Amazon Launches $50 Echo Dot With ESP Smart Voice Recognition, White Echo Speaker

echo white
Amazon first launched its Echo speaker in November 2014, and it has quickly become a dominant force in the personal digital assistant market. Roughly a year ago, Amazon opened up the Alexa engine that powers the Echo to developers. The resulting Alexa Skills allow developers to “plug-in” their services to the speaker using voice commands. Now, over 3,000 Alexa Skills are available for customers to use.

Today, Amazon is making a minor update to its original Echo speaker. Since its debut, the Echo has only been available in a black finish. However, black might not fit the design aesthetic for every room in your hose, so Amazon is making the speaker available in a new white finish as well. It’s priced the same as its black sibling, and will be available on September 28th.

Perhaps the more interesting news is on a product that we’ve already talked about thanks to Amazon’s recent Twitter goof. Yesterday, Amazon’s Twitter page proudly announced an all-new Echo Dot with a price tag of $49.99 — $40 less than the first generation model. Today, the product is official.

echo dot 3

With the cheaper price tag, Amazon is hoping that you install an Echo Dot in every room of your house, and it’s enticing you to do so with discounted pricing. If you purchase five Echo Dots, you receive one free -- if you purchase ten, you get two free. The design is sleeker, more compact, and is available in white or black.

"With the same high-quality array of seven microphones found in Echo, the all-new Echo Dot can hear you from across the room, even when it's noisy or music is playing," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "And, at under $50, it is easier than ever to add Echo and Alexa to any or every room in your home."

echo dot 1

With the potential to have multiple Echo speakers dotting your household, Amazon is also taking steps to ensure that you don’t have five different speakers answering you if they all pick up your voice. That’s why the Echo Dot includes Echo Spatial Perception (ESP), which “intelligently calculates the clarity of the customer's voice” and determines which Echo Dot will respond. Better yet, the more you use ESP, the better it gets at choosing which Echo Dot responds to your voice inquiries. ESP will also be available via a software update for existing Echo devices.

The second generation Echo Dot is available now for pre-order and will ship on October 20th.