When Amazon launched the Echo Dot earlier this year, the $90 speaker was one of the cheapest ways to interact with Amazon’s Alexa voice service. Now it’s even cheaper.
Amazon is now selling a new version of the Echo Dot for $50. Or you can save money by purchasing a pack: 6 Dots for the price of 5 or 12 for the price of 10.
It’ up for pre-order today and should begin shipping October 20th.
The news comes as Amazon makes a few other Alexa-related announcements: the Echo and Echo Dot are also now available in the UK and Germany, and both products are now available in black or white color options (previously they only came in black).
The Echo Dot is a lot smaller than a full-sized Amazon Echo and doesn’t have the fancy speaker system. But the cheaper model does have a built-in speaker that’s good enough to let you use a Dot like an internet-connected alarm clock, and it has the same array of 7 microphones as the larger Echo, allowing you to control the Dot with your voice from anywhere in the room.
Amazon says there’s also improved voice recognition thanks to a redesigned voice processor. Other changes include a slightly more compact design and physical volume up and down buttons (instead of a volume ring).
There’s also a new “Echo Spatial Perception” feature that helps an Echo Dot recognize if there are multiple units in the house and only have the nearest one respond to your voice. That feature is also coming to first-generation Dot devices through an upcoming software update.
Amazon has always positioned the Dot as a device that’s compact and inexpensive enough to let you buy multiple units and place them throughout the house. The new $50 price makes that proposition seem a bit more attractive, which helps explain why Amazon is also offering even better pricing when you buy a 6-pack or 12-pack.
You can also now pre-order the Echo Dot directly from the Amazon website. In the past, the only way to order one was through an Amazon Echo — which meant you’d have to own a $180 model before you even had the option of purchasing the smaller, cheaper companion device.
The Alexa voice service lets you do things like control music playback, get news and traffic updates, or control smart home products by talking to the Echo Dot.
If you do want to use it with better speakers, you can also connect the Dot to wired or wireless speakers, thanks to a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth.