Amazon’s Echo Studio (on Amazon) is a fantastic wireless speaker that provides crystal clear audio, but can you use it as a soundbar? With the addition of the Studio to the Echo lineup, Amazon has decidedly upped its audio game. This device packs in a ton of audio-focused features that will be the envy of your current soundbar.
Yes, the Echo Studio can be used as a soundbar replacement. If you don’t want to spend as much on a soundbar, it may be worth getting the Echo Studio instead. The Echo Studio does offer Dolby Atmos and can add wireless speakers. If you are seeking the best quality, go with a soundbar.
While it may not impress true audiophiles, the Echo Studio can vastly improve most soundbars and, indeed, most smart speakers. The little cylindrical device packs high-quality audio with the connectivity and features you expect from an Amazon device. It may not market itself as a soundbar, but it can make for an excellent replacement for many reasons.
Why an Echo Studio can be a Great Soundbar
Features the Echo Studio has that Soundbars Don’t
There are excellent soundbars out there. The Bose Solo 5 (also on Amazon) is a perfect example of a high-quality product that will deliver clear audio across the room.
But what separates the Echo Studio from higher-end products like the Bose Soundbar is the design ingenuity and speaker placement.
The Echo Studio aims to recreate a surround sound or 3D audio system without the need for an array of speakers placed across the room.
It does this with a smart design and five internal speakers that each serve a specific audio function. While some soundbars will feature upward-firing speakers to help emulate surround sound, the Echo Studio has speakers that fire in multiple directions.
- Two Midrange Drivers Fire Left and Right (51mm)
- One Forward Facing Tweeter (25mm)
- One Down Firing Woofer (133mm)
- One Upward Firing Midrange Driver (51mm)
All these speakers function together to deliver a surround sound experience from a single unit. The speakers are certainly a driving factor to the amazing sound quality, but the unit packs in much more in terms of features. There is also the form factor of the device, which allows for more flexible speaker placement.
Since the Echo Studio is part of the Alexa family of devices, you can expect to get the same voice command functions and smart features you would expect from other Amazon devices.
- Access to built-in Alexa voice assistant (set timers, manage deliveries, or even ask questions)
- Voice control for apps like music streaming, video services, and much more.
- The ability to use the Echo Studio as a smart hub with Zigbee-enabled devices.
These are just a few features you can get out of an Echo Studio. Really, we only see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to device compatibility and integration.
Additionally, you can set up your Echo Studio for your Fire TV system, which is a fantastic way of spicing up your home theater. More on this below.
Echo Studio as a Soundbar for a Fire TV System
If you already have an Amazon Fire-based system, try:
- Or a TV with integrated Fire TV compatibility like this Toshiba 43 Inch Smart TV(on Amazon), you can get so much more out of your Echo Studio, especially if you’re willing to figure out a way to add surround speakers.
The reason is that the Amazon ecosystem of products integrates with each other flawlessly. Using a Fire TV with your Echo Studio can create an integrated experience that just can’t be beaten.
Some soundbars will indeed feature Alexa compatibility, but it just is not the same.
With the Echo Studio and Fire TV combo, you don’t have to worry about issues that plague these soundbars, like low mic quality or integration issues.
It will also allow you to connect your devices over WiFi, which can be more reliable and cause fewer latency issues than Bluetooth.
You can connect your Echo Studio in other ways, but if you want to get the most out of your device, you may want to consider purchasing a Fire TV device.
Advanced Soundbar Features like Dolby Atmos and Networked Speakers
- First, you will want to make sure all of your speakers are connected to the same WiFi network. You can do this through the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Find the + icon at the lower part of the screen and click it.
- Select Set Up Audio System
- You should see the option to add Home Cinema.
- Now navigate through the setup and add your Echo Studio speakers and Echo Sub.
- Test the device by playing a video on your Fire TV.
Dolby Atmos Performance on the Echo Studio
One of the most amazing features of the Echo Studio is the addition of Dolby Atmos Technology. Atmos is one of the latest surround sound systems that allow for more precise sound placement by engineers.
While this technology was first introduced in cinemas, the idea is that a home theatre system would also benefit.
What Atmos does is place the sound across a room not according to channels, like previous surround sound, but rather location.
In combination with height speakers in the ceiling, you get a more immersive surround sound experience. While Atmos was first only for theatres, you can now find the tech in other devices like speakers (such as the Echo Studio), headphones, and certain soundbars.
Atmos is also being used by sound engineers in music as well. You can currently find tracks on popular streaming platforms like Apple Music that are optimized for Dolby Atmos use.
But what does this mean for the Echo Studio? Well, what Atmos does is take full advantage of the five speakers in the device.
It maps out the room and places sound across different speakers to emulate fully immersive surround sound. It utilizes the upward-facing drivers to bounce sound off the ceiling to emulate the height speakers used in cinemas.
Altogether, you get a device that comes as close to a surround sound system as you can with only a handful of speakers. Also, at the Echo Studio’s price point, you can’t beat the quality of sound you are getting from such a small and versatile device.
But while the Studio makes a great addition to any home setup, there are some limitations you should be aware of.
Limitations of Using Echo Studio as a Soundbar
Speaker Placement May be a Problem
If you are used to the form factor of a traditional skinny horizontal soundbar, you may have trouble placing your Echo Studio.
It is also worth mentioning that there are plenty of soundbars on the market today, like the TCL Alto (on Amazon), that feature similar sound quality as the Studio but at a higher price.
If you don’t already have Amazon devices in your home, you may want to consider other options as well.
If you don’t want to get a Fire TV or more Echo speakers to complete your setup but still want higher quality audio, you may want to consider a Sonos System (on Amazon).
Sonos offers more speaker placement and similar smart features as the Echo Studio.
Some Users Say the Echo Studio Doesn’t Have Great Sound
Another option is the Google Home Max. These work within the Google smart ecosystem, and some reviews say it has even better quality audio than the Echo Studio.
This leads to another criticism of the Echo Studio. The sound.
While it is far better than most soundbars and smart speaker setups, most audiophiles will still turn their heads to the audio from the Studio.
If HiFi is on your mind, then you may want to consider using a traditional speaker system and maybe add a device like an Echo Link (on Amazon) to add smart features to your home setup.
Conclusion: Echo Studio as a Soundbar, the Final Verdict
The Echo Studio is a powerful smart speaker system that can do a lot for your home. Not only does it make for a great addition to any smart home system, but it also can act as a soundbar for your TV.
While the device offers Dolby Atmos technology and quality audio, it works best within the Amazon ecosystem.
So, if you are already a fan of Amazon’s Echo devices, this compact speaker will undoubtedly impress you. But if you want a versatile soundbar jam-packed with plenty of speakers, this could be better for you.