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In this post, I happily compare my two all-time favorite Amazon speakers: Echo Studio vs Echo Sub. I’ll cover the similarities and differences, pros and cons, and technical specifications. I’ll also review each of them regarding:
But before we dive in, let me share a bit of my backstory…
Make Multi-Room Music Great AgainOn Amazon Prime Day this year, I splurged big time. Yeah, I did. I ordered both the new Echo Studio and the Echo Sub.
I absolutely could not be happier that I bought these two speakers. I have them in my home office, and I listen to them daily with Amazon Music, Pandora, and Apple Music as part of my multi-room music configuration.
Now that I own the latest generations of these speakers, I thought it would be a great time to clear up some common misconceptions about Echo Studio vs Echo Sub.
The main differences are:
Echo Studio is a full-functioning Alexa speaker with Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio. It includes a 350w amplifier, a 30mm tweeter, three 2.0″ mid-range speakers, and a 5.3″ downward-firing woofer. The Echo Sub does not have Alexa; you must pair it with another Echo speaker as a subwoofer. It has a 100W Class D amplifier and 6” woofer.
OK, enough with the preamble. It’s time to delve into the nuts and bolts of Echo Studio vs Echo Sub.
Echo Studio vs Echo Sub: Tech Specs Comparison
Following is a side-by-side comparison showcasing the major similarities and differences between the Echo Studio vs Echo Sub.
Last update on 05/18/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Amazon Echo Studio
Amazon originally produced the Echo Studio to rival Apple’s now-discontinued HomePod, delivering a bigger, better sound, more advanced sound optimization, and a truly “smart” device. It is the best-sounding Echo speaker, in my opinion. Its tweeter, mid-range speakers, and 5.25-inch downward-firing woofer deliver amazing sound.
Last year, Amazon recently announced a nice design and software upgrade to the Echo Studio, which I promptly purchased. While there are no hardware updates, there is a new color choice and a software update to Amazon’s premium-sounding spatial audio format. The new Glacier White model (pictured above) is now available at Amazon (link below).
You can also still get the original Charcoal color one like mine (same link), and all Echo Studio owners will receive the software update when Amazon releases it.
The Dolby Atmos-compatible directional audio makes the Echo Studio sound like a much larger speaker, with higher-than-average volume for its size and a superb sound balance. It’s also programmed to analyze the acoustics of whatever room it’s in and adjust the audio filters to optimize sound output.
Listening to grand, sweeping songs like Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees and Bruce Springsteen’s Terry’s Song shows off the Echo Studio’s above-average directionality, layered sound, and surprising subwoofer power for such a small device.
Digital Trends has a nice review of Echo Studio over on their YouTube Channel:
Where to Buy It
- Immersive sound – 5 speakers produce powerful bass, dynamic midrange, and crisp highs. Dolby Atmos technology adds space, clarity, and depth.
Amazon Echo Sub
Amazon’s Echo Sub is the go-to choice for anyone who wants a better bass experience with Alexa. It’s a compact 6” downward-firing sub-woofer that you can pair with compatible Echo devices such as the Echo Studio to max out the lows and deep tones of any song.
Whether you want to feel the walking bass line of your favorite jazz music (Herb Albert sounds awesome) or bump to some hardcore EDM, the Sub will deliver that thumping, pulsing feels you’re looking for.
It lacks “smart” capabilities—it’s an additional speaker that has to be connected to an Echo hub or another Alexa-enabled device. It doesn’t have the Alexa voice assistant built-in and doesn’t generate the largest sound field, but it’s all about that accurate, crystal-clear bass to make your music truly sizzle.
Echo Sub does not work without a compatible Echo device. It must be paired with one of the following:
Craig over at Craig’s Tech Talk does a great job putting Echo Sub through the paces in this video review.
Where to Buy It
- Echo Sub delivers down-firing, 100W deep bass sound through a 6 woofer.
Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
When comparing the Echo Studio vs Echo Sub physically, the Echo Studio is taller. It is also thicker than the classic Echo and Echo Plus, with a fabric grille and sleekly curved shape that will make it instantly recognizable as an Amazon Echo product.
