In a surprise event held in Seattle, Washington today, Amazon unveiled its next-gen echo devices, actually, plenty of them. Let’s take a look at what’s new and what’s changed from last year’s echo devices.
The entry-level Echo Dot has received a physical overhaul and now comes with a fabric finish instead of the plasticky hockey-puck look that the previous gen dot carried. According to Amazon, the Echo Dot was their best-selling speaker and by bringing in an updated version with better hardware and improved sound signature, they’re trying to push more and more consumers to make the move to smart speakers while still being light on the wallet. Multiple colors are available, and the best part, it still retains the same $49.99 price tag. Pre-orders start today and shipping will commence next month. The Echo Dot will start shipping in India on October 11 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon for Rs. 4,499.
The Echo Input is basically the Echo Dot minus the speaker. It’s a tiny little device that has no built-in speaker and needs to be connected to a supported speaker in order to function. The Echo Input will be made available in the US, UK and Germany initially at a price of $34.99. The Echo Input will be launching in India early next year.
A nice addition to the Echo family if you like some extra loud music playing across synced Echo devices at the same time, resulting in a stereo sound. As the name suggests, it’s basically a sub-woofer, and if you own multiple Echo devices, you can use them in tandem for a surround sound effect. Pretty neat. There’s the same fabric layer as on the Echo Dot giving it a nice visual appeal. Again, pre-orders start today for a price of $129.99. In India, the Echo Sub is priced at Rs. 12,999 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.
So there’s a speaker, a sub-woofer, how can there not be an amplifier? The Echo Link and Echo Link Amp are not standalone devices and will only work along with other Echo devices. What it does is connect and link all your Echo devices and also act as an amplifier to give you that extra thump! There are multiple input and output options like Ethernet, coax, optical etc. Echo Link will go on sale later this year for a price of $199.99 while the Amp version will cost you $100 more at $299.99 and will be available to purchase early next year.
The Echo Plus receives a cosmetic and features overhaul too. Fabric seems to be the theme going on here. Looks cleaner, has a more powerful bass and clearer sound, and there’s a new temperature sensor built-in which Amazon claims makes this a perfect “smart home hub”. The Plus also gets what Amazon is calling “Local voice control” which essentially means that certain frequently used phrases like ones used to turn on or off the lights are stored offline in the memory so you don’t really need an active internet connection anymore to perform mundane tasks like these. Pre-orders begin today for $149.99, ships next month. The Echo Plus will also be available in India starting October 11 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon for a price of Rs. 14,999.
The Echo Show is basically an Echo with a touch screen with which you can interact, and it now has a completely redesigned look. There’s an integrated bass radiator built in along with real-time Dolby processing. Fabric to the back again, and a 10-inch display to the front along with an 8 mic array. Support for Skype and Firefox are included as well. Pre-orders begin today and the echo show will start shipping next month. Priced at $299.99. It will come to India early next year.
Do note that among all these devices, only Echo Dot, Echo Plus and Echo Sub will be launched in India at this point in time. These were all the new Echo line of devices Amazon had in store for us this year. There are a ton of other devices spread across various categories, so watch out for our coverage on it if you wish to know more about them.
Disclosure: Amazon sponsored the editor’s flights and hotel for the event in Seattle.