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Amazon improves hearing for off-brand Echos

The Echo's seven-microphone technology is now available for third-party speakers.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng

Lenovo's Smart Assistant is one of the many non-Amazon products that uses Alexa as a voice assistant.


You won't have to yell as much anymore if you have a third-party Alexa device.

Amazon is releasing its seven-microphone design to outside companies that create voice assistant speakers using Alexa. Companies including Lenovo, LG and Ford have all taken a cut of Amazon's pie by equipping their own devices with Alexa, from speakers to refrigerators and cars.

Providing the technology behind Alexa's voice processing allows third-party companies to make voice assistants that can hear you from from across the room, even in loud environments. Amazon is releasing its software for wake-word recognition, noise reduction and echo cancellation.

Third-party makers will also be able to use the same seven noise-canceling microphones that are found in the Amazon Echo, making it easier to pick up voice commands from long distances.

The development kit is only available so far to commercial manufacturers through an invite-only program, so DIY-Echos will have to wait. You can request an invite from Amazon here.