- Amazon announced a new, orb-like version of its Echo speakers.
- The new design translates across four models of the Echo -- the base model, the smaller and cheaper Echo Dot, the Echo Dot with a clock display and a kids' edition with cute animal designs.
- The Echo speakers have a new chip that will improve the speed and response time for voice commands.
Amazon unveiled on Thursday an all-new Echo smart speaker lineup with a revamped, orb-like design.
The new design will be featured across four different Echo speaker models: the "regular" Echo, the cheaper and smaller Echo Dot, the Echo Dot with a built-in clock and the Echo Kids' edition, which has designs like cute animal characters. The regular Echo will cost $99, the Echo Dot will cost $49.99 and the Echo Dot with the clock will cost $59.99.
The new devices are the linchpin of Amazon's Echo and Alexa strategy, offering relatively affordable speakers that give customers access to a host of Amazon services and features from music to shopping.
Amazon also said the new Echo speakers will have a special processor called the "AZ1 Neural Edge processor" that can help run applications and power speech recognition on the device. Amazon said this will make the speakers respond faster and more accurately to your voice.
The announcement was part of Amazon's annual hardware launch event, where the company previews a suite of products ahead of the the holiday shopping season. You can see all of Amazon's announcements from Thursday here.