The 2022 Echo Studio on a desk

Roger Fingas / Android Authority

Normally, what you hear is what you get while you purchase a smart speaker. Software program updates might add refinements and assist for brand new codecs and providers, however total sound high quality tends to stay unchanged. In any case, why would you set out something lower than what your speaker is able to while you’re attempting to impress consumers?

We preferred the Echo Studio when Amazon first launched it in 2019. In the direction of the top of 2022, nonetheless, the corporate started rolling out a firmware replace with large guarantees: higher midrange readability, deeper bass, and improved separation within the soundstage, even for music with out spatial audio assist.

To be sincere, that originally appeared like a poor excuse for not releasing a second-generation Studio alongside the Echo Dot (5th gen). However having lastly received my fingers on a Studio with the brand new firmware, I’m satisfied that the first-generation mannequin is now probably the greatest good audio system in your entire market — at the very least for what it’s aiming to do.

About this Amazon Echo Studio 2023 evaluate: I examined the Amazon Echo Studio for 4 days. The unit was supplied by Amazon, however Amazon had no say within the route of printed content material.

Amazon Echo Studio

Multi-speaker design • High quality sound for many music types • Alexa suitable

See review

See review

How good does the Amazon Echo Studio sound after the replace?

A top-down view of the 2022 Echo Studio

Roger Fingas / Android Authority

It’s not a night-and-day distinction after the replace, however the Echo Studio did have preliminary points maintaining it from difficult different high-end audio system just like the Sonos One. Maybe the most important was an total lack of separation. Vocals, as an example, generally blended into the remainder of the soundstage, as a result of mids would drown out treble. Bass in the meantime was “bloated and muddy,” as we mentioned in our unique Amazon Echo Studio review. Don’t get me unsuitable — the Studio was pleasing to take heed to, however for $200, you may’ve anticipated larger high quality.

What’s loopy is that Amazon appears to have fastened important issues after which some. Sound is healthier balanced after the 2022 replace, making it a pleasure to take heed to ambient music or movie soundtracks as a lot as metallic, EDM, or rap (when you’re into these). Vocals and devices stand out within the combine, and bass is each deeper and extra exact, even when you’d nonetheless technically do higher with a devoted subwoofer (the wi-fi Echo Sub being your solely possibility on this case).

The Amazon Echo Studio is without doubt one of the greatest sounding good audio system you should purchase.

Let’s discuss bass a little bit extra. For many functions the Studio’s 5.25-inch woofer delivers monumental output, sufficient to rattle a desk with even modest lows, by no means thoughts laborious bass hits. You may conceivably need extra for a big celebration house or a Hearth TV house theater system (extra on that later), however the common individual could have no complaints post-update.

My favourite addition is definitely Amazon’s enhancement of standard stereo mixes. For music that doesn’t already assist spatial audio within the type of Dolby Atmos or Sony’s 360 Actuality Audio, Amazon makes use of customized processing tech to widen the soundstage and create a facsimile. Whereas there’s nonetheless a distinction versus the actual deal, the outcomes are spectacular — I discovered myself queuing up old favorites on Spotify simply to listen to a brand new dimension to them. Don’t anticipate any such miracles with mono mixes, sadly.

How does the Amazon Echo Studio evaluate with the Sonos One and Google Nest Audio?

Echo Studio volume and alexa controls

Probably the most direct rival to the Echo Studio is the Sonos One, which is equally priced. Each audio system are additionally loud, high-fidelity merchandise that assist computerized room tuning.

Variations develop fairly rapidly, nonetheless. You want an iOS machine to get Sonos’ room tuning working, whereas the Studio tunes itself on the fly. The Echo Studio has all the time delivered extra bass, and it’s the one one of many two to assist spatial audio. The Sonos One holds its personal principally by supporting each Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and producing ultra-clear sound, which issues when you prioritize constancy. The Studio is solely Alexa-focused, even incorporating a Zigbee hub for pairing issues like smart bulbs with the platform.

The Echo Studio is greatest suited to any house dedicated to ‘severe’ listening.

