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Amazon Echo Studio review: Still the top smart speaker in 2024 (for now)

The commerce giant's flagship is one of the best smart speakers we've tested, and the $200 price tag can still be justified two years after release.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Min Shin

Amazon Echo Studio

4 / 5
Very good

pros and cons

  • Powerful punch that maintains crispness
  • Easily compatible with Fire TV
  • Rich, enjoyable sound quality
  • Large footprint
  • Price could be lower compared to the competition

This review was originally published on November 10th, 2022, and was updated on May 21st, 2024.

ZDNET's buying advice

Amazon's most sophisticated (and expensive) smart speaker to date is the Echo Studio, first launched in 2022 but since then improved multiple times with spatial audio processing for deeper bass and crisper sounds, a sleek all-white version, and a host of additional feature improvements that have kept it relevant. 

Also: What is Matter? How the connectivity standard can change your smart home

In fact, the audio is so good on the Studio, that it's now front and center in my home entertainment system, something that would have made me cackle if you told me that was the case a year ago. But even if we're a HomeKit family with a HomePod Mini, I can't say I was ever against buying an Echo speaker

Not everyone should buy an Amazon Echo Studio at its current $200 price, but I'd recommend it to anyone with an Alexa ecosystem who is looking to add either a high-quality speaker or a soundbar to their television setup. I do consider it to be the best-sounding Echo speaker available right now. Otherwise, look to the alternatives below.


Dimensions 8.1 inches x 6.9 inches
Weight 7.7 ounces
Speakers Three 2-inch midrange speakers - One 1-inch tweeter - One 5.25-inch woofer
Peak output 330W
Audio input 3.5mm or mini-TOSLINK line in
Connectivity Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee
Power source Plugin
Extra features Dolby Atmos, spatial audio processing, 3D audio, automatic room adaptation, mic mute button

What's new with the Amazon Echo Studio?

The Echo Studio is Amazon's latest high-end smart speaker. It features 3D audio, Dolby Atmos, and high-fidelity sound with built-in Alexa, and doubles as a smart home hub with Zigbee and Matter support to control smart home devices.

A white variant that looks fantastic: Unboxing the gigantic Echo Studio was a task. Listen, I always rag on people for buying things and then complaining about the size when the dimensions are right there in the product description. But this time that was me. The Echo Studio looks like a sleek, full-size speaker, sure. But it is huge. And heavy. 

Echo Studio on a desk next to a microphone and headset

How the Amazon Echo Studio compares in size with other items.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

A large footprint isn't a deal breaker for me, however. I also have to give Amazon props for doing away with plastic packaging on this round: The smart speaker came wrapped in a reusable cloth Alexa bag inside of a cardboard box.

Closeup of the Echo Studio with hand on buttons

The Amazon Echo Studio has four buttons at the top.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

I chose the new Echo Studio color, Glacier White. The new speaker looks clean and stylish, a touch more modern than the Charcoal color, to me. Black speakers tend to be reminiscent of the old subwoofers you'd expect to see at McMansions back in the early 2000s, so I appreciate other color options more. 

The white color has also proven to be less likely to show dust over the past few months.

It's bigger than your standard smart speaker: The Echo Studio isn't meant to fit onto a tiny shelf or be tucked away next to a little plant; it's here to serve a purpose, and that purpose is to deliver room-filling, calibrated, 3D, Dolby Atmos audio.

This smart speaker stands 8.1 inches tall, measures 6.9 inches in diameter, and weighs 7.7 pounds. The Echo Studio has four buttons at the top to summon Alexa, mute the mic, and adjust the volume up or down. There's a light ring at the top of the speaker that comes on when Alexa is listening, when a notification is available, or when the volume is adjusted.

Echo Studio on table next to an Echo Dot

The Echo Studio dwarfs the 5th Generation Echo Dot.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Jam-packed with sound, the Echo Studio has a horizontal gap at the bottom to openly distribute audio and maximize bass output from a 5.25-inch woofer. There's also three 2-inch midrange speakers and a 1-inch tweeter.

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If you already have the Alexa app on your phone, setting up a brand-new Echo device is a breeze. Simply plug it in and open the app so Alexa can add it to your home network, and it's ready to go. Alternatively, if you don't have Alexa devices in your home yet, just download the Amazon Alexa app to set up an account and follow the prompts. 

