Amazon’s lineup of Echo smart speakers come in all sizes to cater to different requirements. While each of them is as smart as the other, one missing product has been a great sounding Echo speaker. Until the Amazon Echo Studio that is. As the name suggests, this speaker is aimed at an audience that demands high quality audio. So does Amazon’s newest smart speaker manage to do that? Check out our Echo Studio review.
In terms of design, the Studio looks similar to most other Echo speakers. You get the same cylindrical shape with the majority of the device covered in a charcoal-colored fabric mesh. It is however huge. On paper, it manages to dwarf the likes of the Apple HomePod. It is also quite heavy, making it difficult to regularly move around. To put some perspective, the Echo Studio weighs nearly three times as much as the third-gen Echo. So you will be well advised to decide on a placement for the speaker in your room before buying one.
At the top of the Echo Studio, you will find the usual set of buttons. These include the microphone mute switch, volume down, volume up, and Alexa ‘wake’ key. There’s also the light ring circling the top, which lights up in response to Alexa commands and changes in volume. At the rear, there’s a power port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a micro USB port. Just above these ports is a wide yawning slit to aid the downward-firing woofer.
The Echo Studio’s beefed-up appearance is down to what it hides inside. Amazon has fit in two 5cm midrange speakers positioned on the left and right. There’s a 25mm forward-firing tweeter, and a 5cm upward-firing midrange speaker. Lastly, there’s a downward-firing 133mm bass driver. All these combine to offer up to 330W of power. With peak volume level at 90db, this speaker is loud enough to easily fill up a mid-sized room.
During my time with the Echo Studio, I found the speaker to offer a near-balanced sound output with an emphasis on mids. This is evident when listening to songs like Toss a Coin to Your Witcher from the Netflix series The Witcher. Despite the compact design, the left and right channels display a decent amount of separation.
The same however can’t be said about songs with bass. The bass on the Studio is a tad muddy and tends to get too overpowering. Having said that, the Amazon smartphone app does offer you an equalizer, and sliding the bass down a few notches makes a big difference.
There’s also a spatial audio feature on the Echo Studio, which is meant to expand the overall soundscape. But in reality, the difference is barely noticeable and audio quality takes a hit. I would recommend keeping the setting switched off. The Studio also boasts 3D audio capabilities, but at the time of filing this review, Amazon Music doesn’t offer 3D audio in India. The same is the case with HD music on Amazon Music. It is a shame considering the Studio is developed with HD music in mind.
To conclude, this is among the best sounding smart speakers out there, which caters to all sorts of audio listening needs. If you’re not happy with the default settings, Amazon also lets you slightly tweak the settings a bit.
Smart Speaker Performance
As far as the smartness is concerned, the Echo Studio is as smart as any of the other Amazon speakers. As a virtual assistant, Alexa is getting smarter with every passing day. The company is constantly working with developers to bring in new Skills.
At the top of the speaker is an eight-microphone array that does a fantastic job of recognizing your voice. Even with the volume cranked up, the speaker was able to hear and recognize my voice from across the room. I was easily able to stream music from Prime Music and Apple Music with just my voice. More often than not, Alexa also answered my queries correctly.
Echo Studio Review: Should you buy it?
Is it the best sounding Echo speaker? Yes. Is it the best sounding smart speaker? Yes. Period. At the time of filing this review, the Echo Studio is clearly among the best sounding smart speakers out there. With a price tag of Rs 22,999, it doesn’t really burn a hole in your pockets either.
If you’re looking for just a smart speaker, there are many cheaper options. But if you seek a smart speaker that sounds good, then the Echo Studio is the one for you. That said, the Apple HomePod launch is just around the corner. And there’s a lot of excitement around it. Especially because of its price tag, which undercuts the Amazon Echo Studio.