Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg
INTERNATIONAL - Inc on Thursday introduced new Echo devices with more powerful audio in a bid to stay ahead of rivals Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google in the nascent category for voice-controlled gadgets.

The world’s largest online retailer announced updated versions of its Echo Dot and Echo Plus, as well as new devices such as a ‘smart’ microwave, the Echo Sub and the $299.99 Echo Link Amp, focused on creating better entertainment systems for the home.

The company also added a ‘Smart Plug’ product to help ease setup of these and other devices, which can be a major pain point for shoppers new to using ‘smart home’ technology.