Nov. 1st, 2017

denny: (I need stuff!)
I have spent the last hour or so sitting in my living room with a first generation Echo (henceforth 'One') and a second generation Echo Plus ('Two') sat next to each other on the coffee table, trying to figure out which one sounds better. It is not anywhere near as clear cut as Two's marketing blurb would have you believe!

The first thing I noticed was that Alexa's voice sounds warmer/richer from One, by a surprisingly large amount (my anthropomorphic hindbrain immediately decided that Two doesn't really like me, unlike One who is (obviously) my friend).

Also, One's voice has about the same volume level as music playing on the same device, whereas on Two the voice is maybe 2/3 of the music volume, which seems like a particularly weird decision that's going to lead to a lot of volume adjusting.

When playing music, One is a fair bit louder than Two (with volumes set to the same number), and even when turned down a couple of notches to match (to my ear) the volume of Two, One still sounds more lively to me. Sometimes in a 'trying too hard' sort of way, like walkman speakers or whatever - but more often it just sounds like it's having more fun :-P One does distort more at max volume, but you can turn it down one notch to reduce that distortion and it's still louder than Two at full blast.

I think the audio buff summary here is probably that Two is more refined, whereas One is more dynamic/lively/raucous/whatever - and in hifi sound tests throughout my life I have always tended to pick the lively kit over the refined stuff. (You can take the boy out of the rock club, but...)

Anyway, now I don't know what to do with them. The plan was to return One and keep Two, but I'm not sure if I'd feel like that was an upgrade at all right now, let alone one worth paying an extra £40 for (I paid £100 for One on offer, Two is £140), given that the improved sound quality was the main attraction for me.

Other than the supposed step up in sound quality, the other thing that tempted me into getting Two was the allegedly improved ability to pick your voice out of background noise, which would definitely be handy... but so far I wouldn't say I've noticed any sign of that either. Trying to side-by-side audio test them involved a lot of shouting over the music they were both playing, and neither of them was particularly keen to listen to me.

November 2017

S M T W T F S
    1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags