An Alexa box with hi-fi sound: the Amazon Echo Studio with its five built-in speakers is intended to inspire music fans in particular. In the review, Techloging reveals whether this is worth the hype!
In the race for the best smart speaker, Amazon is catching up a lot. With five built-in speakers and high-resolution 3D music via Amazon Music HD, the Echo Studio sounds better than any other Echo box. In review, Apple HomePod and Sonos Move sound even clearer and more balanced. Also, automatic calibration and sound optimization work much better here. Thanks to many Alexa functions and the good Fire TV and Smarthome connection, Amazon’s biggest still overtakes the competition.
- Reliable voice control
- Good sound, high volume
- Smarthome and Fire TV can be linked
- A bit bass-heavy
- Automatic calibration slow
- Few connections
The Amazon Echo is one of the most popular smart speakers. But real music fans who value a powerful and balanced sound have often used solutions from Sonos, Bose, or Apple.
Amazon offers a high-quality loudspeaker that should keep up with the competition in terms of sound and also score points with the artificial intelligence of Alexa. In the review, Techloging shows how well the Echo Studio is doing.
Amazon Echo Studio: it’s inside!
The Echo Studio clearly surpasses previous Echo models in height (20 centimeters) and in diameter (17 centimeters). Wrapped in fabric, it is roughly the size of the Apple HomePod, is just a little bigger. The slot at the lower end, which should radiate the bass unhindered, is noticeable.
On the top, there are six microphones and a light ring, which shines as soon as Alexa listens and works, as well as the usual buttons for Alexa control and volume control. At the bottom of the back, there is a power connection and a 3.5-millimeter jack socket.
The real innovations are inside the box: According to Amazon, five speakers are built into the Echo Studio. A 13-centimeter woofer – driven by a 330-watt amplifier according to Amazon – guarantees rich bass. A tweeter in the usual 2.5-centimeter format sits at the front. Three mid-range speakers, every 5 centimeters in diameter, radiate to the right, left, and above, thus providing stereo sound.
Amazon Echo Studio in the review: the sound
In the listening test, the new audio technology made itself felt positively: the sound of the Echo Studio surpasses all previous Echo models. For room-filling sound, two Echo Studios can be linked to form a stereo pair. In individual operation, the “upmixing” function ensures that the loudspeaker has a more stereo feeling. Here, the software cleverly distributes the music to the individual speakers to simulate a 3D surround sound. That worked quite well in the review.
The Echo Studio delivered a warm sound with powerful bass. In the highs and mids, however, the speaker weakens a bit, especially at higher volumes, the rich deep bass seems too dominant. In the Alexa app for iOS or Android, there are three controls to readjust the bass, middle, and treble. The built-in automatic room adjustment should also counteract this. This uses the built-in microphones to automatically recognize the acoustic conditions of the room and to optimally adapt the sound depending on the placement of the box. In the review, however, this only happened once during setup, under no circumstances continuously.
Tip: readjusting the sound – this is how it works
If the Echo Studio changes its location later, it retains its previously determined sound. Placed in a free-standing position on a shelf, for example, the loudspeaker then sounded too bass-heavy and overall too unbalanced in the review – there is no automatic sound adjustment.
How to help and recalibrate the sound:
- Place the Echo Studio where you are and plug it into the wall socket.
- Press and hold the mute and the volume down button at the same time for about 20 seconds until the light ring flashes orange. The device is reset according to the announcement.
- Open the Alexa app on the mobile phone, add the Echo Studio again after tips on the device, and + and connect it to your home WiFi.
- Now the tone sound and the acoustics of the speaker are adapted to the new location.
Echo Studio in the review: lossless 3D music
The Echo Studio is the first speaker with Sony’s “360 Reality Audio” technology. When recording, it allows every instrument and every voice to be positioned freely in the room. On top of that, according to Amazon, a digital-to-analog converter with 24 bits and a power amplifier with 100-kilohertz bandwidth in the box take care of high-resolution, almost uncompressed music playback.
In conjunction with the music service Amazon Music HD that made a mixed impression in the review. Music that is currently played only with the voice command “Alexa, play Best of 3D”, sounded like a sonorous all-round experience with a certain live character.
The difference to pure stereo playback was often limited. The music companies Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group are constantly promising new high-resolution 3D music, which should also be available via Amazon Music HD. In addition to the in-house music streaming service, the Echo Studio also accesses other providers such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, or the web radio TuneIn.
Echo Studio in the review: Fire TV and Smart Home
The Echo Studio can be wirelessly connected to the new Fire TV Cube or the Fire TV Stick 4K for a home theater experience. That was done quickly in the review: Simply call up the device management in the Alexa app and set up a home theater system there. The TV sound output via the echo box noticeably enhanced the viewing experience. The surround sound formats Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital 5.1 can be played. Also, a second Echo Studio or an Echo Sub can be integrated as a woofer.
Another extra: Like the Echo Plus 2the Echo Studio comes with a smart home hub that transmits in the Zigbee standard. This allows smart home devices from many manufacturers to be controlled via Alexa, such as networked Philips Hue lights or smart heating thermostats. The language assistant reacted quickly and reliably in the review. As is usual with Echo devices, all Alexa functions (such as making calls to other Echo users or the daily news overview) are also on board in the studio, and many more can be retrofitted with Alexa skills.
Conclusion: Amazon Echo Studio in the review
In the race for the best smart speaker, Amazon is catching up a lot. With five built-in speakers and high-resolution 3D music via Amazon Music HD, the Echo Studio sounds better and richer than any other Echo box. In the listening review, the more expensive Apple HomePod and Sonos Move sound even clearer and more balanced. Also, automatic calibration and sound optimization work much better here. Thanks to many Alexa functions and the good Fire TV and Smart Home connection, Amazon’s “biggest” still overtakes the competition.