Amazon Echo Studio
Alexa goes Hi-Fi
$200 at Amazon
- Multi-directional, immersive sound
- Supports multi-room audio
- Can be paired with another Echo Studio or Fire TV
- Supports multiple music services and Apple Airplay 2
- Physical microphone mute switch
- First-gen product
- Most expensive Echo device
After years of making decent sounding smart speakers, Amazon has finally heeded the call for a high-end, Hi-Fi home for Alexa. The Echo Studio features five speakers for room-filling sound, and can automatically sense the acoustics of the room and tune the output accordingly.
A smart speaker classic
$170 at Amazon
- Dynamic, room-filling sound
- Integrates with Sonos ecosystem
- Supports a wider variety of music services than the Echo
- Supports Alexa and Google’s Assistant
- Less powerful sound than Echo Studio or other Sonos Speakers
- No Bluetooth support
Sonos pioneered the connected speaker setup, and the Sonos One has been one of its most popular and affordable devices. It supports other protocols like Apple’s Airplay and Amazon’s Alexa. It can also be paired with another Sonos One for stereo sound.
It’s the classic story of the experienced incumbent versus the upstart… well, not exactly. While Sonos does have a solid track record of producing smart speakers with amazing sound and connectivity, Amazon is no stranger to this space. What is new for Amazon is the focus on sound quality, but did it manage to pull it off and build a Sonos-killer? Should you consider the Echo Studio over tried-and-true Sonos One? Let’s dive in and see.
Let’s break it down
Pictured: Echo Studio.
Amazon and Sonos have been frenemies for a while now. Amazon allowed Alexa to live on Sonos devices, but then proceeded to add multi-room pairing support for its Echo speakers, which was one of Sonos’ key selling points. Amazon invited Sonos to be a part of its Voice Interoperability Initiative, and then it announced a high-end Hi-Fi speaker, which is a market that Sonos seemingly had control of. However, just because Amazon’s Echo devices are gaining feature parity to Sonos’ speakers doesn’t mean they are better, does it? Let’s take a look at the specs to see how these two devices compare.
|Size||8.1″ x 6.9″||4.7″ x 4.7″|
|Weight||7.7 lbs||4.08 lbs|
|Audio||Three 2″ midrange speakers, one 1″ tweeter, one 5.25″ woofer||Two Class-D digital amplifiers, one tweeter, one mid-woofer|
|Supported Music Streaming Services||Amazon Music, Audible, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, TuneIn||Amazon Music, Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Tidal, Pandora, Deezer, Audible, SiriusXM, TuneIn, Napster, iHeartRadio|
|Smart TV compatibility||Pairs with newest Fire TV devices for audio output||Pairs with Apple TV via AirPlay 2|
|Smart Home compatibility||Built-in Zigbee support and Alexa integration||Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2 integration for smart home controls|
|Bluetooth connectivity||A2DP support||No|
|WiFi connectivity||Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 and 5 GHz networks||802.11 b/g, 2.4 GHz|
|Smart Assistant compatibility||Alexa||Alexa and Google Assistant|
Pictured: Sonos One.
The Echo Studio is the newer product in this comparison, and newer products typically have improved specs over older products. It also happens to be a much larger device than the Sonos One, coming in at almost double the size, so you can see where Amazon had room to add additional speaker capabilities.
Like the Sonos devices, you can pair the Echo Studio with other Echo devices to create multi-room and multi-device groups. Unlike the Sonos One, you can pair one or more Echo Studio speakers with your late generation Fire TV devices to serve as a sort-of stereo soundbar for enhanced audio. While Amazon doesn’t list as many compatible music streaming services as Sonos does, you can use the Echo Studio as a Bluetooth speaker and stream any audio from your phone to the device.
Sonos has been able to achieve a rich, dynamic sound in a much smaller (and arguably much more attractive) form factor than the Echo Studio. It supports more music services than Amazon’s device, and it works with Alexa or the Google Assistant, so you have a choice when it comes to your smart virtual assistant. While you can pair multiple Sonos devices together seamlessly, you can’t easily stream TV audio to a Sonos One unless you have an Apple TV and use AirPlay 2. The Sonos One is a capable W-iFi smart speaker, but it does not support Bluetooth audio playback, which may be a deal-breaker for some folks.
Sounds like a winner
These two smart speakers have so much in common that it is legitimately hard to pick a favorite. One the one hand, Sonos is a known industry-leader when it comes to high fidelity connected speakers, and the Sonos One supports more streaming services out of the box.
However, the Echo Studio has more and bigger speakers, better networking support with Bluetooth and faster Wi-Fi, and it serves as a smart-home hub with built-in Zigbee integration. Add to that the fact that it is generally priced similarly to the smaller, less well-equipped Sonos One, and it seems clear to us that the latest from Amazon is worth your consideration.
Amazon Echo Studio
Immersive Echo sound
$200 at Amazon
Great alone, or with friends
The Echo Studio is about providing the best sound possible. It can do so on its own — or you can pair it with another Echo Studio and Echo Sub for a great Fire TV surround sound experience.
An attractive smart speaker for whole-house coverage
$170 at Amazon $170 at Best Buy
The Sonos One is great for pairing and putting all around your home. It supports every major music service as well as Alexa and Google Assistant.