If Apple thought it was going to waltz into the smart speaker market with the HomePod and take over without a fight, it has another thing coming. According to a report from Engadget, Amazon is working on a new Echo that will significantly improve upon the original, from the design to the features.
Engadget’s source claims that the new version of the Echo “will be both shorter and slimmer than the original, almost as if it were three or four Echo Dots stacked on top of each other.” The design will also be smoothed out, with rounded edges and a fabric covering of some nature, instead of the plastic shell that covers the current Echo. Starting to sound more like a HomePod, isn’t it?
Most importantly, the new Echo will sound better than the old one. The source claims that Amazon “is packing in several tweeters this time around, instead of just relying on one large tweeter and a woofer.” As Engadget explains, the inclusion of seven tweeters in the HomePod is one of the reasons it sounds so much better than most other home speakers currently on the market in the same price range.
Finally, the new Echo is also expected to feature improved microphone technology, but the source wasn’t able to provide any specifics on that front. The Echo already features seven microphones to HomePod’s six and Google Home’s two, but perhaps the range or the recognition will take a step forward for the second generation of Echo speakers. If there’s one area Amazon won’t be beat, it’s mics.
Amazon single-handedly kick-started a new market when it launched the Echo back in 2014. Three years later, the Echo is still a great product, but there’s no question that it could use a facelift. Thankfully, it appears that’s exactly what it will receive this fall, when Amazon releases the Echo 2.