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Amazon Unveils New Echo Speakers, Subwoofer, Audio Adapter, Receiver and Amplifier

Amazon unveiled a broad new line-up of Alexa-powered smart speakers and accessories at an event in Seattle on Thursday. These devices include a revamped Echo Dot that is designed to be louder than its predecessor, a streaming audio adapter, a Alexa-controlled subwoofer, a receiver and an amplifier as well as revamped versions of its Echo Plus speaker and Echo Show smart display.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

The new Echo Dot is fabric-covered, giving it a less metallic look, and is supposed to be 70% louder than the first generation of Amazon’s smallest smart speaker. The device is available in three colors (white, light gray and charcoal), and will cost $49.99 — the same price Amazon charged for the original Echo Dot. Consumers will be able to order the device starting today, and Amazon will begin shipping it next month.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon also unveiled a new audio adapter that can bring voice control and streaming music to any existing stereo system. Dubbed Echo Input, the adapter comes with four microphones on-board but lacks any speaker output. It will sell for $34.99 and will be available at some point later this year.

Another addition to Amazon’s smart speaker line-up is a new subwoofer called the Echo Sub that can be combined with two existing Echo speakers for 2.1 audio.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon also unveiled two new devices squarely aimed at the high-end audio crowd. Echo Link and Echo Link Amp can promise better sound, and are meant to replace existing receivers and amplifiers. Priced $200 and $300, these devices are meant to work with high-end speakers, and don’t actually come with microphones built-in.

Instead, they are supposed to work with other Echo speakers or Alexa input devices around the home. The Link simply connects to a separate amplifier, or powered speakers, while the Link Amp incorporates a 60W 2-channel amplifier. Amazon didn’t share exact shipping dates for either device on Thursday.

Amazon also announced a revamped version of the Echo Plus, which combines the functionality of an Echo speaker with a smart hub. The speaker will pack additional sensors, and cost $149.99. With a bigger focus on the smart home, Amazon is also adding local voice control to the Echo Plus. This will make it possible to run a subset of voice commands even when your internet is down — something that should be quite useful to anyone looking to control smart lights and other essential appliances with their voice.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

Finally, Amazon unveiled a new version of its Echo Show smart display. The new version features a 10-inch HD display, a more screen-centric design and eight integrated far-field microphones. It is priced $229.99, and available effective immediately.

Another product announced by Amazon Thursday won’t be available to everyone just yet: Echo Auto is a small adapter bringing Alexa voice control and streaming audio to any car that has a radio with Bluetooth or line-in available. Echo Auto will ultimately sell for $50, but will only be available on an invite basis at a reduced price of $25 this year.

To complement all those smart speakers, the company also unveiled a new smart plug, aptly named the Amazon Smart Plug that will ship next month for $25. And for some reason Amazon also unveiled a $60 microwave that can be controlled by Alexa, but doesn’t come with integrated microphones or speakers.

Complete with its new device line-up, Amazon also introduced a range of new software features. Most relevant to its audio hardware is the introduction of multi-room audio, which is being made available to all hardware manufacturers after previously only working with Amazon devices. This means that consumers will be able to link Echo speakers with those made by other manufacturers, including Polk and Harmon.

Some of the details about Amazon’s Thursday announcements had leaked in recent days, with bloggers finding pictures of the subwoofer as well as the smart plug on Amazon’s British website. And CNBC had reported earlier this week that the company was looking to launch a total of 9 devices, including various Alexa-powered stereo gear as well as a microwave oven.

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