Amazon’s new smart speaker has a unique design and low priceon May 17, 2023 at 16:07 Tech Advisor
Ever since it launched in 2016, the Echo Dot has been the most affordable smart speaker Amazon makes. That’s now changed with the arrival of the Echo Pop, which will be available for just $39.99/£44.99 when it goes on sale on 31 May. It’s cheaper than the latest Echo Dot Amazon sells.
Aside from the price, the most interesting thing about the Pop is its design. It essentially looks like an Echo Dot that’s been cut in half, with the semi-spherical form factor allowing it to take up significantly less space.
Rather than outputting 360° audio, the Echo Pop’s speaker takes up almost the entire front of the device. Amazon says you can expect “full sound”, but only recommends it for small spaces such as a bedroom or dorm room.
The blue indicator (which appears when you say the wake word) is just above that main speaker, although the full light ring extends around the edge of it. It’s available in four finishes, called Charcoal, Glacier White, Lavender Bloom, and Midnight Teal.
You can also add an extra splash of colour with an Echo Pop sleeve, allowing you to customise the look of the device even further. Grey, Lilac, Purple, and Glow in the Dark options all cost an extra £19.99 in the UK.
The Echo Pop features the same Amazon AZ2 processor as the latest Echo Dot, while it can also be used as a Matter controller for smart home tech or Wi-Fi extender for the Eero mesh network. However, you do miss out on a temperature sensor, and there’s no option for a clock display.
Echo Show 5
Amazon’s smallest smart display has also been refreshed, both in regular ($89.99/£89.99) and Kids ($99.99/£99.99) models.
The former includes new speakers that Amazon claims offer both clearer sound and double the bass of the last generation. You also get the AZ2 processor, plus improved microphones.
It can be paired with a new adjustable stand, which also adds a USB-C port. This makes it an ideal candidate for the bedside, especially as the camera has a physical shutter.
There are three colours to choose from: black, white and blue. The Kids version is only available in a space-themed ‘Galaxy’ finish, but includes a two-year guarantee and one-year Amazon Kids Plus subscription.
Elsewhere, a new version of the Echo Buds has also launched, complete with a radically new design and much more affordable price – $49.99. There’s no active noise cancellation or even ear tips anymore, with Amazon opting for a semi-open design instead.
Best Amazon EchoAmazon Echo Show 5 (2021) reviewAmazon Echo Dot 5 review