Amazon broadened its Echo device lineup. It launched a torrent of new products keeping its pace with modern aesthetics.
The first device to be launched was the new Echo Dot. It is a fabric-covered speaker with a less metallic look and is supposed to be 70 percent louder than the first generation of Amazon’s smallest smart speaker. The device is available in three colors (white, light grey, and charcoal), and will cost $49.99, the same price Amazon charged for the original Echo Dot. Consumers will be able to order the device starting from the launch day, and Amazon will begin shipping it next month.
The company also launched the Echo Sub features a mesh cloth that comes in several colors and a 6-inch, 100W down-firing speaker that can be configured in stereo. Two paired Echo Sub speakers, and an Echo can act as a single 2.1 system, with distinct left and right audio channels. That’s better than current-gen Echo speakers, which support multiroom audio (i.e., the ability to group speakers together by room) but not proper stereo, which is listed for a price of £75 (about $99 / AU$135).
Another reveal of the show was that the Echo Show has been redesigned with a smaller but larger display. There’s now Skype support for voice calls, along with Silk and Firefox browsers, and integration with Amazon Meal Kits. It’s available next month for the price of, $230.
Another addition to its lineup is the new audio adapter that can bring voice control and streaming music to any existing stereo system. Dubbed Echo Input, the adapter comes with four microphones on-board but lacks any speaker output. It will sell for $34.99 and will be available at some point later this year.
Today, Amazon upped its sound game, introducing several complements to its Echo speakers. New devices in this area include a $130 subwoofer; “Echo Link,” a $200 amplifier; and “Echo Link Amp,” a $300 amplifier. Amazon also has a new API SDK for multi-room speaker capability.
And the most highlighted portion of the presentation was the $60 Alexa-enabled microwave that drew much of attention. There’s a built-in Ask Alexa button; press it and say and it works pleasantly on voice control. It is set to launch on Nov. 14.
Amazon Smart Plug is another device to be launched at the event. A $25 Smart Plug is expected to ship next month. It lets devices to be switched off and on with voice command. Presumably, one can plug their microwave into Amazon’s new Smart Plug. It’s the debuting gadget to ship with Simple Wi-Fi Setup, which quickly assists new devices onto nearby Wi-Fi networks.
Amazon closed out the event with a discussion of its auto ambitions. Alexa is now built into the center console displays of several automakers such as BMW, Toyota and most recently Audi. It has been nearly a year since Amazon unveiled a major refresh of its Echo lineup, which included the introduction of the Echo lineup devices and the next-generation Echo speaker.