In brief: Amazon's Echo smart speaker line-up has already taken the world by storm, but now the company wants to attract a wider audience by upgrading its cheapest speaker, the Echo Dot. The new Dot is receiving "70 percent louder" audio courtesy of a 1.6mm sound driver, and a more modern aesthetic, at the same $50 price point.
Amazon's popular Echo smart speaker line-up is getting an upgrade today, this time on the low end. At the company's Alexa event today, it unveiled an updated version of the small, cost-efficient Echo Dot device.
Whereas the previous Dot was all-plastic with harsh, 90-degree edges, the new Dot more closely resembles Google's Home Mini. Instead of hard edges, the new Dot's offers a softer, round design, with an all-fabric outside cover.
This new look will likely serve two purposes. In addition to the new Dot simply looking better -- a subjective statement, I'll admit -- it will probably also allow for sound to pass through the exterior more easily, though that's just speculation on my part.
Speaking of sound, Amazon says the new Dot will feature much better audio quality than its predecessor, with a 1.6mm driver paving the way for "70 percent louder" audio.
Amazon says the new Dot will feature much better audio quality than its predecessor...
As a former Dot user myself, the device's quiet audio was always one of my major complaints. It wasn't terrible by any means, but it never offered the room-filling sound levels its more expensive cousins were capable of putting out.
As such, if Amazon's claims are accurate, the upgraded Dot could be a game-changer for budget-conscious audiophiles.
Still, whether you're an audiophile or not, Amazon's Echo speakers certainly have a lot to offer. If you haven't hopped on board the Echo bandwagon yet, the new Dot might give you the push you need to do so - the miniature speaker will launch sometime in October, with the same $50 price tag of the original device.
Amazon says pre-orders open up today, but there doesn't appear to be a public store page for the new Dot just yet.