What you need to know
- Amazon announced several new Echo speakers and devices at its September launch event.
- An update to the Echo Studio will bring spacial audio to the speaker. It is also available in a new colorway.
- The new Echo Dot features a temperature sensor to help control other smart home devices.
- New and 4th-gen Echo speakers are gaining eero capabilities to act as Wi-Fi extenders.
Amazon's big launch event is here, and the company is showing off its latest hardware devices to enhance the smart home experience. Among these is new Echo speakers, which come with improved sound and even some cool Wi-Fi enhancements.
The first isn't a new product but an update to an existing one. Users with the Echo Studio will be able to take advantage of the spatial audio, the latest trend in audio-enhancing technology. This custom-built audio processing is built on Amazon's 3D audio technology.
The device is also now available in a new Glacier White color option.
The next-generation Echo Dot is also built with better audio in mind. The device features a custom full-range driver, which Amazon says will enable better bass and clearer vocals.
But in addition to audio, Amazon has outfitted its Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock with the AZ2 Neural Edge processor and sensors to help control your smart home. For example, the temperature sensor can turn on a fan if it senses your home is too warm. The new processor also powers ultrasound motion detection and enables faster on-device Alexa processing.
The new Echo Dot also has new gestures thanks to the built-in accelerometer. This allows users to control playback just by tapping on the speaker.
For the Echo Dot with Clock, Amazon includes a high-density dot display that gives users more information beyond the time. This includes song information, weather, calendar events, and more.
Echo Dot for Kids also gets new Owl and Dragon designs as well as additional voices to coincide with the latest designs.
The Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock retail for $50 and $60, respectively, while the new Echo Dot Kids can also be had for $60. Preorders are already open, and devices ship in October.
The best part is the speakers will have eero built in, meaning they'll be able to connect to your eero mesh system to act as Wi-Fi extenders in a similar way to Google's Nest Wifi, which combines a smart speaker with a Wi-Fi router. This capability will be available on the new Echo Dots and come to the 4th Gen Echo as an update on October 20. The Echo Dot (4th Gen) will receive the update in the coming months.
Lastly, Amazon launched the new Echo Auto, which comes in a smaller form factor and stronger adhesive, so you have more flexibility to place it where it's more convenient in your car.
The new Echo Auto has five built-in microphones so it can easily hear you when you bark Alexa commands at it. It will be available for $55.
Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
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