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The Street
The Street
Jacob Krol

Amazon redesigned the Echo Show, launched its first-ever soundbar, and dropped a bevy of new tech today

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Techtember is rolling on, and today, I’m reporting live from Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington, VA, for the annual device launch event. This is the first in-person event for Amazon since the last one held at their Seattle campus in 2019.

Kicking things off is departing head of Amazon Device’s Dave Limp—he noted it’s bittersweet as it is his last event. Since Amazon Device’s inception in 2009 with the original tall-cylinder Echo, the lineup has vastly expanded with dozens of other smart home devices.

Par for the course for an Amazon event, Limp wasted no time, going right into what new products Amazon is rolling out. Ahead, we’re sharing everything that’s been announced.

Echo Show 8

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The centerpiece of Amazon’s device family is Echo, so it makes sense that the first new device is a new Echo Show. It’s a completely redesigned Echo Show 8 smart display with a larger screen thanks to slimmer bezels. Like the Echo Show 10, it now has a more pronounced stand on the bottom and a bulbous rear that will come in Charcoal or Snow.

The leading change with hardware is improved audio, from a three-speaker setup with two side-firing and one up-firing. Like a Sonos or an Apple HomePod, it will also sense the room to customize the mix for your space. Amazon is touting some improved audio chops; we’re eager to go hands-on, err, ears-on.

Even neater, though, is new sensor tech that will adjust what is displayed depending on your proximity. For instance, you’ll see a larger typeface and graphics with more surface-level information when standing farther away. However, as you approach the Echo Show 8, it will transform with more detailed information and an interface catered for touch.

Interactions controlled through touch or with your voice will be faster on the third-generation Show 8. Amazon says it can be up to 40% faster for specific requests, and with the onboard processor, it should make for a much more engaging experience.

Amazon will begin shipping the Echo Show 8 next month, but it’s up for preorder now at $150. Compared to the previous second-generation Show 8, that’s a $20 increase.

Get It.

Echo Pop Kids

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Amazon’s Echo Pop smart speaker only debuted this past May, but now it’s getting a Kids Edition. Personally, I’d bet this one is popular with adults as well. The Echo Pop Kids comes in two designs: Disney Princesses or Marvel Heroes. After seeing them in person, both look great and come with a color-matched rubber protective sleeve. The actual Disney and Marvel graphics are screen-printed on the front grille.

For the $50 price, you’ll also score six months of Amazon’s Kids+ service at no additional cost. With this, you’ll get access to kid-appropriate content like bedtime stories, podcasts, games, jokes, and even audiobooks. As you might guess, many of them will also be Disney or Marvel-themed.

If you’re sold or want to lock in a great holiday gift for a kid, you can preorder Echo Pop Kids now at Amazon.

Get It.

Jacob Krol/TheStreet

Fire TV Soundbar

Jacob Krol/TheStreet

Unlike Roku’s Streambars, which combine a soundbar and a streaming stick, Amazon’s Fire TV Soundbar aims to deliver better audio for a Fire TV or a TV with a Fire TV Stick or Cube plugged in. It’s an interesting product that works best if you’re already in the Fire TV ecosystem.

The bar is ultra-compact at just 24 inches long and delivers audio through a two-speaker setup. The audio prowess here should improve overall range and soundstage, but Amazon also calls out improved dialogue and clarity for all content. It’s also easy to get set up as it just needs power and to be connected to your TV via the HDMI port.

For $119, Amazon is hoping this is a one-stop, affordable solution for upping the audio quality of your Fire TV setup. It’s pretty enticing, especially at just over $100 and if you’re already sold, you don’t have to wait. Amazon is taking orders now; depending on where you live, it will be delivered as early as tomorrow.

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Fire TV Stick

Alongside the Fire TV Soundbar, the Fire TV Stick family is growing today, and it makes sense when you consider that Amazon has sold over 200 million streaming devices. The first addition is the new Fire TV Stick 4K, which aims to speed things up and sticks with a $50 price tag. Amazon says it is up to 30% faster than the previous-generation model, which should translate to you being able to stream the content you desire even faster.

