Amazon started the whole intelligent speaker trend with a cheap and simple speaker – one that focused more on showcasing their Alexa virtual assistant than actually catering to the discerning music fan. With other companies now jumping in the mix, though, the outfit is looking to capture some of that higher-end enthusiast market with the Amazon Echo Studio.
Designed to provide more immersive sound, the speaker vows to deliver a three-dimensional landscape that wraps you in “studio-quality audio from every direction.” We know, that doesn’t actually describe much, but, suffice to say, this thing should sound a whole lot better than the Echo you bought last year (which, if we’re being honest, isn’t all that bad).
The Amazon Echo Studio is equipped with five different drivers – a 2-inch upward-firing midrange driver, a 2-inch left-firing midrange driver, a 2-inch right-firing midrange driver, a 5.25-inch downward-firing woofer, and a 1-inch forward-firing tweeter. These strategically-located drivers allow it to put out sound in every direction, creating room-filling audio that, the outfit claims, is as immersive as it is expansive. Paired with a 330-watt amplifier, a 24-bit DAC, and Dolby Atmos technology, the sound coming from these drivers is complemented with added space, depth, and clarity, resulting in a home speaker that will satisfying your cravings for more nuanced aural delights.
It boasts automatic room adaptation, which analyzes the acoustics of a room and continuously adjusts its audio filters during music playback to optimize the sound output. That means, you can move it from one room to another and still get optimal sound after it goes through a few songs on your playlist. Do note, the fact that it puts out sound in every direction means you’ll need to position it strategically. Specifically, they recommend placing it at least six inches from the wall, with full clearance both above it and on the sides.
The Amazon Echo Studio is, of course, another platform for the outfit’s Alexa virtual assistant. That means, it’s fitted with a mic array, so it can pick up voice commands, whether you want to know the movie schedule at the local theaters, check your calendar, or listen to some new music on Spotify. Basically, it can do anything that other Amazon speakers can do, from controlling your smart home (it has built-in Zigbee hub) and delivering information to voice chat and performing any of the thousands of skills it has available. It has direct support for Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Pandora, SiriusXM, and more.
Aesthetically, it looks like any modern premium speaker, with a fabric grill covering its body and controls located on top. It doesn’t stand out, which means it can easily blend in with most any home décor. Similar to recent Amazon releases, the speaker comes with a mic off button, allowing you to keep Alexa from listening whenever you want some private time. Of course, we don’t actually know if that actually keeps them from listening, but that’s why we wear our tinfoil hats.
The Amazon Echo Studio is available now.