Amazon was one of the first manufacturers to show the potential of smart home technology. When they launched the Echo it became a surprise hit. However, since its launch, competition has heated up with companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google also making their own products. In an effort to stay ahead of their competition, Amazon has updated their Echo line-up. The new models have better sound quality and improved voice recognition among other features.

 

The New Echo

2nd Generation Echo

The new Echo keeps the same cylindrical shape of the original but is slightly shorter. The updated Echo comes enrobed in fabric, but if you don’t like that, you can swap out the outer shell for different designs such as plastic or wood. The new Echo also received an overhaul under the hood. Amazon improved the far field microphones inside so it will hear your voice from across the room better. The updated speaker also supports Dolby audio and has a dedicated bass driver which means that overall, it should have better sound quality than its predecessor. The new Echo can be pre-ordered now and is expected to ship the October 31st.

 

Echo Plus

Echo Plus Preview

The Echo Plus looks like the current Echo, but it boasts better sound quality and it has a built-in smart home hub. This means that you don’t have to install an app or skill for the Echo Plus to work with smart home devices. Instead, the Plus will automatically detect smart home devices and work with them right out of the box. The Plus even comes with a Philips Hue White Light Bulb. The Plus is expected to ship the end of October but can be pre-ordered now.

 

Echo Spot

Amazon Echo Spot Preview

The Echo Spot is a departure from other Echo products. It eschews the cylindrical shape of its Echo brethren and instead sports a spherical design. It features a camera and a 2.5″ circular face. The Spot, like other Echo products, can control smart home devices, play music and respond to voice commands. In addition, you can use the Spot to make video calls, display lyrics to songs that are currently playing, and display feeds from security cameras. The spot is expected to arrive on store shelves December 19th, but can be pre-ordered now.

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