Three years after the debut of the original, Amazon decided the time was right to refresh its flagship smart speaker, the voice-activated Amazon Echo. Generation two arrives to find a landscape littered with new competitors — not just the Invokefrom Harman Kardon and countless others., but also Apple’s upcoming , the platform-agnostic , the Cortana-powered
At $100 — nearly half the cost of the original — the new Echo seeks to undercut them all. Like its predecessor, it doesn’t offer premium audio quality, but it’s still strong enough to fill a room with decent sound. And, if you like, you can connect it with your existing audio setup using Bluetooth or a 3.5mm cable, something you can’t do with the original. It looks better than before, too, with an attractive and compact new design.