Amazon Prime Day has landed and there are of course big deals on the Echo speaker, Echo Buds wireless earbuds, Echo Dot and Echo Show, with up to 70% off Echo speakers in the early sales. But which one should you buy?
The Amazon Echo range of smart speakers and devices has built a name for itself as an affordable and reliable way of bringing smart skills and the Alexa voice assistant into your home, along with a decent level of sound quality for music. And it's now grown to encompass devices with screens, wireless earbuds, plug adaptors, and more.
Echo speakers all work together seamlessly for multi-room audio, can be controlled using your voice, and they can also be used to control other smart home appliances like your lighting and thermostat. So wherever you are in the house, you can have complete control, just by speaking.
Read on for the best deals on all manner of Amazon Echo devices, including the second-gen Echo Buds wireless earbuds (which are 21 per cent smaller than the previous model), and new Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5 smart speakers.
- See our pick of all the best Prime Day deals
- Our guide to the best Prime Day headphone deals
- And the best Prime Day TV deals
Amazon Echo (4th Generation)
The latest Echo combines the best of the standard Echo with the bigger, more powerful Echo Studio. Inside is a built-in Zigbee smart hub, meaning it can directly control compatible devices, and it has better sound than the previous generation. It also looks quite different, adopting a spherical design that's reminiscent of a Magic 8-Ball. Like almost all of Amazon's Echo devices, it's a great value proposition that ticks all the boxes for everyday living. There are better sounding smart speakers around, but they can't match this for versatility or price.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation)
The latest Echo Dot takes the same spherical shape as the standard Echo, but as with previous generations, it's smaller and more portable, but also less powerful than its bigger sibling. But it's also cheaper. It has pretty much all the same skills as the bigger version, including voice controls, smart home controls, and the ability to call other Echo speakers around the house. Everything you could need, in other words.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (4th Generation)
This is the same speaker as the regular Echo Dot, but because it has a built-in digital clock, it's perfect for the bedside table. There's basic clock functionality on board too, like an alarm and timer. You can even tap the top to snooze the alarm, just like with a regular alarm clock. But of course it's packed with cutting-edge tech, like Alexa, enabling voice controls so you can look up trivia, hear the news, weather and traffic, and control other smart home appliances, all just by speaking. The only problem is, with all that at your beck and call, you might not want to get out of bed.
Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)
The Echo Show range has all the features of an Echo speaker, plus a screen. That means you can see the weather forecast, calendar appointments, photo slideshows, video calls and more, adding to the experience considerably. Not only that, but this latest in the range has a motorised 10in screen that turns to always keep you in the frame, so if you're strolling around the room while chatting away, the person on the other end of the video call will still be able to see you. Whether they want to is another matter.
Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation)
The new model of the Echo Show 8 has the same 13MP camera as seen on the Echo Show 10, and while the device doesn't turn to follow you around the room during calls (as the Show 10 does), the camera does pan and zoom automatically, helping you stay in shot. The camera has a cover too, so you can rest assured it's shut off and no one will accidentally see you indulging in your daily HIIT workout. It can detect if someone walks into the room and use this as a prompt to activate certain smart home functions (like turning on the lights). And you can access the camera on your phone using Alexa's security mode.
Otherwise, it's the same device as the first-gen Show 8 (below), with an 8in HD screen, stereo speakers, and of course Alexa voice control.
Amazon Echo Show 8
The Show 8's 8-in screen is HD, which is an ample picture quality at this size. It can also show video footage like the news, TV shows and films. You can customise your home screen and create morning routines to start your day, and it's handy for reading recipes. Worried about someone spying on you? There's a cover for the camera – just slide it shut and you'll have peace of mind that no one's watching. You can also deactivate the mics and camera at the touch of a button. It's currently on sale at £20 off.
