The Amazon Echo Pop isn’t a lot smaller or extra budget-friendly than the Echo Dot, but it sounds worse, does much less, and feels low-cost. Our recommendation: get a Dot as a substitute.
Let’s simply reduce to the chase: With its new Echo Pop, Amazon has delivered an Echo speaker that appears worse, sounds worse, and does lower than the one barely bigger and costlier Echo Dot.
I’m not likely positive what the considering was behind Amazon’s newest Echo speaker, or who it’s imagined to be for. If the half-spherical gadget was considerably smaller than the Echo Dot, which the Pop replaces because the smaller and least-expensive Echo speaker, I’d be extra forgiving.
However the Echo Pop is sort of exactly the identical dimension because the Echo Dot, and at $39.99/£44.99, its checklist value is just $10 much less within the US. Within the UK, now that the Echo Dot has come down in value, the Pop is definitely £10 extra. You may learn our overview of the Echo Dot 5, which we rated fairly extremely, to seek out out why you would possibly wish to purchase that as a substitute.
The Echo Pop additionally drops a few the Echo Dot’s key good house sensors, whereas its flat audio efficiency makes the Echo Dot’s middling sonics sound significantly better compared.
On the plus facet, the Pop does include Alexa and her standard bag of methods, and moreover supporting the brand new Matter commonplace and Amazon’s Sidewalk neighbourhood networks, the Pop doubles as an extender for Amazon’s Eero mesh Wi-Fi routers.
However the Echo Dot does all these issues too, and whereas it’s a tad deeper in dimension than the Echo Pop, it has a way more premium really feel; the Pop, however, feels low-cost.
So, on the threat of sounding glib: the Echo Pop flops greater than it pops.
How massive is the Amazon Echo Pop?
Measuring 9.9 x 8.4 x 9.1cm (WxDxH), the Amazon Echo Pop is roughly the identical dimension because the Echo Dot. With its half-spherical design, the Echo Pop definitely appears to be like considerably smaller than the Echo Dot, however virtually talking, the Pop’s slice-in-half design solely shaves a few half and inch of depth and a hair off the peak. So sure, the Echo Pop is a tad smaller than the Dot, but it surely’s not that a lot smaller.
Then again, the Echo Pop is significantly lighter than the Dot, with the audio system weighing in at 195g and 303g respectively. Sadly, that loss in heft makes the Pop really feel low-cost in comparison with the weightier Dot. Making issues worse, the Pop is sort of all plastic save for the flat, fabric-covered entrance, whereas the extra good-looking Dot has a extra expansive material protecting, giving it a extra premium really feel.
The Echo Pop truly doesn’t have an Alexa gentle ring, per se; quite, it has a skinny Alexa indicator gentle that sits alongside the highest fringe of the speaker.
Behind the Alexa gentle are a trio of buttons for quantity up, quantity down, and microphone mute. Eagle-eyed Echo Dot customers will discover that the Pop lacks an Motion button, which lets you (amongst different issues) silence alarms and put the speaker in setup mode. For the Echo Pop, the everyday operate for the Motion button – snoozing alarms – could be carried out by merely tapping the highest of the gadget.
On the again of the Echo Pop is a port for the roughly five-foot charging cable, which terminates in a (sometimes, for Echo audio system) chunky wall wart.
There’s no 3.5mm audio-out jack on the again of the Pop – not an enormous shock, provided that the fifth-generation Echo Dot jettisoned the auxiliary audio jack, too. However whilst you can’t join a secondary speaker to the Echo Pop utilizing a wire, you may nonetheless achieve this through Bluetooth.
How do you arrange the Echo Pop?
Getting the Echo Pop up and working is a snap for individuals who already personal different Echo audio system. You merely plug within the Echo Pop, wait a couple of minutes till Alexa says the speaker is prepared for setup, and hearth up the Alexa app; inside a number of seconds, a immediate to pair the Echo Pop ought to seem.
In the event you’re new to the Echo scene or Alexa as an entire, you’ll have to obtain the Alexa app and (for those who haven’t already) register for an Amazon account. You’ll even be prompted to enter the credentials to your house Wi-Fi router, though as soon as that step is completed, you gained’t have to repeat it for including future Echo audio system.
Can the Amazon Echo Pop management good house units?
With the assistance of Alexa, the Echo Pop can take cost of your appropriate good house units through voice instructions, and the pool of supported good units simply bought wider due to Matter, the brand new commonplace that guarantees to (finally) unite the large good house ecosystems, together with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Dwelling, and Samsung SmartThings.
Just like the Echo Dot and most different present Echo audio system, the Echo Pop acts as a Matter controller, permitting it to attach different Matter units in your house collectively. The Pop can’t join Matter units to the web, nonetheless; for that, you’ll want a Thread border router, corresponding to an Amazon Echo speaker; an Apple HomePod, HomePod mini, or third-gen Apple TV 4K; or a Google Nest Hub Max, second-gen Nest Hub, or a Nest Wifi Professional.
