Amazon’s new Echo is smaller and costs $99

Amazon introduced a second-generation version of the Echo today with a dedicated bass tweeter and a modified, shorter design. The new device looks to be about half the size of the original Echo, is cloth-covered, and goes on sale today for $99. The company is also selling a three-pack for the first time, offering multi-room audio for $250. To qualify, you’ll just need to add three Echos to your cart and Amazon will deduct $50 off the total.

Multi-room audio has been a major request of Echo users nearly since its inception. The introduction of audio that can stream to multiple devices simultaneously means that Echo now poses a direct competitive threat to Sonos. It will also offer a low-cost alternative to Apple’s forthcoming HomePod.

Photo by Lauren Goode / The Verge

In addition to multi-room audio, the Echo can now make free calls to the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the first time. The feature is similar to one Google has made available inside Gmail and Hangouts for years. To help push the idea of Alexa as a phone replacement, Amazon also introduced a separate $35 device called Connect; it will go on sale today as well. Among other things, it can make 911 calls, Amazon devices chief Dave Limp said onstage today.

Amazon announced its first Echo speaker unexpectedly and rather cryptically in fall 2014. (The device just appeared on the Amazon.com website, with a short demo video and little explanation for what it was.) In a short period of time, Alexa became the darling of voice-controlled virtual assistants, offering a relatively effortless experience compared to Apple and Google’s own voice assistances.

Since then, Amazon has rolled out other versions of the Echo: the Echo Dot, the Echo Show, and the Amazon Tap (which doesn’t officially have the “Echo” monitor but still has Alexa built in). Leading to today’s event, however, the original Echo speaker was listed as “out of stock” on Amazon.com, and only available to purchase at brick-and-mortar stores or Whole Foods locations.

Update September 27th 3:28PM ET: This article has been updated to clarify the pricing for a three-pack of Echo devices after confirmation from Amazon.

Comments

So, a significant upgrade in the looks at the very least.

"upgrade" is subjective. I liked the first design. A significant change for sure.

Although is there any difference in the speaker quality, or mics quality?

It must sound better. It has a bass tweeter.

For those…Low end highs?

"bass tweeter"

‘Bass Tweeter’ haha what a total oxymoron, unless Amazon have invented the first tweeter sized woofer.

Multi-room audio was rolled out on existing Echo devices a few weeks ago.

Still not working with spotify though

Other than turning on my entertainment system with the Logitech Hub, I find myself barely using the Echo these days.

The company is also selling a three pack for the first time, offering multi-room audio for the price of $50 per device.

50% off if you buy 3? That’s a steal if true. Are you sure it’s not just $50 off the total of a purchase of 3 for a total of $250?

Yea, that is a great deal if correct.

Yeah, I’ll be buying three on principle, if it’s true.

Looks like it’s just 50 off the total 3, not 50 each. 250 end price.

Source? It’s not yet on Amazon.com as of 11:30am PT.

It just makes more sense though.

Yeah, otherwise buying just two would be $50 more than buying three…

https://www.fastcompany.com/40473945/amazon-announces-a-new-99-echo-speaker-with-better-sound

>The device, which comes in six different colors, is available today for $99; if you buy three of the devices for multi-room audio, you get a $50 discount.

Makes much more sense.

"Buy 3 Echo (2nd Generation) devices, save $50
Place three Echo devices in your cart and receive $50 off your order with code ECHO3PACK."

from Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0752151W6/ref=twister_B07456BG8N?_encoding=UTF8&th=1

Uh, that’s it?

Just curious. What would be a valid upgrade to this?

the Amazon Tap, which doesn’t officially have the "Echo" monitor but still has Alexa built in.

Where you wrote "monitor", did you mean to write "moniker"?

I think it was meaning how the Tap does not listen (monitor) for a trigger and you have to push a button to activate Alexa.

Heh… it looks like the Homepod pooped out a baby. I might be down for a 3-pack… did I mis-read that it would be $150 for a 3 pack?

Who poops out a baby?

The busty working class Yorkshire* lass at the start of a sketch in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. *The Third World

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