The smallest member of the Alexa family just got a whole lot cheaper. After inadvertently leaking the news in a Tweet yesterday (Sept. 13), Amazon has officially launched a new version of the Echo Dot for just $49, down from the original's $89.
The puck-shaped Echo Dot is essentially a miniature Amazon Echo that you can connect to just about any Bluetooth or analog speaker you want. Just like the standard Echo, the Dot lets you tap into Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, allowing you to check the news, play some music, control your smart home gadgets and even order a pizza or Uber without lifting a finger.
Aside from its lower price, the 2nd-generation Dot promises better speech recognition when you're far away or in a noisy room. It also comes in a new white finish, which should help it blend seamlessly into your pearly kitchen or bathroom.
We were big fans of the original Echo Dot, thanks to its general ease of use and ability to turn your ordinary speaker set into a smart one. For some odd reason, the previous Dot was only available via Alexa voice shopping, meaning you needed to already have a device such as the Echo or Amazon Tap to order one. Fortunately, that no longer seems to be the case.
The Echo Dot was already a more versatile and affordable means of getting Alexa in your home compared to the $180 Amazon Echo, and at $49, it's a downright steal. The newer, cheaper Dot is available for pre-order now and will start shipping on Oct. 20. If you like buying in bulk, you can buy five Dots and get the sixth free, or buy ten and get two free.