Amazon announces new 2nd-gen Echo Plus

Amazon has announced an all-new 2nd-generation Echo Plus. It features improved sound and still comes with a built-in Zigbee hub for improved setup and compatibility with smart home devices over the standard Amazon Echo. The new Echo Plus is available to pre-order now for $149.99 and comes with a free Philips Hue smart bulb. It will arrive on October 11th.

Amazon chose not to update their regular Amazon Echo this year, but instead released a new Echo Plus that no longer looks like the 1st-generation Echo. The new Echo Plus carries all the same design cues as the new Echo Dot, including a fabric housing that gently curves up along the top. Overall, it is a much softer design that is far less industrial than the previous model.

The new Echo Plus features a 3″ neodymium woofer and 0.8″ tweeter which is bigger than both the previous model and the current Echo, so it should sound better than both devices. In addition to better sound, the main reason to buy the Echo Plus over the Echo is the built-in smart home hub. This allows the Echo plus to connect directly to Zigbee-compatible devices, like Philips Hue bulbs, without needing a separate hub.

The exterior of the Echo Plus features al the same components that you’re used to with an Echo device. BUttons on top allow you to control volume, mute the microphones, and call up Alexa through an action button. around back is the same 3.5mm audio port, but this year it not only works as an audio out, but also doubles as an audio in for using the Echo Plus as a wired speaker.

The Echo Plus is available for pre-order for $149.99 with a free Philips Hue bulb. You can add an Amazon Smart Plug for just $14.99 more, which is a savings of $10. Amazon is also offering a bundle that includes 2 Echo Pluses and the new Echo Sub for $329.97, which saves you $100 off buying them individually.

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