You couldn't miss the most sensational news of the year in the universe Alexa : the release in France ofAmazon Echo About us. The Seattle firm understood it well, its range lacked a device capable of competing with the excellent Sonos One et Bose HomeSpeaker 500, the very good HomePod, or the Google Home Max. For the first time, therefore, Amazon promised us in turn a powerful speaker allowing the reading of high definition music and even to turn into Home Cinema with a Fire TV Stick 4K !
After making a strong impression on us during its presentation to the press, all we had to do was get our hands on a copy of this new speaker to measure more precisely what it has in the belly. And we even decided to order a second to test this stereo which, for some, would be missing… An assertion all the more surprising since we had the right to the demonstration of a pair of Echo Studio . So let's see, without further ado, what this famous Echo Studio is worth.
Amazon Echo Studio: elegance and power
Unboxing and presentation
The packaging does not upset anything and uses the usual blue color code specific to the range Amazon Echo. A visual present Echo Studio and a discreet logo Alexa reminds us that this is obviously a connected speaker with the in-house voice assistant on board.
At the opening, surprise, no plastic galore! The speaker is nicely presented and packaged in a bag, reusable, logo flocked Alexa. It's more chic and the environment as well, right? The perceived quality is still as good and we naturally want to go further, much further ...
A little start guide in several languages and a notice with the Legal Notice obligatory are cleverly housed underneath with a simple power cable, that's all. With a length of 1.5 m, it is a bit short and will require us to place the speaker near an electrical outlet. We are nevertheless pleased to note that this model is, for the first time, without an external power supply. This is indeed integrated into the device, which will allow it to be connected much more easily to a multiple socket.
“Echo Studio is truly a beautiful smart speaker that exudes quality. " The Alexians
As you take out the speaker, the first thing that strikes you is undoubtedly its weight. It displays in effect 3.5 kg on the scale, a substantial mass which here also augurs well for a qualitative manufacturing. The finishes give the same feeling and are flawless, like the rest of the range. Although only available in anthracite gray, Echo Studio is truly a beautiful smart speaker that exudes quality. Its contemporary design caught our eye, and although it is a bit massive, it is nonetheless elegant, discreet and compact.
Of a 17.5 cm diameter, Echo Studio measures 20.6 cm high and present at the bottom a opening to diffuse bass. We find at its summit the four traditional buttons volume, mute the microphone and action button to activate listening toAlexa without invoking it. We also see a speaker oriented upwards, an obligation to benefit from the Dolby Atmos certification. Echo Studio only lacks a rear speaker, but it's ultimately not a problem since it would probably end up facing a wall and risk distorting the soundstage, we will come back to that.
The connection, simple, takes place at the bottom of the device. It offers a power port, the micro-USB socket and mini-optical / 3.5 mm mini-jack auxiliary input. This does not act as a sound output, as on 3rd generation echo or Echo Plus 2nd generation, but it is difficult to see where the interest of such a feature would be since the speaker is supposed to be sufficient on its own.
Nothing to report under the device which is just equipped with a surface in non-slip rubber… Although its weight makes it unlikely to slip, we will see that it has quite its uses in transmitting bass and avoiding unwanted vibrations.
Now let's see what this new opus ofAmazon in the stomach…
The most interesting is obviously under the fabric. If we did not take it apart for fear of damaging it, we do know what is in this speaker: five speaker type firing, nothing less !
Un 1 inch tweeter (i.e. 25 mm in diameter) for the treble in the frontal position, two 2 inch side midrange (i.e. 51 mm) and a third of the same size facing upwards for Dolby Atmos certification, and to finish a large 5 1/4 inch woofer (i.e. 133 mm). In total, the speakers of Echo Studio accumulate no less than 330 Watts of power. Not bad is not it ?
Amazon promises us expansive and spatialized sound, with dynamic mids, crisp highs and powerful bass… We can't wait to hear that!
In total, the Echo Studio speakers accumulate no less than 330 Watts of power. The Alexians
Echo Studio being a pregnant Alexa Premium, it embeds as Echo Plus or Echo Show 2 a “connected home” hub, namely a ZigBee bridge allowing you to directly connect bulbs and other accessories powered by this protocol increasingly used in home automation. Now working even offline, it allows direct and local control of a growing number of devices. We often forget it, but Amazon is the only company to offer speakers with integrated ZigBee bridges on the market. Perhaps because his assistant is by far the most comfortable in home automation ...
In short, if we are to believe its technical characteristics, Echo Studio has serious arguments to put forward ... It remains to be seen whether the speaker deserves its name so evocative of music ...
Echo Studio: convincing high definition sound
The best speaker Alexa ?
We saw it by detailing its technical sheet, Echo Studio is by far the most ambitious speaker ever made by Amazon and, the least we can say is that it can be understood straight away.
When it is first turned on, the device will emit a few tones in order to calibrate itself and to better spatialize its sound emissions according to the environment in which you have placed it. This done, Echo Studio finally reveals its sound qualities and, for the first time on a device Amazon, offers us a balanced sound of good quality...
The music scene is ample and rather precise, provided that the sound source follows of course. Indeed, if his High quality 24-bit DAC allows to provide a sampling rate of up to 100 kHz, you will only fully enjoy it with high-resolution sounds. And, unfortunately, this is still far from being the case on streaming platforms. We are therefore impatiently waiting for the e-commerce specialist to offer us his offers Amazon HD Music to fully enjoy the ultra-HD sound it promises us.
The bass are present, deep bass tones without being intrusive, the highs are just as well defined as long as we stay in the axis of the enclosure. Yes, the positioning of the speaker is essential, when it is alone anyway, we will come back to that later. The sound level, meanwhile, is quite decent and more than enough to properly sound a medium-sized room.
Note, however, that to get the most out of stereophonic reproduction and comfortable power, you will need two. To tell the truth, Amazon should sell its speakers in a pack of 2 as the difference between the two configurations is great… If you have fallen for a pair, you will not regret it, but to fully benefit from it, we advise you to place one in each of the angles of the room. The stereophonic space is therefore greatly expanded and the music scene finally takes on an interesting scale due to the reflection of sound waves on the walls. Two is good. One in each corner is even better!
On rock, folk or pop, the Wow effect is finally here, and it is by far the enclosure Amazon Echo the most convincing! Moreover, for the first time, Amazon even manages to amaze us with the very demanding classical music. From solo piano to the most demanding symphonies, Echo Studio provides. Once again, warmly the arrival ofAmazon HD Music in France !
Regarding the so-called current music, same observation: the sound is clear and well defined, the listening pleasure is real and the power largely sufficient in the vast majority of cases. Our tests also triggered a somewhat impromptu neighborhood meeting on a Saturday evening! And, we must admit, the sound level meter was more in their direction since the speakers exceeded 100 dB (A) before we ended the experiment. All without making all the floors vibrate, and that, basically, is not bad. Overall, then, the bass is more than sufficient and we never even felt the need to play with the EQ! Parameter setting which has the merit of existing, it must be recognized, but which in fact is of little interest because Amazon has very clearly taken great care in the factory settings of his little gem.
“[…] Echo Studio is by far the most ambitious loudspeaker ever made by Amazon […] " The Alexians
Echo Studio in stereo: the two go hand in hand
After a few days of testing a solo speaker, we decided to go further and remove the doubt about stereophony. a priori possible with a pair of Echo Studio. It must be said that some of our colleagues have, to our great surprise, said the opposite. An assertion all the more astonishing since it is already possible to benefit from it with Echo or Echo Plus, and that the application Alexa We do indeed propose to create a set of speakers. Indeed, offering such a feature would not have the slightest interest since it already exists under the sweet name of "Multiroom". And, it is clear that if, two Echo Studio do generate stereo sound, some “sound specialists” were therefore wrong… or in reality did not really test this point.
In short, if you too have some difficulty understanding how the application works Alexa, We will help you. To benefit from a stereo listening, you obviously need two identical speakers. Then launch your application Alexa and meet in "Devices". At the top right, tap the "+", then select "Configure the audio system" and finally… "Stereo pair" ! It's shaping up to be pretty good, isn't it?
You will then arrive on a screen allowing you to select your two speakers. Better yet, you will be able to their assign a right and left position and identify the ear canals. We recommend that you name them so that you know which is which. As far as we're concerned, it'll be Echo Studio G and Echo Studio D. Original, right?
To be honest, it was from this moment that we really enjoyed using our Echo Studio. The sound is obviously much more powerful, it is no longer necessary to increase the volume, but above all it is better defined. Voices are clearer and the complexity of certain pieces is really much better restored. We are frankly starting to enjoy listening to our favorite songs!
