At the same time, the song was well balanced: The stereo Echo Pluses ensured voices and instruments weren’t overpowered by the bass, and generally filled the basement with sound.
It’s built to meet the audio needs of the vast majority of Echo owners who listen to music often and would love to hear better sound, but don’t want to be too inconvenienced. And that’s not bad news.
Amazon obviously knows a whole hell of a lot about what Echo owners are doing with their speakers, which is probably why the Sub feels like the end result of a focus group.
Want to use the Echo Sub with a speaker system that’s not made by Amazon?
The light rings on the two Echo Pluses flashed every time I adjusted something in the equalizer, which I appreciated: Sometimes adjustments to sound are hard to hear, and I liked that the system would tell me visually that it received the command.
In addition to our Echo Sub review unit, Amazon sent along a pair of second-gen Echo Plus speakers.
For the masses of people who have developed the habit of listening to music on the Echo simply because of the dirt-simple convenience of asking Alexa to play something, the Echo Sub is a serious level up.
Using the Dot stereo pair with the Echo Sub takes it to a whole other level.
I would never recommend you stop using your Amazon Echo to listen to music, and even if I did, it’s not like you’d stop anyway.
I reviewed the 3rd-gen Echo Dot and found the sound to be quite good — at least, quite good for a hockey puck-size speaker.
If you regularly listen to music on an Amazon Echo device — specifically the Echo, new Echo Dot, or Echo Plus — then I can’t recommend the Echo Sub enough.
There are more powerful and versatile subwoofers out there, but the Amazon Echo Sub is the fastest, easiest way to give Alexa-powered music some oomph.
And that’s OK – if you’re searching for audiophile-quality sound, you’re not turning to the Amazon Echo anyway.
If you already have a speaker group and you want to use the Echo Sub with it, you’ll need to first unpair the group.
I could discern individual instruments, and the whole experience felt immersive even if I wandered far from the theoretical "sweet spot" between the two Echo Pluses.
To be completely clear, the Amazon Echo Sub, which costs $129. 99, is a complementary device, meaning you can’t use it if you don’t already have an Echo.
The better solution: Improve the Echo’s audio experience with better sound in the most convenient and affordable way.
The Amazon Echo Sub is made to work only with Amazon Echo speakers.
I started with Taylor Swift’s "Look What You Made Me Do," and noticed the difference between the experience on my (original) Echo almost immediately: When the beat starts along with the first lyrics, you really feel the thump.
I also tried the Echo Sub with a stereo pair of Echo Dots.
The Echo system conveyed the musicality of the track extremely well, giving the song’s trademark drumbeat needed strength, but never so much that it overpowered Gord Downie’s voice.
I set up the Echo Sub and Plus stereo pair in my basement, which is fairly roomy but not overly so.
Ideally, you’ll have two of the same device so you can use them as a stereo pair along with the Echo Sub.
Without the Sub, the Echo Dots played "Radioactive" competently, but the bass drop was a nonevent.
One of the great things about using an Echo system is controlling playback with your voice.
As mentioned, you can pair the Sub with just one Echo or a stereo pair.
I really wanted to see how the Echo Sub contends with movie soundtracks and surround sound, but that’s not part of the picture, at least for now.
I also tried the Sub with just one Plus as well as with a pair of third-gen Dots. At 9. 3 pounds, the Echo Sub is a hefty guy, but not overly so.
You can also use the Sub with the Echo Show (1st or 2nd gen) but only for music, not videos or movies.
And it’s not compatible with every kind of Echo: you’ll need at least one Echo (1st or 2nd gen), Echo Plus (1st or 2nd gen), or Echo Dot (3rd gen) to use it.
I’d also add that for anyone looking for the absolute best sound, the Echo Sub will disappoint.
You can’t use 1st or 2nd-gen Echo Dots in speaker sets.
For most music listening, though, the Echo Sub adds a lot.
Like any subwoofer, the Echo Sub needs a permanent place on the floor, roughly 3 square feet, and it shouldn’t be hidden away in a cabinet.
I would love to use an Echo system as my TV speakers.
With the Echo Sub, the moment where the bass drops becomes an event.
This is the best possible setup for the Echo Sub since the Plus is rated for the best audio performance of all the Echo models.
The Echo Sub has a 6-inch downward-firing driver, and it’s rated at 100 watts with a frequency response that goes down to 30Hz (at –6dB).
But an Echo setup with the Echo Sub will get you about 90 percent of the way there, which is miles ahead of just listening with the Echo alone.
I did most of my listening with the Echo Sub on its default settings.
You add the Sub just as you would any other Echo, except, when you’re done, it doesn’t behave like any other Echo.
Amazon Echo Sub review: Exactly what you need for Alexa-powered music https://t.co/S6f5d4MIl6— Mashable (@mashable) September 1, 2020
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