Amazon unveils new Echo devices, including Apple HomePod and AirPods competitors

Juli Clover for MacRumors:

At an event in Seattle, Amazon today unveiled a series of new Alexa-enabled Echo products, ranging from a new high-end speaker to a lamp.

Amazon’s Echo Studio, a new higher-end version of its Echo smart speaker, is designed to compete with Apple’s HomePod. The Alexa-equipped Echo Studio, which is priced at $199, supports 3D Dolby sound and, like the HomePod, is designed to optimize sound based on the layout of a room. The Echo Studio features three mid-range speakers (left, right, and top) along with a directional tweeter and a 5.25-inch subwoofer for bass and improved sound.

In addition to a HomePod competitor, Amazon also debuted a new product designed to compete with the AirPods. The Echo Buds, priced at $130, are Amazon’s first Echo wearable that offers hands-free access to Alexa.

For kids, Amazon introduced the Echo Glow, a multi-color smart lamp that pairs with Alexa. Priced at $30, Echo Glow can light up with different colors, mimic a flickering campfire, offer a Sleep Timer, or work in “dance party” mode with music and lights… Amazon even debuted a new Alexa-equipped Smart Oven that can cook common foods through Alexa voice commands. Priced at $250, it is a combination microwave, convection oven, air fryer, and food warmer.

A new product, Echo Frames, is part of a program Amazon is calling “Day One Edition.” Amazon is making a limited number of Day One Edition products, and if they prove popular, Amazon will make more. Echo Frames are Alexa-enabled glasses that look like regular prescription glasses. There’s no camera, but they offer Alexa voice access. Another Day One Edition product is the Echo Loop, an Alexa-enabled smart ring that has two microphones that can be activated with a tap.

MacDailyNews Take: Amazon’s quest to put Alexa everywhere continues unabated.

The Echo Studio is interesting, but cannot match HomePod on specs. Apple’s HomePod’s features include:

• 4-inch high-excursion, upward-firing woofer with custom amplifier
• Array of seven horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own custom amplifier
• Six-microphone array for far-field Siri
• Internal low-frequency calibration microphone for automatic bass correction
• Direct and ambient audio beamforming
• Transparent studio-level dynamic processing
• Stereo pair capable

Check out all of the images in the full article here.

13 Comments

    1. I don’t put listening devices in my home either! Nope.

      Capitalism – that’s the key in your response – and you don’t have capitalism without liberty, which is GREAT! Capitalism in a free-market gives me choices.

      Of course, there is Fascism or Communism or Socialism (Government Controls the Means of Production), which of course, the Government could mandate these into your TV’s, your home, whatever…

      I like the capitalism route, the free markets and my liberties the US provides, for as many that want to compete for my business can do so, and then I can you my liberty to make my choices. Love it.

      1. You may want to review your definitions. Your bucket labels are a mix of economic theories and governance models. Capitalism doesn’t guarantee liberty. It’s an economic model! Your freedom relies on the rule of law that your government enforces on your behalf. You need to know the difference.

        For the record: the USA is and always has been a democratic republic in governance, and a mixed economy with both capitalist and socialist constructs. Most modern western nations are republics and every one of them is a mixed economy.

        You cannot “support our troops” or “uphold the law” without public financing and government oversight. It is beyond absurd how extreme right wingers think that capital bankers fund the public good, from highways to national defense to ecological cleanups. No, your governments do. No corporations ever want to do these unprofitable dirty jobs.

        Pure capitalism is when the money hoarders make all the rules and do not have to answer to anyone. No surprise, most capitalistic nations on the planet are run by warlords who also conveniently command the national bank. Multinational corporations without scruples may market consumerism as being “freedom”, but these same companies are happy to do business with non democratic nations. Including Apple. Sorry, fanboys, your favorite corporations need to be held accountable in all areas where they operate. For too long they have run roughshod over sovereign peoples around the world. Corporations are not people, they are legal arrangements that allow non-democratic pyramid management organizations to enrich shareholders for a chartered purpose. For some unknown reason many citizens think that these modern feudal organizations are better than democratic organizations. To believe that, they willfully ignore the downsides of corporate behavior and focus on their selfish short term interests. Not all corporations start out bad, but with power comes corruption. That is why in democratic organizations must be regulated by fair and transparent laws enforced by the people’s representatives.

