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Regardless of if you’re personally heading back to school in a few weeks, Amazon’s latest sale is a good opportunity for anyone to grab a new Echo device. In addition to Fire tablets and Fire TV devices, both the Echo Dot and the regular Echo smart speakers have been discounted — the Echo Dot is down to $35 while the Echo is on sale for $80. The sale also includes kids’ devices, so you can grab an Echo Dot Kids Edition for $45, or 25 percent off its normal price. These are not record low prices, but they are the best deals we’ve seen since Prime Day in June.
The Echo Dot is a good pick for dorm-room dwellers and others short on space. We included it in our back-to-school gift guide because it’s a handy little speaker to have for impromptu dance parties, plus it it takes up very little space on a desk and it’s quite cheap even when not on sale. Alexa can also answer basic questions that could help students in the middle of a study session, although we wouldn’t recommend relying on the personal assistant for homework answers. Overall, we gave the Dot a score of 88 from us for its solid audio quality for the price, tap-to-snooze alarm and attractive orb-like design.
if you have more space to spare, the Echo is one of our favorite smart speakers as of late. It combines a three-inch woofer with two 0.8-inch tweeters to produce louder sound than both Google’s Nest Audio and the HomePod mini. The audio quality is great, and if you have two in your home, you can use them as a stereo pair for an even better experience. We also appreciate that, like the Echo Dot, the standard Echo has a 3.5mm audio jack, letting you connect the speaker to another playback device like a turntable.
Ultimately, though, an Echo device is best if Alexa is your virtual assistant of choice. Alexa has gotten more useful over the years and there are thousands of Skills that you can install and use to make your experience more personalized. If you’ve been meaning to add to your smart home system, or you’ve wanted to build one from the ground up, an Echo device is a good place to start — especially when you can grab a few at a discount.
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