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(Pocket-lint) - Amazon announced the second generation of its Echo Plus smart speaker in 2018. The updated speaker brings a new design to match the smaller Echo speaker and new Echo Dot, whilst also improving the sound experience.

But how does the all-new Echo Plus compare to its predecessor? Let's find out.

New Amazon Echo Plus (2018) vs old Echo Plus (2017) design

  • New Echo Plus: 148 x 99 x 99, 780g
  • Old Echo Plus: 235 x 84 x 84mm, 954g
  • Material finish on new Echo Plus

The new Echo Plus offers a complete redesign compared to its predecessor. Gone is the plasticky finish many might remember from the original Echo, replaced by a material surround, a rounded top and an overall softer and more premium design.

The new Echo Plus is shorter and lighter than its predecessor but it has a wider diameter, which is the same as the new Echo Dot, with the two devices displaying a clear resemblance to each other.

The new Echo Plus comes in three colour options, comprising Charcoal Fabric, Heather Grey Fabric and Sandstone Fabric. It has a 3.5mm audio output/input on the back, along with a small power port. The top meanwhile, has a light ring around the circumference, along with the volume up, volume down, microphone off and action button.

The older Echo Plus is quite a bit taller than the new model and the finish is that plasticky look we mentioned previously. The power port and 3.5mm audio output sit at the bottom, while a light ring is present at the top again.

The old Echo Plus also has a volume ring for adjustment rather than buttons with only the action button and microphone button at the top.  

New Amazon Echo Plus vs old Echo Plus sound

  • New Echo Plus: 0.8-inch tweeter, 3-inch woofer
  • Old Echo Plus: 0.8-inch tweeter, 2.5-inch woofer
  • Equaliser adjustment in Alexa app for both

The second generation Echo Plus is placing a big emphasis on an improved sound experience. Inside, it features an 0.8-inch tweeter at the bottom of the speaker, with a 3-inch woofer placed on top.

The speakers are tuned by Dolby again - as they were on the previous Echo Plus - which we found to deliver 360-degree audio with crisp vocals and dynamic bass. The new Echo Plus is a great sounding speaker and clearly a better performer than the older model.

By comparison, the first generation Echo Plus features a 0.8-inch tweeter, but only a 2.5-inch woofer - but it's probably the wider chamber of the new model that boosts the sound quality.

Both models allow the user to adjust the speaker's equaliser settings through the Amazon Alexa app, but the new Echo Plus also offers stereo pairing, if you have two.

The new Echo Plus and old Echo Plus also both have seven microphones, as well as beam-forming technology and noise cancellation.

New Amazon Echo Plus vs old Echo Plus features

  • Both control smart home products
  • Both offer same Alexa functionality
  • New Echo Plus has temperature sensor

The all-new Amazon Echo Plus and the old Echo Plus both offer the same features in terms of Alexa. You can ask Alexa to check the news, play your favourite music, ask for sports scores, find out what is on TV that evening, or even find out restaurant hours or information, among plenty of other requests.

Both Echo Plus speakers also have a built-in Zigbee hub to easily setup and control compatible smart home products but only the new Echo Plus has a built-in temperature sensor. This will mean you can tell it to turn on a plug (for example), when you hit a particular indoor temperature.

You can read all about Zigbee in our separate feature, but the Echo Plus speakers essentially mean you don't need a separate hub, making everything more simple when it comes to controlling compatible devices. They also both work with any Works with Alexa smart home devices too.

Additionally, both the Echo Plus speakers allow for calling and messaging between other Echo devices and the Alexa app and this feature will soon include Skype too.

New Amazon Echo Plus vs old Echo Plus price and conclusions


The new Echo Plus costs £139.99, while the old Echo Plus has had a reduction for Black Friday to bring it down to £89.99.

However, we would suggest going for the new Echo Plus if you're in the market for one of these Amazon speakers. The new Echo Plus has a much nicer design, sound improvements and smart home improvements, all for the same price as the older model.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 20 September 2018.