Amazon has refreshed its line-up of Echo smart speakers – with three redesigned speaker and hub devices.
The new Echo Dot, Plus and Show have all been redesigned, had their speakers improved and support the latest features of virtual assistant Alexa.
But how do the new devices compare to their rivals in the smart speaker market?
– Echo Dot
Priced at £49.99, the new Echo Dot keeps its compact size but has been given a larger built-in 1.6-inch speaker to boost audio output.
Given its small size, the Dot can be placed almost anywhere around the home, and can also be used as a smart extension for existing speakers, which it can connect to via Bluetooth or audio cable. The Dot also houses four far-field microphones built-in to the device to pick up voice commands.
– Echo Plus
The Plus is Amazon’s flagship smart home speaker, thanks to the built-in Zigbee smart home hub which automatically detects and links up with other smart home devices it finds in the home.
It houses a separate woofer and tweeter for high-end audio quality and the latest version also includes a temperature sensor for the first time.
It is priced at £139.99.
– Echo Show
Amazon’s screen-driven Echo comes with a 10-inch HD display as well as a built-in camera for video calling.
Amazon has also confirmed it is adding support for Ring video doorbells to the Show later this year, meaning users will be able to check their Show to see who is at their front door.
It also comes with new dual speakers for better audio output.
At £219.99 it is the most premium of Amazon’s Echo devices.
– Google Home
Powered by the Google Assistant, Home has the knowledge of Google search at its disposal. Priced at £129 it is also cheaper than its main Amazon counterparts.
Housing a driver and dual radiators as its speaker system also ensures high-quality audio output, while the touch controls on top of the device make it easy to interact with beyond voice commands.
Google’s smart home library of devices is also growing, with the ability to control a wide range of home appliances, lighting and other systems also possible.
– Apple HomePod
The most expensive of the flagship smart speakers at £319, but HomePod does come with the biggest and best audio system with its seven tweeters, each with their own amplifier.
The speaker is powered by Apple’s virtual assistant Siri, but music streaming via voice command on the HomePod is limited to Apple Music, unlike its rivals which support multiple platforms.
It also requires an iOS device to complete set-up, but it does offer the richest sound of all the smart speakers featured here.