The popular Echo speaker hasn't been updated in over two years; although, Amazon has unveiled new devices in the lineup including the Echo Dot, Tap, Look, and Show. According to a source, Amazon has plans to release a new Echo later this year that improves on the original in nearly every way.
The new device will allegedly be shorter and slimmer, about the height of three or four Echo Dots stacked. The design will also be softened with rounded edges and a cloth-like covering. It will pack in several tweeters to better rival the upcoming Apple HomePod which touts sound quality as its main feature. The current Echo has just one large tweeter and a woofer; whereas, the HomePod has seven tweeters.
Amazon is also working to improve the Echo's microphone technology which is already quite good. The current model has seven far-field mics, that's more than the HomePod at six and Google Home at two. It's possible that Amazon could make improvements to software and acoustic modeling for better voice recognition.
Pricing for the new Echo is unclear. Apple is pricing its HomePod at $349 and Google has its Home device priced at $130. Currently, the Echo costs $180; although, you could have snagged it on Prime Day for half price.
Engadget's source says they saw a working unit that was pretty polished; however, Amazon could make changes before the planned fall release.