As if Amazon hadn’t already released enough new Echo’s in recent months, they have recently debuted what they call the 2nd generation Echo. It’s honestly hard to keep up with all the different versions coming out, but this particular model is simply the update to the original Amazon Echo. This new one is much smaller (thought not nearly as small as some of the other options, like the Echo Dot), and comes in a variety of different appearances – at least seven, from heather gray fabric to oak finish. You can buy different shells and swap them out, changing the appearance at any time; maybe your room aesthetics just got a little better.
It’s got a new speaker, with a 2.5″ downward firing speaker, and .06″ tweeter. Adequate for playing some Spotify or Pandora in the room. They’ve also added Dolby digital sound, which should help give it some improved sound quality. The volume ring has been replaced by volume buttons on top, but the ring light around the top is still there. There are still seven microphones to pick up your voice, but this time, Amazon has decided to let you output the sound to some larger speakers via AUX cable or Bluetooth.
Just perhaps the biggest improvement to the Echo is the price drop; you can now get a brand-new Echo for $79.99, nearly half of the original. They may not have reinvented the wheel with the new model, but at the price point, who really cares?