2022 Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) review: supersmart personal assistant speaker
“The 2022 Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) has made smart improvements, while holding the price for consumers.”
- Compact footprint
- Vastly improved sound quality
- Clock shows more useful info
- New temperature sensor
- Added Wi-Fi features
- Only works as Wi-Fi booster if you’re already on Amazon eero network
Amazon spent the last couple of months releasing new and updated gadgets in its popular smart home lineup. One of the most underrated options is the $60 Echo Dot with Clock. Most shoppers aim for the Echo Dot or Echo Show, but the 2022 Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) is actually a capable smart home helper in a small but versatile package. In this review, we’ll look at what it can do, what it’s suited for, and if we think it’s a good buy for your smart home. You can also peruse our list of the best Alexa devices for more choices.
What is the 5th Gen Echo Dot with Clock?
The key feature of the Echo Dot with Clock, as you may imagine, is the addition of a LED digital clock to the front of the round Dot. The display is always on and shows the time, temperature, or other at-a-glance information. The digital clock also makes it ideal for bedside use or even in a bathroom, which is where I opted to use mine. For light-sensitive sleepers, a built-in light sensor adjusts the display’s brightness to keep it neutral for sleeping.
What’s new with the Echo Dot with Clock?
Depending on what Amazon Echo you may be upgrading from, there are some noteworthy features and updates found in the 2022 Echo Dot with Clock. Amazon has boosted the speaker’s capability by providing, “an improved audio experience for clearer vocals, deeper bass, and vibrant sound.”
That aforementioned LED display now does more . Apart from time and temperature, it can now also show additional weather details, scroll through song titles, and generally display more relevant info to your inquiry. The 2022 Echo Dot with Clock also has a temperature sensor under the case so you can use it to create Alexa routines based on the temperature in the room.
If you’re looking for an affordable compact, yet ultrasmart personal assistant speaker that doubles as a capable alarm clock, the Echo Dot with Clock is a great choice.
The final addition is the built-in Wi-Fi booster so you can add up to 1,000 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage, but this only works if you already use Amazon’s Eero network.
Setting up the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
Setting up this device is easy, as is the case with all Echo gadgets: plug it in and follow the instructions you’ll get verbally or follow prompts in the Alexa app. The steps involve getting connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network and signing into, or creating, an Amazon account.
Once you initiate the Dot with Clock, you can manage any settings or change preferences (Celsius versus Fahrenheit temperatures, for example) inside the Alexa app.
Using Alexa as your alarm clock
The Dot’s small footprint is ideal for your nightstand. It’s easy to ask Alexa to set an alarm each evening, or ask for one to be set for every weekday so you don’t need to worry about remembering to change it every night. I like this feature a lot since it means I can fall asleep while reading a book and not worry about oversleeping if I forget to set the alarm. At the same time, there are no early morning alerts on weekends!
Not surprisingly, you can use the Alexa app to customize the sound Alexa will make as your alarm. There’s an expanded array of different sounds since I last explored the device, and there aewchoices from lightly wakeful tones to songs and celebrity voice clips, including Ian Ziering warning of an impending morning Sharknado, or Blake Shelton’s soothing drawl reminding me a hard day’s work is in order. When the alarm sounds, tap the top of the device to snooze it, or ask Alexa to shut it off.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock speaker quality
With its smaller speaker (compared to a full-size Echo), the Echo Dot with Clock is definitely less powerful than some of the other Echo devices, but Amazon has been diligent about making improvements to the sound quality so audio doesn’t sound small and tinny. Generally speaking, this small unit is meant to be a supplementary or satellite device to your overall system — even so, it no longer feels like a cost-cutting compromise, as the original Echo Dots might have.
The audio quality improvements are noticeable and go a long way to elevate the Echo Dot with Clock into a nice-sounding compact speaker.
The 2022 Echo Dot with Clock sounds quite good given its diminutive size, and the improvements are noticeable. It gets decently loud (as loud as you’d want in a bedroom) and the audio is crisp. In truth, there is a lot more detail in the music and more resonance in the bass than in older Dot with Clock versions I’ve tested. This is particularly true on the high end of the music spectrum. The previous versions of the Dot with Clock could verge into hollow-sounding, but Amazon seems to have created a speaker that produces a more natural, even sound. The bass is actually pretty good on this speaker, too.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock as a Personal Digital Assistant
The true power of the Dot with Clock is as an Alexa digital assistant and smart speaker. Like other Alexa offerings, this one uses voice control, meaning you can give smart home commands, like turning lights on or off, or adjusting your smart thermostat’s temperature. Call out for it to play music or news briefings, as well as audiobooks on Audible, check the weather, set timers and alarms, or just ask any question that’s rattling around your cranium. You can also use the Echo Dot with Clock for making room-to-room calls, Wi-Fi audio calls, or as a speakerphone.
What we think of the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
To sum up, this is a solid upgrade to an already very useful device. The audio quality improvements are noticeable and actually go a long way toward elevating Echo Dot with Clock into a nice-sounding compact speaker.
When it comes to Alexa as a personal digital assistant, it’s massively capable and responsive, and I appreciate having it as a virtual butler. It’s easy to set timers and alarms, as well as hear news and listen to books to fall asleep. And Echo devices work really well at managing my smart home. The addition of a temperature sensor is nice, and we’ll be experimenting with routines using this feature in the future. For what this speaker is, and what it promises, there’s really no downside. That’s particularly true when you consider that if you find it not powerful enough or too small, you can simply upgrade to a larger model. And if you need more visual cues than the dot-matrix LED display can deliver, choosing an Echo Show device like the Echo Show 15 would resolve that for you.
If you’re looking for a compact yet ultrasmart personal assistant speaker that doubles as a capable alarm clock, the Echo Dot with Clock is a great choice, particularly since Amazon has held the price at the previous model’s level.