Amazon Echo Studio: Best sounding of the lot

Mala Bharghava | Updated on: Nov 11, 2019
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This heavyweight smart speaker adds good music listening to the usual Alexa formula

There are at least half a dozen smart speakers in Amazon’s Echo line-up, but none focuses on music quality, though some of them, including the Echo Plus, sound pretty good, especially paired with a sub-woofer.

But why should you invest on a separate speaker, when you have an Echo?

Amazon has launched the Echo Studio to address this problem — and counter the competition since Alexa integration is open to third-party companies.

You can tell the Echo Studio is going to sound good when you take it out of its box, it’s that heavy and solid. Take care not to drop it on your foot while carrying it to a chosen spot!

If you have an existing set-up of Echo products, the Studio joins in easily, and within mere moments. If not, it’s not long either. Get the Alexa app, wait for the device to glow orange and indicate set-up readiness, and follow instructions. Get the Amazon Prime Music app for good measure.

Here’s how to get started

The deep resonating sound that is the all-set tone is another indication of how the speaker is going to sound. When your music source is all ready (the Prime Music app is the quickest) just give a voice command to play, or select something from the app and beam it to the speaker.

Boom for the buck

The Studio has some deep bass, just the way the average Indian listener likes it. That isn’t surprising as it has five speakers on the inside.

It has a 2-inch upward firing midrange speaker, two 2-inch mid-range left- and right-firing speakers, a 1-inch forward-firing tweeter, and a 5.25-inch downward firing woofer — so that’s where it’s coming from.

You can use the Alexa app to change the audio profile a little, enhancing bass, treble, midrange and enable spatial enhancement. The speaker senses the room area, and adjusts sound output somewhat. It’s loud and it has presence.

The speaker has Dolby Atmos processing built in. So you can also use the Studio as a sort of soundbar to add some heft to your TV’s sound. Paired with a Firestick, it will also control your Amazon Prime Video viewing.

It does have room-filling sound though if you need more oomph you can team up two of these devices and pair them to play stereo from the Alexa app, and really have a party.

They are reasonably priced enough to acquire two and they also connect with other Echo devices for multi-room music.

Another option is to get the Echo sub-woofer and add it to the mix, but really, that would be a lot of bass unless you’re a teenager.

The Studio is supposed to have 3D Sound support, but that requires Amazon Music HD, which isn’t available in India.

All the regular things that Alexa does are very much present in the Echo Studio. You can ask for information on a wide range of topics from weather, news, cricket, Bollywood etc. and enable whatever skills you want from the collection in the app. There are thousands that are India-specific.

Amazon refers to the Studio as the best sounding speaker they’ve made, and that’s entirely true.

It compares roughly compares with the Sonos 1 speaker which has more clarity and separation, but less bass and which is more expensive, at just over Rs 26,000.

It includes integration with both Alexa and Google assistants.

There’s also an Alexa speaker from Bose, the Home Speaker 500, which is in the same category for sound, but doesn’t have the brassy punch at all and costs double the price. It happens to have a screen to show the song info and album art. The Studio, however, actually has a very reasonable price for what it offers: a rich punchy sound.

Price: Rs 22,999

Pros: Big sound, prominent bass, enough to fill an average room, not huge looking but will fit unobtrusively in a corner, great price

Cons: Could have done with some better separation in the sound and better high frequencies

Published on November 11, 2019

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