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Alexa vs Echo: What’s The Difference & Do You Need Both?

Alexa VS Echo

1 tutorial says you need to command Alexa.

And the other 1 tells you that you should ask Echo.

Confusing, isn’t it? 

So as someone who has given thousands of commands to this device… 

Let me help you differentiate the 2 from each other. 

With that… 

Continue reading to find out:

  • 3 advantages of using Alexa. 
  • How Alexa and Echo are different from each other.
  • The 3 best Echo models you can buy if you’re on a budget. 
  • And a lot more… 

What is the difference between Alexa and Echo?

The difference between Alexa and Echo is that Alexa is an AI, and Echo is a device. With that, Alexa refers to the software processing your commands. And Echo is the physical speaker responsible for letting you communicate with Alexa.  

What is Alexa?

Alexa is a cloud-based AI made by Amazon. 

And you can think of it as a computer you mainly interact with using your voice. 

Or compare it to other popular AIs like Google or Siri. 

Now, bear in mind that every Echo device has Alexa inside. 

Because it serves as the brain of the physical product.

And without it, your Echo won’t be able to process your commands. 

Now, you’re probably wondering…

“What can Alexa do for me?”

And honestly, she has more features than I can remember from the top of my head.

So to keep it simple and short, instead, allow me to tell you…

My favorite advantages of using Alexa

#1: It helps you stay productive

From being a cooking timer to being a calendar scheduler…

Just name it, and Alexa will do it for you. 

See, if you need this AI to do something, all you need to do is verbally command it. 

Try saying:

“Alexa, remind me to open my email 1 hour later.”


“Alexa, create a to-do list.”

And your AI will do it right away.

Conveniently, Alexa can handle small and simple tasks for you.

And that way, you can focus on the important stuff that you need to do. 

On top of that, Alexa can also… 

#2: Control your home with voice commands

Technology has come a long way, right? 

You can even turn ON the TV now without holding the remote yourself. 

And the easiest way to have this type of convenience? 

Using Alexa. 

See, this AI is compatible with the most popular smart devices you can buy now. 

So if you want to control your home by using your voice… 

Just ask Alexa by saying commands like: 

  • “Alexa, turn my TV ON.”
  • “Alexa, lock the door.”
  • “Alexa, turn ON the lights.”

Convenient, isn’t it? 

But that’s not everything Alexa can do for you.

Because honestly, she can also… 

#3: Keep you entertained

Did you know that you can also play games with Alexa? 

See, this AI has more than 5,000 games you can choose from. 

And surely, anyone can enjoy them because Alexa has games for:

  • Kids. 
  • Groups.
  • Solo players.

“But I’m not a fan of games.”

No worries. Alexa also has other entertaining features like:

  • Spelling tests.
  • Trivia quizzes. 
  • Riddle of the day. 

What is Echo?

Echo is a hands-free speaker produced by Amazon. 

And what makes this speaker unique from others is that…

It’s operated by an AI, or in other words, Alexa. 

Now, you can think of Echo as your AI’s body and voice. 

Because without it…

Your Alexa wouldn’t be different from other AIs you can find online.

Like Siri or Google, which I’ve already mentioned earlier. 

Now, it’s worth noting that there are different models of Echo, such as:

  • Echo.
  • Echo Dot. 
  • Echo Show. 

And while every model is unique in its way… 

They’re all using the same AI: Alexa. 

“Then what’s the difference between the Echo devices?”

Simple. It’s the way their hardware is built. 

For example…

Echo Plus devices have better speakers and sound output than other models. 

And Echo Show devices, on the other hand, have a full display that you can interact with.

So when deciding to buy an Echo device…

Focus on their external build and features.

Since, for the most part, they’ll all get the same software qualities.  

You might also want to know: 5 Steps To Connect Alexa To A Bluetooth Speaker

Do I need both Alexa and Echo?

You don’t need both Alexa and Echo. 

See, Alexa alone can function even without an Echo device.

Because as a cloud-based AI, it also exists on other devices.

Like your phone or other gadgets that are integrated with Alexa, such as:

“Can the Echo function without Alexa?”

Yes, it can. 

But without the AI, it’ll be just like any other Bluetooth speaker. 

However, you don’t have to worry about Echos not having Alexa. 

Because all Echo devices have Alexa in their system.

So you don’t need to get the AI separately.

You might also be interested in: 7 Steps To Connect Alexa To Bluetooth iPhone

Alexa vs Echo – buyers guide

Now, if you’re planning to buy a device to use Alexa…

Then lucky you, because I have just the right information. 

