Amazon Working on Premium Echo Speaker, Rolling Alexa Robot (Report)

Echo Sub launch
(Image credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Amazon's Echo speakers are decent Alexa-powered devices, but they can't challenge the audio of higher-end devices like the Sonos One

That may be about to change. According to a Bloomberg report, Amazon plans to release its highest-quality speaker yet by the end of next year. 

Per Bloomberg, the speaker will pack in at least four tweeters. That's a huge upgrade from the Echo and Echo Plus, which contain one 0.6-inch tweeter and one 0.8-inch tweeter respectively. 

The company is also working on an Alexa-powered robot. The bot, which has wheels, would be able to navigate from room to room on its own. It's not clear exactly what tasks this robot would complete, but it would presumably bring Alexa to rooms that don't contain smart speakers. 

It's not clear when either device will launch. Amazon typically unveils a handful of devices at its September event, and it's possible we could see either device there. Amazon told Bloomberg that the Echo lineup will "receive minor updates" this fall. The company also launches individual (generally less-anticipated) products throughout the year. 

Amazon intended to unveil the robot this year, but has de-prioritized the project in recent months, according to the report. The company has not announced a release date for the premium speaker, and has not yet confirmed that the product is in the works. 

However, the time is ripe for both devices. With the release of the Echo Sub, the first Alexa-powered subwoofer, in late 2018, Amazon demonstrated at least some commitment to challenging premium smart speakers from the likes of Apple, Google and Sonos. 

Meanwhile, voice assistant-powered robots are slowly but steadily on the rise. Samsung announced plans earlier this year to release four Bixby-equipped bots that can roll around your home, though there's no release date yet. Meanwhile, a company called Robotemi is currently shipping an Alexa-powered personal robot with features a 10.1-inch Android tablet built in. 

We don't yet have much concrete information about these devices, and we can't be sure that they'll actually launch until we hear confirmation from Amazon itself. But given current trends in the smart-home space, neither product would be a surprise. 

Monica Chin is a writer at The Verge, covering computers. Previously, she was a staff writer for Tom's Guide, where she wrote about everything from artificial intelligence to social media and the internet of things to. She had a particular focus on smart home, reviewing multiple devices. In her downtime, you can usually find her at poetry slams, attempting to exercise, or yelling at people on Twitter.