This Amazon Echo Studio (2022) review is exactly where you should be if you’re looking for a powerful home speaker with the Alexa voice assistant built-in. It’s Amazon’s best smart speaker yet for your living room because it’s the biggest with the most immersive sound.
Amazon has quite an extensive portfolio of smart speakers now, ranging from the cheap and cheerful Echo Dot to the people-pleasing Amazon Echo, and then to this, their all-singing all-dancing home speaker. If you’re looking for more of a smart hub to sit centrally in your home, then Amazon offers a range of smart displays as well, like the giant Echo Show 15 or the teeny Echo Show 8.
Whatever you’re looking for, each device is loaded with Amazon’s advanced Alexa voice assistant which allows you to find out the answers to your questions, play music, control your smart home, set timers or even organise your schedule, and it works completely hands-free simply by using your voice to control it.
The Amazon Echo Studio is here to compete with the likes of the Apple HomePod or even with top dog multiroom devices like the Sonos One SL - but is it able to keep up? You’ve come to the right place to find out.
Amazon Echo Studio (2022) review: price and what’s new
The Amazon Echo Studio will set you back $200 in the US, £190 in the UK and AU$330 in Australia. Of course, it is available to buy at Amazon (and you may be able to get one cheaper with an Amazon discount code) but to see where else you can pick one up, take a look at the widgets on this page.
You might be wondering how this is different to the first edition of the speaker launched back in 2019. Well, there’s new spatial audio processing technology and frequency range extension, both of which should go a long way to improving the quality of the sound and the overall experience of listening to music on it. You can also buy the Echo Studio in a fresh Glacier White colourway.
Amazon Echo Studio (2022) review: design and setup
The latest iteration of the Amazon Echo Studio looks almost identical to the last. Because it’s basically an inflated version of the Amazon Echo (measuring 206 x 175 mm) you’ll need to find a spot with plenty of room for it. I picked the corner of a desk but it’d look at home on a side table or on a shelf.
You might love the actual design of the thing or you might loathe it, it definitely won’t be for everyone. A meshed fabric covering wraps around the curved edges of the speaker with a gap stretching across the width of the base as well as a big circular panel around the top which houses the control buttons with a light ring on the inside which you can barely see at all when it’s not lit up.
You can buy the Amazon Echo Studio in Charcoal or Glacier White, one of our issues from testing the previous model was how it looked, and I think the new lighter colourway helps soften the design a lot.
Like other Echo devices, there are four buttons on the control panel: two volume controls, a microphone mute button and the action button. Each one triggers the light ring, which turns red when the mic is switched off, tells you the volume level around the ring in white, goes orange in setup mode and lights up blue when Alexa is listening out for you.
Setting up the speaker is a breeze. You’ll just need to plug it in and open up the Alexa smartphone app which is available for both iOS and Android. Log in to your account and the speaker should pop up as a suggested new device, but if it doesn’t then you just need to press the ‘+’ in the top right corner of the devices tab. After that, it’ll take a matter of minutes to be all sorted and ready to chat with the voice assistant. All you need to do is use the wake word ‘Alexa’ to get started.
Amazon Echo Studio (2022) review: performance and features
Inside the Amazon Echo Studio, you’ll find a 1" tweeter, three 2" mid-range speakers and a 5.25" woofer delivering 330 watts of power, complemented by custom-built spatial audio processing technology and frequency range extension, with support for both Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio.
Each element is positioned strategically around the device so the sound comes out from every direction, and what that does is create an experience that is exactly the same no matter where you are stood in relation to it. That’s also helped by the fact that it automatically analyses the acoustics of the space you put it in, and adjusts the audio accordingly. The result? An immersive and room-filling sound, which actually serves to make music appear more as it was intended by the musician as well.
I rarely needed to dial the volume all the way up because the sound very easily filled up the medium-sized living room it was placed in, but that also meant if I were to host a party, it would be plenty loud enough to get the walls shaking. There are no two ways about it, the sound is huge, which makes it particularly well suited for high-energy electronic dance tracks or boppy pop music.
The actual quality of the audio was clear and relatively precise as well, with thumping bass and distinct treble although the mids could sometimes get a little lost in translation which gave the impression you were losing out on a small amount of detail at times. You still don’t get the level of Hi-Fi sound that you’d find on a Bose or Sonos but despite that, I was really pleased with what the Amazon Echo Studio had to offer especially given its sub-£200 price tag.
In terms of features, you get everything the Alexa assistant has to offer, and my voice was actually heard each and every time, even when I had music playing and more surprisingly even when I called her from another room.
For the most part, Alexa was able to do what I wanted, but when it came to playing music from Spotify or from Amazon Music it didn’t always quite pick up the name of some songs or would sometimes get it completely wrong and play something entirely different to what I asked. I actually found that with more complicated artist names it was easier just to pick my phone up and find the song myself.
When it came to more mainstream music from popular artists like Britney or the Stones, the speaker was able to find what I was looking for without any issues at all, and easily found my playlists when I asked for one of those.
Amazon Echo Studio (2022) review: verdict
If you already use Alexa devices at home and you want a powerful speaker for your living room or kitchen but you don’t want to spend more than £200 then the Amazon Echo Studio is a no-brainer. It’s really loud with room-filling sound and the Alexa voice assistant built-in.
Granted the quality could be improved to make it sound even more accurate but it’s still going to be perfectly fine for most people and will give you a good experience across all sorts of music, podcasts and radio. This home speaker can be used with your compatible multiroom kit as well. All in all, it’d be hard not to recommend it!
Amazon Echo Studio (2022) review: also consider
Already set up with Google Assistant at home? Take a look at the Audio Pro G10, a good-looking piece of kit that will fit in amongst just about any home decor, and the sound is really quite superb too.
If money is no object, another powerful smart speaker to consider is the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Level. It’s very very pricey but this elegant smart speaker is stunning and it’s actually portable too with the Google Assistant built-in.