Here, I’ll show you the best Echo devices you can buy if you prioritize:

  • Budget.
  • Portability.

But before that, let me 1st tell you what my #1 pick is for… 

The best Amazon Echo device  

From my personal experience, the best Amazon Echo device is… 

The Echo (4th Gen) model. 

See, this device has powerful speakers (3-inch woofer and 0.8-inch tweeters).

And compared to cheaper models like Echo Dots, it has a more solid bass. 

On top of that… 

The Echo (4th gen) is also compatible with the newly launched official battery bases.

So not only is it loud, but it’s also very portable. 

Moreover, if you have Zigbee devices or Ring Smart Lighting products…

You can also use this Echo device to connect to and control them. 

And no, this isn’t a feature that all Echo models have. 

As most of the time, this is only available for high-end models. 

But conveniently, the Echo (4th gen) also has it. Even when it’s only for $100. 

Now, if you’re interested in knowing more about what the Amazon Echo (4th gen) can do…

Watch this video:

The 3 best Echo devices if you’re on a budget

#1: Echo Dot (3rd generation)

For less than $50, this is the cheapest Echo device you can get your hands on.

But don’t let the affordability trick you into thinking that this can’t deliver any quality to you. 

See, Echo Dots can also use the same Alexa features that more expensive models can. 

But 1 of the main reasons why it’s cheaper is it has…

A smaller build and speakers compared to other models.

#2: Echo Dot (4th Gen)

This model is an upgraded version of the previous example. 

And on top of having the features of the 3rd generation Echo dot…  

This 4th gen device also has a functioning LED clock on its body. 

You’ll get an AI, a speaker, and a clock. All for just a little over $50.

Now, how convenient is that? 

#3: Echo Show 5

Do you want to have a screen display to control your Alexa?

Then Echo Show 5 is the device for you. 

Because it’s the most budget-friendly Echo model that has a screen display. 

So not only can you use this device to control your smart home…

You can also watch some shows and movies to keep you entertained. 

All of these features for less than $100. Can you believe that? 

The 2 best Echo devices for portability

#1: Echo Frames

No other Echo models can beat Echo frames when it comes to portability.

Because this product is the only Echo device that you can wear.

See, Echo Frames integrates Alexa into your glasses.

So really, you can use the AI wherever you may be, as long as you have an Internet connection. 

Now, despite its small size, you don’t need to worry about its battery life. 

Because when fully charged, Echo Frames let you: 

  • Get 2 hours of talk time. 
  • 4 hours of nonstop listening.
  • Use Alexa for 14 hours a day. 

So it’s the perfect Echo device for you if you prioritize portability. 

But if you’re not a fan of glasses, don’t worry.

In that case, you can simply grab an…

#2: Echo Dot

I’ve already included Echo Dot as 1 of the most budget-friendly Echo devices.

But it also deserves another spot here in the most portable Echo models. 

Because being just slightly bigger than a baseball (3.9” x 3.9” x 3.5”)… 

You’ll have no problem bringing this device anywhere or in any room. 

Its small, compact, and also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. 

So if you want an Echo that you can bring to different places, this is the model for you. 

Bonus: Best Alexa-enabled devices that aren’t part of Echo lineups

As mentioned earlier, Alexa is also compatible with other devices besides Echo. 

So if you’re interested in knowing more about them, or even buying 1. Then I got you.

And with that… 

Here are my top 3 Alexa-enabled devices:

#1: Amazon Fire TV stick
Amazon Fire TV Stick

Do you want to have Alexa on your TV?

Then Amazon’s Fire TV stick is a must-buy. 

For less than $55, not only will you get Alexa, but you’ll also make your TV smarter. 

As this device allows you to get access to streaming platforms like:

  • Peacock.
  • HBO Max. 
  • Paramount Plus.

So it’s a perfect upgrade to non-smart TVs. 

And also a good addition if you want your smart TV to use Alexa. 

#2: Ring Video Doorbell 4

Do you want Alexa to alert you anytime there’s someone on your front door? 

Then Ring Video Doorbell is perfect for you.

Not only can you use this device with your Alexa app…

You also communicate to your front door using your existing Echo devices.

So on top of added security, you’ll also have more convenience.

#3: Sonos Beam Gen 2

Do you love blasting music throughout your room?

Or do you want the best sound quality when watching a movie? 

If so… 

I highly recommend getting yourself a Sonor Beam Gen 2. 

So you can get both powerful speakers and a competent AI in just a single device. 

Honestly, what’s a better pair than that, right?