If you’ve already bought yourself one of the best (in my opinion) smart digital assistants and smart speakers out there—Amazon’s Echo devices like Dot, Echo, Show, Echo Spot or Echo Plus— you may be wondering how you can get more out of it. The intelligence in these devices is obvious, but for some who really love their music, you might find the overall speaker and music quality lacking when compared to bigger and more powerful speakers. Amazon has a solution; the Amazon Echo Sub. It’s a powerful subwoofer you can connect to your Echo device to deliver better bass and dynamic lower end audio quality.
I had a chance to test and review Echo Sub in my home for a few weeks.
What is Amazon Echo Sub?
Amazon Echo Sub is a dedicated subwoofer for the Echo lineup of devices. It’s made to deliver down-firing, 100W deep bass sound through a 6” woofer. The large cylinder is big (about 8” x 8”) and weighty (just over 9 lbs), giving you confidence it can deliver on sound quality.
By the way, in this blog we’re not going to get into what Echo is and how it works, so if you need a primer, read the full review and how to of Echo & Dot here.
How to set up Echo Sub
Getting this device set up is super simple. You’ll plug it in, then go to your Alexa app (for iPhone or Android) and add the new device. My sub connected to my phone and then to my home Wi-Fi in seconds and was ready to go.
Can I connect Echo Sub to more than one Echo device?
If you’re wondering if your Sub will connect to more than one Echo device the answer is yes— and no. If you have compatible Echo devices that are able to link as a stereo pair (left and right channels), then yes, you’re technically connecting to more than one device.
But if you want to use Sub with the Echo Plus in the living room AND the Echo in the bedroom, the answer is no. You’ll need to choose just one device to link to.
Echo Sub Compatibility
It’s important to note that Sub is only configured for music playback; it doesn’t support video, though you may still hear some sound coming from it.
Echo Sub must be paired with a compatible Echo device. It’s optimized for Echo (2nd Gen) and Echo Plus (2nd Gen). Currently, stereo pairing, speaker groups, and multi-room music only support music playback over your wireless network, and do not support Bluetooth, 3.5mm AUX in, or TV/video connections. Some Echo devices support different stereo and subwoofer configurations.
How does Echo Sub sound? Does it make a difference?
I tried Echo Sub with my 2nd gen Amazon Echo Plus speaker in my living room for several weeks and I can definitely say it makes a noticeable difference.
While the Echo Plus sounds just fine for the size and type of speaker that it it, adding the sub gives it much more dimension and depth. Of course that’s low end only, but since the Sub is designed to sit on the floor of the room, it helps to spread the vibrations around the room, delivering a much more immersive and dynamic experience.
I’d say it adds a lot to the Echo Plus, though the Sub costs $169CAD, on top of the $149 you might already be spending on the Echo Plus. Are there better, all-in-one, smart audio solutions out there for about $300? It’s hard to say.
The nearest option might be the Google Home Max (Read that review here) and that’s going to set you back about $450. There’s also the Sonos One ($250), or the Apple Home Pod ($450) but I don’t think those are going to deliver as much bass as the Sub and Plus pairing would, however these units may indeed provide a more balanced sound. But we may be comparing thoroughbreds to llamas here.
Overall review of Amazon Echo Sub subwoofer
I like having the Amazon Echo Sub in the house. I think it takes a smart speaker I already really like, and makes it sound even better.
So it delivers on quality, but is it worth the extra cost? That’s up to you and your particular budget.
Amazon Echo Sub sells for about $169CAD and is available from Amazon.
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