Introduction

Amazon's Echo line is expanding—or in the Dot's case, shrinking! The new hockey-puck-sized Echo Dot lets you add some Alexa-infused personality to your existing home speaker setup. We're eager to try it, but not before we've thoroughly taken it apart. Alexa, brace yourself—it's teardown time.

If you're curious about the innards of the other Echos, we've got teardowns of the original Echo and the Amazon Tap as well.

Teardowning is what we do! Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for all the latest repair news.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Amazon Echo Dot, use our service manual.

Image 1/2: Dual-band, dual-antenna 802.11 a/g/b/n Wi-Fi with MIMO Image 2/2: Alexa Voice Search
  • If Amazon ever ventures into the canned tuna fish business, they'll have a great package design ready to go. In the meantime, the Dot contains some tasty morsels:

    • Dual-band, dual-antenna 802.11 a/g/b/n Wi-Fi with MIMO

    • Alexa Voice Search

    • 7-microphone array

    • Light ring volume adjustment

    • Bluetooth 4.0 for sending and receiving audio

    • 3.5 mm audio output for external speakers

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Image 1/3: [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Amazon+Echo+Teardown/33953#s79357|The Echo scored a respectable 7 out of 10] on the repairability scale, so we're hopeful these design similarities bode well for the Dot. Image 2/3: Things are a little different down below, where we're greeted by a rubber cover and some labeling—and not much else. Image 3/3: Amazon bestows the Dot with a new model number: S04WQR.
  • Topside, the Dot looks exactly like its older brother, the Echo, complete with its action and mic mute buttons, light ring, volume ring, and microphone array.

  • Things are a little different down below, where we're greeted by a rubber cover and some labeling—and not much else.

  • Amazon bestows the Dot with a new model number: S04WQR.

  • Our pals at Creative Electron were good enough to do a little recon work for us and sent over this X-ray image of the Dot. But a mysterious dense object seems to be obscuring much of the view. What did Amazon put in there?

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Image 1/3: And by "dug up," we mean we grabbed it from the corner of the teardown table, where it has been faithfully serving up groovy repair tunes ever since we reassembled it. Image 2/3: Since the Dot is designed to work with your existing speakers, it doesn't need the Echo's sophisticated downward-firing speaker system (or the space and weight that goes with it). So with the [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPGUQySBikQ|first stage separated|new_window=true], we're left with this tiny crew capsule. Image 3/3: TL;DR: it looks like Amazon pretty much just chopped out the middle of the old Echo. Neat!
  • For a more exacting visual comparison, we dug up an original Echo.

    • And by "dug up," we mean we grabbed it from the corner of the teardown table, where it has been faithfully serving up groovy repair tunes ever since we reassembled it.

  • Since the Dot is designed to work with your existing speakers, it doesn't need the Echo's sophisticated downward-firing speaker system (or the space and weight that goes with it). So with the first stage separated, we're left with this tiny crew capsule.

  • TL;DR: it looks like Amazon pretty much just chopped out the middle of the old Echo. Neat!

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Image 1/3: We'd like to report that the lower case simply ''clips'' in place, but when the first opening pick fails to pop it free, we insert another. And another. And another. Image 2/3: Yep—it's glued, too. Image 3/3: We wrestle it free eventually, but so far the Dot is off to a decidedly less friendly start than its [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Amazon+Echo+Teardown/33953#s79307|older sibling].
  • We peel away the grippy rubber pad, fully expecting to find our first screws—but instead, we're greeted by glue. Boo!

  • We'd like to report that the lower case simply clips in place, but when the first opening pick fails to pop it free, we insert another. And another. And another.

  • Yep—it's glued, too.

  • We wrestle it free eventually, but so far the Dot is off to a decidedly less friendly start than its older sibling.

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Image 1/3: This steel plate appears to be the culprit behind our somewhat frustrated first X-ray attempt. Image 2/3: Fortunately, this metal thing has screws! Some long T6 Torx screws are threaded through the Dot from bottom to top; our driver dispatches them forthwith. Image 3/3: Out tumbles the metal thing, with a small speaker riding piggyback.
  • Our first look inside reveals what sophisticated tech insiders will instantly recognize as a big metal thing.

    • This steel plate appears to be the culprit behind our somewhat frustrated first X-ray attempt.

  • Fortunately, this metal thing has screws! Some long T6 Torx screws are threaded through the Dot from bottom to top; our driver dispatches them forthwith.

  • Out tumbles the metal thing, with a small speaker riding piggyback.

