Pull out your credit cards, folks. Every year, at around this time, Amazon gives us a peek at the completely new set of hardware that will keep us engrossed and amazed for the next few months. This year was no different. The company has announced a bunch of new Alexa capable hardware, which includes updates and additions to the Echo line-up of audio products. The good news is, quite a few of these Alexa virtual assistant enabled smart speakers will be heading to India before the end of this year and are already up for preorder on Amazon.in as well.
The Echo Dot with Clock will be the first rollout in India. It is priced at Rs 5,499 and will start shipping on October 16 if you pre-order this now. This is the third generation of the smallest Echo speaker and now integrates an LED display which becomes the clock, the weather display or even the alarm clock. This makes it even more relevant for the bedside table or the kitchen counter, for instance. Apart from the addition of the new integrated display which sits behind the fabric outer cover, the design remains largely the same as the second-generation Echo Dot—that in itself was a big design update compared with the first generation. At present, Amazon has only listed the white colour option, though the predecessor was also available in grey and black colours. The Alexa commands, the routines as well as skills and the smart home functionality are retained.
The next product in line is the All new Echo speaker, which is also in its third generation now. The big change is that the sound is now tuned by Dolby. This makes it the second speaker after the second generation Echo Plus to get the Dolby tuned audio. This has a 3-inch woofer and a 0.8-inch tweeter delivering the sound. That is an upgrade over the previous generation which has a 2.5-inch woofer and a 0.6-inch tweeter, at least as far as the audio hardware size and potential capabilities are concerned Apart from the black, grey and white colours, there is now a blue option as well—and it looks quite cool. This generation also looks a lot like the Echo Plus, which is surely a good thing. The new Echo is priced at Rs 9,999 and will ship from October 16.
The product that has me the all tangled up in excitement is the Echo Studio. The company says that this is a Hi-Fi audio system and there are five speakers inside which have been placed in such a way that multi-directional sound can be achieved with minimal effort. Let us start counting—there is a 2-inch upward firing mid-range speaker, there is a 2-inch right firing speaker, a 2-inch left firing speaker, a 1-inch forward firing tweeter and a 5.25-inch downward firing woofer. The circular design of the Echo Studio allows for this rather thoughtful implementation of the audio hardware. The Echo Studio is also Dolby Atmos capable. There is the built-in smart hub capability which allows you to control smart devices at home. This sort of potential audio brilliance will cost you Rs 22,990 and you will have to wait till November 7, because that is when the Amazon Echo Studio ships.