Insight

Amazon Echo 2nd Generation ensures grip over the smart speaker market

The all-new Amazon Echo

Alexa has it been in our homes for over three years. Answering our weird questions we have while sitting at home and doing dishes. Alexa even ordered stuff for us from Amazon. Just so it happens, Alexa lives in Amazon Echo. So, did not so well with playing music. Amazon Echo established the market for smart speaker and the idea of connecting our homes with technology. Soon they were followed by Google and Microsoft. Soon enough, Apple will join the ranks.

Amazon has experimented a lot with the market in those three years to know what the users like the most. Essentially creating a market and holding it. The efforts ranged from smaller and popular Echo Dot. To a battery powered not-so-successful Tap. To more expensive and confusing Echo Show. The best way to ensure you’ll be successful to try, fail and learn. And that seems like the ideology of Amazon. Their new home speaker is just called the all-new Amazon Echo (that seems like how cars get announced).

echo, amazon echo
Amazon Echo Color options | TechVire Credit: Amazon

What’s better with the new Echo

The new Amazon Echo is smaller, has a simpler design and it’s cheaper. It’s about 2/3rd the height of the older Amazon Echo and has a slightly greater diameter. The older one has the outer shell of plastic. Stopping it from blending in with the home. The new Echo has the outer shell covered with a grey fabric. Seems more of the home like a thing than stolen office equipment. Making the blending with the home easier.

Amazon also got rid of the ring and replaced it with the wheel. I think it’s more useful with the buttons instead of the wheel. I barely ever used the wheel, voice command is more convenient to control the volume. The price of the new Echo is almost half of the older one. Going from $180 to $99. I gotta say it’s a good thing because generally the newer version is expected to be more expensive than the previous one. If the next iPhone cost $500 instead of a grand. I’ll buy it right away. You can connect the new Amazon Echo to your stereo system via a cable. Giving your stereo the same functionality with more power. This was a necessary improvement because of the sound quality for music.

Still, Amazon could’ve worked on some things

In the latest update, Alexa got some cool features. Like the control of Fire TV and improved smart home controls. Alexa also got a light and sweeter voice, it feels even better to talk to her now. As Alexa is cloud-based, you’ll get the update on your old Amazon Echo too. But this leads the much worse music experience on the new Echo. Flater with less bass. Sounds even close to as good as Google Home. Bluetooth speaker would be a way better option to listen to music. Amazon didn’t work on the music quality even after admitting the most of its users use the Echo to listen to music.

Amazon Echo old
Amazon Echo old | TechVire Credit: Amazon

If you already have the older Echo there is no need to buy the newer version. You have all the same functionality and better sound quality already. Still, Amazon didn’t need to do much to appeal to its market. Alexa is a very good home assistant and Amazon Echo is the best way to use Alexa. That simple. Echo is still two steps ahead of its competitors. And the $99 price tag does everything Amazon needs to stay on top of its game.

You can buy the new Amazon Echo from Amazon

If you wanna go old school, you can buy the older one on Amazon

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