Daniel Reply to on 18 October 2018
|The difference justifies upgrading - either keeping your second gen Dots to cover more of your home or simply sell the old one(s).
I use my new 3rd Gen Dot in the kitchen where I mostly listen to music. Since I could clearly tell that the second gen Dot was too tinny and of generally poor quality for music, I was going to buy a Bluetooth speaker. First, however, I thought I’d take a gamble on a 3rd gen Dot (delivered within an hour no less) and I wasn’t disappointed.
No longer do I have the need for a Bluetooth speaker. The sound is so much better than the previous Dot. Not only that, it’s actually surprising that the sound is coming out of a thing so small. Alexas voice sounds completely different too due to the quality and bass.
On the subject of bass; this is why I’ve dropped a star in the rating. It’s a little too much. I had to move the new dot out of my office and it’s certainly no good for the bedroom (I was going to upgrade the whole house). Even at a low volume, there’s a good amount of bass which, given the fact that I give commands constantly (I have a smart home), it will affect the neighbours through the thin walls.
For those who as savvy with music terminology, the unit boasts an incredible bass, lacks in mid-range and has virtually no high end at all. In Layman's terms, the sound is largely bass and therefore could have done with a tweeter of two in the construction, or improve what’s already in there to get some greater high end.
As such, the new Dot is perhaps unsuited to places that are sound sensitive. The 2nd Gen dot, is mostly mid and high end, with no bass, due largely to lesser quality. This, however, is more suited to sound sensitive areas.
Lastly, another reason for only 4 stars is due to the LED ring. I don’t believe there are any settings I’m missing, but it glows as bright as the last Dot when you switch it on, thereafter when issuing a command, it only glows at around 50%. In other words, it’s dimmer than the previous Dot. In addition to this, the light doesn’t appear and a solid lit ring. The light diffuser (the plastic ring) needs to be thicker since you can see the individual LED’s. If brightness were hypothetically at 100% (instead of the dimmer 50%), you would see this problem more so.
The last negative is the new barrel power cable, Though it’s USS on the other end, this isn’t a popular format of cable (the last Dot was a simple USB cable). As such, the cable needs to be treated well and you need to guard against losing it.
On a positive, the build quality is great. It’s a solid, sturdy unit with pleasing curves and a quality fabric. The fabric may be prone to staining, especially in the kitchen, so placement of it should be a close consideration. The fabric is non-removable.
Boasting 4 mics now, instead of the mere 1 as the previous dot had, range and response seem to be somewhat better.
It shouldn’t go without saying too that this version is bigger than the last, allegedly to host the better speakers. This is fine and by no means overbearing. It’s got a good presence and looks the part.
The buttons function well and have a nice feel, featuring raised icons, which can be useful for manual controlling in the dark or for those who are without / short of sight.
Overall, I’m very happy with it and at £50 for quality which is largely better than there last, this is a steal!