“Sorry, I can’t hear you. What? Say that again?”
My wife was telling me some news about the coronavirus outbreak, an epic implosion of all we know as normal, but I was in a different headspace. I was testing the new Amazon Echo Studio speaker and it was helping me find some temporary relief. The new album by Brian Fallon from the band The Gaslight Anthem has an organic, guttural feel -- the walls were literally shaking. It proved to be a wonderful distraction.
For now, I’m in heaven.
I tested every new rock album on my playlist. Fallon was my favorite, but I also loved listening to the new Sea Wolf album at full volume. The strings and synths sounded pristine. On a few songs by the artist Grimes, I could hear subtle little cricket sounds in the background. I also always play the band Elbow on speakers I’m testing. It’s hard to explain, but on their new live album, you would swear the lead singer is in the room with you.
Everything you need to know about the Echo Studio is summed up in this stat: It can pump out a peak power of 330 watts. That’s wall-shaking audio. I could hear the Echo Studio from my garage. I am pretty sure my neighbors could make out what Alexa was saying, since you can talk to the bot like every other Echo product. Here’s a strange discovery. When a speaker is loud and clear like this, Alexa also sounds louder and clearer. I cued up an Audible book by Erik Larson and the narrator seemed like he was standing next to me.
What else do I like? For one, the design. The Echo Studio is taller, bigger, heavier -- more pronounced. It sticks out in the room. Amazon touts the 360-audio capability which emits audio in all directions, but I love the bass. You feel it in the core of your being. Inside the Echo Studio are five distinct speakers, including a massive 5.25-inch subwoofer.
A high-end speaker like this should cost more than it does. I had to check twice - $200, really? It sounds as good as some floor-standing models I’ve tested. For the techies, it supports Dolby Atmos for pure sound reproduction. You can use just about any audio app. It adapts to the room automatically. It slices, it dices. It’s awesome.
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