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Amazon’s new Echo speakers get a spherical makeover

Amazon’s new Echo speakers get a spherical makeover


Amazon just unleashed new versions of its most popular Echo devices, including the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Kids Edition, and they’ve got a bold new spherical look.

Leading the way is the new $100 Echo, which now looks more like a large grapefruit (it’s 5.7 inches across) than a silo, with Alexa’s telltale light ring sitting at the base, its “action,” volume, and mic mute buttons sitting at the very top, and a 3.5mm audio jack (yes, it still has one) in back.

Available now for pre-order in three colors (chalk, steel blue, and charcoal), the Echo boasts a three-inch neodymium woofer and dual 0.8-inch tweeters, along with Dolby stereo sound (versus mono sound for the previous Echo). The new Echo also shares the Echo Studio’s handy ability to sense the acoustics of the room and then adjust its audio accordingly.

Powered by Amazon’s new AZ1 Neural Edge processor, which helps to boost speech recognition responsiveness, the revamped Echo now comes with a built-in Zigbee radio (same as the pricier Echo Plus) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support, and it also packs in the ability to act as a bridge for Amazon’s upcoming Sidewalk neighborhood network, allowing other Sidewalk-enabled devices to join the low-power, long-range network.

Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock

Also available for pre-order today is the new Echo Dot ($50) and Echo Dot with Clock ($60), which boasts the same spherical design as the Echo, albeit smaller (measuring 3.5 inches high and 3.9 inches wide).

new amazon echo dot 2 Amazon

The revamped Echo Dot has a new, speherical design, while the Echo Dot with Clock has an LED display that peeks out from the fabric covering.

As with the Echo, the Echo Dot’s Action, volume, and mic mute buttons are at the top, and a 3.5mm audio jack sits in the back. The Echo Dot with Clock, meanwhile, has essentially the same LED display as the original, peeking out from its fabric covering.

Amazon is promising “crisp vocals” and “balanced bass” out of the Dot’s 1.6-inch, front-firing driver (hearing is believing, of course). The Echo Dot is also taking the Echo Dot with Clock’s “tap-to-snooze” feature, which lets you tap the top of the speaker to snooze alarms. (The larger Echo is getting the tap-to-snooze feature, too.)

Echo Dot Kids Edition

Finally, the new—and yes, also spherical—Echo Dot Kids Edition ($60) comes with new panda and tiger prints, and with a one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription (the new version of Amazon’s older, kid-centric FreeTime service).



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