Over the last couple of years, smart speakers have quickly become one of the most popular consumer tech devices around. Amazon pioneered things in 2014 with the launch of its first Echo, and since then, the Echo line has grown into the go-to smart speaker option for so many people.

Amazon announced its latest heap of Echo products earlier this fall, one of which was the 3rd Gen Echo Dot. It has a retail price of $49.99, but right now as part of a Black Friday special, you can pick one up for yourself for just $24 even.

If you've used Alexa devices in the past, the Echo Dot will be immediately familiar. It can do all of the Alexa commands that other, more expensive speakers are capable of, ranging from providing you with info about the weather, upcoming calendar appointments, controlling smart home devices, streaming music, and tons more.

The Echo Dot (3rd Gen) has a stunning design and far better sound quality than you'd expect.

Alexa is awfully powerful on its own right out of the box, but you can take things a step further thanks to add-ons you can use called "Skills." You can add these Skills to the Echo Dot from the Alexa app on your phone, with some of the most popular allowing you to play a game of Jeopardy!, track down a lost smartphone, create white noise, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

Looking a bit closer at the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) specifically, this is a vast improvement over past Dots that Amazon's released. Its new fabric design is available in three great colors and is worlds nicer than the old, hard plastic that was previously used. Along with that, sound quality has also been given some much-needed attention. The speakers on the previous Echo Dot were really lackluster and not enjoyable to listen to, but with the 3rd Gen model, there's a surprising amount of volume, clarity, and bass.

And, as always, you can connect the Echo Dot to another speaker either via Bluetooth or with a 3.5mm headphone jack to instantly beef up your tunes even more.

The Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is a seamless addition to any household that already has a few Alexa devices in it, and if you're just getting started with the whole smart home thing, there couldn't be a better time or device to enter it with. You can sweeten the deal a bit further by adding Amazon's new smart plug to the purchase for just $5.

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