It has been five years since Amazon introduced us to something known as Alexa, the artificially intelligence virtual assistant in a range of smart speakers called Echo. We have had a variety of shapes, sizes and form factors over the years, from the cute little Echo Dot to the brilliant Echo Show smart display. They have been versatile, brought smartness into our homes and become a part of our daily routines. All this while, what has also remained common is the fact that the audio quality of even higher end Echo smart speakers wasn’t something that would appeal to audiophiles. Not to say they sound bad, because they absolutely don’t, but there was that certain sparkle that seemed to have been sacrificed. But that was then. Here and now, Amazon has the new Echo Studio smart speaker, which is by far and away, the best sounding Echo speaker. Also gets very close to the awesomeness of the Bose Home Speaker 500, which also does the Hey Alexa routine very well. And I absolutely love it.
The Echo Studio is priced at Rs 22,999 which makes this the most expensive Echo speaker in the line-up, which also includes the Echo Plus (2nd gen; Rs 14,999) and the Echo (3rd gen; Rs 9,999). But what makes this different? The highlight specs include very powerful audio drivers, advanced audio algorithms that tune the sound according to the layout of your room for immersive sound and the Dolby Atmos capabilities.
For starters, it is the audio hardware on the inside of the Echo Studio which makes a big difference. There are three mid-range speakers (each 2-inch in size) that fire to the left, right and upwards. Then there is a single tweeter (1-inch in size) that is facing your direction and then there is a downward facing 5.25-inch woofer. If you look at the Echo Studio as it sits on the mantlepiece or that side table, there is a cut-out has been carved just below where the subwoofer sits, so that bass can have a proper impact. Even though the Echo Studio has a cylindrical design, this is theoretically not a 360-degree speaker. Not that it is a problem though, because hardly does anyone place a speaker in a central position and that renders at least one of the speakers less effective. In fact, the Echo Studio’s choice gives you all the more flexibility while placing it on a shelf.