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Amazon Echo Studio review: Amazon’s best-sounding smart speaker?

Our Rating :
£189.99 from
Price when reviewed : £190
inc VAT

It’s an impressive device in any number of respects, but unruly bass leaves the Amazon Echo Studio sounding a little wonky


  • Big presentation
  • Great mid-range fidelity
  • High-resolution and spatial audio support


  • Ill-disciplined and overconfident bass
  • Can lack sonic focus

The Amazon Echo Studio (2022) is the biggest, most expensive Alexa speaker Amazon has released so far. It has the most power and the most impressive specification, 3D spatial audio compatibility and even a bit of visual drama.

In a number of ways, it makes good on Amazon’s stated desire to bring some high-resolution, high-quality sound at a realistic price, and it throws in a very convincing spatial audio performance for good measure. In those aspects, it’s a clear upgrade on the Echo Studio that came before it. But an unruly bass response and a desire to serve 3D audio at every possible opportunity undermine the 2022 update’s case just a little.

Amazon Echo Studio review: What do you get for the money?

The new Amazon Echo Studio costs £190 – the same as its 2019 predecessor did at launch, which is rather refreshing given the recent price hikes we’ve seen across numerous product categories.

What’s most immediately obvious is that your money buys a pretty sizeable speaker by prevailing standards. The cylindrical Echo Studio measures 18 x 18 x 21cm (WDH) and weighs 3.5kg – numbers that don’t look all that big when written down, but this Amazon speaker is significantly larger and heavier than similarly priced smart speakers such as the Sonos One or Harman Kardon Citation One (MKII). So if the sheer amount of material your money buys is important to you, you’re already well ahead. You even get more fabric grille than is the norm, and you have a choice between charcoal and glacier white colourways.

Happily, Amazon has gone just as big with the Echo Studio on the inside, too. A total of 330 watts of Class D power serves five individual drivers. If the front of the cylinder is opposite its mains power socket, then the speaker has a forward-facing 2.5cm tweeter at its upper centre, two 5cm mid-range drivers facing left and right, another 5cm mid-range driver firing upwards through the circle of acoustic fabric on the speaker’s top and a 13.5cm low-frequency driver facing downwards and firing onto a fixed boundary. The slot towards the bottom of the cabinet serves as both the fixed boundary and a sonic port.

The point of this specification is to allow the Echo Studio to take advantage of the Dolby Atmos spatial audio music mixes that are available on Amazon Music Unlimited and various other premium streaming services. In theory, this driver arrangement should allow the speaker to present spatial audio mixes with far greater width and height than a more conventional alternative can muster.

Control is available, naturally enough, via the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, and it’s as reliable and responsive here as in any other application. There are a few physical controls on the Echo Studio itself (they’re on top, where the familiar light ring lives too), and some EQ adjustment is available in the Alexa app. The app also gives you the ability to pair another Echo Studio for stereo sound, or arrange different Echo speakers into groups.

The Echo Studio will also wirelessly connect with some of Amazon’s video products, including the Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Stick 4K, providing a simple and effective way to allow your Echo Studio to take care of TV sound.

What else? Well, build quality is (as we’ve come to expect from Amazon) well up to par. The materials from which it’s made may not look or feel anything special, but they’re fitted and finished to a high standard. And like all Echo speakers, the Echo Studio is a fountain of information – just ask, and an answer will be forthcoming. And the Echo Studio has a room-calibration routine: a tone-burst lasting just a few seconds lets it adjust its response to suit its immediate environment.

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Amazon Echo Studio (2022) review: What do we like about it?

You can take it as read that the Echo Studio’s wider functionality is all well implemented and all worthwhile. Amazon Echo speakers have long since been entirely fit for purpose where smart assistant interaction is concerned, so here it’s all about the way Echo Studio sounds.

What’s most immediately impressive is the sheer scale of sound it’s capable of delivering. Yes, it’s fitted with numerous drivers and yes, it’s packing a frankly disproportionate amount of power, but that’s not a guarantee of scale or dynamism. And yet this device has both, and in abundance.

It’s most apparent when listening to some content mastered in Dolby Atmos. The Weeknd’s “Take My Breath” streamed via Amazon Music Unlimited enjoys appreciable height and width to its sound, and the Echo Studio does a very commendable job of placing you in the centre of the action. The sheer scale is impressive – the Echo Studio sounds far larger than it actually is – and the broad-strokes dynamics of the recording are given decent expression, too. There’s quite a distance between “quiet” and “loud” where the Echo Studio is concerned, and the speaker is able to switch from one attitude to the other instantaneously.

Tonality is nicely even and naturalistic from the mid-range up to the top of the frequency range, and in this area, the Echo Studio carries plenty of properly integrated detail. It’s particularly adept in the mid-range, allowing all the nuance and expression that’s contained in a vocal recording plenty of breathing space. If there are details of character or technique in a singer’s performance, the Echo Studio is well capable of teasing them out.

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Amazon Echo Studio review: What could be improved?

There are two significant problems with the way the Amazon Echo Studio presents music. One of them is quite easily overcome, while the other is basically intractable.

The Echo Studio is equipped to force an impression of 3D spatial audio even from bog-standard two-channel mixes. The Alexa app has an “upmixing” setting that allows this digital signal processing to happen, and Amazon suggests you keep it switched on. I would respectfully beg to differ.

Where Dolby Atmos recordings that have all the information necessary to be presented in a 3D manner are concerned, the Echo Studio does impressive work. But when it comes to forcing an impression of height and significant width from a stereo recording, it’s on much less sure ground. A lot of the positivity of its presentation goes astray, and the sound it delivers is vague in focus and rather soft around the edges. There’s a difficult-to-define yet definite sensation of processing going on, an aural equivalent of fog descending. Listen to stereo mixes in “normal” mode, though, and they’re coherent, straight-edged and altogether more direct.

The problem that seems unfixable is the Echo Studio’s bass response. In every respect – presence, weight, positioning – there’s altogether too much of it and none of it is especially well controlled. Tonality, so convincing higher up the frequency range, is various shades of grey here, and while the Amazon hits good and hard it does so without much definition. It’s willing to overpower the mid-range, too, and while there’s a degree of EQ adjustment available in the Alexa app, it doesn’t do anything to bring greater control or discipline to bear.

Amazon Echo Studio review: Should you buy it?

There’s no denying the convenience of Amazon’s Echo range of loudspeakers, and the fact the company is making a big noise about high-resolution audio and sound quality in general is to be applauded. As the biggest, priciest and most extensively specified Echo speaker of all, the Studio should be the standard-bearer for all the evangelising.

And with one caveat, it is. Considered alongside price-comparable smart speakers from alternative brands, the Echo Studio is bigger and beefier in sonic terms, plus it makes a very convincing case for itself where spatial audio is concerned. But a lack of low-frequency discipline is bound to make all but the most ardent Alexa-fanciers think long and hard about buying it.

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