Amazon Echo Studio is an audiophile smart speaker that promises audio quality of the highest level, with a 360 ° rendering, the latest among Amazon devices .
Thinking of a smart speaker produced at Amazon as an audiophile speaker can sound like a gamble. Yet Amazon Echo Studio has been thought and designed to offer the same performance as a 5 times higher cost audio system and without cables for the room. It is not the first with this ambition, on the market there are already Sonos, Google and Apple with HomePod, but the wait has allowed Amazon to integrate very recent solutions such as the new audio format Sony 360 Reality Audio, standard for the 3D diffusion of music. 360 ° using a single diffuser.
Aesthetically, Amazon Echo Studio looks like the other speakers in the Amazon range, gray finish and a rounded cylinder shape on the sides. At the top we find the physical controls around the “blue” LED ring that signals when Alexa is listening.
It’s an Echo and therefore it’s a smart speaker, with Alexa responding to everything. However, those who buy Echo Studio do so only for one reason, the audio quality, because the “smart speaker” part is exactly identical to the one offered by a cheap Echo Dot. Studio meets the needs of those who want a system to listen to music in the best possible way, via wi-fi or via bluetooth.
Amazon Echo Studio review
5 speakers and 330 Watts of power
Amazon Echo Studio is capable of filling a medium to large sized room with very good sound pressure. Its considerable weight as well as being synonymous with excellent build quality also helps to contain vibrations: even at maximum volume, with the woofer pushing down, it remains very stable. Inside the Studio there are 5 transducers: two 5 cm midranges are positioned on both sides, opposite each other, while a 25 cm dome tweeter looks towards the listening point.
The 3D audio reproduction is aided by another midrange that shoots upwards, while for the bass there is a large 5.25 ”woofer that works in a closed case and that pushes towards a shaped reflex duct, with front vent. A good starting point, which is tuned during setup by emitting a series of sounds: just place Echo Studio at the listening point, leave the Alexa application on your smartphone and let the speaker adjust volume and delay for each individual transducer, each of which it is equipped with dedicated amplification and equalization. After the “tuning” phase, Echo Studio is ready to play.
Amazon Echo Studio is super versatile
The versatility of Amazon Echo Studio is especially appreciated. It integrates the wireless connection, which relies on the home network, and can be used alone or in pairs. Those who want to move from the idea of a single speaker that spreads music in 360 ° to return to true stereo can combine a pair of Echos using them as a hi-fi stereo system. This is a good solution for audio but excellent for video: by pairing two speakers with a Fire TV Stick you can get a Dolby Atmos system to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime Video content.
Good quality and almost no distortions
If we look at pure music reproduction, Amazon Echo Studio must like it. Two aspects that a person with a trained ear could have difficulty digesting: the presence of a single speaker and therefore a very particular scene, more widespread than stereophonic, and an important bass.
Amazon’s 3D mixes, but also some tracks in Dolby Atmos Music, bring the listener to the center of the stage, with the singer’s voice perfectly aligned and the rest that goes all around, with a noticeable separation. If listening to the same track on a stereo system, and closing your eyes, it seems to be in front of the stage, and you can exactly distinguish the origin of each individual instrument, with Echo Studio the impression is that of being on stage.
It’s not stereo sound, it’s 360 ° sound, and the new Sony standard was designed to deliver just that. We do not want to say if it is better or if it is worse than stereo, they are two totally different things and we believe that the first mixes in 360 ° are also deliberately exaggerated, just to make it clear what a similar system can give in terms of spatiality.
The type of listening is also different: when listening to a stereo system there is a privileged listening point, while with Echo Studio the whole area in front of the speaker is a good point to enjoy this three-dimensional reconstruction of the sound scene. The other aspect, as we have said, is the bass: we have reduced it by application, you can intervene on the equalizer, because in the basic setting it was a little too present. Great with movies, a little opaque with music: from this point of view a speaker like the Sonos is more balanced and balanced.
Amazon Echo Studio is a great speaker: the audio quality is in line with that of the excellent Sonos, and if the Sonos is more balanced with the music Echo Studio has a higher sound pressure and manages to be more incisive with movie soundtracks, especially if you use two paired speakers in stereo mode. It is a speaker born for 360 ° music, and for this reason it supports the new Sony 360 standard: it is not stereo, it is a totally different thing and those used to stereo may find it unnatural.
Those who have always listened without too many pretensions will be fascinated by a large, full-bodied reconstruction without a precise point of origin: if you close your eyes it is really difficult to say where Echo Studio is located, the music is all around us.