Best Amazon Echo Studio Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2021:

With the Echo Studio, its new “high-end” smart speaker, Amazon hopes to convince lovers of beautiful sound to be seduced in turn by Alexa. The Dolby Atmos compatibility it brandishes as a standard certainly has something to intrigue …

Presentation

The Echo Studio is the new high-end speaker from Amazon’s Echo range. It is thus positioned above the Echo Plus and the 3rd generation Echo , with dimensions and a price which make it the “Amazonian” competitor of the Google Home Max and the Apple HomePod .

The Studio differs from its rivals, however, by an unexpected specificity: its compatibility with the 3D sound format Dolby Atmos, thanks to its multiple speakers positioned on the front, on its sides, and even on its upper surface. An originality that owes nothing to chance: it allows it on paper to reproduce in all their grandeur the few musical contents in Dolby Atmos that the company has just made available on its Amazon Music HD service … which is unfortunately not yet available in France – currently only the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan are eligible.

The Echo Studio has been available since November 2019, exclusively from Amazon, at the launch price of € 199.99.

Best Amazon Echo Studio Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2021

1. Echo Studio – High-fidelity smart speaker with Philips Hue Bulb – Alexa smart home starter kit

2. Echo Studio Bundle with Lifx wi-fi smart bulb

3. Echo Studio (Charcoal) with Amazon Smart Plug

4. AMAZON ECHO STUDIO USER GUIDE: The Complete User. Manual for Beginners and Pro to Master the Amazon Echo Studio with Tips & Tricks for Alexa. Skills (Echo Device & Alexa Setup) Paperback – November 14, 2019

5. Amazon Echo Studio The Complete User Guide – Learn to Use Your Echo Studio Like. A Pro: Alexa Skills and Smart Home Tips (Alexa Amazon Echo Book 1) Kindle Edition

Ergonomics

The design and construction of the Echo. Studio does not risk any fancy compared to the previous members of the Echo line. It is obviously distinguished by its rather generous dimensions (17.5 cm wide, 20.6 cm high), but not by its manufacture, which uses the same materials as the 3rd generation Echo . In terms of materials, the fabric covering most of the enclosure makes a rather good impression, unlike unfortunately the plastic of which its chassis is made: as mat as it is, it hooks fingerprints, which all too easily are also very difficult to wipe.

There is no more innovation on the side of the controls available on the speaker, which are distributed over the four usual buttons of the Echo range: one is used to open / close the voice pickup microphones, the next two to the setting volume, and the last finally to Alexa’s direct call. On the other hand, there is no possibility of controlling reading other than by speaking directly to the latter.

As often unfortunately on smart speakers, the wired connection of the Studio is minimalist – certainly a little bit less than usual. Since its unique mini-jack connector can be used not only for analog input, but also for optical input . However, we would have liked the manufacturer to take at least the trouble of providing a mini-jack / Toslink adapter, which it dispensed with. A Bluetooth receiver also allows you to connect any compatible source. As for the connection to the network, it can only be done by Wi-Fi, and not by Ethernet; pity.

Speech Recognition

New variation on a well-known theme: like almost all Echo speakers, the Studio is equipped with 7 voice pickup microphones. There is still a little originality in their positioning, in a circle all around the upper speaker of the speaker. There was a priori fear that this placement in the immediate vicinity of a transducer would be detrimental for the quality of voice recognition, but fortunately this is not the case: even when the Studio itself emits sound at its maximum volume, it it is still possible to address Alexa without too much difficulty, and without the need to shout.

Moreover, the voice recording is perfectly omnidirectional, works as well in near field as in far field, and without preference for the low or high voices. The only small criticism that we could make of it concerns the sensitivity to outside noise: as soon as the sound environment becomes a bit lively, it is necessary to approach the speaker so that our calls to Alexa are heard correctly . This is the only point on which Amazon’s detection algorithms today lag behind those of Google.

Audio

In terms of sound, the Echo Studio is by far the most ambitious speaker available by Amazon – an ambition that turns out to be followed by results: far from the mediocre performance of its elders, it is the very first Echo speaker to offer correct audio performances … even if some annoying black dots continue to tarnish the picture.

Overall, the Studio manages to produce a very balanced sound. It is soo convenient in this by its automatic acoustic calibration system, similar to that of Apple’s HomePod or the recent Sonos Move  : it uses its own microphones to adapt its sound rendering to the acoustics of the room in which it is located. A first calibration have its design during the initial configuration of the enclosure, then we can adjust the acoustic correction subsequently continuously , so that the rendering remains optimal even when the enclosure is moved. Impossible to deactivate, this calibration is fortunately efficient, and adapts to most listening rooms without much trouble.

There is nothing remarkable about the behavior of the speakers themselves, but it is generally quite healthy. The restitution is clean, devoid of any genuinely audible distortion, with the exception of the extreme bass. The degradation of the purity of the signal remains however largely within the limits of the acceptable, and is a completely reasonable counterpart to the excellent extension of the bass: it is rare to see a speaker of this size manage to produce a true presence from 50 Hz. The midrange and treble, on the other hand, it has its reproduction with beautiful transparency, even if their precision and dynamics are fine with a fairly modest level – the speaker sometimes shows its limits on the densest signals, and works better with acoustic music than metal or electro.

More

What about this Atmos spatialization? In truth … we don’t really know which way to take it. It must be admitted that the first contact is very positive: the 5 speakers of the Echo. Studio, actually manage to create a very clearly perceptible stage width, and even a verticality far from being insignificant. The feeling of space is very present, and very surprising from a monobloc speaker – including on stereo sources, which can obviously benefit from a three-dimensional upmix processing . However, we are obviously very far from the precision and scale that we could have with a real multi-channel installation. So much so thatfrom a real Atmos source.

This spatialization is therefore certainly nothing revolutionary, but one could at least have said that its contribution was real. If it had not been accompanied by very irritating problems of scene coherence. Although we mention it above that automatic calibration is generally very effective in correcting the acoustic defects of the listening room, it does nothing, however, to homogenize the reflections on the walls and ceiling of the loudspeakers. side and top speakers. 

The consequence is that the sound components that we emit by all these loudspeakers undergo propagation delays and timbre colorings, each different from each other, resulting in a rendering which may ultimately be very singularly unnatural depending on the positioning of the speaker. pregnant in the room. Was it better than a good old mono sound, certainly less ample, but also ultimately much more authentic? It is permissible to have a clear opinion on the question …

STRONG POINTS

  • Very balanced sound, effective automatic acoustic correction.
  • Good bass extension.
  • Clean reproduction, controlled distortion.
  • Atmos spatialization really brings width and verticality.
  • Efficient voice recognition.

WEAK POINTS

  • Rather modest sound rendering accuracy.
  • Lack of homogeneity and naturalness of the sound scene.
  • Very limited wired connection.

CONCLUSION

Difficult to be completely make sense by the Echo Studio, whose main attraction (its Dolby. Atmos compatibility) proves to be as much a source of annoyance as satisfaction. A little excess of zeal that does not however prevent the Studio from offering satisfactory sound performance overall – which seems nothing but a first in the range of smart speakers from Amazon.

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