Everything you need to know about the new Amazon Echo 4th Generation
The fourth-generation Echo finds Amazon ditching the speaker’s cylindrical origins for a more whimsical spherical design. The fourth-generation Echo is a near-sphere, measuring 5.2 inches tall and 5.7 inches wide, available in black, blue, or white. Amazon notes that the fabric and aluminum it uses in its Echo speakers are 100-percent recycled materials.
The light ring has been moved from the top of the speaker to the base, providing a less direct glow that’s still recognizable by lighting up blue when you speak your chosen wake word for Alexa. The top panel holds buttons for Alexa, volume up, volume down, and mic mute. The back is home to the connector for the power adapter and a 3.5mm audio output.
Underneath the fabric sits a 3-inch woofer and dual 0.8-inch front-firing tweeters, through which the Echo supports Dolby audio. The fourth-generation Echo also provides access to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
Alexa can provide general information like sports scores and weather; play music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, or SiriusXM; control various smart home devices.
The Echo features Amazon’s AZ1 Neural Edge processor, a chip designed for machine learning. According to Amazon, the processor enables new features that run on the edge of the cloud (with some processing on the device, rather than Amazon’s servers), like more responsive speech recognition. This is important because while Alexa is a capable voice assistant, its natural language recognition is rather stiff and requires very specific syntax for some commands.
The all-new Echo delivers premium sound (powered by Dolby) and delivers clear highs, dynamic mids, and deep bass for a rich, detailed sound that adapts to any room.
The opening guitar plucks get plenty of lower-frequency resonance to sound warm and full, and the electric bassline stands out in the mix when the rest of the instrumentation kicks in. The Echo doesn’t have quite the same high-frequency finesse offered by the Nest Audio, so the string texture and vocals don’t stand out quite as much, but there is significantly more response in the lows and low-mids.
In terms of sound quality, the new Dot is not as much of a leap forward as the new Echo. It is better-sounding than the 3rd Gen model, but only slightly — you have to be comparing them side by side to notice the difference. The sound is a little fuller and there are slightly better soundstage thanks to the dome-shaped design, but the speaker is the same size and power as before and it doesn’t support stereo like the Echo.
The fourth generation Amazon Echo is priced at Rs 7,999 on Amazon.