Home cinema with Fire TV 4K: the Dolby Atmos atmosphere well rendered
There where Amazon is even stronger is that this new Echo Studio can be transformed into a Home Cinema in one sentence: « Alexa, launches Jack Ryan ". To do this, you will need to invest in a Fire TV Stick 4K and connect your speakers to it. Instead of "Stereo pair", then choose " Home cinema ". then select your Echo Studio or the stereo pair created previously. Then, Fire TV will take care of almost everything, and you can benefit from a Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus sound in most cases, even outright Dolby Atmos.
Here again, same as for the music, the atmosphere is much better restored with a pair. It's even truer than listening to music, by the way. Also note that you will obviously need the compatible subscription in most cases. At Netflix, for example, only the Ultra-HD subscription - the most expensive of course - will allow you to fully enjoy it. Take care, you may quickly get a taste for it!
Echo Studio can be transformed into a Home Cinema The Alexians
In the end, a pair of Echo Studio is therefore also transformed into a more than adequate Home Cinema, not to say convincing. Dolby Atmos effects are present, we really feel the sound circulating, the loudspeaker directed upwards playing its role perfectly. We tested several films, and if the experience is more impressive in Dolby Atmos, the spatialization is efficient and the atmosphere very well rendered in Dolby Digital.
The Dolby Atmos effects are indeed present, the speaker directed upwards playing its role perfectly. The Alexians
After several weeks of testing, we even noticed a very clear improvement of the system as the firmware updates. Unlike many other manufacturers, Amazon is in fact constantly optimizing its equipment ... And it can be understood! Even on Molotov.tv, the sound is pretty good and no need to adjust it constantly. The voices are always clear, the action scenes dynamic. In short, pairing the Fire TV Stick 4K with a pair of Echo Studio is frankly a success.
We also greatly appreciated being able to use the remote control. Alexa for Fire TV. Same TV turned off, the latter remains fully functional in music listening and allows you to adjust the sound of your speakers, mute it, skip to the next track and even invoke Alexa with a simple press of the button… If you switch on your television, you will notice that the application of your music service is in use. It is therefore as easy as it is quick to switch from listening to music to watching a movie. You just have to ask it to Alexa !
We only had to regret some audio / video desynchronization. Be careful, we are not talking about lip shift - an easy problem to resolve in the settings of Fire OS if it occurs - but total absence of sound when launching an application on Fire TV. But this little "problem" is actually not really a problem, as we quickly realized that our somewhat cavalier use was actually to blame. Indeed, and it is quite logical after all, this situation only occurs when you have cut off the power or if you have associated other devices in Bluetooth with the Fire TV Stick 4K.
Note also that the streams passing in high resolution on your home Wi-Fi, you will need a good connection and a high-performance Wi-Fi. With our little one Tenda Nova MW6 mesh router, we have never encountered the slightest problem! If the problem sometimes comes from the hardware, it is much more often the problem of the user or its configuration… That being said, it is high time to give you our conclusion!
In short, pairing the Fire TV Stick 4K with a pair of Echo Studio is frankly convincing. The Alexians
Our opinion on Echo Studio
What to say except that it is simply a question of the best speaker Alexa never created by Amazon ? Indeed, for a first version, although not free from imperfections, Echo Studio is more than convincing and has even totally won us over. Its sound reproduction is generally very satisfactory, provided it is fed with quality files, but this is especially true when it is used alone, a stereo system managing better to erase the shortcomings of the compressions. We can only advise you to invest in a pair as the listening pleasure is increased tenfold. Yes, in stereo, it's a real pleasure to finally be able to benefit from both quality sound and all the features ofAmazon Echo.
Be careful, however, do not imagine ending up with a high-end Hi-Fi system or a home cinema amplifier of the same nature. We are dealing with connected speakers measuring 17 x 20 cm with speakers of 1, 2 and 5.25 inches. As we frequently say on our community, You have to compare what is comparable and give back to Caesar what is Caesar's. But, for 199.99 € each, Echo Studio clearly has nothing to be ashamed of!
Amazon Echo Studio - Connected speaker with high-fidelity audio and Alexa€199.99
- Powerful and well-defined sound
- Rather convincing spatialization, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Atmos certifications
- Integration with the Fire TV Stick 4K to make it a compact but powerful Home Cinema system
- Integrated ZigBee bridge and local control of connected objects!
- An excellent function / quality / price ratio
- Cable a little short
- No Ethernet port
- Not enough Ultra-HD content available on Alexa
- Optical input apparently does not allow stereo enjoyment