Love Amazon's spherical smart speakers? Then today's a good day for you all round (sorry). Amazon just announced the new Echo Dot 5th Gen, with improved audio – specifically, up to 50% less distorting, and yet up to twice the bass at the same time.
It comes in a regular Echo Dot flavor, and a new Echo Dot with Clock that has a more advanced display, so it can show extra information beyond the time. That includes calendar appointments or a snooze countdown.
There are also two fabulous new Echo Dot 5th Gen Kids Edition smart speakers in town! Of these, our marginal favorite is probably the purple dragon, but the owl is cool too.
The regular Echo Dot will cost $49.99 in the US and AU$79 in Australia, while the UK price has risen from the Echo Dot (2020) to £54.99, while the Echo Dot with Clock will cost $59.99 / £64.99 / AU$99. The Echo Dot Kids will also cost $59.99 / £64.99, though it's currently not available in Australia.
There was no mention of a new full-size Echo to replace the 2020 Amazon Echo, so it looks like that's continuing as-is for now, though – but it will be updated with a new feature that means it can act as a mesh network extender for an Eero network.
The full-size Echo looks increasingly like it's getting squeezed from both sides – the smaller model now promises more expansive and clearer sound, while the Echo Studio can often be had for only a little more than the full-size regular Echo.
Speaking of which, there was also word of a new color for the Amazon Echo Studio (glacier white), plus news that existing Echo Studio models are getting an upgrade to add better spatial audio processing for 360 audio and great dynamic extensions to position sounds in space. They'll be on-sale for $199 officially.
Amazon launched the smart speakers at a special Devices, Services and Ring Event – and there is plenty to celebrate. It also launched a highly specced 65-inch and 75-inch QLED 4K TV, new Amazon Fire TV Cube, Halo Rise smart sleep tracker and wake-up light, and a Kindle with a stylus for note taking.
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Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.
- Matt BoltonManaging Editor, Entertainment