This faster processor is paired with support for Wi-Fi 6 and visual standards like Dolby Vision and HDR10+. The Fire TV Stick 4K has a slightly more modern design with rounded edges and still plugs directly into the HDMI port on the back of your TV. For the $50 price, it still comes bundled with an Alexa Voice Remote, and it’s up for order right now, with deliveries beginning on September 27.

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Amazon’s top-of-the-line Fire TV Stick 4K Max is also getting a speed bump and is becoming the world’s first streaming stick with support for Wi-Fi 6E. This way, if you have a router that supports it, you’ll notice improved connectivity. It’s designed to be the smoothest streaming stick in the Fire TV family and is best suited for gaming through streaming services like Luna. Like the Stick 4K, the Max has no price increase. It’s up for order at $60 from Amazon now and begins shipping on September 27, 2023.

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The Fire TV Stick 4K will likely remain the best option for most people, especially with a faster processor to keep it running for many years and support for the latest visual standards.

Beyond the new hardware, all previous Fire TV products will get two major software upgrades. Firstly, Amazon is finally adding a “continue watching” row that will make it easier to jump back into content regardless of how you were streaming it. Secondly, Search is being overhauled to be more helpful and let you ask for things more conversationally.

Additionally, anyone who purchases a Fire TV Stick, Cube, or Fire TV Edition will now get six months of MGM+ for free. And yes, that is the streaming service with most of the James Bond catalog.

Fire HD 10 Kids and Fire HD 10 Kids Pro

Alongside the Echo Pop Kids Edition, Amazon also revealed two new tablets for kids. The Fire Hd 10 Kids and Fire HD 10 Kids Pro are designed for younger children and older kids in mind, but like any other previous Kids edition Fire Tablet, these won’t be tossed to the side as they age up.

At the heart of the Kids or Kids Pro tablets is the base Fire HD 10. Comparing the new 10 Kids and 10 Kids Pro to the previous generation, Amazon promises up to 25% faster performance and 3GB of RAM, ensuring a swift experience that can easily handle the kids edition custom interface. Regardless of Kids or Kids Pro, both of these get a 10-inch 1080pHD screen that will be great for streaming content, playing games, browsing approved websites, video chatting with family, and even reading.

The best feature, and the one that parents love, is the “two-year worry-free guarantee.” If the Fire HD 10 Kids or the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro breaks for whatever reason, you can send it to Amazon, and they’ll ship a new one to you, no questions asked. You also get your pick for an extra protective case for the Fire HD 10. 

For the Fire HD 10 Kids, you can pick between blue and pink or two Disney-themed options: Mickey and Friends or Disney Princesses. The Fire HD 10 Kids Pro comes in Mint, Nebula, or a “Happy Day” themed option. Both are priced at $190 and are up for preorder now with shipment beginning on Oct. 18. 

Get It.

Ring Stick Up Cam Pro

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Ring only debuted one product, but it looks to be one of the most advanced indoor or outdoor security cameras that the brand has ever released. The Stick Up Cam Pro sports a single camera for a crisp and clear 1080p HD view accessible from the Ring app for iOS or Android, countless Echo Shows, and even on a Fire TV. 

Where it steps things up is with 3D Motion Detection and Bird's Eye View. Not only will you get hyper-accurate alerts when a person or something else is spotted, but within the Ring app you can see the path that person took around your property. It's basically a satellite shot with a dotted line on it.

You can see our first look at the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro here, but if you're sold it's up for preorder now at $180.

Get It.

Eero Max 7

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Eero is already known as one of the most intuitive and easiest to set up mesh Wi-Fi router systems available, but with the Eero Max 7, they're looking into the future. It's the first Wi-Fi 7 router from the brand and will deliver faster speeds than other Eeros with 10-gigabit ethernet built-in.

As far as the lineup goes, the Eero Max 7 is a step above the already great Eero Pro 6E, considered the 1.2GBps offering from the router maker. This will go past that and offer what will undoubtedly be an incredibly strong network fit for smart home devices, streaming, communication tasks, and even gaming.

Unlike any other Eero, these don't lay flat as rounded squares or rectangles, but Max 7 is a vertical-standing unit. It's also quite a bit larger, and a single Max 7 covers up to 2,500 square feet. Additionally, it maxes out with speeds up to 9.4GBps and starts at $600 for a single point. 

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Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.

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