Amazon Launches New Echo Home Speakers, Hardware

Amazon Launches New Echo Home Speakers, Hardware

Since launching the Amazon Echo in the United Kingdom a year ago, the company and Alexa have become market leaders in the smart home and virtual assistant market, with Alexa also now enabled on Amazon's Fire TV streaming products, tablets and mobile Music app.

This could be a big plus (pardon the pun) for anyone who, like the Stuff team, uses several smart home services from different manufacturers. The Echo Plus has a new silver finish alongside black and grey. This version of Amazon's smart speaker will cost $149.99, and includes a Philips smart light bulb. I just don't imagine how many Echo Show customers are frustrated right now.

For many consumers, having a smart assistant like Alexa lose the ability to display YouTube videos, will likely be a missed feature. In case the built-in speaker is not enough for some users, a 3.5mm line-out port with cable is available, as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

The Echo Connect is a black rectangular box for voice calling.

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Amazon's suite of Echo devices, including the Echo and Echo Dot, has outsold the voice-controlled Google Home, according to research firm eMarketer.

The new Echo Plus is being pitched as a more powerful version of the Echo and automatically looks for and connects with other smart home devices. It will sell for $34.99 and be available in December. The company did provide examples of the kind of commands users will be able to use, including stuff like, "Alexa, go to Bravo" or "Alexa, watch ESPN". At $20, the Echo Buttons aren't necessarily as much of a major release, but the game show-like add-ons can be used to play trivia games and other apps with an Echo via Alexa.

The new Fire TV costs just $70 and brings in 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos support.

The new Fire TV's predecessor earned an "excellent" rating in PCMag's review. The device comes with simpler smart home setup, and like the new Echo, improved sound quality and new far-field technology to understand words from a distance.