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Home / Technology / The tiny $ 149 Echo Sub is a huge audio upgrade – TechCrunch

The tiny $ 149 Echo Sub is a huge audio upgrade – TechCrunch



Do you want to make your music more interesting? Add a subwoofer. That's what Amazon did, and suddenly the entire echo speaker line is more interesting. If you were not impressed by the echoes of an echo, try again if the echo is paired with an echo sub. The subwoofer changes the game.

The Echo Sub is a small, round subwoofer that is clad with the same fabric as the echo speakers. Currently it is only available in dark gray. It is designed to be sat on the floor or a sturdy desk and to serve the low tones that the echo speakers can not reproduce. The Echo Sub does its job. In combination with an echo speaker, the tone is more voluminous and pleasant, more balanced and healthier. The Echo Sub is a must for echo owners.

Review

Amazon has provided TechCrunch with a pair of $ 99 echo speakers and the $ 1

29 Echo Sub. This kit is available for $ 300, but Amazon also sells the Echo Sub bundle with two Echo Plus devices for $ 329 – that's the package you can get, as the Plus models have bigger speaker drivers. I suspect the difference will be worth the extra $ 30.

It takes about 25 minutes to set up the system. Each speaker is added individually to the Alexa smartphone app. Once all three speakers are installed, they must be bundled in a virtual group. The app prompts make it easy, but I found the process incorrect. When trying to group the speakers, the app sometimes could not find one of the speakers. At other times, the two speakers were found, but the sub was not. Finally, I configured it and ended up with two echo speakers running in stereo and a subwoofer handling the low-end sounds.

The difference between an additional speaker and a subwoofer is wonderful. But it should not be surprising. Stereo music should be enjoyed.

Years ago, the Jambox, with its countless Bluetooth Speaker Clones, convinced a generation that a speaker is everything you need for music. That's a lie. A speaker does the job, but two in stereo will always be better. And in this case, with the addition of a subwoofer, it's much, much better.

The Roc's Let Me Live takes full advantage of the newly discovered sound stage. The left and right speakers explode with activity, creating an immersive listening experience that is impossible with any single speaker from an Amazon Echo to Apple HomePod. The stereo arrangement lets the music breathe.

AKA Georges Stone Cold Classic comes alive with this setup. The Echo Sub gives the track dramatically more depth, while the stereo echoes provide a full experience. Do you need more evidence? Contact Van Halen Panama . A single speaker can not have the same experience; The channels are jumbled and mixed. But when played with the support of a woofer in real stereo, David Lee Roth comes alive.

I'm impressed with the sound quality of this $ 300 package. Much of the heavy lifting is transmitted to the Echo Sub, so the Echo speakers can handle the mid and high frequencies that are clear and precise for the price. At $ 300, it's hard to find a better audio system than two echo speakers and the Echo Sub. And the intelligent functions of the echo sweeten the deal.

Amazon provided two $ 99 echo speakers and they do the job. The Echo Sub can also be paired with two $ 149 Echo Plus speakers that have more significant drivers; I suspect that using two of these speakers would make for even better sound, and when bought as part of a bundle, they're only a few dollars more.

The Echo Sub works well in most situations. Compared to other subwoofers, it is on the smaller side of the scale. It provides much needed bass, but the woofer can not shake walls. It does not hammer per se. It's a great addition to Hard Rock or Pop. it is not for rattling rap. Think Arctics Monkeys instead of Post Malone

The Alexa app allows users to set the number of bass, mid and high frequencies the subwoofer generates. I found the settings too low and unable to drastically change the sound profile of the woofer. Overall, the Echo Sub is an elegant, small sub that works well in conjunction with a pair of echo speakers.

The Echo Sub can also work with just one echo speaker. Only own Echo Smart speakers? Add an Echo Sub for an amazing upgrade in sound quality.

Amazon is not the only company that combines intelligent speakers for a new age of stereo sound. Sonos has long allowed owners to wirelessly connect speakers to create stereo and surround sound setups. Two Google Home Max can be connected together to create a nice stereo set. The same goes for Apple HomePods: Two $ 350 HomePods can be wirelessly linked together for a stereo kit. Each of the above setups provides excellent audio quality, but is more expensive than the Amazon solution. However, only Sonos sells a dedicated subwoofer.

Amazon, with the Echo Sub, now offers a great sound experience for much less than that of its nearest rivals. The $ 129 Echo Sub is compact and capable and the best way to instantly update an echo smart speaker setup. If possible, add a second echo speaker to create a virtual set of stereo speakers.

The Echo Sub is a simple recommendation for homes where an echo speaker is dedicated to music. If you need to choose between adding a second echo or adding an echo subs, go to the subwoofer first.


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