Amazon announced the second generation of its Echo Plus smart speaker at an event in Seattle. The updated speaker brings a new design to match the smaller Echo speaker and new Echo Dot, whilst also improving the sound experience.
How does the all-new Echo Plus compare to its predecessor though? We have put the 2018 Echo Plus up against the 2017 Echo Plus to see what the differences are and what has changed in a year.
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 all-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, as the old Echo Dot and Echo Plus did.
Like the new Echo Dot, 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 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.
Last year's Echo Plus is quite a bit taller than the new model, but more importantly it only comes in black as a colour option 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.
Unlike the new Echo Plus and Echo Dot however, the old Echo Plus has a volume ring for sound adjustment rather than buttons with only the action button and microphone off 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 also powered 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 response, as promised. By comparison, the first generation Echo Plus features a 0.8-inch tweeter too, but only a 2.5-inch woofer, so you should notice a difference in the new model.
Both models will also allow the user to adjust the speaker's equaliser settings through the Amazon Alexa app, following an update to the Alexa app.
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.
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 smarthome 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 will be available from 11 October for £139.99, which is the same price as the current Echo Plus is available for.
Based on the specs though, we would suggest waiting 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 smarthome improvements, all for the same price as the older model.