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Amazon refreshes line of Alexa smart devices

The new devices include an updated Echo Show 5 as well as a new smart speaker called Echo Pop.

The new devices include an updated Echo Show 5 as well as a new smart speaker called Echo Pop.

The Amazon Pop, a smart speaker powered by the voice assistant Alexa. (Courtesy photo)
The Amazon Pop, a smart speaker powered by the voice assistant Alexa. (Courtesy photo)

Amazon has refreshed its line-up of smart devices powered by the voice assistant Alexa, including a new smart speaker called Echo Pop.

The Echo Pop is similar to the company’s long-time smart speaker, Echo Dot, except it offers a front-firing speaker that offers greater dynamic audio compared to its predecessor. The $40 Echo Pop comes in four colors: Grey (charcoal), white (glacier white), purple (lavender) and blue-green (midnight teal).

The new Echo Pop works with Amazon Music as well as other streaming audio platforms, including SiriusXM, Spotify, Apple Music and Audible. While the Echo Dot is intended to serve as a central hub for the smart home, Amazon’s intentions with the Echo Pop makes clear that the device is intended for streaming audio and music, though it’ll work with Alexa skills and smart products just as any other device would.

“It was a big challenge to imagine and deliver a powerful smart speaker at this price,” Rajesh Parthasarathy, a principle product manager at Amazon, said in a statement. “We designed a unique form factor and added two new color options; we think customers are going to love it.”

The new Echo Pop is available for pre-order here, and will be released on May 31, 2023.

In addition to the Echo Pop, Amazon has released a product refresh of its popular Echo Show 5 smart display, which includes an integrated webcam (a stand for the display is an optional add-on). Amazon says the speaker inside the Echo Show 5 has been completely redesigned to offer higher fidelity, improved bass and clearer overall sound.

“We did a lot of customer opinion research and learned that sound is one of the most important elements of this kind of device,” Christina Cao, a senior product manager at Amazon, said on Wednesday. “So we took that customer feedback and delivered our best-sounding and fastest Echo Show 5.”

Also joining the Echo Show 5 line-up is a version of the device specifically tailored to kids, which includes unique designs and kid-friendly responses from Alexa.

The Echo Show 5 ships on May 31 and costs $90, while the Echo Show 5 Kids Edition costs $100.

Last, Amazon released an updated version of its Echo Buds true wireless earbuds, which pair with any Bluetooth device like a smartphone, tablet, smart TV or laptop and includes access to Alexa.

“These new Echo Buds deliver high-quality audio, long-lasting battery life, and premium features at an unbelievable price,” Anuj Dron, a senior product manager at Amazon, said. “They give customers easy access to audio content and Alexa anywhere they might be.”

The new Echo Buds will be released June 7 at a price of $50 and can be pre-ordered here.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).