Amazon Unveils Upgraded Echo Range

Amazon Unveils Upgraded Echo Range
Amazon's "all-new" Echo and Echo Plus offer better sound quality and Dolby signal processing.

(CCM) — Amazon has unleashed a tsunami of new Echo devices in an attempt to head off competition from the likes of Google and Apple. The new range of Echo speakers includes the "all-new" Echo and the Echo Plus, both powered by Amazon's Alexa intelligent assistant.

The "all-new" Echo is smaller than the original speaker and can be placed in different sleeves to suit different parts of the home. Inside it features a dedicated tweeter and a 2.5-inch down-firing woofer which now benefits from the device's Dolby processing capabilities.

The Echo Plus also features a built-in smart home hub, making it easy to connect the device to compatible smart home devices such as locks, plugs, and switches from manufacturers including Philips Hue, GE, and Kwikset. A new feature called "routines" allows users to issue a single voice command, such as "Alexa, good night," to turn off all lights, lock the front door, and turn off the TV, or "Alexa good morning," to activate kitchen lights, read the weather forecast, and turn on the coffee machine.

Amazon has also unveiled the Echo Spot, an Echo Dot-like device which features a 2.5-inch screen and built in camera for video calling and remote camera monitoring, and the Echo Connect, a gadget which turns other Echo devices into hands-free speaker-phones.

The "all-new" Echo is priced at $99, and the Echo Plus is priced at $149.99. Both are available for pre-order today, and will be available in October 2017. The Echo Spot, which will be released in December 2017, is priced at $130, while the Echo Connect will be priced at $34.99 when it is released later in the year.

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