Several weeks have passed since I started using the new generation of Yandex Stations. It ended up in our editorial office even before the official start of deliveries, and then we talked about it quite briefly and only outlined some points. Later, I bought one for myself and started using it full-time instead of my first generation Station, which I bought on the first day of sales in 2018, having stood in line for it. During the use of the second generation, I realized what the pros and cons of the new column are, and now I want to share my experience. Moreover, our Ivan Gerasimov had previously promised that I would express everything that I think about her.
Overview of Yandex Stations 2
It’s nice that no events, semiconductor crises and problems with container transportation prevented Yandex from fulfilling the promise made at the end of last year at YAC. Back then, the company talked a lot about the second generation station, but availability was only promised for this spring. The promise was kept – pre-orders began to be accepted at the end of May.
Вот так я получил дебютную Яндекс Станцию в первый день продаж
How much does the new Yandex Station cost
I note that the best time to buy this column was exactly when it and a set of sensors for a smart home cost significantly less than their separate purchase. And now the column is no longer at a pre-order price, which is not surprising – this is a common practice. Now Yandex Station of the second generation can be bought for 16 990 rubles solo or for 19 990 rubles with a set of 4 AQARA smart home devices (more on them below).
And you can also buy by subscription. In this case, it will be necessary to pay for three years 829 rubles per month. But for this money you will also receive a Plus Multi subscription, which in itself costs 299 rubles per month. I will not talk in detail about its advantages, but it turns out that with such an installment plan, if you subtract the cost of a subscription, the column will cost you 19,080 rubles in the end.
What does the new Yandex column look like
Done with prices! Now let’s move on to the column itself. Outwardly she very different from the previous generation. Moreover, I still can’t get used to the fact that this is a product of one line. Before all large Stations were rectangulara small puck-shaped. This product falls somewhere in the middle. And it’s not like the other Stations.
The fabric has become more rough but classy, and in the column itself, much attention was paid to tactile sensations. Even the box received inserts that feel like the Station itself. The plastic on the top of the speaker is very soft and pleasant, but I was upset that the company abandoned the volume knob. Touch buttons can also be used, and a large washer would greatly interfere with the implementation of the intended design, but it was convenient and pleasant to twist it.
In fact, the body remained only one mechanical button – turn off the microphone on the back wall. Everything else is done using the touchpad. You can change the volume, start / stop playback, call an assistant and switch songs.
❗️Don’t forget about our Yandex Zen? Come in, it’s warm and cozy.
Is the touchpad easy to use?
I didn’t use the touchpad much as I couldn’t get used to it quickly. Yes, I didn’t try because Alice has a great voice thanks to very sensitive microphones. Even at high volume, you can turn to it without too much shouting. But don’t repeat my mistake. Do not put the speaker next to the TV. I have it under the soundbar, and when the TV is on, it is very difficult to shout to her. Even a quiet sound in the immediate vicinity of the microphone easily interrupts the voice.
Features of the new Station
Having used the Max Station for a while and having a second-generation Mini Station in another room, I got used to the fact that the clock numbers always break out from under the fabric. This is very convenient and it is a pity that the second generation Station did not have such a function.
But now the column is powered by USB Type-C, like more compact models. In terms of power, this is quite enough, but now you don’t have to look for a special wire, as I had more than once with the first Station, which I wanted to rearrange, but could not because the wire was “sewn” into the nightstand, and you can’t open it wanted. But it is better to use the original power cable anyway. By the way, Yandex does not stop branding them, which I personally really like.
Light bar on the top looks great. At first it seems very bright, but then you get used to it and you realize that this is what you need. This panel displays the operating mode, light music and can even include effects, such as a burning candle. In the normal state, it is disabled. But even during operation, it can be turned off forcibly.
There is nothing else next to the power connector. Those who have the first generation of the Station will remember that there used to be an HDMI connector for connecting to a TV. I hardly used it, since I have an Apple TV and good features of the built-in smart TV, and choosing content by voice is not as convenient as using the remote control. Yes, and the sound came only through the speaker, and I have a good soundbar with a separate subwoofer, and this bundle sounds better than the speaker anyway.
