and call everybody for meals using 'announce'. The Show is quite nice in the kitchen for recipes. It is great when you notice you are running low on an item and can add to your shopping list with your voice instead of cleaning hands to write on a list. Otherwise it is mainly music/radio. I believe they can read your audio books to you, although I haven't tried that yet.

Chaotic45 Mon 16-Nov-20 08:54:00

Thank you all so much h for the detailed advice. I love Mumsnet sometimes!

I think a 4th gen echo with an LED clock display will serve our purposes best- as DS also needs an alarm clock and frequently uses timers.

I may ask some relatives who need present ideas to look at accessories- I'm sure DS would like a colour changing bulb.....

Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
AlexaShutUp Mon 16-Nov-20 08:55:06

I have a dot which I do use for music upstairs, but we also have an echo downstairs. The sound quality is much better on the echo if you want it for music.

Chaotic45 Mon 16-Nov-20 08:55:39

Ah I would love one myself TBH but DH bought me a swanky Bose speaker thing a few years ago for Christmas and I'm worried about hurting his feelings by relegating it to the loft and replacing with a fab Alexa device.

OP’s posts: |
nevernotstruggling Mon 16-Nov-20 10:21:19

Yep echo dot Black Friday. We have two they are great and not very spendy for quite a clever gadget.

myhobbyisouting Mon 16-Nov-20 13:17:23

Why would you put the Bose in the loft?

Link it to Alexa and then you can tell her to play your music/radio through it

KnowlWay Mon 16-Nov-20 13:28:36

Sooooooo is it possible to play music from Spotify through the Echos? Can you have ‘Alexa’ without Amazon music?

NotGenerationAlpha Mon 16-Nov-20 13:32:58

I got an echo dot with the alarm clock in my room. The sound is awful. Get something better if you can afford it. Looking at their website now, probably an echo unless you can afford the echo studio?

You can link Amazon prime music and sportily through it. You might need Spotify premium subscription. I have sonos at home and it’s linked via that so haven’t looked at the linking option but I’m sure it’s there!

DancingGuru Mon 16-Nov-20 14:15:42

Just to warn you, I wanted one of the Echo dots with an LED clock last year (the earlier generation). They went out of stock on Black Friday and didn’t come back in until after Christmas

KnowlWay Mon 16-Nov-20 14:39:11

Thank you. Enlightened.

BikeRunSki Mon 16-Nov-20 14:44:11


Thank you all so much h for the detailed advice. I love Mumsnet sometimes!

I think a 4th gen echo with an LED clock display will serve our purposes best- as DS also needs an alarm clock and frequently uses timers.

I may ask some relatives who need present ideas to look at accessories- I'm sure DS would like a colour changing bulb.....

Thanks again.

You can ask Alexa to set an alarm or a timer without the clock display. You just ask! “Alexa, please set an alarm for 8 am every Monday”, “Alexa please time 25 minutes” etc

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