Gadgets

Amazon Announces new Echo and Alexa Devices

A lot of new Amazon Echo devices

Amazon Echo Devicesamazon

Amazon introduced a wide-array of new Echo devices this week, along with new Echo companion devices, and Amazon smart home devices. There’s something for everyone this year, from music and podcasts lovers to cooks in the kitchen.

There’s a new Echo Dot on the market, Amazon’s most popular Alexa device got a welcomed upgrade during Amazon’s surprise press event this week. The new device comes with a new speaker and a new fabric design, but still only costs $49. The next-generation Echo Dot (amazon.com/echodot) will come in Charcoal, Heather Gray, and Sandstone and is designed to play music louder with richer sound despite its compact design.

The new Echo Plus was also unveiled, the upgraded system includes a built-in Zigbee hub and an upgraded speaker with a new design. The upgraded device will come in the same $149 price-point of the original. With its built-in Zigbee smart home hub, the all-new Echo Plus (amazon.com/echoplus) makes setting up compatible smart home devices easy. Just say, “Alexa, discover my devices,” and Echo Plus will automatically discover and setup compatible lights, locks, sensors, plugs, switches, and more without the need for additional hubs or apps. Echo Plus now includes an embedded temperature sensor, so you can set temperature-based routines using other smart home devices. For example, when the living room reaches 80 degrees, Alexa can send a notification to your phone and turn on a connected fan. The Echo Plus has a larger 3” neodymium woofer and increased back volume so that the bass feels stronger and the mids and highs are clearer. It also features an all-new fabric design and is available in Charcoal, Heather Gray, and Sandstone.

Not to be left out, the Echo Show also got an upgraded speaker, a new 10-inch HD display, and a built-in smart home hub. The new device will also offer the glanceable features as the original and will cost $229.

As for the new Echo companion devices, this year Amazon had some pretty great ones to introduce. The Echo Wall Clock will connect to your Echo device to visually enhance timers, alarms and reminders for just $29. The Echo Wall Clock (amazon.com/echowallclock) helps keep you and your family organized at home. Use your voice to start a timer with your compatible Echo device and easily see how much time is remaining on your clock. The 60 LED ring can display multiple timers for cooking, countdown to a family event, and show visual animations for alarms and reminders to keep you on schedule. The 10-inch battery powered clock connects to your Echo via Bluetooth, automatically syncs to the correct time, and is a perfect companion for the kitchen, family room, home office, or any room in your home with a compatible Echo device.

The Echo Input will add Alexa to your existing speaker for $34. Music and podcast lovers should love the new Echo Sub, which adds deep, rich bass to music playback on Echo devices for $129. The Echo Link will connect to your home stereo system to stream high-fidelity music for $199, while the Echo Link Amp is a 60W, 2-channel built-in amplifier to stream high-fidelity music to active or passive speakers for $299.

The Echo Input (amazon.com/echoinput) lets you add Alexa to your existing speaker through a 3.5mm audio cable or Bluetooth, and features a four-microphone array so you can talk to Alexa from across the room. Echo Input is just 12.5mm tall, so it blends easily into every room. Unlike Echo Dot which has a built-in speaker, all audio is played through the connected speaker rather than through Echo Input itself. When connected to Echo Input, your speaker can be added to a new or existing multi-room music group. Amazon stated that the Echo Input will be available in black and white.

The Echo Sub (amazon.com/echosub) is the first wireless Echo subwoofer for those who want to pump up the bass when listening to music on their existing or new Echo devices. You can connect Echo Sub to compatible Echo devices to create a 1.1 or 2.1 pairing for stereo sound. Plus, with the equalizer feature you can adjust the bass, mid-range, and treble of the pairing simply by using your voice. Just say, “Alexa, turn up the bass.”

The Echo Link (amazon.com/echolink) and Echo Link Amp (amazon.com/echolinkamp) are for music lovers who want to use Alexa to stream music to their existing audio equipment. Echo Link is an audio component that connects to your high-fidelity stereo system to stream music services. Echo Link includes analog, optical, coax, headphone 3.5mm, and subwoofer line-outs; and analog, optical, and coax line-ins. It has a volume knob for granular control, an Ethernet port for reliable connectivity, and support for multi-room music through Alexa. Echo Link Amp is Echo Link with a built-in 60W, 2-channel amplifier. Additionally it has left-right speaker binding post outputs to support wiring directly to passive and non-powered speakers.

Both Echo Link and Echo Link Amp can be controlled through the Alexa app or another Echo device in your home. Simply say, “Alexa, turn up the music in the living room,” to listen to tunes through your existing stereo system.

There’s also an AmazonBasics Microwave, a clever countertop microwave that connects to your Echo device for $59.99 and Amazon now has its own Smart Plug. Now you can control compatible lights, fans, coffee makers, and more for $24. The AmazonBasics Microwave (amazon.com/amazonbasicsmicrowave) is a compact countertop microwave that connects to your Echo device and makes cooking easier by integrating the simplicity and convenience of voice. If you want to keep things super simple, you can grab the Amazon Smart Plug (amazon.com/amazonsmartplug) to use your voice to control your lights, fans, coffee maker, and more. The Amazon Smart Plug is the first Wi-Fi smart plug to use Wi-Fi simple setup, making it easy to start – and expand – your smart home with connected devices. All you need is a compatible Alexa-enabled device like Echo, Fire TV, Fire tablet, Sonos One, or even just the Alexa app on your phone to get started. From there, easily set a routine that turns your lights on at 6:00am and your lights off at 10:00pm; and with multiple Amazon Smart Plugs, you can control multiple outlets.

“We want you to have access to Alexa everywhere—in your kitchen, in your living room, in your office, and now in your car or truck,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “Today, we’re excited to expand the number of ways that customers can add Alexa to their homes and their vehicles, so they can use Alexa to make their lives more convenient and easy—whether it’s asking for the traffic on your drive home, checking your email in the morning, or simply saying ‘Alexa, good night’ to turn off your lights and lock your door.”

Echo Auto is currently running a special promotion and is invitation only at (amazon.com/echoauto) the device offers an easy and affordable way to add the power of Alexa to your car or truck. With an eight-microphone array designed for in-car acoustics and speech recognition technology, Echo Auto lets Alexa hear you over music, A/C, and road noise. The device is powered by your car’s 12V power outlet or USB port, and connects to your stereo system through a 3.5 mm audio jack or Bluetooth connection. It connects to Alexa through the Alexa app on your smartphone and uses your existing phone plan to access a range of features such as music, navigation, calling, and more.

With Echo Auto in your car or truck, just ask Alexa to hear your morning news, listen to an Audible book on your commute, get the latest traffic updates, and more. You can also set a routine that turns on your lights when you pull into the driveway, set reminders to pick up your dry cleaning, add errands to your to-do list and check them off when they’re complete, build your shopping list or manage your calendar—all while your eyes stay on the road.