Part of the setup process involves calibrating the Echo's acoustics by having it play a series of sounds and listening to how they reverberate around the room.

Improved audio performance: Once the Echo Studio is calibrated, the sound quality is nothing short of marvelous, which is surprising, really. It's apparent the calibration works, as the speaker can certainly put out room-filling audio with deep, rich bass rivaling that of other high-end speakers, like the Sonos One (though it didn't hold a candle to the newer, Sonos Era 100).

Top view of Echo Studio
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The audio is delivered with crispness and clarity, making your living room feel like a soundstage. Before this version came out, one of the Echo Studio's faults was how diminished the clarity of vocals was, especially when the volume was turned up. 

Trying out stereo tracks from both Amazon Music and Apple Music on this upgraded version, I found that vocals weren't lost in the background at all, which is a problem with many larger speakers that focus more on intense bass and a big punch. When you move around the room, the Echo Studio not only maintains power and clarity, but the spatial audio feature makes it so it feels like you have a set of stereo speakers with just the single unit.

Also: The best smart speakers: Sonos, Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and more compared

This Echo speaker goes beyond the Amazon Music app, with support for Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Pandora, Sirius XM, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.

To get the most out of your speaker, the Amazon Echo Studio aims to get you to subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited, a service that costs $8.99 a month for access to its ad-free music library featuring HD and spatial audio tracks. While Amazon Music's HD and Ultra HD tracks sound best on the Echo Studio, I was able to enjoy high-quality sound through Apple Music.

Functionality beyond the music: As a smart speaker with built-in Alexa (and a mic mute button), the Echo Studio makes for a fantastic speaker for parties, gatherings, and music-playing in general. But I've found a nifty alternate use for it: Using the speaker in line with my living room's TV media console.

Echo Studio and Echo Dot next to each other on a table
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

I haven't bit the bullet of buying a sound bar for my televisions just yet, so the Echo Studio has been a fantastic alternative. Since my home resembles a smart speaker graveyard, we've made my other HomePod Mini the speaker for an Apple TV 4K, the Echo Dots as stereo speakers for a Fire TV Stick 4K, and the Echo Studio the main speaker in our TV room.

Trying it with both the Apple TV 4K and the Fire TV Stick 4K, the Echo Studio was an outstanding speaker for our living room TV, putting out immersive cinematic audio for movies and, in my opinion, effectively replacing a quality sound bar. Now that we've moved it to the Fire TV in the smaller TV room, it makes for such enjoyable movie nights.

Echo Studio closeup
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

And since the Echo Studio has a line-in and optical-in port, it can be used with televisions as a sound bar regardless of the streaming device you have.

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In addition to built-in Alexa, the Echo Studio also supports Zigbee, a communication protocol used in low-power smart home devices, and Matter. This means you can easily add any Zigbee- and Matter-enabled devices to your smart home network via the Echo Studio, effectively making it a hub for compatible smart home devices.

What I'd like to see in the next model

Sonos-level audio, or a lower price, or both: I know, Amazon already improved the audio on the Echo Studio, but my hope is that newer versions of this smart speaker feature even better audio quality. When you hear that the Echo Studio retails for $200, it sounds like too high of a price for a smart speaker with Alexa -- and, it is. 

Though the upgraded sound quality of the Echo Studio is on par with some high-end speakers in its price range, the Sonos Era 100 that cost just $50 more blows it out of the water. If I were choosing between the two speakers, I'd go with the Sonos, as the outstanding audio is certainly worth the extra money.

Final thought

Whether or not the Echo Studio earns the title of best-sounding smart speaker on the market is up for debate, but I found the audio quality to be leaps and bounds above that of other smart speakers like the Echo Dot, and it's also better than the HomePod Mini. If you want full stereo sound, you can even pair two Echo Studio speakers in one room, and you can also add the Echo Sub for a fuller audio.

The Echo Studio is fairly large, but I like it. The resulting sound quality from the five speakers packed into the device makes both the size and price worth it. It's built and engineered to rival some of the best speakers of its size on the market, and its performance shows that.

Alternatives to consider:

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