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Amazon Echo Dot, Echo Plus Smart Speakers First Look: What’s New 

Amazon launched its Echo Dot, Echo Plus speakers in India and they have also added Echo Subwoofer this year. 

Updated
Gadgets
4 min read
The new version of Amazon’s Echo Plus smart speaker. 
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Amazon is expanding its base for Echo smart speakers in India with the latest generation Echo Dot and Echo Plus devices. These products were globally unveiled few weeks back and as promised, Amazon has been quick to bring it to our shores.

The Alexa-supported devices has been paired along with the Echo Subwoofer device and all of these are priced at Rs 4,499, Rs 14,999 and Rs 12,999 respectively. The new Echo speakers will be available from 11 October onwards in the country but you can pre-order them right away.

We’re already aware of the performance of Echo speakers but that the latest version is more than just an upgrade comes across clearly.

A lot of folks want to know the use case for the Echo Sub, Amazon’s latest Echo product in the country. Here’s everything about the Echo Sub and more.

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Echo Dot

The new-look Echo Dot gets 70 percent louder than its predecessor. 
The new-look Echo Dot gets 70 percent louder than its predecessor. 
(Photo: The Quint)

As you can see here, the new Echo Dot gets a big makeover from its predecessor. Amazon claims it’ll be 70 percent louder than what you got last year and we could definitely feel the difference in quality. The company has given it a polished design, which ensures that the speaker is part of your room, something that’ll look appealing to people visiting.

Echo Dot 2017 (left) and the Echo Dot 2018 (right)
Echo Dot 2017 (left) and the Echo Dot 2018 (right)
(Photo: The Quint)

The improvement in audio quality means that the new Echo Dot is heavier too, not that you’re going to carry it around all the time. It still sports a 3.5-mm audio jack but they have replaced the microUSB port with standard charging port. You can still mute the microphone whenever Alexa tries snooping on conversations that aren’t relevant for it.

Same set of controls on top of the new Echo Dot. 
Same set of controls on top of the new Echo Dot. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Overall, the changes are physical with the Echo Dot, which Amazon claims is its best-selling smart speaker in the country which is understandable. The company’s Alexa head, also highlighted that the speakers are mainly being used for listening to music, and with a louder speaker on board, it’s likely the consumption could increase further.

Echo Sub

Echo Sub is a product tailor made for the audiophiles.
Echo Sub is a product tailor made for the audiophiles.
(Photo: The Quint)

The moment I spotted the Echo Sub in the experience room, I was intrigued to know more about the product and where Amazon sees its buyers coming from. First and foremost, the company made it clear that the Echo Sub is a companion product, supporting Alexa.

In addition to the new Echo Dot and Echo Plus, it’ll work with the previous version of Echo and the previous version of Echo Plus as well.

It packs a 6-inch woofer which Amazon promises will deliver 100W deep bass sound, or in simple words, it’ll throw loud, crisp and bass-heavy music from the fellow Echo speakers. 
Echo Sub packs a 6-inch woofer for loud and bass-heavy audio output.
Echo Sub packs a 6-inch woofer for loud and bass-heavy audio output.
(Photo: The Quint)

The addition of all these hardware results in a big-sized and bulky device that’ll be nightmarish while travelling.

Due to hardware limitations, the older Echo Dot speakers won’t be compatible with the Echo Sub. This means, you’re looking at a combined purchase of over Rs 16,000 (Echo Sub with single Echo Dot) to make any sense of buying the Echo Sub. It also won’t let you do video playback, meaning you’re confined to listening to music via this one.

The Echo Sub is big in size and extremely heavy. 
The Echo Sub is big in size and extremely heavy. 
(Photo: The Quint)

This is most likely to suit the needs of an audiophile who doesn’t mind splurging on his/her audio gear and Amazon is confident that India is a promising market for such consumers.

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Echo Plus

Last in the lineup for India is the Echo Plus. This also is an upgrade on the original Echo Plus which was not only taller but looked rather robotic for its structure with is cylindrical shape.

This has been replaced with a second-gen Echo Plus that looks much like the Apple HomePod speaker albeit in a small form factor. There’s nothing wrong that Amazon has focussed on making the new Echo Plus look much better.

Echo Plus 2017 (left) and Echo Plus 2018 (right)
Echo Plus 2017 (left) and Echo Plus 2018 (right)
(Photo: The Quint)

Unlike the new Echo Dot, the audio quality doesn’t see a big improvement but with the support for hub, this device can act as the medium for creating a smart home ecosystem. For Rs 14,999 the new Echo Plus is also compatible with the Echo Sub, for those who’re interested in more than just a smart speaker.

Amazon Echo Plus also gets a big design overhaul. 
Amazon Echo Plus also gets a big design overhaul. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Amazon also confirmed that the launch of new Echo speakers doesn’t mean the end of the road for last year’s lineup. They will continue to sell, and Amazon will continue to offer them software support.

The other products from Amazon like the Echo Show, Echo Input are likely to launch sometime next year in the Indian market but no definite time frame was confirmed.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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