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Amazon is reportedly working on a successor to its Echo connected smart speaker for release later this year in a clear attempt to one-up Apple and its HomePod speaker, which is due to launch this December.

Sources who saw a working unit spoke to Engadget, claiming that the new Echo will improve on the first speaker "in every way", being shorter and slimmer than the original, with rounded edges and a cloth-like covering preferred over the current Echo's plastic shell and flat ends.

homepod-echo-800x526.jpg

Perhaps unsurprisingly given Apple's focus on the HomePod music experience, Amazon is aiming to significantly improve the sound quality of the next Echo, according to sources. The company's new flagship smart speaker will feature multiple tweeters as opposed to just one large one (Apple's HomePod packs in seven tweeters).

Amazon is also reportedly enhancing the new Echo's far-field microphone technology, but it's not clear how. The current Echo has a seven-mic array, while the HomePod has six and Google Home has two, although the software running the mics significantly dictates their listening quality.

Pricing remains unknown, but Amazon's new Echo is likely to significantly undercut Apple's HomePod, which will retail at $349 and go up against the likes of Sonos in the premium speaker market. The existing Echo costs $180 as a reference.

First impressions of Apple's HomePod were largely positive following its unveiling in June, with journalists agreeing that the 7-inch tall device easily beats the Sonos Play:3 and 9-inch-tall Amazon Echo in terms of pure music playback quality. The HomePod initializes by playing 360-degree audio and listening back so that it can dynamically adjust sound output to fit environmental acoustics. Apple claimed it honed the technology over many years, so Amazon's next smart speaker has plenty to live up to.

Article Link: Amazon Working on Echo Successor to Rival Apple's HomePod
 
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icallmydmicrosoft

macrumors newbie
Mar 22, 2017
13
26
wait. people on macrumors said that the echo is superior and apple should catch up with amazon, not the other way around. crazy, i thought macrumors trolls posts were the one and only truth :D
[doublepost=1499946963][/doublepost]the important question is: will it work as a simple AirPlay (2) speaker as well? not all music that i like is available at Apple Music
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,859
1,731
I bought an Echo for 90 bucks on Prime day and Apple is trying to get $350 for Apple Home or whatever. Get lost.

Echo does everything I need it to.

Echo speaker doesn't compete with higher end speakers systems like Sonos for music. Remember, Apple's is going after the Sonos market...
[doublepost=1499948034][/doublepost]
Calling it now: Amazon will team up with a very well known, up market audio brand such as Bang & Olufson or Bose to upgrade the speaker. Will also help it compete with Apple if they can advertise it as having hardware from a trusted audio brand.

Sonos is the name you are looking for, they are already doing a private beta with them.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,873
15,010
In between a rock and a hard place
Calling it now: Amazon will team up with a very well known, up market audio brand such as Bang & Olufson or Bose to upgrade the speaker. Will also help it compete with Apple if they can advertise it as having hardware from a trusted audio brand.
Saw this coming from a mile away. Since companies like B&O, Bose, and Harman Kardon lend their name and tech to other industries (especially automobiles) it seems to be a no brainer for Amazon to team up a company like that.
Sonos is the name you are looking for, they are already doing a private beta with them.
I don't think this is the product JarScott is referencing. Sonos with Alexa integration has been known for a long time. Although... techincally they could build an Echo Play 4, slot it between the Play 3 and Play 5, and charge $350. Hmmm...
You could be on to something there spazzcat.:)
 

Infiniverse48

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2017
881
733
I bought an Echo for 90 bucks on Prime day and Apple is trying to get $350 for Apple Home or whatever. Get lost.

Echo does everything I need it to.
Does it do wireless distance charging?
[doublepost=1499950544][/doublepost]
The fact that Echo products were heavily discounted on Prime Day may add some weight to this rumour of updated models later this year,
Or they're fearful of HomePod?
 

jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,692
3,097
wait. people on macrumors said that the echo is superior and apple should catch up with amazon, not the other way around. crazy, i thought macrumors trolls posts were the one and only truth :D
[doublepost=1499946963][/doublepost]the important question is: will it work as a simple AirPlay (2) speaker as well? not all music that i like is available at Apple Music
I'm pretty sure the answer will be yes, given AirPlay 2 was announced at WWDC with support for multiroom synced audio. The HomePod would be an essential part of that.
 
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