The Amazon ecosystem (Echo-system?) keeps growing. Its latest player has arrived: the Echo Pop, a $40 smart speaker with a half-circle body instead of the fully rounded shapes of Amazon’s other Echo speakers.
I appreciate the Echo Pop as a small desktop companion. Its sound is pretty good for its price – although other similarly priced Amazon speakers will provide a better music experience – but the Echo Pop’s biggest appeal is easily the fun colors and interesting form factor it has. has.
When next to the Echo Dot (5th Gen), the Echo Pop appears to be the same size, which is if you look at the flat, circular face of the Pop from the front. But when you look at the Echo Pop from the side, you can see it’s only about two-thirds as deep. Where you can really see the size difference is at the bottom. The base of the Echo Pop is almost an inch thinner than the Echo Dot, giving it a slim oval base instead of a large rounded base.
This smaller size and base makes it easy to place in various places in your home. With its half-moon shape and single flat face rather than an entire rounded speaker, it is ideal for desk corners and small shelves or side tables.
The Pop also has a slightly larger front speaker than the fifth-gen Dot – 1.95 inches versus 1.73 – which helps it sound plenty loud no matter what space you’ve squeezed it into. I placed mine on the corner of my desk and added it to my Alexa app in seconds. I already had Spotify logged in, so I was scrambling to Dua Lipa’s new song in a few moments.
The Echo Pop sounded great with pop music (ha!) and electronic lo-fi. But when I turned on the sounds with lower bass notes, I found that these got lost on this little speaker. When it comes to sound quality, the Echo Dot is a bit better and only costs a bit more. You’ll get slightly more robust sound thanks to better bass, but none will compare to a larger smart speaker like the fourth-gen Echo (8/10, WIRED Recommends).
If you’re less concerned with great sound and more interested in a stylish speaker, this is Amazon’s best deal, and perhaps the best style choice in the world of cheaper smart speakers. I have three different smart speakers on my desk, and of all the pint-sized offerings from Amazon, Google, and Apple, I’d rather look at the Echo Pop than any of the others.