The fierce race for the best smart speaker continues. Following the recent announcement of Apple’s Homepod coming to the markets around December 2017, Amazon is determined to steal some of Apple’s thunder in preparation for festive shopping with the release of Amazon Echo 2.
Amazon Echo 2
Engadget reported some details on the new and improved features of what they call Amazon Echo 2. Allegedly, the speaker will be shortened and slimmer with rounded edges for a more modern and pleasant look. The material will also be changing with outer plastic parts being replaced by a more fabric looking feel, something like Google Home‘s customizable fabric base.
More tweeters will also be added to achieve better sound quality, which is a clear indication of their determination to rival Homepod and Sonos as they hold the best spot for speakers. The current version of the Amazon Echo is currently counting seven microphones, far more that Google Home’s with two and Homepod with six. This another area of improvement, which most likely will be achieved by innovations in the software technology and acoustic other than adding more microphones. Something that Google Home is already successfully doing with only two microphones.
Another area of focus will be most likely the price. The highest spec Amazon Echo is currently priced at $180 and never changed in two years from its release. Can we expect a lower price to match Google Home at $130 (now on sale for $99)? They could easily decide to stick to the original pricing model as the newest rival, Apple’s Homepod alongside Sonos speakers, occupies the expensive end of the scale priced at $349.
All in all, we are very excited to see what will be Amazon offerings this time around. With the original release, two years ago, Amazon Echo was fully packed with new technology showing to be great creators and innovators. We don’t and shouldn’t expect anything less this time as rivalry in the smart speaker front is picking up with new players joining the race. Will they manage to stay on top? We will see this fall…