This 12 months, befitting its Echo audio system’ main operate as purveyors of music, Amazon is releasing an entire bunch of latest audio gear. The lineup features a beefed-up Echo Plus speaker, an Alexa amp, a wierd pre-amp… factor, a Dot with out the speaker and extra. However should you already personal an Echo and wish to get higher sound out of it, the brand new Echo Sub is probably the most intriguing.

At $130 (£120, AU$199) the Amazon Echo Sub sits between the Echo and Echo Plus in worth, and it upgrades the sound of Amazon’s good, skinny towers with precise deep bass. Is it a vital improve to the Echo line? No, however should you’ve ever been annoyed by the Echo’s lack of sonic heft, it might be for you. 

The Sub can be out there as a part of an bundle with two second-gen Echo units for $250 (£240), which is a viable system for under somewhat more cash than a single Sonos One. I examined the Sub primarily with the Echo Plus, nevertheless, and that combo makes much less monetary sense because of the added price of the Plus’ onboard hub.

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The Echo Sub flanked by a stereo pair of the Echo Plus.

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

As soon as out of the packaging, the Echo Sub appears like somebody left an Echo-shaped sponge in water in a single day. It is a cloth-covered capsule field with a matte plastic high and it measures eight inches excessive and eight.three inches in diameter (20.2 by 21 cm). The subwoofer is sealed and down-firing, powered by a 100-watt amplifier pushing a 6-inch woofer. The speaker is rated from 200 Hz all the way down to 30Hz (-6dB), with the Alexa app dealing with the crossover, relying on which system you pair it with.

In the meanwhile the Sub is barely formally appropriate with the second-generation Echo and Echo Plus, however in accordance with Amazon will probably be appropriate with most Echo merchandise, as described under. I attempted to pair the Sub with a third-gen Echo Dot and it failed, however different Echo units I attempted labored nicely. I’ve reached out to Amazon for clarification. 

Sub compatibility

Sensible speaker

Sub pair

Stereo pair

Echo (1st Era)

x

Echo (2nd Era)

x

x

Echo Dot (third Era)

x

x

Echo Plus (1st Era)

x

x

Echo Plus (2nd Era)

x

x

Echo Present (1st Era)

x (music solely)

Echo Present (2nd Era)

x (music solely)

There’s just one enter — the web (by way of 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi) — and a single button for initiating setup on the again. A separate audio enter on the again (just like the one discovered on a Dot) would make the speaker extra helpful, however and not using a crossover or quantity management you’ll be able to see why Amazon did not: preserve it easy, subwoofer.

Setup is designed to be so simple as potential, however I had points at first. I ultimately discovered that should you’ve already arrange a stereo pair of Echos and wish to add the Sub, you need to begin from scratch. After that it labored positive, and establishing the stereo pair itself was easy too.

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