Плюсы и минусы новой Яндекс Станции Мини, о которых мало кто задумывается.
Is it possible to connect a new Yandex Station to a TV
Now there is a relatively new Yandex Module for broadcasting content to a TV. It can interact with a speaker, but if you want everything in one package, take a closer look at Station Max. Everything will be under one cover there, there will be a remote control, and the price will not be much higher than if you buy a new Station separately and add Yandex Module to it.
What does Yandex Station of the second generation sound like?
The most important thing in a music column is sound. At first I was a little surprised that his character had not changed much from the first generation. Although even maintaining quality while reducing the size is already a great achievement. But delving into the subtleties of sounding a little more deeply, I understand what has changed.
The first generation of the station was more powerful, but the sound in it was just loud. Then the company could not make it really high quality. In general, it was enough, but the midrange detail was lacking, and the bass was very mediocre. With the addition of the equalizer function, the problem was only partially solved.
The new Station did not receive such a loud sound, but its quality is higher. In the middle frequencies, almost everything is fine, but much more bass, especially if you include dance music. I mainly listen to rock, and in my case the difference is not so great, but it definitely is.
Also a column able to adapt to the parameters of the room. To do this, she sends signals and listens to how they sound. Sometimes it’s easier to disable this feature, but in general it’s good that it’s there. If you buy such a speaker, try what the sound will be like with and without it, and then decide how to use it.
Работает ли Яндекс.Станция без подписки.
Do Yandex speakers support multiroom
The new Station is compatible with some other Yandex columns when building a multi-room system. If you ask her to turn on music everywhere, then the sound will go to all supported models. Station Light and Station Mini of the new generation worked for me with her. It’s great when you do household chores and walk around the apartment. But this only works with music. You can’t listen to radio stations like that.
Having your own voice assistant, and even as powerful as Yandex, it would be foolish not to engage in the further development of the smart home ecosystem. In the Yandex app, you could add gadgets from dozens of manufacturers to your account. And they were great with voice. I have Xiaomi, Aqara, Philips, Roborock, Hiper and some other products near my house that I can control with my voice.
Smart home with Alice
Now Yandex has gone even further and started selling a speaker with smart home gadgets. The kit includes three sensors and a smart bulb. And all this is connected not to a separate hub, as before (it costs about 4,000 rubles), but to the column itself using the Zigbee protocol. Everything works fine, pairing is simple through the Yandex application, there are many supported devices, and there will be even more, but … All this does not work without an Internet connection.
It was this opportunity that seemed to me a killer feature so that you can control the entire smart home, for example, in the country. But the impossibility of such a connection is logical. Without a more or less good connection, Alice simply will not understand what you said. Offline, she only processes the request for her name. All other requests are sent to the server, processed and returned as a response. It happens instantly, but in offline mode, the operation of the speaker and smart home gadgets is impossible.
Should I buy Yandex Station 2
Summing up my experience of use, I can say that the column turned out to be very solid. It really began to sound better, although quieter. Top notch appearance and, without exaggeration, will fit well into any interior. It’s nice that the company continues to develop the ideas of a smart home, but somehow more functions are needed without Internet access. Although I can’t say which ones.
I would not make this column a new generation of the first Station. It seems to me that she will pull on a separate ruler. This is a completely self-sufficient product, and not just a continuation of the previous one. They are completely different, and it even seems to me not quite logical that the company is just stopped production of the first generation. However, it is outdated and needs to be changed.
At the same time, Yandex Station Max is still a top device, which I consider to be the best smart speaker today. It sounds better than HomePod, suggests Alice, and can be used as a set-top box. As they say, everything is with her.
As for the Station that I mentioned above, I can only add that if you want to buy it, better do it with sensors. The difference in price is not that big, but it will be more expensive to buy them separately. If you have a smart home, then you will find where to fit them, and if not, then try it and you will not regret it.