Amazon just introduced a brand-new Echo Dot — it's louder and has a new design, but it's still only $79

Amazon just unveiled a brand-new Echo Dot. The new device costs $79 and is available for pre-order in Australia now.

So, what’s different about this year’s model?

The retailer says that the new Echo Dot is 70% louder than the previous model. Additionally, it sports a new fabric-covered design – a design, it should be noted, that makes it look a lot like Google’s Home Mini smart speaker.

The Echo Dot miniature smart speaker is Amazon’s best-selling Echo product, and Amazon says it’s the “best-selling speaker ever.” The update to the Echo Dot was unveiled alongside several new devices at an event in Seattle on Thursday.

In case you’re not familiar, the Echo Dot is one of Amazon’s many Alexa-powered devices. You can ask it questions, command it to play music, and even order stuff from Amazon – all of that is powered by Amazon’s voice assistant “Alexa.” The Echo Dot is Amazon’s most popular version of its Echo devices. It’s small, inexpensive, and widely available.

More than just a louder version of last year’s speaker, the updated Echo Dot adds a new mic array to hear commands more clearly. And the louder sound isn’t just boosted volume, but louder sound “with lower distortion and enhanced bass reproduction.”

In so many words, Amazon claims the new Echo Dot is much louder, and the sound it’s producing is of a higher quality.

Beyond the new look and updated sound, the 2018 Echo Dot is still a Bluetooth speaker, and it still has a line out port so you can use it to control other, more traditional speakers in your home.

One other thing that hasn’t changed: The price. Echo Dot costs $79 and is available for pre-order in Australia.

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