Amazon’s new, smaller Echo prices much less, however guarantees higher sound and a wide range of design choices.

Ry Crist/Proinertech

Amazon on Wednesday introduced a ton of latest audio system to its already-impressive lineup, together with the brand new $100/£90 Echo. Obtainable for preorder now and delivery in October, the brand new Echo is shorter and bulkier than the unique $180 mannequin (however nonetheless taller than the mini Echo Dot). 

This is an outline of its upgrades and options, based on Amazon:

Improved voice recognitionSix shells obtainable in material and different materialsDedicated woofer and tweeterSecond-gen far-field combine arrayDolby soundFree calling to telephone numbers within the US and CanadaAmazon’s huge lineup

These adjustments are vital for just a few key causes. First, Amazon already provides its audio system in a wide range of costs and types. Including much more gadgets provides potential sensible speaker clients far more shopping for choices than both Google or Apple supply. 

That is Amazon’s current lineup:

Along with the brand new Echo, which might be offered at a $50 low cost in the event you purchase a three-pack, Amazon additionally debuted the $35 Echo Join, the $20 Echo Buttons (two-pack), the $150 Echo Plus and the $130 Echo Spot at Wednesday’s press occasion. Google solely sells the $130 Google Residence and Apple’s first sensible speaker, the $349 HomePod, does not hit shops till December.

Improved sound high quality: Be careful, Sonos, HomePod

Second, Amazon put a whole lot of emphasis on the brand new Echo’s improved sound high quality in the course of the press occasion. Simply take a look at the options record above — a devoted woofer and tweeter, Dolby sound, and so forth. Mainly, Sonos and HomePod must be involved. If the brand new Echo’s sound high quality comes near rivaling both of those gadgets, then, effectively, why would you spend $200 on one Sonos mini residence speaker or a whopping $349 on one Apple HomePod speaker when you’ll be able to have an Amazon Echo for a lot much less? 

I suppose in the event you particularly need Siri voice management in a devoted speaker, you’d nonetheless think about shopping for a HomePod, however what number of people will really spend that further $250? 

Design, design, design

Lastly, Amazon is giving its new Echo interchangeable shells. Meaning you can customise your Echo with as much as six completely different shells made of material, wooden and different supplies. 

Google already does this with the Google Residence. It sells a wide range of bases made of cloth or metallic in a wide range of completely different colours. Including this stage of personalization to the brand new Echo provides anybody craving Google-level customization extra selections in the event that they’d reasonably purchase an Alexa gadget. 

The takeaway

Amazon is flooding the sensible speaker market with new gadgets for practically each potential use case in your house. And its flagship gadget now prices simply $100 and guarantees to do rather more than earlier than. With standalone audio system persevering with to develop in recognition, Google and Apple’s lead over Amazon within the smartphone market in all probability will not be sufficient to save lots of them within the sensible residence. 

So, what’s subsequent? There are rumors of Google Residence Mini and Max audio system and with a Google occasion scheduled for Oct. four, we would simply see a bunch of latest sensible gadgets. Apple is one other story; with the HomePod not scheduled for launch till December, there’s little hope of Apple catching up with Amazon within the quick time period. 

This can be a creating story. 

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