Amazon surprised everyone when it recently held a press conference to announce Echo’s new line of speakers and smart devices. The original Amazon Echo launched in 2015 was long overdue for an update. Among other notable new releases, Amazon announced the successor to Echo (2015); Amazon Echo Plus. So, if you’re wondering what’s new in Echo Plus, and how it behaves compared to its predecessor, keep reading, while we bring you our quick comparison of Amazon Echo Plus versus Amazon Echo (2015):
Amazon Echo Plus vs. Amazon Echo (2015)
Before we go into the details of the new Echo Plus device and see what else it offers compared to its predecessor, let’s take a moment to get the specs out of the way. The table below compares the different specifications of the new Echo Plus compared to Echo (2015).
|Features||Amazon Echo Plus (2017)||Echo of the Amazon (2015)|
|Price||$ 149.99||$ 179.99|
|Speaker size||2, 5 «Woofer and 0, 8» tweeter||2, 5 «Woofer and 2.0» Tweeter|
|Device size||9, 3 «x 3, 3» x 3, 3 «||9, 3 «x 3, 3» x 3, 3 «|
|Weight||33.6 oz||37.5 oz|
|Dual speakers powered by Dolby||Yes||No|
|Integrated hub for easy configuration||Yes||No|
|Wi-Fi music streaming||Yes||Yes|
|Line output with 3, 5 mm or Bluetooth||Yes||Yes|
|Free audio calls to the USA, Mexico and Canada||Yes||Yes|
|Control Smart Home devices||Yes||Yes|
What is Amazon Echo Plus and what can it do?
Amazon Echo Plus is a intelligent voice-enabled wireless speaker developed by Amazon. The device comes preloaded with Amazon’s own voice assistant, «Alexa» . The smart speaker, by default, responds to the name “Alexa” and can be remapped to respond to “Amazon”, “Echo” or “Computer”. Amazon Echo Plus is capable of voice interaction, music playback, task lists, alarm settings, podcast broadcasting, audiobook playback and providing weather, traffic and other information in real time.
In addition, Echo Plus can be paired with other smart devices to control them with voice commands, for example, Philips Hue Lighting. Amazon Echo Plus requires a Wi-Fi connection at all times to connect to the Internet and function properly. In addition, it requires being connected to power.
What’s new in Echo Plus
Considering that the original Amazon Echo was released in 2015, an update was certainly needed to stay alive with the competition. As such, Amazon Echo Plus, despite looking identical to its predecessor, comes with some improvements.
Amazon Echo Plus greatly improves the sound quality experience. The original Amazon Echo was highly criticized for its sound quality, considering it a great voice assistant, but a sub-par speaker. Between 2017 and Amazon launched the sound processing Echo Plus with Dolby . Dubbed “enhanced sound” by Amazon, the new sound system aims to provide users with a pleasant and enriching 360-degree surround sound experience, allowing the Echo Plus to stand as a capable sound system. In addition, Amazon Echo Plus also comes with second generation distant field voice recognition, which allows the user to easily operate the device from a distance.
Best smart home capability
Amazon Echo has already proven itself to be a great voice assistant, thanks to its huge compatibility with the number of controllable voice devices. This year, Amazon Echo Plus improves this by making the entire configuration and control process almost perfect. Echo Plus has a hub integrated smart home so he can natively control other devices using apps and skills.
In addition, the smart speaker now comes with the ability to pair commands . So now, you could just say “Alexa, good morning”, and the smart speaker can open the smart window, turn on the lights, get the weather and more, all simultaneously.
Along with the previously mentioned updates, Amazon Echo Plus comes with a few more changes. This year, Echo Plus is not only smarter, but even more powerful, thanks to use of Zigbee . Zigbee allows Echo Plus to control all smart devices in your home while using low power signals, extending like this your wireless range . In addition, while Amazon Echo and Echo Plus may look like the similar speaker on the big tower, the latter is also available in a brand new silver color variant .
Other ecological products from Amazon available
Although Amazon Echo Plus is a great product, it was not the only product launched at the new press event. Amazon also announced the new Amazon Echo Spot, Amazon Echo (2017), Amazon Echo Buttons and the new Fire TV. THE Echo Spot ($ 130) is essentially a smart alarm clock that can make video calls thanks to the small 2.5 inch screen. It can also be connected to external speakers via cable or Bluetooth. Next, we have the Echo 2nd Generation ($ 100) that comes as a sound system great value. It works similarly to the original Amazon Echo, but is almost half the size and comes in a multitude of color options. You can also get the new Echo wrapped in fabric skin . Also announced are the Amazon Echo buttons which are small multi-colored devices connected by Bluetooth that can connect to Alexa for trivial games. These little points are not yet available for pre-order, but will be on sale in packs of two for $ 20 at the end of 2017. Finally, we have the new Amazon Fire TV ($ 70), which comes with 4K HDR video support with 2160p resolution at 60 frames per second . TV Fire also comes with Dolby Atmos integration and an Alexa voice remote.
Pricing and Availability
Amazon Echo Plus is currently available for pre-order from Amazon for a price of $ 149, 99. This is an impressive price, considering that, despite the updates, the new Echo Plus is cheaper than its predecessor, which was launched at a price of $ 179. , to make the whole configuration of the smart home easier, the Amazon is offering a Philips Hue Bulb at no additional cost. The product is scheduled for launch on October 31, 2017 and should be delivered a few days later.
Pre-order Amazon Echo Plus: ($ 149.99)
SEE ALSO: 50 best Alexa commands to get the most out of your Amazon echo
Upgrade to Amazon Echo Plus
All in all, Amazon Echo Plus is great if you want to have a powerful speaker that doubles as a voice assistant. While the 2015 model suffered from poor sound quality, the Echo Plus comes with integrated Dolby sound, as well as some other smart tricks up its sleeve. For its price, it offers great competition to Apple HomePod and Google Home. Having already owned Amazon Echo (2015), I will certainly upgrade to the new Echo Plus. But and you? Will you be upgrading to Amazon Echo Plus or buying some of the other new gadgets launched along with the Echo line? Let us know in the comments section below.