Amazon released a couple new Echos this week, both as more wallet friendly versions of the original Echo. The Amazon Echo is pretty much a $180 “smart speaker” mostly mimicking what “Siri” does on an Apple device, or what “OK Google” does for Android.
The New $90 Echo Dot is pretty much the same as it’s big brother, but is shaped like a hockey puck, and does not offer nearly the sound of the original echo. It is, however half the price, and can connect to an external speaker if you are looking to bump your NPR news. Currently, this can only be ordered via Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa. Meaning you’re going to need at least one Alexa enabled Amazon device to buy it.
The $130 Amazon Tap is pretty similar to the OG as well with one (big) plus, and one (big) minus. The tap contains a battery, which makes it pretty much a portable speaker. The minus? You have to actually “tap” a button to talk to the tap, making it a little less… well… hands free.
Interested in the Echo, like projects, and don’t want to fork out ~100+ dollars for one of these? Lifehacker has a pretty good article on how to DIY with a raspberry pi, a couple components, and some mental elbow grease. I’ll definitely be giving this one a whirl sometime in the near future, as I love my Echo, but don’t currently want to fork out another $180 for one.