At a special media event this morning, Amazon announced a follow up to their wildly successful Echo smart speaker as well as new devices that look to further cement the company’s ever growing Alexa-enabled portfolio.
Amazon Echo 2017
The latest version of the Amazon Echo is a tad bit smaller and cheaper. Priced at $99, the new Echo 2017 features increased listening distance, better sound with Dolby Digital and a new tweeter and woofer combo, multi-room audio (look out, Sonos), and comes in six fabric shells or a wood veneer finish.
This officially drops the price of the original Echo by half, and is still around $30 cheaper than a Google Home.
Amazon Echo Plus
The Amazon Echo Plus is a combination smart speaker and smart home hub that ties all your smart home products and appliances to Alexa. You get the same 360-degree sound as the previous gen model, only this one now supports Dolby Digital.
Syncing up with smart home devices is supposed to be incredibly easily, with the Echo Plus doing all the work behind the scenes to get everything up and running. Each Echo Plus will even include a Philips Hue smart bulb to get you started when it goes on sale later this year for $150 (still cheaper than the first-gen Echo). Pre-order link provided below.
Amazon Echo Connect
Amazon also unveiled the Echo Connect, a device that connects the power of Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant to your landline telephone. Priced at $35 — and available for pre-order starting today — the Echo Connect gives you the ability to place landline calls using your Echo smart speakers and could be a great new addition for baby boomers who haven’t fully converted to cellular.
Okay, so these may sound silly, but for friends/families who enjoy getting to together game night, they could be fun. Echo Buttons are literally just that, buttons that tie into an Echo speaker and allow you to buzz yourself in for various trivia fueled hijinks. Priced at $20, you’ll find them available for purchase in time for the holiday season.
Amazon Echo Spot
Finally, the Amazon Echo Spot is a cross between an Echo Show and Echo Dot. The tiny device looks to replace your alarm clock with a 2.5-inch display that shows you the time, weather, and other helpful information. The integrated camera allows you to make video calls as well.
The Spot goes on sale in December for $130, but pre-orders start right now in the US. Link provided below.