Amazon's first Echo is getting old.
Think about it: it's been two years since the company introduced the cylindrical speaker, and it hasn't updated it since, although it has released several other different versions in the form of Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Echo Look, and Echo Show. However, according to Engadget, Amazon does plan to finally update its original Echo later this year, as it's been working on ways to improve the speaker.
It'll supposedly take on Apple's HomePod. It will be both shorter and slimmer - about the size of three or four stacked Dots - and it'll have a softer design with rounded edges and a cloth-like covering, sort of like the Google Home, even. It'll also have better sound technology, thanks to several tweeters, instead of just one large tweeter and a woofer. For comparison, the HomePod has seven tweeters.
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The new Echo, which other rumours suggest could be called the Echo Plus, will have better microphone technology as well. It currently has an array of seven far-field microphones. Amazon could add more hardware, or it might just improve the software and acoustic modeling. Engadget doesn't seem to be sure right now either way. There's also no word on how much it'll cost. The original Echo is priced at $180 through Amazon, but it is now on sale for $99.
We've reached out to Amazon for a comment and will make sure to keep you posted as we learn more.