Amazon Launches New Echo Studio Premium Smart Speaker, Echo Dot Clock, Echo Show 8 Display
The new Echo Dot with Clock can double as an alarm clock, and will invoke a 9-minute snooze feature if you tap the top of the device. Amazon is pricing the new entry at $59.99 (available for pre-order today), and last year's Echo Dot will stick around at a lower price point.
Joining the Echo Dot with Clock is an all-new Echo, which is the "standard" version in Amazon's smart speaker family. It still features a cloth-wrapped design, but features a more powerful speaker (with hardware cribbed from the more expensive Echo Plus). The new Echo is also available for pre-order today and carries an MSRP of $99.
A new member to the smart speaker family is the Echo Studio, which adds Dolby Atmos support and 3D audio. Like the Apple HomePod, the Echo Studio can automatically tune its audio output based on whatever room it's placed in. The Echo Studio will set you back $199, with pre-orders opening today.
Moving on to display-equipped smart speakers, Amazon unveiled the Echo Show 8, which as its name implies features an 8-inch display. It fits in nicely between the current Echo Show 5 and the Echo Show 10, as such is priced at $129. It even includes upgraded speakers compared to the Echo Show 5 along with a privacy shutter for those that don't want a camera trained on you at all time.
As for Alexa itself, Amazon is adding new neural text-to-speech functionality which allow the digital assistant's speech, and speech patterns to sound more human like (think Google Duplex). Also new is a multilingual mode, which will be beneficial for dual-language households. For example, in the United States, Alexa will be able to adeptly switch between English and Spanish, while in Canada it can switch between English and French.