Constantly introducing new hardware in smart speaker space catering to different price categories, Amazon is leaving no stone unturned to stay ahead of the competition. The new top-of-the-line Echo Studio, other than having great looks, scores high on sound too. With smart speakers predominantly used for playing music other than fetching information and controlled ecosystem devices, the Echo Studio does deliver an impressive immersive sound experience.
The Studio with the cylindrical shape and fabric has the same design language as of the other Echo speakers yet it looks premium. The circular top houses physical buttons for volume up and down, mic mute and action button. These are surrounded by a ring which illuminates in blue when Alexa is listening, and red when the mic is on mute.
Hidden under the chassis are five strategically positioned speakers for playing instrument and vocal, three midrange speakers for offering rich, natural vocals. A single tweeter has been used for producing high frequencies and the downward-firing woofer for powerful bass. The Studio measures 8.1-inch x 6.9-inch and weighs 3.86Kg.
Smart speakers often score high on fetching information, controlling compatible devices, playing music but often fail on the sound front. This isn't the case with the Studio as this offers a near-perfect, balanced sound. The vocals, while streaming music or videos, were loud and pronounced. And the Studio complemented movie and audio experience with booming bass and balanced mids.
Even when playing at higher volumes, Alexa was picked up the command. Depending upon the place where the Studio has been placed, it can automatically sense the acoustics of the space and fine-tune playback to deliver optimal sound. I preferred keeping the Studio on the sideboard, just below my TV. If on Amazon ecosystem, one can pair the Studio with the Fire TV for streaming movies with Dolby Atmos audio. I was able to do the same from the Amazon Alexa app by selecting 'set up the audio system' followed by 'home cinema' option for connecting the Studio with Fire TV. The process was rather smooth. However, for this, both the devices had to be signed in using the same Amazon account and had to be on the same WiFi network.
I was rather impressed with the experience with clear vocals and deep bass. Unlike the lag in voice when paired with other Bluetooth speakers, there wasn't any latency with the studio. I was able to control the volume of the Studio with the Fire TV remote. Using the 3.5mm jack at the rear of the Studio, it can be connected directly with the TV as well.
Setting up the Studio was rather easy. Just install the Alexa app, create an account, add device and follow the instructions. I paired the smart speaker with my existing Alexa account that I used to control smart bulbs and view security camera feed, the Studio seamlessly integrated with my existing smart ecosystem. The Studio comes with a built-in smart hub, eliminating the need of investing in a separate hub when pairing Philips Hue or Anchor.
The Echo Studio costs Rs 22,999 and is a perfect amalgamation of great looks, smart functionality and impressive sound. It isn't the best-sounding speaker in the market but is the best in its price range.