This week, Amazon held its annual hardware event at the company’s headquarters in Seattle. The tech giant introduced several new devices that will allow you to have Alexa with you wherever you go. While most of these devices are available for pre-order, Amazon also announced a few experimental devices that you can only get by invitation.
New Additions to the Echo Lineup
The family of Echo speakers is about to get a little bigger. Amazon announced eight new Echo devices during their event, including upgrades for their old flagship devices, and a few brand new speakers as well.
Amazon Echo Buds ($129.99)
One of the most exciting devices that Amazon announced during the event was the Echo Buds, a pair of truly wireless earbuds with Alexa built-in. With these headphones, you can make a hands-free call or ask Alexa to change the song while you’re in the middle of your workout.
The Echo Buds are IPX4-rated, which means they can withstand splashes, sweat, or light rain. They also come with Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology, which lets you limit background noise by tapping on either Echo Bud.
Fully charged, these headphones are supposed to last up to five hours. When the batteries die, you can recharge them in their carrying case up to three times, giving you a total battery life of 20 hours.
You can pre-order Echo Buds on Amazon now, but they won’t be released until October 30.
Echo Studio ($199.99)
The Echo Studio is Amazon’s first high-quality smart speaker that can compete with the Apple HomePod and Sonos One. It has a 24-bit DAC (digital-to-analog converter) and a power amplifier with 100 kHz of bandwidth. This means it can stream Ultra HD- quality audio, making it the perfect speaker for Amazon’s new high-definition music streaming service.
It’s also the largest smart speaker Amazon has ever made. It comes with five directional speakers and Dolby Atmos technology, which is designed to create a “multidimensional audio experience.” Amazon says that the speakers will analyze the acoustics of a room and adjust their audio filters to optimize the sound for any room, no matter where you put them.
The Echo Studio is available for pre-order, but it will not be released until November 7.
Echo Flex ($24.99)
On the other end of the spectrum, Amazon’s new Echo Flex is the smallest smart speaker that the tech giant has ever introduced. This affordable little device makes it easy to have Alexa in any room. All you have to do is plug it into an outlet, and you can control your other smart devices with voice commands.
Plus, it comes with a built-in USB port so you can charge your phone or add a nightlight or motion sensor (sold separately).
You can pre-order the Echo Flex now, but it won’t be released until November 14.
Echo Dot with Clock ($59.99)
Amazon’s most popular Echo device now comes with an LED display that shows the time, outside temperature, or a timer.
Amazon also added an alarm indicator light and a snooze feature to the 3rd generation Echo Dot. Now, when the alarm goes off, hitting the top of the device will give you nine more minutes of sleep.
You can pre-order the new Echo Dot now, but it will not be released until October 16. And, even then, it will only come in one color – sandstone.
Day 1 Editions
While Amazon announced several new devices that will be released by the end of the year, the company also introduced several Day 1 devices that will only be released to customers by invitation.
Echo Frames ($179.99)
The Echo frames might look like normal prescription glasses, but they have four micro speakers that are designed to direct sound at your ears. These Alexa-enabled glasses allow you to listen to music, make voice commands, and have truly hands-free phone calls any time.
In order to try these experimental smart glasses sooner than later, you’ll have to answer some questions and be invited to participate in Amazon’s Day 1 Editions program. They currently only work with Android phones.
Echo Loop ($129.99)
For anyone who doesn’t wear glasses, Amazon introduced another wearable device for their Day 1 program. The Echo loop has two microphones and the smallest speaker Amazon has ever put in an Echo device.
This smart ring allows you to ask Alexa questions or control your smart home devices, no matter where you are. You can even use it to make and receive short phone calls. The battery that is supposed to last all day and charge completely in 90 minutes.
You can only get the Echo Loop by invitation for now. Amazon says selected customers should start receiving their Day 1 devices later this year.
New WiFi Router
Eero Router ($99)
You can’t have a smart home without a strong, reliable WiFi signal. Maybe that’s why Amazon recently acquired Eero, a home WiFi company that develops routers.
The Eero mesh WiFi system is the first device Amazon is releasing since the merger. Believe it or not, this little device is designed to work as a standalone router, and it has a surprising range of 1,500 square feet.
You can plug a single eero device into your modem and use additional eeros as range extenders to bring WiFi to every corner of your home. With a three-pack of the new eero, you can have up to 5,000 feet of WiFi coverage.
If you’re looking to expand your smart home, check out our list of the devices that work with Alexa here.