Should Apple and Sonos Be Worried?

Amazon’s First True Hi-Fi Speaker Is Giving Sonos a Run for Its Money

September 25, 2019 Tech By Photo by Tucker Bowe

Amazon just announced two better-sounding Echo smart speakers for your home. The first is a third-generation Echo speaker – simply called the Amazon Echo – and it looks strikingly similar to last years Echo; it has improved drivers to help up its sound quality, and it still costs $100.

The more interesting new Echo smart speaker is undoubtedly the brand-new Echo Studio. That’s because it’s the company’s first true high-end speaker that also delivers 3D immersive sound and supports Dolby Atmos. The speaker has a total of five drivers: three midrange, a downward-firing woofer, and a front-firing tweeter. It’s designed for music lovers who want to get the most out of Amazon’s new lossless streaming service, Amazon Music HD.

This new high-end speaker is also priced to make it competitive – really competitive. At just $200 it’s significantly undercuts what its competition, Apple’s HomePod and the Google Home Max, are going for. And it’s the pretty much the same price as the Sonos One, another speaker that can be integrated with Alexa.

If there’s one issue with the Echo Studio, from what I can tell, it’s that it still looks like an Amazon Echo. Sure, it’s beefier, but if Amazon truly wants to take the step into the world of hi-fi it’s going to make a truly good-looking speaker. And the Echo Studio isn’t quite that.

Because audiophiles demand great sound, but they also want to know whatever they’re buying compliments their media console and whatever else is in their home.

The Amazon Echo Studio is available for pre-order right now.

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Tucker Bowe

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol's editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

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