Amazon originally had the Echo Dot as their entry-level Alexa smart speaker but that has improved to a point where it is now priced (RRP) past an entry-level speaker price.  Enter the Echo Pop.  

The Echo Pop is Amazon’s new entry-level Alexa smart speaker which is essentially the size of half an Echo Dot.  It occupies a smaller footprint, but can it still perform everything you want it to?  Read on to find out.


The new Amazon Echo Pop follow a similar design to the 5th gen Echo Dot with a cloth mesh over the front of the speaker which is a flat surface.  The Alexa light is a small 11-1o’clock segment at the top of the speaker with the volume and mute buttons behind this.  There is no action button on the Pop so the only way to activate Alexa is by using your voice.

The Echo Pop seems a lot smaller than the Echo Dot until you put them side by side where the Pop is a bit over half the size of the Dot but due to the angle the Pop is on it takes up a footprint greater than half.  But it is still smaller.

This smaller size results in a less-powerful speaker, even though it is apparently a larger speaker than the 5th gen Dot – 1.95-inch versus 1.73-inch.  The Echo Pop is designed for bedrooms and small spaces and compared to the Echo Dot it lacks the motion detection and the temperature sensor. 

The Echo Pop includes eero built-in which is amazing for such a small and cheap speaker but keep in mind that the eero built into Echo speakers software has yet to be launched in Australia (I am counting down the days until it does) so don’t get too excited.

The Echo Pop is once again powered by a proprietary plug unfortunately so that’s yet another plus you will need to plug into the wall – at least this time the AC plug is not wider than a single socket.  Small mercies.

For those who wish to spend a few more dollars, Amazon do sell accessories for the Echo Pop which include a USB charging base as well as a battery base.  These may alleviate the issue above of the proprietary cable, but Amazon should just bite the bullet and move over to USB-C charging like everyone else.

A music speaker

Amazon describe the sound from the Echo Pop as “Full Sound” and that from the Echo Dot (5th Gen) as “Bigger Vibrant Sound.”  In my testing that seems about right.  The sound from the Dot was fuller and richer and while far from audiophile-quality it was still decent.  

The Pop sound was ok.  If you love your music I don’t suggest getting this with the sound a tad “tinny,” lacking the rich bass of a bigger and better speaker.  For light relaxing listening – sometimes I bring up a “relaxing music” playlist which is just to chill while working – it is perfectly fine but blast out some Slipknot and the experience won’t be great.

For podcasts and other spoken word stuff such as talk back radio it is good.  Anything more than this will struggle to give you a decent sound though.

A smart speaker

As a smart speaker though the Echo Pop works well – activating at all times I tested it when in range.  Amazon has included their AZ2 Neural Edge processor in the Pop which means that it can perform more local processing of queries – basic ones such as “turn off the lights” etc.

I do not use my Echo speakers for music very often, instead using them fairly extensively and nearly exclusively, to run my smart home.  The Echo Pop was able to respond to commands as fast as the other Echo smart speakers I have – which is at least one of each.

The Echo Pop also lacks the Thread and Matter compatibility unfortunately but the Echo Dot (5th and 4th Gen) both have this capability.

A tough sell

The Echo Pop is a hard sell, especially when the Dot seems to be on sale fairly regularly.  At the moment, the Echo Dot is on sale for the same price as the Echo Pop I struggle to see a reason to buy the Echo Pop at that same $79.  

Some may prefer the Pop’s flat design on their bookshelf or want to combine it with one of the USB-C charging base or the battery base but aside from that I am bereft of reasons to buy the Echo Pop. If the prices are even remotely close I would be opting for an Echo Dot every time.

The Amazon Echo Pop comes in four colours – all-new Lavender Bloom and Midnight Teal colour options, as well as in Charcoal and Glacier White, at AU$79. 

The Echo Pop also launches with a range of new accessory options including silicone sleeves in seven colour options to suit any aesthetic, including a glow-in-the-dark option to brighten any room, and a shelf wall mount to ensure the Echo Pop finds its perfect position. 

As mentioned above, a selection of bases is also available, including a USB charging base to provide additional device charging ports, and a battery base, enabling the Echo Pop to be used in any location without the need for a power outlet.