In the event you’re within the US, you’ll wish to know that Echo Pop additionally works with Sidewalk, Amazon’s budding neighbourhood community that enables a number of Ring, Echo, and different appropriate units to work collectively, making a low-power, long-range community massive sufficient to cowl a whole neighbourhood.
With assist from a Sidewalk community (and plenty of US neighbourhoods are already blanketed by Sidewalk protection), customers can set up (for instance) appropriate movement sensors, good lights, and different units outdoors of their houses with out worrying that they are going to be out of Wi-Fi vary.
The advantages of Sidewalk are nonetheless extra theoretical than sensible, nonetheless, and you’ll flip off the Echo Pop’s Sidewalk performance for those who’d quite.
Even for those who don’t benefit from the Echo Pop’s Matter or Sidewalk help, you may nonetheless take cost of greater than 100,000 good house units with Alexa, both through voice instructions or Alexa routines.
Can the Echo Pop act as an Amazon Eero extender?
Amazon not too long ago added the power for many of its present Echo line to double as vary extenders for its Eero mesh Wi-Fi routers, and the Echo Pop isn’t any exception.
Every Echo Pop will add as much as 1,000 sq. toes of protection to your Eero mesh setup, a pleasant bonus given the Pop’s cut price value.
Does the Echo Pop allow you to chat with Alexa?
As with different Echo audio system, the Echo Pop allows you to communicate with Alexa. You may ask Alexa a broad vary of questions, something from “Alexa, what’s the climate?” to “Alexa, do I’ve any appointments at the moment?”
You may also set Alexa to take heed to suspicious sounds, corresponding to breaking glass or smoke alarm sirens (through the free Alexa Guard function, or you may improve to the paid Alexa Guard Plus), set alarms or timers, and even store on Amazon (you may set a PIN to maintain your youngsters from happening Amazon procuring sprees).
Are you able to make telephone calls with the Amazon Echo Pop?
Alexa gives many of the identical communication options on the Echo Pop which might be accessible on different Echo audio system. For instance, you may ask Alexa to “drop in” on an Echo gadget in one other room, permitting you to listen to what’s happening in that room or communicate to anybody close by (Alexa will warn you if somebody is dropping in from one other Echo speaker). You may also ask Alexa to make an announcement (like “Time for supper!”) on all the opposite Echo units in your house.
In addition to communication with different Echo units, Alexa on the Echo Pop could make free telephone calls to landlines within the US, UK, Canada, and Mexico (free Alexa calls are restricted to 10 contacts at a time, sadly).
Are you able to play music on the Amazon Echo Pop?
Like different Echo audio system, the Echo Pop can double as a jukebox with assist from Alexa. Utilizing the Alexa app, you may signal into your favourite music streaming service, together with Amazon Music, Apple Music and Podcasts, Spotify (together with Spotify Join performance), Deezer, Tidal, Pandora, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, and TuneIn; lacking from the checklist is Qobuz and YouTube Music.
Together with your music streaming account linked, you may ask Alexa on the Echo Pop to play a monitor, an album, an artist, or a style (“Alexa, play Taylor Swift” or “Alexa, play basic rock”). An alternative choice is so as to add music playback as an motion in an Alexa routine; for instance, you may make Alexa play “Joyful” throughout your morning wake-up routines.
What’s lacking from the Echo Pop?
“Identical to different Echo audio system,” has been one thing of a chorus in my overview of the Echo Pop, however there are a few key Echo options that the Pop decidedly doesn’t help.
For instance, the Echo Pop lacks the built-in movement sensor discovered within the newest (and, once more, solely barely pricier) Echo Dot, and it’s additionally lacking the Dot’s temperature sensor. Each of these sensors can be utilized to set off Alexa routines, corresponding to turning on the lights when somebody enters the room or spinning up a fan when the temperature hits a sure stage.
Additionally lacking from the Echo Pop is a Zigbee good house hub that may enable the speaker to instantly management Zigbee units – though, to be truthful, the Dot doesn’t have a Zigbee radio both.
How does the Echo Pop sound?
On paper, you would possibly suppose the Echo Pop and its 1.95-inch driver has the sonic edge over the Echo Dot and its smaller 1.75-inch driver. The fact, nonetheless, is that the Echo Pop’s audio pales in comparison with the Echo Dot’s–and that’s saying one thing, given the Dot’s solely so-so audio efficiency.
Going forwards and backwards between the 2 audio system, the Echo Pop sounded flat and tinny, with only a trace of bass response. The Echo Dot, in distinction, sounded deeper and fuller, with higher high-end element.
Granted, the Echo Dot nonetheless sounds fairly meh to my ears, however at the least its audio copy flirts with precise excessive constancy. The Echo Pop, however, appears like an affordable Bluetooth speaker, good for listening to your tunes quite than actually having fun with them.
Is the Amazon Echo Pop well worth the money?
If the Amazon Echo Pop arrived with a a lot lower cost tag, then positive, it may be value it.
However contemplating that its value doesn’t evaluate effectively to the sturdier, higher sounding, extra succesful, and solely barely bigger Echo Dot, we’d recommend you grasp on for a value reduce. Proper now, the Echo Pop will get a tough “no” from us.