Amazon’s line of Echo products is set to expand significantly over the next few months. At a surprise event in Seattle, Washington, Amazon announced a variety of new Alexa-enabled Echo products, including a revamped Echo Dot, a new Echo Plus, a dedicated subwoofer called the Echo Sub and other Alexa-enabled accessories.
Coming to Canada is The new third-generation Echo Dot, which follows the release of the previous version back in Fall 2016, features softer edges and a fabric cover that more closely resembles the 2nd-Gen Amazon Echo. In fact, the third iteration of the Dot looks very similar to Google’s Home Mini.
The Echo Dot features the same four-button controls as the current Echo Dot, along with a four-microphone array instead of the seven included with the original Echo Dot. Amazon says that the Dot also includes improved sound quality, which is excellent considering how poor music sounded playing through earlier versions of the device, along with a 70 percent louder speakers.
The Echo Dot is priced at $69 CAD and is set to be released on October 11th, 2018.
Amazon’s new 2nd-Generation Echo Plus features the same fabric design as last year’s 2nd-Generation Echo, along with more powerful bass and clearer sound, according to the retail giant. The design is a little less angular than the standard Echo, especially at the top and the bottom of the cylindrical device. The Echo Plus still features a built-in smart hub, along with a new integrated temperature sensor. This feature could come in handy if you happen to be using a smart home device like a fan. The new Echo Plus is priced at $199 CAD and will be released on October 11th.
Amazon also revealed a new Wi-Fi-enabled subwoofer called the Echo Sub. The 100w subwoofer aims to add an additional base to an Alexa-powered audio setup. The speaker can be paired with a single Echo device, such as the Echo Plus or 2nd-Gen Amazon Echo, as well as with two Echo speakers that have been linked together for stereo sound. Stereo pairing is another new feature coming to Amazon’s Echo line of smart products. Similar to Amazon’s other Echo products, the six-inch subwoofer is also wrapped in fabric. The Echo Sub is priced at $169 CAD and is set to be released on October 11th, 2018. The Echo Sub is also available in a bundle with a pair of two 2nd-Gen Echos.
Amazon’s Echo Show, which released last year in the U.S., is also set to make its way to Canada. Unlike other Echo devices, the Echo Show features a 10.1-inch display, similar to the alarm clock-like Echo Spot. This new version of the show features a fabric design and eight far-field microphones. The Echo Show is priced at $299 CAD and will release on October 11th, 2018.
During the event, Amazon showed off a new Smart Plug that allows users to control whatever device is plugged into it with basic voice commands. The Amazon Smart Plug is priced at $34.99 CAD and is set to release on October 11th.
Along with the Sub, Amazon also announced the new Echo Link Amp and Echo Link which does not appear to be coming to Canada soon. Both devices are stereo amplifiers that feature multiple auto in and out options. The link is designed to connect to an amplifier or receiver, with the Link Amp featuring a built-in 60 watt dual-channel amplifier that can connect an Echo device to your home theatre or stereo. The Echo Link is priced at $199 USD ($256 CAD), while the Link Amp costs $299 USD ($385 CAD). Both devices are launching in the U.S. next year, says Amazon.
Alexa will now respond directly to commands on a new $60 USD AmazonBasics-branded microwave oven. Now consumers can simply say “defrost peas” or “cook a baked potato” without having to figure out how long that will take.
Also new is the Alexa Guard, a home security product that can detect breaking glass as well as smoke or carbon dioxide and send an alert to your phone.
Amazon also showed off a tiny new device designed to turn any audio device with a 3.5mm headphone jack into an Alexa-enabled speaker. The Echo Input, which seems very similar to Google’s Chromecast Audio, includes far-field microphones and allows any speaker to operate like a standard Echo device, according to Amazon. The Echo Input is priced at $35 USD (approximately $45 CAD) and will launch later this year in the U.S. says Amazon.
The company also revealed the Echo Wall clock, a new Echo accessory that uses a ring of LEDS to show active timers you’ve set through the voice-activated assistant. Finally, Amazon also showed off Echo Auto, a tiny device designed to integrate Alexa into a vehicle. The device features Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It also utilizes your smartphone’s connection to access the internet. Amazon says the Echo Auto is set to be available on an invite-only basis for $24.99 but that it will eventually release in the U.S. at a $49.99 price point.