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Image 1/3: It's not punchy enough for playing music, but it gives Alexa a way to talk back if your other speakers are turned off or disconnected. Image 2/3: The speaker is lightly adhered to this shapely blob of steel, which seems to be a simple weight in the base of the Dot. It's likely designed to keep the device planted, so you can twist the volume ring without accidentally spinning your Dot across the table. Image 3/3: The speaker is lightly adhered to this shapely blob of steel, which seems to be a simple weight in the base of the Dot. It's likely designed to keep the device planted, so you can twist the volume ring without accidentally spinning your Dot across the table.
  • Yep, it's a speaker, albeit a small one. It connects to the Dot by way of a couple pairs of spring contacts.

    • It's not punchy enough for playing music, but it gives Alexa a way to talk back if your other speakers are turned off or disconnected.

  • The speaker is lightly adhered to this shapely blob of steel, which seems to be a simple weight in the base of the Dot. It's likely designed to keep the device planted, so you can twist the volume ring without accidentally spinning your Dot across the table.

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Image 1/2: At one end lies the motherboard and ports, while a separate board at the other end hosts the volume controls and microphone array. A single cable threads its way through the intervening layers to connect the two boards. Image 2/2: We shuffle the layers of plastic and silicon back together temporarily; it's all coming apart soon enough.
  • With the screws removed, only a thin ribbon cable ties all these layers together. Introducing Amazon Echo Dot: Accordion Edition.

  • At one end lies the motherboard and ports, while a separate board at the other end hosts the volume controls and microphone array. A single cable threads its way through the intervening layers to connect the two boards.

  • We shuffle the layers of plastic and silicon back together temporarily; it's all coming apart soon enough.

  • After tweezing away the ribbon cable, we're ready to inspect the motherboard.

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Image 1/2: Texas Instrument [http://www.ti.com/product/DM3725|DM3725|new_window=true] Digital Media Processor Image 2/2: Micron [https://www.micron.com/parts/dram/mobile-ddr-sdram/mt46h64m32lfbq-48-wt|MT46H64M32LFBQ|new_window=true] 256 MB (16 Meg x 32 x 4 Banks) LPDDR SDRAM
  • Chips on one side, ports on the other. Here's what this motherboard is packing:

    • Texas Instrument DM3725 Digital Media Processor

    • Micron MT46H64M32LFBQ 256 MB (16 Meg x 32 x 4 Banks) LPDDR SDRAM

    • Samsung KLM4G1FEPD 4GB High Performance eMMC NAND Flash Memory

    • Qualcomm Atheros QCA6234 Integrated Dual-Band 2x2 802.11n + Bluetooth 4.0 SiP

    • Texas Instruments TPS65910A1 Integrated Power Management IC

    • Texas Instruments DAC

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Image 1/3: That's just fine by us, since it means at least some replacements parts can likely be shared between the original Echo and the Dot. Image 2/3: It also means servicing instructions for one will likely be ''echoed'' by the other. All in all, it's a win for fans of repair and bad puns everywhere. Image 3/3: It also means servicing instructions for one will likely be ''echoed'' by the other. All in all, it's a win for fans of repair and bad puns everywhere.
  • With disassembly nearly complete, we tear into the control wheel. It's a dead ringer for the one we found in the original Echo, complete with its geared encoder wheel.

  • That's just fine by us, since it means at least some replacements parts can likely be shared between the original Echo and the Dot.

  • It also means servicing instructions for one will likely be echoed by the other. All in all, it's a win for fans of repair and bad puns everywhere.

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  • We slap the control ring back together just long enough to see the encoder wheel doing its thing.

  • There's just something soothing about gears.

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Image 1/2: National Semiconductor [http://www.ti.com/product/lp55231|LP55231|new_window=true] Programmable 9-Output LED Driver (x4) Image 2/2: Texas Instruments [http://www.ti.com/product/tlv320adc3101|TLV320ADC3101|new_window=true] 92dB SNR Low-Power Stereo ADC (x4)
  • And buried in the top layer we find another control board, functionally identical to the one we dug up in the original Echo.

    • National Semiconductor LP55231 Programmable 9-Output LED Driver (x4)

    • Texas Instruments TLV320ADC3101 92dB SNR Low-Power Stereo ADC (x4)

    • Texas Instruments SN74LVC74A Dual Positive-Edge-Triggered D-Type Flip-Flops

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Image 1/2: The majority of the device is held together by standard Torx screws. Image 2/2: Many components are common to the original Echo, making it easier to source parts.
  • Amazon Echo Dot Repairability Score: 6 out of 10 (10 is the easiest to repair)

    • The majority of the device is held together by standard Torx screws.

    • Many components are common to the original Echo, making it easier to source parts.

    • The rubber foot, base cap, and speakers are held in place with tough adhesive.

    • The headphone jack and USB port, two common points of failure, are soldered directly to the motherboard.

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32 Comments

Still can't figure out the microphone manufacturer?

robertd1129 - Reply

Microphones are Knowles :: SiSonic™ Microphones http://www.knowles.com/eng/Products/SiSo...

