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Ring Chime vs. Echo Dot/Alexa

Last Updated Mar 4, 2022
amazon echo show 10 tablet in kitchen

The Ring Chime and Amazon’s Echo Dots are fantastic devices that perform multiple functions and are capable of adding unique features to your home security setup. However, do you really need both? Is one a better option than the other?

The Ring Chime serves as a chime for the Ring Doorbell and a Z-wave repeater for your Ring device network. However, unless your network is dependent on an extended mesh, the Echo Dot is the superior choice between the two, both in terms of notifications, Alexa’s capabilities, and third-party devices.

That’s not an argument against the Ring Chime; it’s a solid device that gives you nearly instantaneous notification chimes from the Ring Video Doorbell. However, its functionality is very limited compared to an Echo Dot. Below, we’ll compare the Ring Chime and the Echo Dot so you can decide which one is best for your needs.

Ring Chime vs. Echo Dot

Both devices come with several features that enhance the benefits of owning a Ring Video Doorbell:

 Ring ChimeEcho Dot
Z-Wave or Wi-FiZ-waveWi-Fi
Repeater CapabilitiesYesNo
AlexaChime only/No AlexaYes
Doorbell AlertsCustomizable chime soundsCustomizable Video Doorbell alerts
Response SpeedThe doorbell is nearly instant; responding can take up to ten secondsThe doorbell has a slight lag but responding is instant; no app is required
CompatibilitySelect Ring Devices onlyCompatible with all Ring devices, echo devices, and all third-party devices with Alexa capability

The Ring Chime’s functionality is very narrowly tailored to notifying you with a chime whenever your Video Doorbell is triggered and serves as a repeater for Ring devices that are within the Ring Alarm Ecosphere.

Even though it doesn’t have the Wi-Fi extender capabilities of the Ring Chime Pro, it’s a plug-in, Z-wave device, which means it repeats the Z-wave signal, effectively extending the coverage of your Z-wave Ring devices.

The Ring Chime works primarily through the Ring app (Android or iOS). Although the notification (Chime sound) is nearly instantaneous, to see who is at the door means you will either have to open it or access the Ring app. Opening the Ring app takes a second to load up. You’ll wait longer to find and select the Ring Video Doorbell, more time for it to open up on Live View, and extra time to respond to whoever is at the door.

With the Echo Dot, you can simply say, “Alexa, answer the front door,” and you can speak back and forth to whoever is there. With an Echo Show, you can speak face-to-face.

Third-Party and Ring Compatibility

Not only is the Echo Dot a better option for communicating with visitors at the door, but it’s also far more compatible with Ring Devices and third-party smart home products. Despite the Ring Chime being a part of the Ring Alarm System, it is not compatible, nor does it function with other Ring devices.

For whatever reason, Ring decided to go with Z-wave communication protocols with its Ring Alarm system, even though many Ring devices don’t utilize Z-wave.

That’s not an issue with the Echo Dot, as you can receive customizable alerts from any Ring Camera, all of the Ring Alarm System devices, and most third-party, home security devices as well.

This is where the Echo Dot truly separates itself from the Ring Chime, almost relegating the Chime to a position of irrelevance. It’s just far more effective at tying together your entire smart home system, from home security to entertainment.

Z-Wave, Repeater, and Additional Features

You might think that the Ring Chime has an advantage as it operates in tandem with the Ring Alarm System’s Z-wave protocols. However, that’s not really the case.

Amazon owns Ring, so it stands to reason that Ring products will be completely compatible with Echo devices. Though the Ring Alarm devices use Z-wave, they still communicate with a Wi-Fi router via a hub.

So ultimately, all notifications and alerts from Ring Z-wave devices are capable of going to an Echo Dot, eliminating any compatibility advantages of the Chime over the Echo Dot.

The Ring Chime does serve as a repeater—all Z-wave products that plug into a wall outlet function as repeaters—and that’s a feature that the Echo Dot lacks. However, there are plenty of Z-wave products that serve as repeaters on top of pure, Z-wave extenders.

Final Thoughts

Both the Ring Chime and Echo Dot are quality devices and effectively replace the now discontinued Ring Chime (Gen 1). At nearly the same cost, though, you get a massive amount of features, interactivity, and compatibility with the Amazon Echo Dot that you simply don’t with the Ring Chime.

If you’re a fan of Ring—and by extension, Alexa devices—you would do well to choose Alexa-enabled devices, like the Echo Dot, over the Ring Chime. It just makes better sense for efficient home security, communications, and overall compatibility with everything that matters in your Ring Security setup.

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