Amazon Now Selling Echo Speaker to All US Customers

Posted by at 8:01 am on June 23, 2015

Amazon has finally made its Echo network-connected speaker available for purchase by anyone, seven months after the company initially launched the device. Previously only sold to Amazon Prime subscribers and on an invitation-only basis, the Echo can now be bought by all customers in the United States without requiring an invitation, with the retailer expecting to start shipments of the device on July 14.

The Echo is a cylindrical speaker with a circle of lights near the top, measuring just over nine inches tall. Inside is a 2.5-inch woofer with a reflex port and a two-inch tweeter designed for 36-degree audio. Connecting over Wi-Fi, it can stream audio from various online radio stations, and it is also capable of streaming music from a smartphone via Bluetooth.

ECho

The key selling point of Echo is Alexa, a digital assistant in a similar mould to Google Voice Search and Siri. An always-on seven microphone array at the top allows it to listen out for commands which Alexa can follow, such as information from Internet searches and song requests. Since it’s launch, Amazon has been adding more functionality to Alexa, including the ability to play Audible audiobooks, product re-ordering, and connecting it to other apps and online services.

The Amazon Echo is priced at $180, though it is only available in the United States.

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