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Amazon's redesigned Echo features improved sound, Alexa smarts

An all-cloth covering should help it fit in more with your decor.
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If you thought Amazon would sit back and let Apple reap the rewards of a smart speaker with decent sound, you're wrong. The shopping juggernaut just unveiled the new Echo. In addition to an all-cloth covering (with options for wood veneer) sports "all new sound architecture" including a dedicated woofer and tweeter in addition to Dolby-certified audio. More than that, it's rocking second-gen far field tech for better voice recognition. Speaking of voice, it'll make free calls to Canada and Mexico using Echo Connect. That'll launch in the US later this year.

And soon enough, you'll be able to use it for messaging to Germany and the UK. As for price, the new Echo will run you $100 stateside, £90 and €100 and is available today. Multipacks for multi-room audio are discounted by $50 per unit if you buy three. If you wait a bit though, maybe Amazon will screw up and (temporarily) give them away for free.

Over the past nine years, Timothy’s covered everything from drag shows to heavy metal, and he even debunked a local ghost story before joining Engadget in 2013. He’s an A/V enthusiast who adores physical media, much to the chagrin of his available shelf space. Movies by David Fincher and music from Amon Tobin, Deftones, Run the Jewels and Trent Reznor are his favorites. He has a complicated relationship with photography too and shares an exact birth date with Katy Perry.

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