It's "finally" because it's been long since we have seen the original Echo released, and it needed a refresh to keep up with the competition in terms of audio and other technology. Inside it features a dedicated tweeter and a 2.5-inch down-firing woofer which now benefits from the device's Dolby processing capabilities. It's a similar shape to the first-gen - a cylinder with controls on the top - but it is now shorter and comes in a selection of finishes, including wood, metal, and fabric.
Moreover, the is smaller new Echo which is priced at $99. And if you'd like a set of Echoes to link together for whole-home sound, right now you can buy three for just $249.
It's the sort of change that imagines a future where customers have their home blanketed in Alexa-powered devices (some already do, of course.) But with the launches of the new Echo, the smart home-focused Echo Plus, the Echo Spot alarm clock, to complement the existing Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Echo Look, Amazon is making a big bid to be computing platform for the home as well as the control center for all the home's devices. However, the Fire TV is also compliant with Echo devices. Meaning, you can play the same song over a network of Echo devices. Amazon's tried to streamline things as much as possible and the idea is you can pair smart home devices simply via voice commands rather than messing with different connection protocols or applications.
If you order now, for a limited time, you will also receive a Philips Hue light bulb with your Echo Plus.
Coming to market just before the holidays and amid an Amazon-triggered smart-speaker boom that has tech giants Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) vying for share, Amazon's new Echo products speak volumes about the growing importance of this nascent product category.
Echo: This is the second generation of Amazon's original Echo speaker. Shipments will begin on October 31. United Kingdom users will still be able to purchase the Echo Dot or the Echo Show - unfortunately not the Echo Spot - for now.
The majority of HDR TVs support HDR 10, so Amazon has clearly gone for greater compatibility, but Dolby Vision can offer even brighter and colour-rich pictures if you're watching back Dolby Vision enhanced content. Both gadgets can display lyrics, play movies from Amazon Prime Video, make video calls, and check feeds from supported video cameras.
Forty percent more powerful than Fire TV Stick, the next generation of Amazon Fire TV works seamlessly with 4K Ultra HD or HDR compatible TVs giving you true-to-life picture quality and sound with vivid colors, 60 fps, HDR, and Dolby Atmos audio-all for just $69.99. If your home media center is in need of an upgrade, it's a gadget you definitely want to check out. Now the Alexa-wielding speaker comes in a smaller package, and cheaper than ever before.
The new Fire TV will start shipping on October 25. Convenience features like this make the smart home more useful, versatile and appealing. Ostensibly, the user experience still has some wrinkles to work out ahead of the December ship date.