Amazon is currently holding its annual device event with the online retailer announcing a swathe of new Alexa-powered products. The firm usually hosts a people-packed event at its headquarters in Seattle but, with the ongoing health crisis, things were a little different this year.
Instead of a live keynote things have been shown off via a live stream but despite the lack of cheers from an audience there’s still plenty to be excited about. Amazon’s Echo speakers remain some of the most popular on the planet and now there’s some new additions to the ever-growing range including a totally new, and very round, Echo.
This updated device gets a totally refreshed look with a ball-shaped fabric finish design making it appear more curvaceous in your home. And it’s not just the look that’s changed as Amazon also says it has improved the sound which means users get Echo Plus-style audio in the standard, and much cheaper, entry-level speaker.
Thanks to its 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby processing Amazon is boasting that it delivers stereo sound with clear highs, dynamic-mids, and deep bass.
As with Echo Studio, the new Echo automatically senses the acoustics of your space and fine-tunes audio playback.
Another thing you may have noticed is that the famous glowing blue ring is now on the base of the device. This is to improve the visibility of the bright LED light as it will now reflect off of surfaces.
It will cost £89.99 and will be available in four colours including Charcoal, Chalk and Steel Blue.
It’s not just the Echo that’s been upgraded with the popular Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock also getting this circular design update.
The 2020 Echo Dot costs £49.99 and the Dot with Clock gets a £59.99 price tag. Both include a powerful 1.6-inch, front-firing speaker which should provide just enough power for smaller rooms in your home.
If you want an Echo for your child’s bedroom then Amazon has revealed a new Echo Dot Kids Edition which now comes in some fun new designs including a Panda and Tiger.
These speakers can also recognise when a child has asked it a question and immediately switch to a Kids Mode which blocks any inappropriate content.
Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a 1-year Amazon Kids+ subscription, giving families access to thousands of hours of kid-friendly Audible books, interactive games, and educational skills. Echo Dot Kids Edition also comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee.
Finally, there’s the new Echo Show 10 which features a screen which follows you around the room as you chat with friends and family. As Echo Show 10 moves, so does its dual, front-firing tweeters and powerful woofer, providing premium, directional sound that automatically adapts to your space. It can also keep an eye on your home via Alexa Guard with the Echo Show 10 periodically panning the room. It will then send you a Smart Alert if it detects someone in its field of view.
Another nice addition to all new Echo devices is that they should be more environmentally friendly.
Amazon says it’s adding a Low Power Mode feature to all new wall-powered Echo and Fire TV devices that reduces their lifetime energy consumption by using less power during periods of inactivity.
The firm also says its building new wind and solar farms to produce clean energy equivalent to the electricity used by every customer’s Echo device.