Amazon has bolstered its Alexa-powered smart home range with updates to its flagship Echo range and the introduction of several new devices.
Boasting Dolby Atmos support, the new flagship version of the Echo smart speaker costs £189.99 and pairs with Fire TV devices to create a “premium” viewing and listening experience.
With five built-in directional speakers, Amazon says “Echo Studio has been purposefully engineered to create premium sound with space, clarity, and depth. Its 5.25-inch woofer and 330W of peak power produces deep, rich bass by using the bass port at the bottom to maximise airflow and bass output from the woofer.”
Echo Studio has a 1-inch tweeter and three 2-inch midrange speakers plus 24-bit DAC and a power amplifier with 100 kHz of bandwidth for high-res, lossless music playback, available through the recently announced Amazon Music HD.
The device also includes Sony 360 Reality Audio which aims to bring listeners closer to their favourite artists and songs, and which is being supported by Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment.
One or two Echo Studio devices can be paired with select Fire TV devices for audio playback with multi-channel sound and support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Audio 5.1, and stereo audio.
Echo Studio includes a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, which can be used to control compatible smart home devices.
Retaining its £89.99 price tag, the Echo has been updated with a new fabric design which comes in Twilight Blue, Charcoal, Heather Grey, and Sandstone.
The new Echo includes the same audio architecture as Echo Plus, including a 3-inch woofer and increased back volume. Amazon says “the bass feels stronger, and the mids and highs are clearer.”
Costing £24.99, Echo Flex is a smart speaker which plugs directly into a standard electrical outlet, eliminating trailing cords.
The small speaker has been optimised for Alexa’s voice responses and also includes a built-in USB port so you can easily charge your phone or add an optional accessory, like a Smart Night Light or Motion Sensor.
Echo Dot with clock
This space-friendly Echo Dot gains a “simple, bright LED display” which can display the time, outdoor temperature or a timer and automatically adjusts the display based on the brightness of the room.
Echo Show 8
Amazon’s Smart screen, which can be used to watch Prime Video, access recipes from BBC Good Food and access Alexa, has also been updated with a larger 8” HD screen.
Amazon has entered the wireless earphone market with these £119.99 earbuds which allow you to access Alexa hands-free wherever you are.
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Launching the new range, Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice President, Amazon Devices International said: “We love hearing feedback from customers about how they use Alexa throughout their day—whether that’s listening to music, dropping in on a loved one, trying out a new recipe or playing a game with the family.
“We hope these new Echo devices will give customers even more ways to access Alexa—whether that’s through the best-sounding Echo yet—Echo Studio, the reimagined Echo and Echo Dot, new designs like Echo Show 8 and Echo Flex, or new experiences for Alexa on-the-go with Echo Buds.”
Amazon is also bringing its eero mesh range, which helps to eliminate WiFi blackspots around the home, to the UK from November.