Amazon just announced a second-generation Echo Dot for a lower price and in a new color, white. The new $50 device brings Alexa to any room in your home, who is a voice-controlled personal assistant that can answer questions, play music, turn on the lights, set timers, give sports updates, check the weather, access over 3,000 Alexa skills, and much more. The catch is you need to hook it up to powered speakers or a receiver, either via 3.5mm headphone cable or Bluetooth if you want to listen to music. Although, there is a tiny internal speaker that makes it functional for voice replies or as an alarm clock.
The all-new Echo Dot is said to fix some voice recognition problems in the original model. So Amazon is now using the same array of seven microphones found in Amazon Echo, along with beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation to detect the wake word, Alexa, from across the room. In addition, the new Echo Dot features a more powerful speech processor, which delivers improved far-field speech recognition accuracy. However, Amazon did replace the volume ring on the original Echo Dot with physical up and down buttons.
Echo Dot is designed to disappear into any room in a house. With its built-in speaker, you can place Dot in the bedroom and use it as a smart alarm clock that can also turn off your lights. Or use Dot in the kitchen to easily set timers, ask for measurement conversions and recipes, and shop for tens of millions of Amazon products using just your voice.
- The new Echo Dot is hands-free, voice-controlled, and powered by Alexa to play music, turn on the lights, get information and the news, set alarms, and more.
- Connect Echo Dot to external speakers to enable voice control of your home entertainment system, or use it on its own to talk to Alexa
- ESP (Echo Spatial Perception) makes it easy to have multiple Echo and Echo Dot devices throughout your home, ensuring that Alexa responds intelligently from the device closest to you
- Supported music services include Amazon Music, Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more.
- Alexa has already learned over 3,000 skills, and is always getting smarter.
Use Echo Dot to turn on the lamp before getting out of bed, change the temperature without leaving your chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all with just your voice. Echo Dot works with smart home devices such as lights, switches, fans, thermostats, garages, sprinklers, and more from leading smart home providers including Philips Hue, ecobee, TP-Link, Insteon, WeMo, Lutron, TrackR, Luma, Nest, Wink, Honeywell, Samsung SmartThings and Garageio.
For customers who have multiple Echo devices within hearing distance, Amazon’s new ESP technology intelligently calculates the clarity of the customer’s voice and determines which Echo is best to respond to the request—instantly. This feature is smart—performance gets better over time, so ESP will continuously improve as you use Echo. In multi-Echo households, ESP resolves the problem of two Echo devices answering you at the same time. This new feature will be available as a free update for all Echo devices—including Amazon Echo and the first generation Echo Dot—starting in the coming weeks.
Alexa — the brain behind Echo Dot — is built in the cloud, so she is always getting smarter. Alexa can play music, and provide information, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. The more you use Dot, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. Thousands of third party developers are also building skills for Alexa—there are already over 3,000 skills available that let you do even more with Alexa. You can order a pizza through Dominos, request a ride from Uber, read Audiobooks with Audible, find flight information with Kayak, get cocktail recipe suggestions from Patrón, and much more.
Pricing and Availability
The Echo Dot (2nd generation) will be available in either black or white on October 20, 2016. You can pre-order now at www.amazon.com/echodot.
A single Echo Dot is available for $49.99 in the US or £49.99 in the UK. Otherwise, you can choose a six-pack for buy five, get one free (with promo code DOT6PACK), or a 12-pack for buy 10, get two free (with promo code DOT12PACK).
Customers interested in purchasing a new Bluetooth speaker can take advantage of a special price when they purchase a bundle of select Bose speakers with an Echo Dot.
Customers interested in creating a smart home can save up to $50 on bundles with Echo Dot and smart home devices from ecobee, Philips, and TP-Link.