4th Gen Echo, video analysis
An easy speaker to fit into any environment
Before going into technical details, in the own experience as a smart speaker and even in its sound quality it is essential to talk about its design. Because at the end of the day this is a product that will be visible and must fit well wherever you want to place it.
With a change in the form factor quite clear, the new fourth generation Echo is what you see in the images, an almost round speaker. Just that little “cut” to shape the base prevents it from rolling like a ball. And as a detail, in this base the typical tripod thread is maintained in case we want to place it on various speaker stands, etc.
However, as we will clarify later, that it is spherical does not imply that it has the ability to emit sound in 360 degrees. So your position and the orientation of the “front” will be important. To know which one it is, you just have to turn it to see that the inclination that is drawn with the cloth that covers the speaker clearly marks how you should place it.
Otherwise, aesthetically it is a sober and minimalist product. At the top we basically only have the four buttons already characteristic of Amazon that allow us to control aspects such as volume, mute the microphones or activate and interrupt the interaction with Alexa.
Although, if you are wondering where is the Notification LED so characteristic that we saw in previous generations of the Echos, the answer is at its base. That is where that same circular LED is now located, which together with the use of different colors not only indicates when Alexa has been activated but also if there is some type of connectivity failure, notifications, etc.
I said, physically the design change may be more or less liked according to the preferences of each one, but it is true that now it can be a little easier to introduce it anywhere in the house. You could say that it is a much more attractive piece of decoration than it was before.
Alexa is still its great value
I’ll talk to you about the sound quality later, but now we have to talk about what is its great value: Alexa. Yes, Amazon’s voice assistant is still the main attraction of the company’s speakers. Well, that and its price, because for 99 euros (although there are specific moments when it is on sale and it is even more irresistible) it is a great purchase option.
This time around, the fourth-gen Echo is enhanced with a new processor AZ1 Neural Edge that provides a greater response speed and capacity to this model. Amazon does not say it clearly, but everything seems to indicate that it has the capacity to process some of the actions locally and that reduces the waiting times between saying and processing the order. Times that were already very short before.
As Amazon improves its software and machine learning As you gain weight, the experience will improve more. In addition, with seven microphones its ability to hear you from other locations in the home or in situations where the music is at high volumes is greatly improved.
Of course, along with everything you can ask Alexa, one of the great attractions of this fourth-generation Echo is its centralized Zigbee integrated. Thanks to it, as was the case in its previous generation, you can control devices compatible with this standard. Such as Philips smart lights among many other connected home devices.
Without a doubt, if you consider that the Philips bridge only costs 49 euros, it is clear that the Amazon Echo is much more attractive still. Because you save a device at home and even in part the configuration of new accessories is much easier.
A surprising sound
With a very nice and attractive design, and together with an experience with Alexa equal or a little more rewarding compared to previous models, the only thing that remains to be known about this Amazon Echo is its sound quality. I give it to you in a summarized way: it surprises.
Despite its size, the fourth generation of the Echo surprises with its sound quality and the reasons are due to the internal changes introduced by the company. If before we had a 76mm woofer and a 20mm tweeter, now we have a second tweeter that offers extra clarity when reproducing the highest frequencies.
However, the bass does continue to have a greater presence when it comes to playing all kinds of content. The good thing is that from the Alexa application itself you can play with the equalization options it offers and allows you to vary the parameters of bass, midrange and treble.
Alongside this, the fourth-generation Echo offers support for Dolby Atmos sound and the ability to adapt sound reproduction to the room where it is being used. The latter is still a bit more complex to check if it really happens or not, so it is better to speak directly about the experience.
At the quality level the device sounds very good. So much that it surprises everything that it offers for that price. Logically it is not a solution for the most audiophiles, in that case proposals such as Sonos have an extra quality. But this does not mean that we must detract from the good work that Amazon is doing in terms of sound quality.
For most spaces where an Amazon Echo will be used, the power, clarity and general quality of the device playing all types of music and audio is more than remarkable. And if you accompany it with other Amazon Echos or an equal second to create a stereo configuration, you embroider it.
A smart speaker to consider
Before I give you my final assessment of the device, a series of Important points in summary:
- Dolby Atmos support
- Great sound quality you can try with the HD music option from Amazon Music Unlimited
- The integrated Zigbee control unit offers a multitude of options to get started in home automation
- The 3.5 mm jack connection allows so much input as audio output, for this, from the Alexa app you can configure how you want to use it
- The response to voice commands is more agile
- The design is sober and elegant, but better the models in anthracite and gray to this blue
- It does not emit sound in 360 degrees, but Amazon says that it is capable of adapting it to the room and position
Undoubtedly the fourth generation Amazon Echo is a very interesting step forward on the part of Amazon. The company not only endows it with a very attractive design for all types of environments, but also with improvements in the interaction with its voice assistant and a sound quality that continues to improve.
For me, together with the versatile Echo Dot, the The new 4 Gen Amazon Echo seems to me to be a very round product in every sense. Hence, for what it costs, even more so if you can opt for an offer made by the company, this is a product that should not be missing in the home of any lover of technology and even music.