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Amazon Echo devices are some of the retailer’s most popular products, among them the Echo Dot, which just got a major update. Amazon announced the all-new, 4th gen Echo Dot alongside a slew of new Echo products and Alexa-enabled devices this week, some available for pre-order and some “coming soon.” The Echo smart home speaker is among those that got a new design and enhanced features (others can only boast the latter).
The all-new Echo features a spherical, clean and compact design. It equips Alexa, features enhanced sound and you can conveniently connect it to other Echo devices to make announcements throughout your house. It also allows you to control your smart home with built-in Zigbee and sports a temperature sensor. And now includes Alexa Guard, which can alert you of any glass breaking, smoke- or carbon monoxide alarms while you’re away. While this Charcoal option offers a sleek design, it also comes in Glacier White and Twilight Blue. The Echo sports a three-inch woofer and two front speakers to help boost sound.
The Echo's smaller version, the Echo Dot, will give you virtually everything the larger flagship Echo gives you but in a smaller package and likewise sporting smaller components. Namely, that will mean your sound won't carry as far. The Echo Dot includes a single front speaker and no woofer, for example. It also doesn't include Dolby audio capabilities, so your sound quality will be slightly downgraded. Finally, the Echo Dot does not include Zigbee built-in and will work for your smart home via Amazon Alexa only. It also comes in Glacier White and Twilight Blue.
New Amazon Alexa-enabled devices
Other than the new Echo devices, Amazon also announced a slew of other products, and several are available for pre-order right now.
- The brand new Amazon eero Wi-Fi 6 router joins the ranks of Amazon's mesh Wi-Fi router family. The current generation of eero Mesh Wi-Fi system is the best one on the market, and now it'll be a contender for the best Wi-Fi 6 router on the market.
- The brand new Amazon Halo health and wellness band and membership is available by request, which you can click for on the product page. The band will keep a running tally of your body's stats via biometric feedback and, for the $4-a-month fee, keep track of your activities and other goings on to help you stay healthy.
- The above Echo devices have a more fun and children-forward edition: The Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids Edition.
- The All-New Fire TV Stick will allow you to control your TV and now sports the ability to stream sound via Dolby Atmos (for compatible programs).
Current generation Echo devices to consider
The third generation Echo Dot includes access to Alexa at a more affordable price than the Echo. It’s compact and great for checking the weather, adding reminders and making calls. Like the all-new model, you can access smart home controls for convenience. It also comes in a built-in clock option as well as a kids edition with parental controls.
If you anticipate heavily using the device for music, you may want to invest in the larger Amazon Echo. It features larger speakers for louder volume and is the one technology writer Whitson Gordon recommends to most people.