Amazon is working on a sequel to its Echo speaker that will improve upon the first device in practically every way, according to a report from Engadget. The information arrives via an unnamed source, and it indicates that Amazon is aiming for a product closer to the current competition.
The new Amazon Echo would be shorter and slimmer than the original, and would ditch the current plastic casing for a “cloth-like covering,” according to Engadget‘s source. Further, the device may feature rounded edges rather than the flat ends of the current Echo.
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As well as aesthetic improvements, the new Echo would reportedly receive an overhaul in the music department too. Instead of the single tweeter + single woofer setup currently in use, the new Echo may make use of “several tweeters,” bringing it closer to the Apple HomePod (which has seven) and besting the Google Home (which employs a tweeter and woofer like the Echo).
Amazon is also said to be improving the microphone’s capabilities, though exactly how wasn’t specified. The Echo’s voice recognition is already pretty competent — some might argue it’s too receptive — and it employs seven mics compared to Apple HomePod’s six and Google Home’s two. Maybe instead of cramming more microphones in there Amazon will instead try to focus on the software and individual voice recognition aspect, perhaps to ensure that only its owners can trigger it?
The source seemingly didn’t discuss price or availability information.
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These are only rumors for the moment and, even if accurate, the design may change before the new Echo’s release. Amazon must be readying more Echo products, though, and it’s original Echo is due a refresh (it was released in the US in June 2015). Improving on audio quality, voice recognition and design to tackle the strengths of Google and Apple’s devices would make sense.
To take a look at what the Amazon Echo range is capable of right now, hit the link to check out our comparison.