Amazon is looking to compete with Apple on multiple fronts this holiday season. In addition to its new Fire TV set-top box and Echo Spot alarm clock, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant on Wednesday announced a refreshed version of its Echo smart speaker.
The second generation Echo speaker features an all-new compact design and a variety of shell colors to fit nearly any décor. The gadget boasts a new speaker architecture, a dedicated tweeter, a 2.5-inch downward-firing woofer and Dolby processing for improved sound.
Amazon’s new Echo also uses the company’s second generation far-field technology which features better wake word processing, enhanced noise cancellation and improved beamforming technology.
With Alexa, you can now use your Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show to place free outbound calls to phone numbers within the US, Canada and Mexico.
Amazon unveiled its original Echo speaker in late 2014. Many assumed the device would go down in history as another hardware failure alongside the likes of the Fire Phone but surprisingly enough, the Echo defied all odds and – along with Alexa – became a smash hit for Amazon.
The second generation Amazon Echo retails for $99.99 and is available to pre-order from today. Optionally, you can also score a three-pack of Echo speakers for multi-room audio for just $250 (simply add them all to your cart and Amazon will automatically deduct $50). Look for the device to ship next month.