The Amazon Echo Plus may already be the most capable smart speaker, thanks to an in-built smart home hub, but the new model announced by Amazon has taken it to a whole new level. That’s because the Echo Plus now features a temperature sensor, allowing third-party thermostats to get a better picture of the internal temperature of the home.

It’s not the first time a smart home device has launched to measure the temperature inside the home, but the Echo Plus is the first time we’ve seen it built into a smart speaker. Amazon says that while this feature will be useful information for third-party thermostats, it can also be leveraged by the user who just wants to know what the temperature is in the room.

The Echo Plus is Amazon’s flagship smart speaker, and thus just adding a temperature sensor wouldn’t have been enough to entice people into upgrading their existing Echo or Echo Dot speakers. That’s why, like the new Echo Dot, the Echo Plus now sports a new look, complete with a fabric wrap. The company has also upgraded the audio quality of the device, meaning this should now be the best sounding Echo speaker on the market.

To improve the audio Amazon integrated a 3in woofer and ‘increased back volume’. According to the company, this should result in a more prominent bass, as well as clearer mids and highs. For those wanting even more bass, then the Echo Plus can also be connected to the new Echo Sub, while those wanting stereo speakers can now pair two Echo Plus speakers together. In fact, users can have an Echo Sub and two Echo Plus speakers all paired together at once, representing the best sound system Amazon has offered to date.

Amazon’s Echo Plus is its most expensive smart speaker, however. The new model is priced at £139.99, identical to its predecessor, and will ship on October 11. Those who buy the Echo Plus now can also get a free Philips Hue bulb, which can be directly connected to the integrated smart home hub.

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