Amazon announces 14 new products, Echo Buds, Echo Studio, Echo Flex
On the heels of the announcement of a new Fire TV Cube and other updates to the Fire TV platform, Amazon just announced a large quantity of new products. The most notable was the Echo Buds, a direct competitor to Apple’s AirPods.
Priced at $130 (significantly cheaper than AirPods), the wireless Echo Buds offer up to 5 hours of music playback per charge, up to 2 hrs with a 15-min quick charge, and up to 20 hrs with the charging case. It also offers Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology, a feature that’s absent from AirPods.
The Echo Buds include 3 sizes of ear tips to adjust for different ear sizes, offer hands-free Alexa access for music streaming, connects you to Siri or Google Assistant with an iOs or Android device, and includes a sweat-resistant if you are using the Echo Buds while working out.
Designed to go head to head with the Apple HomePod ($300) and the Sonos Move ($400), the $199.99 Echo Studio is the largest speaker Amazon has produced. The Echo Studio includes 5 speakers built into the design; a 1″ tweeter, three 2″ mid-range speakers, and 5.25″ woofer.
It also includes Dolby Atmos technology, ideal for a home theater setup, as well as a built-in Zigbee smart home hub. In regards to music playback, the Echo Studio comes with sensors that automatically detect the acoustics of your space. Of course, it also acts as a standard Echo device with access to Alexa and intercom functions.
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to add the Alexa voice assistant to a room without adding a speaker, the $25 Echo Flex is the device for you. It plugs into a wall outlet and lets you use voice commands for smart home features.
It also includes a USB port for mobile device charging. In addition, Amazon is selling add-ons for the Flex, a $15 motion sensor and a $15 nightlight that plug into the bottom of the device. The motion sensor could be ideal for smart light functions, turning on the light as you enter the room.
If you are looking for a decorative LED light for a desk or perhaps something fun for your kids, the $30 Echo Glow is a smart light that uses a compatible Alexa device to control color and brightness with your voice.
If used in a kid’s room, you can use lighting cues (like changing colors or brightness level) to alert kids that dinnertime is approaching. It can also by used as a timer, perhaps ideal for setting limits on screentime or time spent playing video games.
Echo Show 8
Adding another model in between the standard $230 10-inch Show and last year’s $90 Echo show 5, the $130 Echo Show 8 is a new 8-inch model of the stand-up screen. The device offers 1280 x 800 resolution, identical to the 10-inch model. It also includes two 10W speakers, also identical to the 10-inch.
It does not include Dolby processing (like the 10-inch) and the camera is identical to the 1MP on the 5-inch model, not the step-up to the 5MP on the 10-inch model. It also doesn’t include the Zigbee smart home hub. This model could be ideal for a kitchen, assuming counter space is limited.
Amazon Smart Oven
Following up on the $60 Alexa-enabled microwave announced last year, the $250 Amazon Smart Oven is a 4-in-1 device; a convection oven, microwave, air fryer, and food warmer. It includes 30+ built-in presets and voice control via Alexa while using a compatible Echo device.
Using the Announcements feature, Alexa will notify you when the oven is preheated or when your food is done. There’s also a built-in temperature probe that will help you get your meals to safe temperatures. There’s roughly 1.5 Cu. Ft. of space in the oven, enough to cook a 5-pound chicken.
Other announcements included:
- A new $60 Echo Dot with built-in clock. -> LINK
- An update to the standard $99 Echo speaker -> LINK
- A new $99 model of the eero mesh WiFi router / extender -> LINK
- $180 Echo Frames (glasses with Alexa built-in) -> Invitation Only
- $130 Echo Loop (A ring with Alexa built-in) -> Invitation Only
- A $59 Ring Indoor Security Camera -> LINK
- A $99 battery-powered stick-up Ring camera -> LINK