tech2 News StaffSep 26, 2019 08:33:17 IST
Amazon has held its hardware event today in Seattle and as expected the company has announced more additions and upgrades to its Echo smart speaker and smart display lineups along with other new smart home products. Amongst new devices, we see that Amazon has announced a new sound-focused high-end smart speaker called the Echo Studio. Apart from that, we saw a new Echo Dot, the third-gen Echo and a new Echo Show 8. Here's what new in these devices.
The new Amazon Echo Studio has a price tag of $199 (Rs 22,999 in India), making it a likely competitor to the Apple HomePod and Google Home Max but at a lower price. The main feature of the smart speaker is that it has 3D audio via Dolby Atmos, which is a first as far as smart speakers are concerned. It comes with three midrange speakers: left, right, and top along with a directional tweeter in the front and a 5.25-inch bass driver on the bottom with a bass port.
Amazon recently announced a loss-less tier of music for its streaming service and it would appear that the Studio was made keeping that in mind. It also has automatic Alexa calibration based on the room it is placed in. Amazon is looking to partner with Sony, Universal, and Warner for the purpose of getting more tracks that support 3D audio for the Echo Studio. You can also pair two Echo Studio devices together as well.
After last year we saw a refresh to the Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and Echo Show, today we see an upgrade to the regular Echo smart speaker which is selling for $99 (Rs 9,999 in India), same as before. In terms of upgrades, we see that this new upgraded Echo now has better sound quality thanks to Neodymium drivers.
Amazon says that the new Echo has a stronger bass which can be attributed to the 3-inch woofer inside the speaker. While the fabric-covered cylindrical design is same as the previous Echo speaker, it comes now in a new “twilight blue” colour. It is available for pre-order from today in the US.
New Echo Dot with Clock
This new Echo Dot is quite similar to the previous Echo Dot smart speaker, except for the fact that it now has an LED display that shows up from underneath the cloth speaker wrap. This display can show you a clock, timers, alarms, and the outside temperature. It has a 9-minute snooze for alarms with a tap on top and it is available for pre-order today from $59 (Rs 5,499 in India).
Amazon is announcing its entry into the truly wireless earbuds market with its new Echo Buds which have been made in partnership with Bose. These $129 earbuds make use of Bose's noise-reduction technology and have the ability to summon Alexa with the 'Hey, Alexa' command, just like Echo smart speakers.
Each earbud has two balanced armature drivers and features touch gestures such as single-tap to activate Bose noise reduction and double-tap to access your phone’s regular voice assistant. The Echo Buds are said to offer five hours of battery off a single charge, with up to 20 hours total including the case. They are also available for pre-order today.
The Amazon Echo Flex is a tiny speaker that can be plugged directly into a socket with the idea being that you can put an Echo device everywhere in your home easily. It has a USB port into the bottom so that you can charge your phone with it. Amazon has introduced a motion sensor and a night light accessories for the Echo Flex which cost $14.99 each while the Flex itself costs $24.99.
The Echo Glow is a lamp that you can tap to change the colour and it is quite similar to the Amazon Echo Buttons launched a couple of years back. The Alexa-powered Echo Glow can be used to display flickering campfire light for kids, create dance party lights and more. The Echo Glow will be available for preorder in the US today, priced at $29.99.
Amazon has decided to enter the smart glasses race with its new Echo Frames which are basically specs that support Alexa. Echo Frames are part of Amazon's "Day One editions" which are products not ready for mass production and are only invite-based. The Echo Frames are priced at $179.99, weigh 31 grams and you can get your normal prescription lenses with the device.
Alexa on Echo Frames communicates with the user using direction speakers so that people around you can't hear it. You can pair your Echo Frames with iOS and Android devices and you can use the Echo Frames to make phone calls, and play music. The company has not disclosed any selling date for the Echo Frames.
Echo Show 8
Amazon has unveiled a new Echo Show device called the Echo Show 8 which puts the device between the standard Echo Show and the smaller Echo Show 5. Priced at $129.99, the smart display has an 8-inch HD display and Amazon says that the speaker performance for the device is the same as the 10-inch standard Echo Show. It comes with a privacy shutter to manually cover the video chat camera on the device.
— Amazon News (@amazonnews) September 25, 2019
In what could be the most bizarre product of the morning, Amazon has decided to put Alexa in a smart ring called the Echo Loop. Like any other ring, the Echo Loop can be put on your finger and the company is saying that it is "the smallest speaker ever on an Echo device." It will pair with your smartphone and can be activated using a small button. There is haptic feedback to alert you to notifications or incoming calls on your phone. The Echo Loop is also only invite-based and is available for $129
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