HiFi speakers Amazon Echo Studio – Tests and Ccomparison
With the intelligent loudspeaker Amazon Echo Studio, Amazon wants to attract discerning music fans. The Alexa HiFi loudspeaker is home to 5 loudspeakers inside, which offered room-filling 3D sound in the test. The loudspeaker works perfectly with Amazon’s music streaming service Amazon Music HD. In the test, we reveal whether the price of almost 200 dollars is worthwhile.
Amazon Echo Studio in the test – Design and hardware equipment
Five drivers work inside the Alexa HiFi loudspeaker, which emits the sound in different directions and thus generates real 3D sound. These include a 1.0″ tweeter, three 2.0″ mid-range speakers, and a 5.3″ woofer. The slot at the base of the Echo Studio serves as a bass opening so that the low frequencies can come into their own.
Amazon Echo Studio in the test – Connections and wireless connections
For the connection to other audio devices, Echo Studio offers a jack plug. For example, there is a headphone connection and an optical input that audio fans can use to connect a CD player. The speaker also has built-in Bluetooth for connecting to Bluetooth headphones or for streaming music to an external Bluetooth speaker.
The Bluetooth function is particularly interesting e.g. users can forward music from other streaming services to Echo Studio. In the test, we tried this with the Google Pixel 3 smartphone and the YouTube Music Premium streaming service, as this is not natively supported by Amazon Echo speakers. The connection works like a normal Bluetooth speaker. Amazon Echo Studio appears in the Bluetooth device search and with the voice command “Alexa, connect Pixel 3 and we were able to pair both devices and start the stream.
Here Echo Studio showed a special feature: In contrast to other Bluetooth speakers, Amazon’s HiFi speakers do not synchronize with the volume of the source device. The playback of the music stream could only be set as loud as the last volume setting on the Echo Studio. But that’s not a big deal, as the Echo Studio is primarily a wireless speaker.
Amazon Echo Studio in the test – Voice control with Alexa
In addition to enjoying HiFi sound, music lovers can use the integrated voice assistant Alexa for voice control of compatible smart home devices such as WiFi sockets or LED lamps. There are also thousands of Alexa skills and assistance functions such as creating lists and reminders.
Amazon has installed a total of seven far-field microphones in its HiFi loudspeaker. The speech recognition was good, but with loud music playing, we had to make an effort in the test to get through to Alexa. In everyday use, however, the speech recognition worked just as well or even better than with a normal echo. The definitive factor here is the number of microphones – in comparison, only four far-field microphones are integrated into an Echo Dot 3 and seven far-field microphones in an Echo 3.
Amazon Echo Studio in the test – The sound of the Alexa HiFi speaker
Like Google Home Max or Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo Studio offers automatic room adjustment during installation. The loudspeaker then continuously analyzes the room acoustics and optimizes the sound output. This guarantees optimal music playback even if the device is relocated or new furniture is added.
Also, supports the 3D sound formats Dolby Atmos and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio. Amazon provides dedicated playlists with songs that support 3D sound in its streaming service. With the Alexa voice command “Alexa, play the playlist “Best of 3D”, these can be easily called up. According to Amazon, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment want to make a growing catalog of titles available. In the test, when we listened to 3D playlists, we had the feeling of being on the band stage.
But even in normal operation without 3D sound, Echo Studio can compete with other premium speakers. In the listening test, the difference between standard and HD sound was particularly audible in the bass range. While the strengths of normal music streaming with a bit rate of 128 kbps were mainly in the mid and high range, HD streaming unleashed the bass capabilities of Amazon Echo Studio.
Amazon Echo Studio tested with the Amazon Echo Sub-Bass Woofer
We have coupled the Amazon Echo Studio with the bass amplifier from the same company, the Echo Sub. We tested it with the song Miterons by Portishead, which pushes most systems to their limits at high volume. Echo Sub played here confidently – powerfully and without distortion or the typical loudspeaker hum when these are overwhelmed in the low-frequency range.
Those who like bass-heavy thumping sound will find the Echo Sub an ideal complement to the Echo Studio loudspeaker. The more balanced sound was offered in the single-mode in our test. Treble, middle, and bass are reproduced separated so that the loudspeaker can serve almost any music genre.
