Amazon Echo Studio has Dolby Atmos 3D audio – look out HomePod

Amazon is taking on Sonos and the Apple HomePod with a brand new high-end smart speaker called the Echo Studio.

The 360-degree $199/£189.99 speaker, revealed at Amazon’s massive new product showcase in Seattle, is the first in the range to offer Dolby Atmos 3D sound. It offers a fabric-covered cylindrical design with a striking cavity in the bottom portion of the speaker.

It appears this speaker – much larger and bolder than its counterparts in terms of design and sound – will replace the Echo Plus. Most of those features from that model have trickled down to an all-new $99/£89.99 Amazon Echo standard edition, also announced today.

The company says the Alexa microphones on offer here will do more than just listen to your commands, they’ll calibrate audio depending on the room you’re in. It can also hook up to a Fire TV 4K box, bringing that Dolby Atmos goodness to your main TV screen.

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On its Day One blog, Amazon said: “The Echo Studio is the most innovative speaker we’ve ever built. It produces unbelievable sound, with space, clarity, and depth. All you have to do is plug it in and the built-in Alexa microphones will automatically calibrate and model the room around you. And you’re ready to go. It works great with the music you’re already streaming today, but works even better with new 3D formats. It’s bold, incredible sound in a simple package.”

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“Echo Studio includes left, right and top mid-range speakers that create directional sound, a directional tweeter for great, high end performance and a built-in 5.25-inch bass driver coupled with a bass port to give you the best bass response we knew how to deliver. This coupled with a format like Dolby Atmos, the sound is truly immersive.”

Amazon says it has been working with Universal Music Group, Sony and Warner Music Group to bring content to Amazon Music’s new lossless HD service, announced earlier this month.

The Echo Studio undercuts the Apple HomePod quite significantly, while matching the price of the Alexa-powered Sonos One. It can be pre-ordered in the US and UK today with shipping later this year.

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