Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) review

Time — and now much more — on its side

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) is upgraded with a multi-functional display, better sound performance and other new perks that can enhance your smart home.

Pros

  • +

    Upgraded display functionality

  • +

    Better sound performance

  • +

    Eero built-in

  • +

    Room temperature sensor

Cons

  • -

    No more 3.5mm line out

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Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) specs

Price: $59 / £64 / AU$99
Colors: Glacier White, Cloud Blue
Size: 3.9 x 3.5 inches
Weight: 10.7 ounces
Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz)
Speaker: 1.73 inch front-firing

The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) is the quintessential smart home device. It’s useful on an obvious level, acting as an alarm clock with a solid-sounding smart speaker and multi-functional LED display on its side. But it’s also a great gadget behind its fabric-swathed exterior, packing an eero built-in Wi-Fi extender and a room temperature sensor that works with Alexa routines.

What’s more, for the familiar $59, the Echo Dot with Clock remains one of the most accessible smart home entry points. And now with its upgrades compared to the Echo Dot with Clock (2020), it’s an even stronger sell for starting your smart home — or just telling you the time. That’s the beauty of the Echo Dot with Clock; it’s not over-complicated or blatantly high-tech.

And that’s why we’d consider it the best smart home device you can buy, but if you want to know more about all its features and performance, read our full Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) review below.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) price and availability

The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) has been available since October 20, 2022 for $59 / £64 / AU$99. This is the same price as the previous versions of the Echo Dot with Clock, though around Black Friday deals and other Amazon deals events, you’re sure to see discounts. 

Otherwise, the standard Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen) costs $49 / £54 / AU$79. The key difference between the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock vs. Echo Dot is the LED display. Additionally, the standard Echo Dot comes in Charcoal, Deep Sea Blue and Glacier White color choices while the Echo Dot with clock only comes in Glacier White and Cloud Blue.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) review: Design and display

The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock has time on its side — literally. While the orb-shaped speaker looks generally the same as the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), as well as the larger Amazon Echo (4th Gen), it has a LED display hidden beneath the fabric exterior.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Future)

My biggest complaint with the previous Echo Dot was the limited display functionality. Before, it could only tell the time, timer status and speaker volume. But the latest Echo Dot with Clock’s display has added useful visuals for the weather and song titles and more. For the weather, the display shows the temperature reading (either in Fahrenheit or Celsius, depending on which measurement you use) along with an icon representing the forecast. 

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Future)

For music, the display ticks through the artist name and track titles every time a new song comes on. The display can even show you the answer to math equations and calendar event times.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Future)

The Echo Dot with Clock’s display also features a different digital font than the previous model. It’s a subtle change from dashes to dots, but I happen to think it looks more modern now. A small dot next to the time indicates whether you have an alarm set as well, which I find extremely helpful to check at a quick glance if I stir in the middle of the night.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) review: Controls

A set of physical controls sit on the top of the Echo Dot with Clock, including an action button that wakes Alexa, volume controls and a mute button if you’d prefer Alexa didn’t listen. According to our guide on Alexa flashing colors, a red ring indicates the microphone is successfully muted. When Alexa is listening, the bottom ring illuminates blue. Yellow means you have a notification or message, while green means you’re receiving a call or someone is dropping in on you.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Future)

There are some touch-based controls on the Echo Dot with Clock, too. Tapping the top of the device while listening to music acts as a pause and play control. If you’ve set an alarm, you can tap the top of the Echo Dot with Clock to snooze. To turn off your alarm for the morning, you’ll need to press the action button.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, you can ask Alexa to control your alarm too. You can also check out our guide to the best Alexa skills to help you sleep better. To unlock all of Alexa’s potential, our guide to the best Alexa skills overall covers everything from funny Alexa easter eggs to integrations with Alexa compatible devices

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) review: Sound quality

Amazon said the new Echo Dot with Clock features improved speakers compared to the internals, offering double the bass of the previous version. Spec-wise, the speaker is slightly larger, now 1.73 inches compared to 1.6 inches on the previous model. 

Listening to the two generations side-by-side, the difference is subtle. The newer Echo Dot with Clock is a bit more sophisticated and less hollow-sounding, which seems like a great feat for something shaped like a ball. I certainly heard more nuance in Jimmy Cliff’s “I Can See Clearly Now,” with the collection of reggae instruments sounding distinct. 

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Future)

The vocal clarity also sounded more natural in Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” On the older Echo Dot, Billie Joe Armstrong sounded a bit tinny. On the new Echo Dot, his voice is better balanced and emphasized just a bit stronger, which is what I think you want from a speaker like this.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Future)

At the highest volume, the speaker’s sound quality deteriorates; but this isn’t a speaker you get to feed music to a party. As one of the best smart speakers for a bedroom, the Echo Dot with Clock sounds good … for its size. If you need something with more power, our favorite smart speaker for sound is the Sonos One, while the best smart display in terms of sound is the Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd gen).

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) review: Smart home features with eero built-in and temperature sensor

I touched on Alexa features in the control section, but it’s important to know Amazon’s assistant does much more than answer your queries. It powers security features like Alexa Guard, helps you keep in touch with people if you know how to make a voice call using Alexa and lets you automate your smart home with Alexa routines. Taking the hassle out of smart home technology by making it more intuitively proactive is a goal that Amazon calls ambient intelligence. 

The Echo Dot with Clock seems to embody this initiative with two built-in smart home conveniences. The first is eero built-in, which means it acts as a satellite for one of the best mesh router systems to extend your home’s Wi-Fi reach. If you already have a host eero router (such as the eero Pro 6e), the Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) can replace or save you from buying another extending device.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Future)

The second is a temperature sensor, which isn’t so much used to tell you the temperature of the room you’re in but leveraged to trigger actions with other Alexa devices. For example, you can set up an Alexa routine that kicks on your Amazon Smart Thermostat when the Echo Dot reads a specific temperature. This feature was previously reserved for the pricier Echo, but now it adds value to Amazon’s entry-level smart speaker.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) review: Verdict

As long as your expectations on sound are tempered, it’s hard to find something to dislike about the Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen). Sure, removing the 3.5mm audio line out seems like a disadvantage, but in all my years having an Echo Dot I’ve never once used it. And it’s also easier to ignore considering how many upgrades the speaker gets now without changing the price.

The Amazon Echo Dot with Clock is traditionally useful, letting you see the time at a glance and waking you up like a regular ‘ol alarm clock. But it also lets you play music and interact with Alexa, while working behind-the-scenes to improve your smart home with a temperature sensor and eero built-in. This combination is exactly what a smart home device should be.

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account (opens in new tab), which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.