There are a lot of new smart speaker-digital assistant products on the market these days. The latest to arrive is the 3rd Gen Amazon Echo Dot with Clock. This diminutive package features all the power of Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant with the added functionality of a bedside alarm clock. I had a chance to wake up with the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock for a week, and here’s what I learned.
What makes the 3rd Gen Echo Dot with Clock different?
The key feature of the Echo Dot with Clock, as the name implies, is the addition of an LED digital pinpoint display. The display can show the time, temperature, or the status of a timer (if you set one).
While adding some LED lights doesn’t actually change much about this device and its true core purpose, it does make it more appropriate to use beside your bed.
How to set up Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
Setting up this device, like all Echo devices, is easy and straightforward. You’ll plug it in, then follow the instructions you’ll get verbally or via the Alexa App. That basically involves getting connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network and signing in to, or creating, an Amazon account.
Once that’s done, you can manage the Dot with Clock’s setting inside the app. A built-in light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness, day or night, and I didn’t find it too bright for sleeping.
Alexa as your Alarm Clock
This Dot is made for the bedside. Its compact size is perfect for a nightstand. You can ask Alexa to set an alarm each morning, or ask her to see an alarm for every weekday, and she’ll comply, so you don’t need to worry about remembering every night. I liked that feature a lot.
You can customize the sound Alexa will make as your alarm inside the Alexa App. There’s a handful of different sounds. Not a whole lot of difference between them, but you should be able to find something that won’t make you throw the Dot with Clock across the room.
When it rings, you can tap the top of the device to snooze it, or just ask Alexa to shut it off.
Using Echo Dot with Clock as a Speaker: audio quality
With the smaller speaker, the Echo Dot with Clock is definitely less powerful than some of the other Echo devices, but that doesn’t seem to compromise the sound quality overall. Plus, this is meant to be a supplementary or satellite to your overall system, in my opinion.
This speaker sounds quite good for its small size. It gets good and loud, but the audio is also clear and crisp. The bass is actually pretty decent too. The sound overall is big and clear, and I was very surprised by how good it sounded. You’ll have a hard time complaining about this speaker’s quality, given its size and price.
Use Bluetooth for music or podcast play
You can also stream music from your phone or device to the Dot with Clock and use it as a Bluetooth speaker. To pair your mobile device with Echo Dot:
- Open the Alexa App
- Open the left navigation panel
- Select Settings
- Select your Echo Dot
- Select Bluetooth
- Pair New Device, and then your Dot enters pairing mode
- Open the Bluetooth settings menu on your mobile device
- Select your Echo Dot
It may take a few seconds for your Echo Dot to appear on the list. Alexa then tells you if the connection is successful. To disconnect your mobile device from Echo Dot, say “Disconnect.”
The next time you want to connect your mobile device to your Echo Dot, turn on Bluetooth on your mobile device, and then say “Connect.” If you have multiple Bluetooth devices paired with your Echo Dot, Echo Dot connects to the most recent device.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock as a Personal Digital Assistant
The real power of this device is as an Alexa digital assistant and smart speaker. Like pretty much every other Alexa smart speaker, this one has voice control for your home and your life.
So, what’s it like using Amazon Echo Show on a day to day basis? I found myself using it in a few ways. You can ask for a daily news briefing as you’re laying in bed (or while you get ready in the morning) or ask Alexa for smart home control commands (like turning lights on and off, or to check the weather for you).
Making audio calls with Drop In: instant intercom
If you have two Amazon devices, you can make audio calls using Drop In. By saying “Alexa, Drop In Echo Dot,” or “Alexa, Drop In Office,” or “Alexa, Drop In Kitchen,” or whatever you’ve called that specific Echo device, it will attempt a device-to-device call, which must be answered by someone on the other end in order to connect. In other words, no eavesdropping!
If you want to phone a friend, you can do that too. Just use the Communicate button on the bottom bar of the Alexa App.
Use Audible for Audio Books
If you’d rather listen to a book than hear canned news briefings, the Echo Dot with Clock can read audio books from audible.ca. It’s a bit of a process to get this all up and running, but it’s enough to know that once you are signed in to your Audible account, you can just ask Alexa to play the title of the book, and she’s all over it.
Overall review of Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
Overall, this is another version of a very capable device. While I didn’t love the alarm sounds—as I found them quite digital or technical (I prefer more natural-sounding tones that don’t shock me awake), they do the job just fine.
The addition of the LED display certainly makes a lot of sense in the bedroom for the intended alarm clock configuration.
When it comes to Alexa as a personal digital assistant, she’s infinitely capable and responsive, and I love having her in my life. I have an Amazon Echo, Echo Sub, and the new 2nd Gen Echo Show 10” and think they’re all great devices. It’s easy to set timers and alarms, to get news, and to listen to books to fall asleep.
If you’re looking for a compact, yet ultra-smart, personal assistant speaker that doubles as a capable alarm clock, the Echo Dot with Clock is a great choice.