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Amazon Echo Studio review: Better audio, but still not audio first

New Delhi: At least one person in your vicinity will tell you that the Echo Studio doesn’t give you the audio quality Amazon promised.

There are two reasons for that. The first, that speakers like Apple’s Homepod, Sonos One etc. have raised our expectations from a smart speaker. And the second, because the person who’s telling you this is probably an audiophile, or at the very least accustomed to many audio-first speakers.

And both of those give the Echo Studio a distinct advantage in India. Apple, Sonos etc. do not sell here officially, and though the Echo Studio is meant for listeners who care about audio quality, Amazon isn’t necessarily targeting the audiophile with this one. An Echo speaker is still bought because of its smart home capabilities and not its audio prowess.

So, having said all that, we can sum up that the Echo Studio is indeed the speaker to buy if you want an Alexa-enabled speaker with good audio quality. It sounds much better than any other Echo speaker, it has a wider audio range and Alexa still does everything you expect the artificial intelligence (AI) to do.

Its competition in India includes speakers like Bose’s Home Speaker 500 and Sony’s SRS XB-402M. Having tested both those speakers, we can confidently say the Echo Studio gives them both a run for their money. Its downfall is in bass notes, which aren’t as well loud or well defined as you’d expect from speakers priced above 20,000. However, the overall audio quality is certainly not bad.

You’ll see us say this about speakers very often, especially the ones that focus on portability, AI, connectivity etc. Bose’s Home Speaker 500 is biased towards the bass notes, while Sony’s XB402M is audibly weak when it comes to the mid frequencies. Neither is perfect, and neither is the Echo Studio.

In sum, the Echo Studio is just like any other connected speaker you buy at a price over 20,000. This one costs you 22,999 and it delivers good audio quality for that price. It just doesn’t dazzle, which is something the Homepod and Sonos One have been said to do. Amazon still wants Alexa to be front and center here.

What’s worth noting though is that you can’t take advantage of the Studio’s 3D audio capabilities right now. Amazon Music’s 3D audio tier isn’t available in India yet, and the company has announced no plans to bring it here either. Same goes for HD music through Amazon Music.

But the fact that the Studio supports 3D audio gives it an advantage in the long run. It’s more future proof and should certainly be in your consideration if you want a smart speaker that has the right audio chops as well. Well done, Amazon.

Source: Livemint