Amazon Alexa Family Expands With $100 Echo, $150 Echo Plus And $35 Echo Connect

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Amazon first introduced the Alexa-powered smart speaker back in late 2014, and it made a huge splash in the smart home market. Since that time, Amazon has introduced a steady stream of new Echo devices, but the original has remained largely the same (save for the white color option). That changes today, as Amazon has just announced a smaller, second generation Echo.

The new Echo is roughly half the size of the original (at least with respect to height), but still larger than the diminutive Echo Dot. The new AI smart speaker gains a dedicated bass tweeter, and supports multi-room audio, allowing you to stream music throughout your home (or office) using multiple Echo devices.

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The new $99 Echo

Speaking of multiple Echo devices, Amazon will offer a three pack at a $50 discount, meaning that you will pay just $250. And one last thing; the new Echo can be optioned with in fabric, similar to that of the Google Home. Other finishes include wood grains and a swanky X-ray look.

So, what about the original Echo? Well, Amazon will still sell that device with a few upgrades and a new name: Echo Plus. It now has improved sound, includes a smart home hub and will come bundled with a Philips Hue smart lightbulb. The price is also being reduced from $180 to $150.

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The new Echo Plus

There were also three additional Echo devices that were announced: Echo Connect, Echo Buttons and the Echo Spot. Echo Connect allows you to make phone calls (including emergency calls to 911) to landlines for free, and will be priced at $35. Echo Buttons are little more than Bluetooth buttons that can be used as "buzzers" to play Alexa games. These will be available in a two-pack for $20.

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Echo Spot

The Echo Spot is a miniaturized version of the Echo Show (in a rounded form-factor), featuring a smallish 2.5-inch display and four onboard microphones. It can be used to make phone calls and is priced at $130.

All of Amazon's new Echo devices are available for preorder later today.