(Pocket-lint) - Amazon has announced a new version of its popular Echo speaker moving to the third generation and shifting the design to look more like the 2018 Echo Plus.

The Amazon Echo can take the credit for inventing the smart speaker segment, but through a number of revisions has allowed people to access Amazon's Alexa voice assistant at reasonable prices. 

But this new Echo doesn't just look like the previous Echo Plus - it basically is. Amazon tells us that it uses the same audio architecture, to give it a richer sound stage than the model it replaces, with a 3-inch woofer and 360-degree sound. There's quite a difference in the performance of the second-gen Echo (which this new speaker replaces) and the Echo Plus (which this speaker sounds like), so this new third-gen Echo should easily become the most desirable Echo so far.

The new Echo will be available in Charcoal, Sandstone, Heather Gray and the new Twilight Blue colours, but will very much do everything that the previous Echo devices are known for - just with better sound quality.

It's going to cost $99 in the US or £89.99 in the UK and will be available from 25 September.

The new Echo has been announced alongside a range of other hardware from Amazon, including a new Echo Dot that now has an LED clock on it - even better as a bedside assistant, but the big news is the Echo Studio

This is Amazon's play to higher quality audio, looking to address criticisms that Echo speakers don't sound good. While Amazon wants to upscale its audio performance, it's also keeping the price in check at $199 or £189.99 in the UK.



This new line-up devices joins the Echo Plus, Echo Sub and Echo Dot, meaning there really is an Echo for just about every type of user.

Writing by Chris Hall.