Other special features of Amazon Echo Studio are:
Sound Conversion: Amazon Echo Studio automatically converts stereo tracks into 3D sound
3D sound playback: Amazon’s Alexa HiFi loudspeaker supports the 3D sound formats Dolby Atmos, MPEG-H, and Sony 360 Reality Audio from Sony again
ZigBee wireless standard: Thanks to the ZigBee smart home wireless standard, users can also use ZigBee smart home devices such as Philips Hue LED lights without the need for a bridge. However, without a gateway from ZigBee smart home system providers, only the basic functions are often available.
In the home theater – Dolby Atmos sound for video streaming
Thanks to Dolby Atmos support, Amazon Echo Studio in connection with Amazon Fire TV (Stick and Cube) should be able to raise the corresponding film content to the next sound level. This so-called home theater function in the Alexa app can replace conventional soundbars, as the TV sound is played through connected Echo speakers. This is possible with the current model series from Amazon Echo, Echo Studio, and the previous Echo Plus and Echo 3 models.
In the test, it works very well – the sound is impressive and powerful as usual, the imitation surround sound surprisingly realistic. Moreover, there are no latencies, so that the sound always fits the picture. This happens straight away and automatically, but the Fire TV options still offer the option of staggering the sound to manually match it to the picture. In our opinion, the Echo Studio is an excellent soundbar replacement.
As a stereo pair – Is it worth it?
Echo Studio allows two identical speakers to be used as a stereo pair. This ensures that the stereo sound comes into its own even more and that the imitation surround sound through Dolby Atmos is even more powerful. A single Echo Studio loudspeaker is impressive in this respect, but in our opinion, these sound effects come out even more clearly in the loudspeaker pair. This effect is negligible when listening to music, but especially when the Echo Studio speaker pair is used as a home theater, 2 speakers make the sound experience that little bit better. In combination with an Echo Sub, the set-up becomes a 2.1 system and the sound gets a lot of oomph and is impressive.
Conclusion: For sound enthusiasts who want to use the Echo Studio in their home theater, we recommend the 2.1 set-up consisting of 2x Echo Studio and 1x Echo Sub. The sound can then only be played over content that is streamed via a Fire TV Stick. Netflix must therefore be called up via the FireTV app.
For most users, however, an Echo Studio will be sufficient and meet most requirements. It is recommended to connect it to an Echo Sub, but even without it, the sound experience is already very clear, balanced, and space-filling. In most cases, the imitated surround sound can be heard with just one Echo Studio.
Which music streaming services are compatible with Amazon Echo Studio?
One of the most important questions that interested parties should clarify before buying a HiFi music streaming loudspeaker is compatibility with music streaming providers. Amazon Echo Studio supports the following service providers:
Amazon Music (Standard and HD)
If you want to buy an intelligent HiFi loudspeaker, you should – as mentioned at the beginning – pay attention to the bit rate and sound quality. Because even the best loudspeaker is useless if the audio material lags behind the performance of the device.
Price and Availability:
Installation and setup of Amazon Echo Studio
Before streaming music with Amazon Echo Studio, users must complete the following 4 installation steps:
Set up the Amazon Echo Studio at least 15 cm from the wall. This is the only way the 360 degree sound can unfold
Download the Amazon Alexa app ( Android | iOS ) to a smartphone or tablet
Connect to power
Follow the setup steps in the Alexa app
Attention: If you already have an Echo and Amazon Music is installed on your smartphone, you shouldn't forget to specify Echo Studio as the playback device.
Test conclusion - The HiFi streaming box for smart home friends
It seldom happens that we receive a test device that arouses envious looks from almost all colleagues. Amazon succeeded in doing this with its Echo Studio HiFi speaker. So far, Amazon Echo Plus and Amazon Echo Show were considered the best Amazon Echo for audio playback. That has now changed with Amazon Echo Studio.
In terms of sound, Amazon Echo Studio relegated the previous Echo speaker line-up to the back in the test. So that the device can fully exploit its strengths, we tested the hi-fi speaker together with an Amazon Music HD subscription. The streaming service offers lossless Ultra HD premium sound with a bit rate of up to 3,730 kbps, for comparison: standard streaming offers a bit rate of up to 320 kbps. Echo Studio used this for a room-filling 3D sound. As reviewindetail.com visitor you can get 3 months free subscription instead of 1 month clicking here!
Echo Studio in the test – The Alexa HiFi loudspeaker
So far, Amazon Echo Plus and Amazon Echo Show were considered the best Amazon Echo for audio playback. That has now changed with Amazon Echo Studio.