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Amazon just did a major overhaul of its Echo smart speakers

September 24, 2020, 6:07 PM UTC

Amazon’s popular lineup of Echo Internet-connected speakers has received a major redesign, the company announced Thursday during an online event.

The company’s flagship Echo speaker, which costs $99.99, now resembles a small sphere instead of its older incarnation as a mini-cylinder.

Miriam Daniel, vice president of Amazon Echo, said the new version is “completely redesigned” and now comes draped in a thin fabric available in three colors, including the classic gray look, and also has a so-called smart home hub built in, which lets people use the Echo to control other Internet-connected devices.

Amazon has redesigned its Echo smart speaker.
Courtesy of Amazon

“We worked hard at bringing form and function together in a new lineup of Echo products,” Daniel said.

The new Echo Dot, a smaller version of the Echo speaker, also has a new sphere shape and costs $49.99. A version of the Echo Dot with an electronic clock display costs $59.99.

Amazon also debuted the Echo Dot Kids Edition, which costs $59.99 and comes in silly spherical designs including a tiger and panda model. The new speaker has educational features for kids and can automatically filter explicit lyrics in songs, Daniel said.

It will also include a “reading sidekick,” in which “Alexa can read with your child and encourage the child when the child reads well,” she said.