Amazon Echo Studio Review
Pros: Very impressive sound, smart home convenience, pairs with other Echos
Cons: Alexa app required, confusing app interface, unreliable WiFi streaming
Compare to Similar Products
Amazon Echo Studio
$199.99 at Amazon
$349.00 at Amazon
|$199 List||$300 List|
$298.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Very impressive sound, smart home convenience, pairs with other Echos||Excellent Sound, Great volume, relatively compact, many connection options||Great sound quality, compact, loud, multiple connection options||HiFi streaming compatible, 360 reality audio, great connectivity||Great sound quality, small, relatively inexpensive|
|Cons||Alexa app required, confusing app interface, unreliable WiFi streaming||Expensive, multi-speaker management leaves a bit to be desired||Slightly pricier than some comparable models||Multiple apps required for full functionality, bass sometimes overpowering||No Bluetooth connection, not the thumpiest bass|
|Bottom Line||Any Amazon aficionado looking to upgrade their sound system should not miss this wireless speaker||Our first recommendation for those looking for a single speaker that can flood your main living space with incredible sound||Impressive bass and good overall sound in a compact and versatile package||If you're looking for a live music experience from the comfort of home, this is the speaker for you||Small yet expressive, this is a great affordable option for an apartment or as a building block for a larger system|
|Rating Categories||Amazon Echo Studio||Bose Home Speaker 500||Bose Home Speaker 300||Sony SRS-RA3000 360||Sonos One SL|
|Sound Quality (40%)|
|User Friendliness (20%)|
|Specs||Amazon Echo Studio||Bose Home Speaker 500||Bose Home Speaker 300||Sony SRS-RA3000 360||Sonos One SL|
|Smart Home Compatability||Alexa||Alexa, Google Home||Alexa, Google Home||Google Home, Alexa||None|
|Inputs||Bluetooth, Wifi, 3.5mm Aux, Micro-USB||Bluetooth, 3.5mm Aux, WiFi, AirPlay||Bluetooth, Micro-USB, 3.5mm Aux, WiFi, AirPlay||Bluetooth, WiFi, Google Cast, 3.5mm Aux||WiFi, Ethernet, AirPlay|
|Dimensions||8.1" x 6.9" x 6.9"||4.3" x 6.7" x 8"||4" x 5.6" x 6.3"||5.75" x 9.75" x 6.13"||4.7" x 4.7" x 6.4"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Amazon Echo Studio makes a name for itself by combining the convenience of an Alexa with a high-quality speaker system, now accompanied by the innovative "3D Audio"—aimed at creating multidimensional sound by adding space, clarity, and depth. Although it doesn't quite meet the standards set by some of our high scorers, this wireless speaker nonetheless offers the casual music listener an excellent music experience for a reasonable price, and this speaker should not be missed by any avid Amazon purveyor.
The Amazon Echo Studio really shined in our sound quality metric, outperforming many of our tested speakers.
The Amazon Echo Studio provides a high-quality audio experience. We found the bass to be a fantastic combination of strong and smooth, but never at the cost of overpowering the treble or mid-range audio outputs. The treble that the Amazon Echo Studio puts out is enviable, and its clear sound is comparable to our favorite speakers overall. Our testing of the speaker's dynamic range also placed the Echo Studio in the company of our top scorers, as this speaker handled exceedingly loud bursts and the gentle whispers of live music with ease. Moreover, we found that the dynamic range tested at 42 decibels below full scale. Apart from a relative lack of audio crispness, the Amazon Echo Studio provided a plethora of excellent audio.
One of the primary selling points of the Echo Studio is its innovative 3D Audio experience. Our testing found the 3D Audio tracks to be truly impressive to listen to, but the number of songs that have been mixed for this function is very limited when compared to the vast quantity of music available on Amazon Music. Therefore, we would not recommend that the 3D Audio functionality be your make-or-break choice when you find yourself on the market for a new speaker system, because the songs you want to enjoy in "3D" are likely to be unavailable.
While the Amazon Echo Studio is not lacking in sound quality, the device left much to be desired in our testing of the device's ease of use. Although equipped with Bluetooth and voice controls typical of Amazon products, the primary means of controlling this speaker is with the Alexa app. Throughout our testing, we found the Alexa app to be a major source of frustration, with a convoluted interface and difficult navigation. The Amazon Echo Studio places a high prioritization on Amazon Music, which works excellently on the device, but at the cost of other music streaming services. We should mention, that we repeatedly had a difficult time getting this speaker to play music from other available services, including Spotify, both through the Alexa app and the device's verbal functions.
The tactile interface of the Amazon Echo Studio provides slight circumvention of the Alexa app. Of the three operations capable of being performed on the speaker's interface, only the volume control has nothing to do with the voice features. For those who do not want their Amazon Echo Studio to constantly be listening in, there is an on/off button for the device's microphone, but this feature has little to do with speaker functions. The action button we found to be rather arbitrary, as its use merely activates the device's spoken Alexa function, something which could also be achieved by just saying, "Alexa."
The Amazon Echo Studio, despite not providing the power of some other, nonetheless provides a strong showing of volume. We found that this speaker easily filled the room with its clear sound. Moreover, we were comfortably able to listen to the device from outside the room as well, as the device provides a good travel range. As we noted in our audio quality testing, the bass really shines here, filling the room with a nice rumble and giving each song a unique feel.
A great feature of the Amazon Echo Studio is its ability to sonically orient itself in the room to maximize audio quality from any location. This feature allows this device to work great anywhere, as we found its bulky size made it kind of awkward for middle-of-the-room placement.
If the Amazon Echo Studio is your first home Amazon device, this device's connectivity will provide a good experience, by no means poor, but not as excellent as some of our higher scoring speakers. However, should you own a smart home with full Amazon integration, we would highly recommend this speaker for its connectivity. This speaker has been designed for maximum pairing with other Amazon devices, and all music playing Amazon devices on your network will be able to play music simultaneously, a truly symphonic experience for smart homes.
The Amazon Echo Studio does not come with a remote, but rather all device control is done by way of either voice commands or through the Alexa app on your phone. The device can play music directly from a Bluetooth source, but our testing really showed that manner of performance caused a noticeable drop in audio quality. However, for the old school music listener, the Amazon Echo Studio does come equipped with an AUX port, a less convenient but a guaranteed source of high-quality audio.
We would say that this speaker is definitely worth its price, as it provides a great auditory experience for about half the price of our top scorers. That does not mean that the Amazon Echo Studio is perfect, and we recognize that it is a polarizing product; its user-friendliness and connectivity are indisputably oriented towards an Amazon-prone crowd. Nevertheless, if you can power through this speaker's shortcomings, you'd be hard-pressed to find such a high-quality sound system for this price.
After all our testing, the Amazon Echo Studio, while not being our highest performing speaker, nonetheless provides an all-around quality experience. While it may not please the most ardent audiophiles, we can say without hesitation that the Amazon Echo Studio will provide no disappointment for the casual user looking for a speaker and Alexa device for their home. Moreover, if you are an active purveyor of Amazon electronics, this speaker would make an excellent inclusion into your smart home.
— Michelle Powell and Conrad Salonites
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