Amazon ecosystem (Echo system?) It doesn’t stop growing. The latest player has appeared. The Echo Pop is a $40 smart speaker with a semi-circular body rather than the perfectly round shape of Amazon’s other Echo speakers.
I enjoy my Echo Pop as my little desk companion. Its sound is good enough for its price, and while other similarly priced Amazon speakers may offer a better musical experience, the Echo Pop’s biggest draw is undoubtedly its fun colors and interesting form. It’s a factor.
Side by side with the Echo Dot (5th Gen), the Echo Pop looks about the same size. That is, when looking at the flat circular face of the Pop from the front. But if you look at the Echo Pop from the side, you’ll see that it’s only about two-thirds as deep. You can clearly see the size difference on the bottom. The Echo Pop’s base is nearly an inch thinner than the Echo Dot, with a slim oval base instead of a large round base.
Due to its small size and base, it can be easily installed in various locations around the house. With its half-moon shape and single flat surface instead of a full round speaker, it fits nicely in the corner of your desk, on a small shelf, or on a side table.
The Pop also has a slightly larger front-facing speaker (1.95 inches compared to 1.73 inches) than the 5th Gen Dot, making it loud enough to squeeze into any space. I put mine in the corner of my desk for what felt like a few seconds, then added it to the Alexa app. I was already connected to Spotify, so I was immediately jamming to Dua Lipa’s new song.
The Echo Pop sounded great for pop music (lol) and electronic lo-fi. However, I found that when I turned on the lower bass sounds, they got lost in this little speaker. When it comes to sound quality, the Echo Dot is slightly better, just at a slightly higher price. It does sound a little more solid thanks to the improved bass, but both fall short of big smart speakers like the 4th Gen Echo (8/10, WIRED Recommends).
If you’re less into great sound and more into stylish speakers, this is Amazon’s best offering and probably the best style choice in the world of cheap smart speakers. I have three different smart speakers on my desk, but among the smaller offerings from Amazon, Google, and Apple, I’d rather focus on the Echo Pop than any other.