Since the launch of the original Echo, Amazon has expanded the product family with the Dot, Tap and most recently with the screen-toting Echo Show.

Now tech blog Engadget claims that Amazon is preparing for a proper refresh of the main Echo, later this year.

“The new Echo will be both shorter and slimmer than the original, almost as if it were three or four Echo Dots stacked on top of each other,” claimed its report, based on a single source.

“Amazon is also softening its design with rounded edges and a cloth-like covering, rather than the current Echo’s plastic shell and flat ends. And yes, it should sound better, too. The company is packing in several tweeters this time around, instead of just relying on one large tweeter and a woofer.”

With Apple’s HomePod set to make audio quality a main focus – and with that being one of the few criticisms of the original Echo – it’s a logical and necessary evolutionary path for Amazon’s device to take.

One question: price. Outside flash sales, the Echo currently costs $180 – 50 dollars more than the $130 Google Home, but nearly half the proposed cost of the $349 HomePod.

Will the improved Echo edge closer to the latter, or down towards the former? Or perhaps both: a higher list price, but with more tactical flash-sales and discounts for Prime members…

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