Echo Dot 5th Gen: Amazon's newest smart speakers explained

We compare the newly announced 5th Gen Amazon devices to their 4th Gen predecessors

Amazon Echo Dot 5th Gen on kitchen counter
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon recently announced its next slate of smart speakers, promising even more features, better audio, and other improvements across its Echo Dot range. If you haven't been keeping track, that speaker collection now includes the Echo Dot (5th Gen), Echo Dot (5th Gen) with Clock, and Echo Dot (5th Gen) Kids.

Keep reading to see our breakdown of exactly what's new for the new generation of Echo Dot speakers. There's something for almost everyone, including the youngest members of your household, but for more, take a look at our guide to the best Alexa speakers available right now.

Echo Dot (5th Gen)

Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Amazon)

RRP: $49.99

Audio quality

One of the main criticisms of Amazon's own Alexa speakers is the lack of attention paid to overall audio quality, meaning that their use as a standalone speakers for music has been limited. The company went some way to address this with the Echo Studio and has also improved the sound quality for its 5th Gen Echo Dot.

Temperature sensor

Perhaps the biggest change for this 5th Gen Echo Dot is the new in-built motion and temperature sensors, which allow you to create more intuitive routines based on your home's indoor temperature or whether someone is home. For example, you can program Alexa to switch on a fan if the temperature goes above a certain level or to turn on smart bulbs when you enter a room.

Tap the top

The new Echo Dots have a touch-sensitive point added to the top, so you can do things like snooze an alarm by just tapping it.

Wi-Fi extender

A lot of people would like to do more with their smart devices but struggle to connect their homes with patchy Wi-Fi and dead spots. The best Wi-Fi extenders can help here, and the new Echo Dot helpfully comes with built-in eero. This means that providing you have a compatible eero router, you can get up to 1,000 sqft of extra coverage and speeds up to 100Mbps. This feature is only available in the US and Canada right now.

Echo Dot (5th Gen) with Clock

Echo Dot (5th Gen) with Clock

(Image credit: Amazon)

RRP: $59.99

Audio quality

Like the standard 5th Gen Echo Dot (above), the Echo Dot (5th Gen) with Clock has improved audio onboard, meaning it will work better as a Bluetooth speaker for listening to music and podcasts. That's good news for anyone who doesn't want to splash out on an extra speaker just to enjoy some tunes.

Refreshed LED display

The big selling point of the Clock model is the LED screen, which does a whole lot more than tell you the time. The new and improved screen can now display things like alarms, the current weather outside, or the title of the song you're listening to. It's a handy feature for those less able to hear or if you primarily tend to use your Alexa device as a morning alarm.

Sensors & Wi-Fi

Again, the Echo Dot with Clock has all of the same improvements as the standard version, meaning it also has a new temperature sensor that can help you control external devices and keep your home as comfortable as possible across the entire year. Want your heater to switch on only if the temperature drops below a certain point? That's now an in-built feature (providing your heater is compatible).

In-built eero is also here, so if you have a compatible eero router, you can enjoy more connectivity for your smart home. At the time of writing, this feature is only available for US and Canadian users.

Click here to read our review of the Echo Dot (5th Gen) with Clock.

Echo Dot (5th Gen) Kids

Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen) Kids

(Image credit: Amazon)

RRP: $59.99

Fun new designs

The tiger and panda are no more - say hello to the Alexa owl and dragon. The Echo Dot (5th Gen) Kids has had a bold makeover with two new designs that are perfect for any children in your family. The original designs were launched in 2020, so it was time for a makeover.

1-year free Amazon Kids+

This is not a new feature, but it's worth pointing out that Amazon is still giving away a year's free access to Amazon Kids+ with a purchase of the speaker. The service costs $4.99/month, so that's a pretty good deal.

Kid controls

There's quite a lot that kids themselves can control with the Echo Dot, all within the parameters set by parents via the dashboard, of course. For example, young users can set their own alarms, call approved friends and control smart devices like light bulbs in their space. They also get the same improved audio as the other 5th Gen Echo Dots, so they can listen to tunes while they play or study.

Caroline Preece
Smart Homes Ecommerce Editor

Caroline is the smart home ecommerce editor for Livingetc, covering everything tech for the home, from smart speakers to air purifiers and everything in between. She is passionate about the role that technology and smart devices can play in daily life, enhancing the home without sacrificing personal style and carefully chosen interiors. In her spare time, she can be found tinkering with bulbs, soundbars, and video doorbells in an effort to automate every part of her small home. Previously, she lent her expertise to the likes of Expert Reviews, IT Pro, Coach, The Week, and more.