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The new Amazon Echo lineup is finally here—here's everything you need to know

The Echo family just got a whole lot bigger.

Here's what you need to know about the new Amazon Echo lineup Credit: Amazon

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When Amazon first debuted the Amazon Echo smart speaker, it was the first of its kind. A speaker that responds to verbal commands? I was intrigued, but also unsure if the technology would take off. Then I bought one and fell in love. I now have 3 Echo devices—an original Echo, An Echo Dot, and the Echo Show—in various rooms in my home. And following Amazon's latest announcement, I am already planning to expand my personal collection.

Amazon has just expanded the selection of Echo and Alexa-enabled devices to include three new Echo devices, two new "Amazon Gadgets," and a handful of exciting new features.

Amazon's Alexa technology is so popular it's hard to find a smart device or service that does not work with Alexa in some way. You can even order pizza now. Dangerous but delicious. In fact, the list of everything that works with Alexa is already massive and growing fast.

Amazon Echo: The original smart speaker reimagined

Amazon Echo Second Gen.
Credit: Amazon

The new Echo offers more variety to fit in with any decor.

After three years, Amazon has finally revealed the second generation Echo, and we're delighted at the changes. The new Echo is shorter than the original, and comes in one of six different color options (featuring fabric, wood, and metallic finishes). This makes it easier to find an Echo that fits your decor, regardless of which room it's in.

Despite its smaller size, the second generation Echo has enhanced audio with Dolby built-in for better sound than its predecessor. The far-field technology (which listens for the wake word) has also been improved so Alexa can hear you better over music or other competing sounds.

• The new Echo costs $99.99, $70 less than the first gen.
• 6 shell options: charcoal, heather gray, and sandstone fabric, and oak, walnut, and silver finishes
• Create single-point commands for all your smart home devices with "Alexa Routines"
• Better sound output with Dolby audio, a better 0.6" tweeter, and a 2.5" down-firing woofer
• Better microphones with second-generation far-field technology

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Amazon Echo ($99.99)—available for pre-order now, and begins shipping on Oct. 31.

Amazon Echo Plus: Smarter than ever

Amazon Echo Plus
Credit: Amazon

This is a must for any smart home—it even recognizing and syncs with a range of existing devices.

If you loved the original Echo's design, you'll be happy to know Amazon kept it around for the new Echo Plus. More exciting, however, is that the Echo Plus will cost $20 less than the old Echo while offering even more features. The Echo Plus does everything the Echo does, but it also doubles as a smart home hub. This means you don't need yet another device to sync all of your smart technology in one place.

So far, Amazon Alexa can recognize Philips and ZigBee smart devices, and we're confident this list will only continue to grow once the Echo Plus starts shipping. To sync your smart tech, you just say, "Alexa, discover my devices," and she does everything for you.

• The Echo Plus costs $149.99, $20 less than the original Echo
• Doubles as a smart home hub
• Can detect and sync with ZigBee and Philips smart products with a single command
• Create single-point commands for all your smart home devices with "Alexa Routines"
• Better sound output with Dolby audio, a better 0.8" tweeter, and a 2.5" down-firing woofer
• Better microphones with second-generation far-field technology
• Comes in silver now, as well as original black and white

Amazon Echo Plus ($149.99)—available for pre-order now, and begins shipping on Oct. 31.

For a limited time, you'll even get a free Philips Hue smart bulb when you pre-order the Echo Plus.

Amazon Echo Spot: The Dot meets the Show

Amazon Echo Spot
Credit: Amazon

Use the Echo Spot as an alarm clock that can also show you the weather, play videos, and more!

The Echo Show ($229.99) added a whole new dimension to the smart speaker world when it debuted this summer, and now it's got a little sibling for nearly half the cost. The Echo Spot is essentially a hybrid of the Show and the Dot. The smaller size and circular screen make this device a perfect addition to a bedside table or a home office.

You can ask Alexa to display a clock face, or have her show alerts like weather and news updates. You can also play music (and display lyrics), stream videos, and make video and audio calls to anyone else you know with an Echo Show or Echo Spot.

• The Echo Spot costs $129.99, $100 less than the Echo Show
• Fresh round design in black or white
• Perfect as a desk or bedside device
• Make video and audio calls to other Echo owners
• Stream videos from Amazon Prime Video
• View lyrics to Amazon Music tunes (did someone say kareoke party?)

Amazon Echo Spot ($129.99)—available for pre-order now, and begins shipping on Dec. 19.

Amazon Echo Connect: A hands-free landline speaker

Amazon Echo Connect
Credit: Amazon

Still have a landline? This device lets you make hands-free calls with your Echo to any phone number.

If you've got a landline phone, you can connect it to any Echo device. The Echo Connect allows you to run your phone line to your Echo so you can makes and receive calls without having to lift a finger. It uses your existing number and service, so beyond the cost of the device does not cost any extra.

The real potential for this device is that you can ask Alexa to contact emergency services. It has the potential to be a literal life saver if something happens that prevents you from reaching your phone. Plus, if you set it up in the kitchen, you won't have to worry about missing a call because your hands are busy kneading dough or shaping meatballs.

• The Echo Connect only costs $34.99
• Connects your existing landline to your Echo device
• No additional charge for hands-free calling to regular phone numbers
• Small size won't take up much extra counter space (and can easily be tucked away)

Amazon Echo Connect ($129.99)—available for pre-order now, and begins shipping on Dec. 13.

Echo Gadgets: Fun new toys for your Echo

Amazon Echo Buttons
Credit: Amazon

Echo Buttons give you a brand new way to play games on your Echo Show.

Amazon announced a whole new sub-category of Alexa devices: Echo Gadgets. The first product in this collection is the Echo Button. They will sell in packs of two for $19.99 once they're available, but you'll probably want to get two sets if the idea appeals to you.

Echo Buttons are set to work with any Echo device, but will be especially ideal for the Echo Show when they roll out this holiday season. They are designed to enhance Alexa gaming and already major brand names are on board to offer a unique playtime experience—Trivial Pursuit from Hasbro, Beat the Intro from Musicplode, and a number of sports trivia games are among the early adopters, and countless more will likely crop up once the devices are on the market.

• Echo Buttons 2-packs will be $19.99 once they're available
• The buttons light up in different colors
• They can be used for a growing number of games and interactive experiences

Echo Buttons ($19.99 for a 2 pack)—not yet available for purchase, but you can sign up for email notifications from Amazon.

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