While Google Max and HomePod are already targeting audiophile target groups, Amazon Echo Subwoofer primarily targeting assistance and smart home functions. With Amazon Echo Sub, now we have a down-firing subwoofer in the Echo portfolio, with which users can add rich bass to the audio sound in their Amazon Echo environment or set up a real 2.1 stereo system.
Test overview: Areas of application and overview
Amazon Echo Sub is Amazon’s answer to the Google Home Max and Apple HomePod. Instead of installing a subwoofer in the intelligent loudspeaker, Amazon simply outsourced it and turned it into an add-on solution. Theoretically, this has the advantage that users of an Amazon echo can subsequently expand the sound of their intelligent loudspeaker with rich bass reproduction.
The Amazon Echo Sub is not a standalone smart speaker. To be able to control the assistance functions of Alexa or compatible smart home devices via Alexa voice commands, an Amazon Echo is also required. The intelligent voice assistant Alexa and the popular Alexa skills are then available via this. The Amazon Echo Sub is responsible for providing deep bass in conjunction with one or more compatible Amazon Echos.
The test overview: Special features
The Echo Sub is a down-firing subwoofer with a 6″(152 mm) woofer and 100W of power, which emits the sound down to the floor. Amazon has housed the technology in a sealed 4-liter chamber. In contrast to the downward-firing woofer, the sound of a front fire subwoofer is radiated towards the front, just like a traditional bookshelf speaker.
The sound emission towards the floor ensures that the sound waves can be distributed evenly in the room; this works best when the down-firing subwoofer is placed in the middle of the room. With enough power, the bass can be felt in the soles of the feet. Another special feature of the Amazon Echo Sub is that it can be combined with two Echo to form a 2.1 stereo system.
Requirements for 2.1 stereo sound with Echo Speakers
If you want to experience real stereo sound with the Amazon Echo Sub, you need two second-generation Echo devices. This can be two standard Amazon Echo speakers or two 2nd generation Echo Plus devices. Amazon offers an Echo stereo system for this purpose, which is a bundle that includes the subwoofer Amazon Echo Sub and two Amazon Echo of the 2nd generation.
The test overview: Installation and setup
The Amazon Echo Sub down-firing subwoofer is quick and easy to set up and set up. The installation takes place in two steps:
- Connect the Amazon Echo Sub to the power grid
- Open the Alexa app (Android | iOS) and connect the Echo Sub to a 2nd generation Amazon Echo speaker. Attention: Smartphone, Amazon Echo, and Amazon Echo Sub must all be on the same WiFi network
The Alexa Subwoofer Amazon Echo Sub is to be seen as a bass addition for two Echo speakers. The sound reproduction of the subwoofer was perceived differently by the testers, but overall it did well in tests. The biggest point of criticism is the limited compatibility to Amazon Echo speakers.
Summary of the Amazon Echo Sub down-firing subwoofer at a glance
Owners of one or more Amazon Echo can increase the audio quality of their smart speakers with the Amazon Echo Sub. So far, this could be achieved in such a way that the audio output was via Bluetooth mode to an external Bluetooth speaker. With this Sub, it is now possible to use two Amazon Echo 2nd generation to generate a real 2.1 stereo sound. Unfortunately, the Alexa subwoofer only works with Echo speakers. The down-firing subwoofer is not compatible with Fire TV.
The performance description of the Amazon Echo Sub is impressive: Inside work an amplifier with 100 watts of power and a 6” (152 mm) down-firing subwoofer, which together should generate a maximum acoustic sound pressure of 103 dB. For comparison: a truck creates a sound pressure level of around 90 dB, a jackhammer around 100 dB.