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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Amazon Echo Studio hands-on: It sounds right

Pitched as a premium smart speaker, the Echo Studio is larger than the regular Echo and supports 3D audio and Dolby Atmos. At $199, Amazon is aiming to lure audiophiles with the Echo Studio. We managed to spend some time with the Echo Studio and here are our initial thoughts.

Written by Anuj Bhatia | Seattle | Updated: September 26, 2019 9:20:32 pm
The Amazon Echo Studio has the same shape as Apple’s HomePod, but it’s larger.

Of all the new devices unveiled by Amazon on Wednesday, it was the Echo Studio speaker that had the most impact. Pitched as a premium smart speaker, the Echo Studio is larger than the regular Echo and supports 3D audio and Dolby Atmos. At $199, Amazon is aiming to lure audiophiles with the Echo Studio.

I managed to spend some time with the Echo Studio and here are my initial thoughts.

Echo Studio

The Echo Studio has the same shape as Apple’s HomePod, but it’s larger. Its cylindrical shape and covered with a fabric mesh reminiscent of the previous generation Echo speakers. But the Echo Studio is all about the ‘wow’ sound quality that you might expect from a smart speaker costing $200.

There’s a lot of tech goes inside the Echo Studio. The premium sounding smart speaker has three mid-range speakers for left, right and top. You also get a directional tweeter and a large 5.25 bass driver. In my brief testing, the Echo Studio delivered crisp and clear audio in the controlled demo area. The audio quality was clearly better than the Echo Plus.

The Echo Studio is all about the ‘wow’ sound quality that you might expect from a smart speaker costing $200.

Like the Sonos One and Apple HomePod, the Echo Show uses far-field microphones to map out the room, delivering 3D sound experience. I was able to enjoy the music it produced wherever I stood in the demo area.

Alexa is definitely a big part of the Echo smart speakers, and the Echo Studio is no different. It works like any other smart speaker at the end of the day. You could ask Alexa to play your favorite music, or tell her to set an alarm, provide traffic updates and so on.

Also read: Amazon hardware event 2019: Everything the e-commerce giant announced, from Echo Frames to Echo Buds

In my short time spent with the Echo Studio, I was certainly impressed with the speaker’s audio quality and its ability to bring 3D surround sound to an Alexa speaker. Though it remains to be seen how the Echo Studio fares against the Apple HomePod and Sonos One in more realistic settings.

At Rs 22,999, the Echo Studio won’t come cheap though. This is the price you have to pay for a smart speaker that sounds way more accurate than previous generation Echo devices. But in the Indian market, where both the HomePod and Sonos One are not available for purchase, Amazon has a chance to succeed in the high-end smart speaker segment with the Echo Studio.

Read more: Amazon Echo Frames hands-on: Alexa makes these smart glasses useful

Disclaimer: The author is in Seattle on the invite of Amazon India.

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