Amazon Echo Buds
The Echo Buds are Amazon's stab at a pair of true wireless earbuds. They feature noise reduction (but not noise cancelling) tech by Bose, Alexa for voice controls, plus compatibility with Apple's Siri and Google Assistant. They run for five hours on a single charge, or a total of 20 hours using the supplied carry case, and come with multiple ear tips to get a good fit. There's also an AirPods-style Ear Tip Sizing Test within the Alexa app to determine which ear tip is the right size for you. Touch controls make them a cinch to use, and they're already more affordable than a lot of wireless earbuds. They can now monitor your fitness activities too – not a lot of wireless earbuds can do that. Look out for the second-gen models, which should touch down in the UK soon.
Amazon Echo Studio
The Echo Studio is Amazon's take on Apple's HomePod. It contains five speakers for wide sound dispersion, and Dolby Atmos tech to make the audio more immersive. It adapts to your room too, sensing the acoustics based on its dimensions and calibrating the audio accordingly for optimal sound. Plus there are all the usual Alexa smarts onboard too, like seamless multi-room, smart home appliance control and intercom functionality using the Drop In and Announcements features.
Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation)
The Echo Plus is a step up from the third-gen Amazon Echo, but not quite as premium an offering as the Echo Studio. Inside its 10x15cm dimensions are an 8cm neodymium woofer and a 2cm tweeter that pump out sound in 360 degrees. The Alexa app lets you adjust the EQ settings, plus there's a temperature sensor built into the speaker, so you can judge when to fire up the heating (by using your voice, naturally). And with seven microphones, beam-forming technology and noise cancellation, it can hear you from anywhere in the room, even if music is playing.
Amazon Echo (3rd Generation)
If you're after the smart speaker that started it all... this isn't it. Rather this is the third-generation of the one that did, and it's all the better for it. Inside are premium speakers powered by Dolby, you can pair it with other Echo speakers to create stereo sound, and adjust the EQ settings from the Alexa app. And of course you get the same Echo skillset you know and love, with smart home control using your voice via Alexa, multi-room, and the rest.
Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)
Gen 2 of Amazon's screened smart speaker has a mammoth 10in HD display for all your watching, video calling, calendaring and slideshowing. It'll show you song lyrics and album art too, and you can set timers and read recipes. The bigger screen makes it ideal for bigger rooms.
Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Generation)
The new Echo Show 5 has a new camera – this one is 2MP, which is double the resolution of the previous model (below). It also gets a new blue colour scheme to go with the existing charcoal and white finishes and has a new low price of £74. Otherwise, it's the same as the model below...
Amazon Echo Show 5
The Echo Show 5 has a 5.5in display, making it the perfect size for a bedside table. You can see the news headlines, traffic or weather reports when you wake up, or even sneak in a quick episode of your favourite TV show before you up and shower. Voice controls come as standard, while routines and alarms help you get up and go.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)
If the bulb design doesn't do it for you, you might prefer the hockey puck look of the previous Echo Dot. This is the version without a clock built in, so you can't see the time at a glance, but it does have Alexa for all the usual smart features, and a knockdown price to boot. For a no-frills smart speaker that's small enough to move from room to room and that has a natty fabric finish, look no further.
Amazon Echo Flex
Want Alexa but don't have space for a smart speaker to clutter up your sideboards? The Echo Flex could be the answer. It slots into a plug socket, and has a microphone for hearing your spoken commands – and with Alexa built in, it can act on them accordingly. That means you can control smart home appliances like lights and thermostats just by speaking. And if you do want to play music, you can plug a speaker into it using the 3.5mm aux port or connect wirelessly over Bluetooth. There's also a USB port built in for charging your phone or another device.
Amazon Echo Auto
To take Alexa for a spin in your car, check out the Amazon Echo Auto. It connects to the Alexa app on your phone and plays music, radio, podcasts and more through your car speakers, so you can take full advantage of what they have to offer. You can connect your phone to it wirelessly via Bluetooth, or using an AUX input. Eight microphones with far-field technology mean it can hear you loud and clear even if you're bombing down the motorway with the window open. And it comes with an air vent mount for easy installation.
Alexa, show me the best Alexa speakers
Or just the best wireless speakers generally
Run me a comparison: Amazon Echo vs Dot vs Plus vs Spot vs Show 5: which is best?