If you're considering adding a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo to your home, it can be tricky to find the right one. There are so many iterations; how do you choose between them?! Maybe you want something small and simple, like the bestselling Echo Dot, or maybe you want something bigger with video capabilities, like the Echo Show. There's even an Echo that can help you overhaul your entire wardrobe (it's called the Echo Look) and a Dot that's totally kid-friendly. Here's a guide to every Amazon Echo you can buy—including a new device that's coming out later this year—and how to decide which one's right for you.
The Echo is the original Amazon smart speaker, and now it's on its 2nd generation. It has Dolby-powered 360° omnidirectional audio, 7 microphones and noise cancellation, so it can hear you over music and from any angle. Use it to play music, call or message people, and ask Alexa questions about the news, the weather, and more. You can also use it to control other smart home devices (though most will need to be set up to a separate smart hub).
It's right for you if: Your biggest priority is sound quality.
The Echo Plus is an even smarter version of the Echo—as in, it's got all of the same great qualities as the Echo (including that top-notch sound) the ability to connect to different smart home devices without a hub. The Echo Plus has a built-in Zigbee hub so that you can more easily set up and connect to other devices like door locks, security cameras, and more. It also has a built-in temperature sensor, and you can order it with a free smart bulb so you can control your lights with just your voice.
It's right for you if: You want your whole home to be voice-controlled.
The Echo Dot is the most affordable and most popular of all the Echo iterations—it's essentially a much smaller, compact version of the Echo. The device is now on its 3rd generation, a fabric-covered version just like the Echo and Echo Plus. The speaker itself isn't quite as powerful as the bigger Echo (although this updated version has an improved speaker), but you can use it to do all the same things.
It's right for you if: You want something small and simple.
The Echo Show is just exactly what it sounds like—it's a smart assistant (with the same capabilities as the Echo and Echo Dot) that also has a video screen. With the Echo Show, you don't just have to listen to what Alexa tells you—you can see it, too. Use it to watch videos online, make video calls to loved ones, and even hook it up to a smart security camera to see who's at your door every time the bell rings. You can also use it to pull up recipes while you're cooking, read news briefings, and more.
It's right for you if: You want a visual to go with Alexa's responses.
The Echo Spot is basically what the Echo Dot is to the original Echo, but to the Echo Show. It's a smaller, more compact smart assistant and speaker with a screen and video capabilities. It also makes the perfect alarm clock, since you can set it to have different clock faces. It'll look totally unsuspecting on your nightstand, until you ask Alexa a question.
It's right for you if: You want something with a screen that won't take up too much space.
The Echo Look is an Echo device made with clothing junkies in mind—it's an Echo with a voice-activated camera that has video-recording capabilities, allowing you to simply ask Alexa to take photos or videos of you from head to toe, capturing exactly what you're wearing. You can use it to compare different outfit ideas with the Style Check feature, organize your wardrobe, and let it recommend new clothes and accessories that will pair well with things you already own, so you can always look your best.
It's right for you if: You want to totally overhaul your wardrobe and style.
The kid-friendly edition of the Echo Dot is the best option for people who have young kids at home. It's your standard Echo Dot, but with fun color options, and it's programmed specifically to be family-friendly. Your kids can ask Alexa to tell them jokes or read them stories that you'd totally approve of, and the best part is, if you put one in their room, you can use the drop-in feature (an intercom-like feature that all of the Echo iterations have) from other Echo devices in your home to tell the kids it's time for dinner.
It's right for you if: You need something your kids can enjoy, too.
Right now, you have to be invited to preorder the Echo Auto, but it will be available to buy later this year. It plugs in to your car and uses the Amazon Alexa app on your phone (along with your phone's data) to bring Alexa to your car's speakers, where you can use it to play music and audiobooks, set reminders, and more. It has 8 microphones, so it can easily hear you over music and outside noise, and is compatible with different navigation apps to help you get to wherever you need to go.
It's right for you if: You're always on the road.
The Echo Sub, another new addition to the Echo family, isn't a smart assistant in its own right—rather, it's a subwoofer that's compatible with 2nd generation Echo and Echo Plus smart speakers (it connects to them wirelessly, too). It's an add-on that helps make music sound as high-quality as possible, perfect for all you music lovers out there.
It's right for you if: You want your smart speaker to sound its best.