        Final point: if someone attempts to assert that the other political party is the “enemy” or is “communist” or “socialist”, and that only his political party is good, or only his candidate is good, then you are dealing with a hypocrite who doesn’t even understand that he is advocating for one-party rule: communism or dictatorship. This is exactly the opposite of what the writers of the Constitution recommended for governing the USA. Checks and balances of power are needed more than ever. Corruption on behalf of elected officials, judges, lobbyists, and yes the POTUS must ALWAYS be investigated if the USA expects to keep its republic functioning. Dissolution of political parties would be good too but that’s a discussion for next time.

        Lesson over.

        Goeb, D, Firsty: please read through this a few times before responding with your usual partisan pro-Trump bullshit. This is not a discussion about the current corrupt administration that has repeatedly obstructed justice and now also violated the Constitution and doled out selective tariff exemptions to certain multinational corporations without any transparent explanations. That isn’t capitalism and a one-party government isn’t a functioning republic.

        1. I guess the Trump-ists are those that have run off the rails…that needed your lesson?
          I assume that, as it was only those that you “warned” as you wrapped up.

          Is it possible that those applauding your instruction have the same “partisian hypocrisy” that (seemed) was directed at the Geob’rs (etc), but on “the other side?” If so, they were omitted from screed because tomorrow is lesson 2, or?

          1. Maybe it’s just me, but I read Realist’s post as completely factual and nonpartisan until the last paragraph, where he preemptively warned the most highly partisan assholes on this site to not bother posting their Trump propaganda. I see no support for the idiots of the left in his post. Realist seems straight up the middle politically as you can get, and it was a good read. Nicely done, Realist.

            1. I don’t disagree with the thinking (Realist), in fact it was put together very well.

              The bias was evident and implied clearly, with the omission of the left. It was a clear call-out that solely the Trump-ists need correcting/instruction. Because of this, it’s very easy to perceive “they” are the only ones that think that “only his political party is good.”

              He’s using a us/them distinction, as if he’s not like them. He’s claiming a high ground himself.

              And you Mike, think it’s only the winners of the “highly partisan assholes” award, (on this site) go only to those on the right? If so, maybe that’s why you see the post without the bias I perceive? Btw, I’m fine with bias, but it’s good to parse it at times.

    2. Indeed though I suspect we are but a voice lost in the wind for this sort of technology based on recent history. What pains me is that what Amazon are doing is echoing (sorry) what Apple could and should have enabled starting at least a year before Amazon started upon this road. It’s the one major product area I can think of in recent years where they completely missed the puck let alone sent it to where the market is going to be later. They lost the mainstream home through neglect and that is unforgivable when they were uniquely positioned in hardware and software years before Amazon left the online shop they were formally entrenched in. Worse still they have not done enough to put that right since and only belatedly tried to close the gap. More mistakes like that will not only plateau the Company’s position in the market but will risk sending it off the cliff years down the line.

  1. Lot of cool stuff here. Amazon has an entire Echosphere now. Echo is a mature home automation and information platform that Apple has no competition for. Competition is good.

    1. Should Apple, a company that portrays itself as a protector of user privacy, really be in the home spy business?

      It’s already walking too close to the edge with data mining of iOS, watchOS, Carplay, iBeacon, etc. Apple claims that data is secure but it doesn’t say how or provide user visibility or recourse if Apple (or its iCloud purveyor Google) was hacked.

      It would be nice to see Apple release a complete family of Homekit stuff that is entirely Siri-free and easily firewalled from the internet at large with clearly superior user management controls. Sadly, it looks like Apple cannot. It must have lost its remaining Airport engineers years ago and the constant data Apple streams in and out of your device every second of every day is sooner or later going to be hacked. Oh wait, already there have been breaches. Fappening, iTunes accounts hacked, AWS and Google Cloud info theft, 1000+ people in Ireland listening to private Siri recordings without any notification to end user, Google Search data scraped and given to the least trustworthy Silicon Valley Co. other than Farcebook …. I don’t think Apple deserves as much benefit of the doubt as we have previously extended. Apple should back up its marketing of privacy and security in written guarantees in the user agreements. If you want to track iGadgets and Homepods for marketing revenue, Apple, then make it an explicit opt-in program for users!!!!

    2. I would says that since iPhones and iPads are near ubiquitous Apple has no need for a “Sirishpere”. Amazon is in a situation where they have to come up with all of these Echo products just to try and compete.

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