Amazon is developing a higher-quality version of its popular Echo smart speaker, according to a new report today by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

homepod and echo

Prototypes of the cylindrical speaker are wider than the current Echo to squeeze in additional components including at least four tweeters, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter.

The speaker is reportedly being developed to include improved audio to rival Apple's HomePod and other competing speakers on the market. According to Gurman, the Echo has lost some ground to more premium smart speakers that are marketed as offering superior sound.

The Echo, which went on sale in 2015, will grab 63% of the U.S. market this year, according to EMarketer. But it has lost some ground to the Sonos One, Apple Inc. HomePod and Google Home Max -- all of which claim to deliver superior audio. Google now has 31% of the market, while the rest have a combined 12%. The HomePod isn't selling as well as Apple expected, and the company recently dropped the price.

The development of a higher-quality Echo marks a new phase in Amazon's attempt to gain ground in the smart speaker segment. The company has previously introduced halfway-house solutions to improve the audio of the existing cylindrical Echo by offering a standalone subwoofer and connections to link the speakers to a hi-fi stereo system. The Echo range will also receive minor updates this fall, people familiar with the plans told Bloomberg.

Amazon also reportedly plans to launch a hi-fidelity version of its music streaming service by the end of the year.

In addition, Gurman's report includes details on Amazon's effort to ramp up work on its home robot, which has wheels and can be controlled by Alexa voice commands.

People familiar with the project have reportedly described prototypes that are about waist-high and navigate with the help of an array of computer-vision cameras, but it still isn't clear what purpose the robot would serve.

Amazon originally intended to reveal the robot, known internally as "Vesta," as early as this year, but the machine isn't quite ready for mass production, according to the report.

Related Roundup: HomePod

Top Rated Comments

PickUrPoison Avatar
30 months ago
Alexa/Echo has the biggest following. It has the most smart home support and has the best offering for streaming/radio since YouTube has returned to the platform.

The only negative, is what I keep on seeing here - "but but privacy!"

Dude. If privacy is such a bother, you can't have a smart home. All these products and services in SOME way take your data.
They’re the same but only different.

For example, Apple anonymizes your requests. otoh, Amazon records your conversations and then a rep will post the “interesting” ones on an internal forum for other Amazon employees to enjoy. Then a couple mouse clicks later, they pop up your account data.

But Amazon definitely “respects your privacy”. Just ask them....
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maflynn Avatar
30 months ago
Apple has largely lost the smart speaker market and Amazon keeps improving their offerings.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Homepod, but it Siri is definitely inferior
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Manatlt Avatar
30 months ago
Alexa/Echo has the biggest following. It has the most smart home support and has the best offering for streaming/radio since YouTube has returned to the platform.

The only negative, is what I keep on seeing here - "but but privacy!"

Dude. If privacy is such a bother, you can't have a smart home. All these products and services in SOME way take your data.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
waquzy Avatar
30 months ago
Apple has largely lost the smart speaker market and Amazon keeps improving their offerings.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Homepod, but it Siri is definitely inferior
Truth to be told, Alexa is better than Siri but the HomePod sounds better than Echo by a large margin. Therefor HomePod wins
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
robjulo Avatar
30 months ago
Uh no......that is a myth to justify the ridiculous HomePod price and not borne out by blind testing.

Hehe, but when it comes to sound it’s HomePod > Sonos
[doublepost=1562934892][/doublepost]

I bet you have never heard of the HomePod, the sound quality blows it out of the water
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Remy149 Avatar
30 months ago
There seems to be more offered for Alexa then Siri, but in all truthfulness I don't have any smart home stuff. I can only comment on Siri vs Alexa and the differences are night and day.
I own a lot of smart home stuff. There is definitely more products available for Alexa however I own both an HomePod and several echos I’ve got free in promotions. Siri and HomeKit is better at controlling scenes and also takes actions faster. Alexa relays every request through the web so there is almost always a long delay between telling the commands and then performing the task. What makes Alexa seem smarter are all the 3rd party skills your allowed to add.
[doublepost=1562932312][/doublepost]
What do you mean by wins? Aren't they competing for marketshare? Seems like HomwPod is the biggest loser.

If they're competing for sound quality, yes, HomePod wins.
If Apple wanted to compete for market share they would have created a sub $50 speaker since that’s what most consumers buy. I’ve got all my echo speakers and my google home mini for free or almost free.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
airtag in hand

Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Thursday June 3, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to AirTags that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession. At the current time, AirTags play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, AirTags will...
maxresdefault

Here's How Apple's New iPhone to iPhone Data Migration Feature Works in iOS 12.4

Tuesday July 23, 2019 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple this week released iOS 12.4, the newest version of iOS 12 available for iPhones and iPads. One of the new features in iOS 12.4 is an updated data migration option that uses device to device transfers rather than relying on iCloud. Apple didn't provide much information on the new data migration feature, so we thought we'd check it out in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the ...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
tmobilelogo

T-Mobile Data Breach Included Personal Information of Almost 50 Million Customers

Wednesday August 18, 2021 5:41 am PDT by
T-Mobile has issued a statement with further details about a cyberattack that the company confirmed earlier this week, confirming that the data breach included the personal information of almost 50 million current, former, and prospective customers. Late last week, T-Mobile confirmed that a forum post that purported to offer data from more than 100 million people was the result of a company...
airtag precision finding

AirTag Includes U1 Chip for 'Precision Finding' Feature

Tuesday April 20, 2021 12:11 pm PDT by
Apple's long-awaited AirTag was finally unveiled today, and as expected, the small circle-shaped accessories can be attached to items like wallets, keys, and more to allow them to be tracked in the Find My app. As was rumored ahead of release, each AirTag is equipped with a U1 chip, and on devices that also have U1 chips, there's a Precision Finding feature. U1 Ultra Wideband chips are...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
Apple Films Tom Hanks Finch First Look

Apple Original Film 'Finch' Starring Tom Hanks to Premiere November 5

Thursday August 12, 2021 8:52 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the original film "Finch," starring Tom Hanks in its titular role, will premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 5 and shared a first-look image from the film. The first look at "Finch," shared by Apple. The film, which is anticipated to be an awards season contender, revolves around a man, a robot (played by "Get Out" actor Caleb Landry Jones), and a dog that form ...
2016 macbook pro flexgate b

Apple Faces Another Class-Action MacBook Pro ‘Flexgate’ Lawsuit

Thursday August 20, 2020 6:43 am PDT by
Another class-action complaint has been lodged against Apple, which claims that the company was aware of a MacBook Pro design flaw that caused some devices to have backlight display issues (via Apple Insider). The so-called "flexgate" problem was present in some MacBook Pro models manufactured between 2016 and 2017. The problem appears as dark patches along the bottom of the MacBook Pro's...
macbook air m1 first benchmark

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Wednesday November 11, 2020 4:43 pm PST by
Apple introduced the first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with M1 Apple Silicon chips yesterday, and as of today, the first benchmark of the new chip appears to be showing up on the Geekbench site. The M1 chip, which belongs to a MacBook Air with 8GB RAM, features a single-core score of 1687 and a multi-core score of 7433. According to the benchmark, the M1 has a 3.2GHz base...