After its software program replace, I believe I genuinely choose the Echo Studio to the Sonos One. I wouldn’t complain if I have been pressured to swap completely, but it surely’s laborious to disregard the impression of superior bass and spatial processing. It blows away the Nest Audio I usually use for work listening, and generally the HyperX Cloud II Wi-fi headset I exploit for gaming and conferences.

Satirically, the Studio’s greatest menace would be the 4th gen Echo. Each the Sonos One and Echo Studio have it beat by way of specs — the usual Echo lacks spatial audio or any mid-range drivers, for instance — but it surely’s an Alexa speaker that’s half the value and nonetheless sounds glorious in locations like a bed room or kitchen. It punches above its price ticket, which makes me marvel if a part of the inducement for the Studio’s replace was bettering perceived worth.

The place the Studio justifies itself is in the lounge, or in some other house dedicated to “severe” listening. A single unit can dominate a room, and when you’ve received the cash, you’ve got the choice of pairing with a second Studio for true stereo panning and overwhelming quantity. Introducing an Echo Sub might make for a killer house audio bundle.

Is the Amazon Echo Studio nonetheless lacking something?

Rear ports on the 2022 Echo Studio

Roger Fingas / Android Authority

Sure, primarily within the house theater area. Whereas you should utilize 3.5mm or mini-TOSLINK for a bodily connection, there’s no HDMI port for eARC, and also you’re nonetheless simply connecting a single speaker. The one approach of utilizing two Studios with a TV is by making a wi-fi Dwelling Theater group within the Alexa app, then pairing that with a Hearth TV machine just like the Stick 4K Max or an Omni TV. You’re out of luck you probably have one thing like a Chromecast or Apple TV 4K.

Musically, spatial audio is generally reserved for Amazon Music Unlimited. That’s a disgrace, given that almost all streamers are subscribed to both Spotify or Apple Music. To make issues worse, you don’t routinely get Limitless with a Prime subscription, and comparatively few songs are Atmos-enhanced. Only a sliver of individuals will get to listen to a Studio in its full glory.

Amazon Echo Studio 2023 evaluate: The decision

Echo Studio front profile shot

Amazon’s speaker and show merchandise appear to be in a holding sample. The corporate didn’t announce any main new {hardware} throughout its fall 2022 occasion, until you rely the fifth gen Echo Dot. Reportedly there have been thousands of layoffs from its Worldwide Digital division a number of months later, an try to staunch billions of {dollars} in losses blamed totally on Alexa. It appears protected to say we shouldn’t anticipate an Echo Studio 2nd gen mannequin anytime quickly, which may very well be the primary cause we received a software program replace. In addition to the brand new Glacier White shade possibility, which makes the Echo Studio appear to be the 2018 HomePod.

There are some things I’d like Amazon to do with the Echo Studio, whether or not by means of additional software program updates or a sequel product. It’d be nice if the corporate might determine learn how to increase spatial audio assist, as an example including Apple Music’s format. I’m not holding my breath, as a lot due to Apple’s obsession with proprietary codecs as something.

The Echo Studio’s large replace has given Amazon’s prime good speaker a brand new lease on life.

Amazon also needs to increase TV connectivity with extra and higher port choices, and probably take into consideration enhanced PC/Mac assist. My testing principally concerned app- or voice-controlled listening in my workplace, and I ultimately discovered myself questioning what it might be like to attach on to my laptop computer and luxuriate in spatial audio in video games and different desktop apps. You may already join instantly, to be clear, however that entails a single speaker, utilizing Bluetooth or a suitable cable, and no assist for desktop-specific encompass codecs.

General although, I’ve at hand Amazon kudos for giving the Studio a brand new lease on life. Whether or not or not a future mannequin will get any of the upgrades I’m crossing my fingers for, the one now we have proper now’s a implausible speaker inside the scope of music, Alexa good house management, and pairing with Hearth TV units.

Amazon Echo Studio

Amazon Echo Studio

Multi-speaker design • High quality sound for many music types • Alexa suitable

Among the best sounding good audio system you should purchase

Powered by Amazon’s Alexa good assistant, the Echo Studio is without doubt one of the greatest good audio system available on the market. A latest replace vastly improved audio high quality, making it a reliable music participant.

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