Markus Ulsass - Reply

Can we know which model exactly ? or at-least its near specifications ?

kaushik wavhal -

does this have the same audio amp as the Echo (TI TPA3110D2)

Peter Cooney - Reply

I am trying to figure out why they did not use mems microphones with digital output and used analog ones with 4x ADCs . Wouldn't that have reduced BOM significantly ??

vinayshiv - Reply

Looks like those ADCs are more like mini DSPs. Probably has some AGC and some FIR filtering happening in there ...

vinayshiv -

Maybe the TI DSP chip has no or few PDM interface for the MEMs microphones.

williamc1014 -

Wish it had bluetooth microphone abilities.

Carlis Burns - Reply

How would you rate its moisture-resistance? Could it survive being in the bathroom during a hot shower?

Evan Jacobs - Reply

Has anyone done any serious software/hardware hacks to improve on its performance or add extra features?

John - Reply

Has anyone torn down the new Echo Dot yet? Keen to see if they've upgraded anything of the innards.

Andrew Lin - Reply

I am currently Tearing down the Generation 2. I already got it opened up but wont be able to fully dissect it until next week. I can tell you already there is defiantly some notable differences but over all its very similar.

Aaron -

Thanks Aaron! Look forward to it.

Andrew Lin -

Yes i have just put photo's on my facebook. You should be able to see them. https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t... https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t...

timmerring -

+2. Did they upgrade anything from Generation 1 to Generation 2? Or is it minor changes?

Michael - Reply

Did Amazon upgrade anything from echo dot 1 to dot2 with anything new that causes any issues with disassembly?

Sam - Reply

Does anyone know exactly what type of plastic makes up the sides and the top piece?

Lauren - Reply

Has anyone noticed how where (or if) an input signal could be injected instead of microphone. Perversely, I am trying to use Alexa without a mic, and generate the voice commands from a disabled person's AAC device, rather than have to get Dot's mike to listen to AAC"s speaker. Cut out the middleman, so to speak (whoops, no pun intended!)Thanks for looking. Happy New Year, Stig.

Steve - Reply

On the DM3725 Media Processor is about $45 a chip and $26 in volume. Amazon could have used a BCM2837 quad processor which has a base price of $8.00 ea. Not sure how their making money selling this unit at $50 and making any profit margin. I just purchased the Echo Dot and instead of having the volume wheel they went to a plus and minus button for volume control. So now their are 4 buttons on the top of the unit.

Kent Harris - Reply

It's possible that they're not making money on these. The quantity of data Amazon can collect from people using Alexa may make it worth only breaking even on this hardware.

Evan Noronha -

In addition, it isn't unlikely that Amazon and TI have a Business-to-Business agreement allowing Amazon to get TI hardware for a unique price. TI will benefit from Amazon using this chip, because a high-profile company such as Amazon putting trust in this chip will inspire other companies to trust this chip. This will likely help TI in both sales and stock prices. Therefor, selling this chip in a MASSIVE quantity to Amazon for a lower price isn't as scary of a prospect for TI. I also agree with Evan, although I imagine they will break even at the very least on this product.

Scott Havard -

Without knowing exactly how many of these devices are coming off the production line, there is no way anyone can work out the component, or final BOM cost however the silicon is going to be significantly cheaper than the prices quoted above, moreso if there is a revolving contract in place with the supplier. The Dot gen 2 already confirms departure from rotary to push button for the controls, meaning it is no longer Echo's spare rib.

Additionally Amazon have utilised the Poundshop subconscious by pitching it (at least in the UK) at this price. You want a Dot, but to get the free shipping you have to buy something else in the store to qualify. By browsing for something else if only for a few minutes they will have seen what your search characteristics are, your credit detail/records from the checkout to see if it is regular or impulse buying and target accordingly.

I'm more interested in who has access to the voice data since it will remain on a large SSD to be dissected for every nuance, for all eternity.

Steve Phillimore - Reply

What is the film tape part in the case? And what does it do? As seen on the side case in step 9

timmerring - Reply

That's a ribbon cable that connects the upper assembly to the motherboard.

Evan Noronha -

I was talking about the one that is sitting in the case not connected to anything as seen in step 9

timmerring - Reply

It is connected to the motherboard as shown in the second photo in step 7.

Evan Noronha -

Does anyone know how the wording is placed on the rubber foot pad? Is that a texture break? Screen printing of some sort?

snyderm - Reply

Can anyone tell me which type of switch amazon echo uses to power up? is it a push button switch or something else?

Sunny Desai - Reply

Has anyone any schemas of this Echo Dot?

Aurel Plugaru - Reply

Did anyone research regarding what signals is on the "D" connection pads near of power socket (Step 8, J2 connector)?

https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig...

Are these contact pads for these interfaces: UART Rx/Tx; Factory reset; SDMMC; VCC, etc.? Anybody knows?

Aurel Plugaru - Reply

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