The top features the far-field microphone array and buttons to control the volume, mute the microphone, and activate Alexa. The plastic ring includes the signature LED light ring. Both speakers offer an excellent bass range and solid sound, but only Studio works with Amazon’s Alexa.
Along the body are cutouts (front and back) for the bass ports to optimize airflow. The Echo Studio delivers impressive bass either with or without the Sub. Beneath the rear bass aperture is the port for power and a 3.5mm optical/aux port.
Here is what my Echo Studio looks like on the table lamp beside my bed.
The Echo Sub is surprisingly small compared to the subwoofers that typically accompany soundbars, just 8.0” x 8.3”. It’s big enough to fit the 6” downward-facing subwoofer that generates the potent bass. Comparing Echo Studio vs Echo Sub, it is a little shorter and thicker (and heavier) than the Echo Studio, with Amazon’s classic fabric grille and curved edges.
📚 Related: Echo Studio vs Echo Plus
However, unlike other Echo products, the Echo Sub only comes in black and lacks top-mounted buttons and the Alexa light ring (which makes sense since it does not have Alexa aboard). Beneath the small notch on the bottom, you’ll find the power connector and a button to pair the Sub with your main Echo device.
Here is what my Echo Sub looks like on the floor of my bedroom/home office:
The Echo Studio vs Echo Sub audio quality is designed to generate a three-dimensional sound field similar to true surround sound. It delivers optimum sound when paired with other Studios, Echos, or Echo Subs. However, even on its own, the Studio’s upward, right, left, and downward-firing drivers deliver a surprisingly big and precise sound with great directionality.
Though not on par with the industry-leading soundbars, it produces best-in-class audio for its size and design.
The Echo Sub doesn’t cover the high- or mid-range, but the bass output far exceeds the Echo Studio. It’s designed to flesh out the weakness most Echo speakers encounter in the lower ranges. On its own, it’s got enough power to kick the party up a notch by adding in driving beats.
But pair it with other Echos, particularly the Echo, Studio-and that’s when the truly potent surround sound magic happens.
📚 Related: Amazon Echo vs Echo Plus
When it comes to Alexa support for Echo Studio vs Echo Sub, Echo Studio has Alexa built-in, but Echo Sub does not. Just to be clear, Echo Sub does not have Alexa.
With Echo Studio, you get all of the features you would get with any Echo speaker with Alexa. This includes:
Once you pair up a compatible Echo device with your Echo Sub, then you can listen to all of this with a some higher quality bass.
The Echo Studio is about as easily set up as a new Echo or Echo Plus. The Echo Studio will need to be added to your existing Alexa app, connected to the Wi-Fi, set the location of the device (kitchen, living room, bedroom, etc.), and connected to your favorite music streaming service.
Once it’s set up, however, the built-in Alexa capabilities are on par with your Echo or Echo Plus-it’s a great replacement or add-on for your smart home.
I was surprised to see that my Echo Studio automatically connected to my Alexa app so that I could use it for voice commands after powering it on. I did have to add it to my multi-room music group. If you have issues with that, check out this post I wrote on How To Fix Alexa Multi-Room Music.
Setting up the Echo Sub requires pairing it with an Alexa-enabled Echo device, such as the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Show, or Echo Studio. I recently paired my Sub up with Echo Show 8. Here’s what that looks like in the Alexa app:
It’s one of the easiest Echo devices to set up. Pull it out of the box, power it up, and use the Alexa smartphone app to connect it to your primary Echo device.
It’s tailored to add to an existing sound system rather than a standalone speaker. There is a special setting for compatible Echos in the Alexa app to connect to the Sub. This is plug-n-play at its best!
📚 Related: 19 Awesome Echo Devices
What’s In The Box
Here’s a quick rundown of the box contents for the Echo Studio vs Echo Sub speaker.
Last update on 05/18/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Echo Studio Unboxing Video
Here is the Echo Studio unboxing video I made on my YouTube channel.
Echo Sub Unboxing Video
Here is the Echo Sub unboxing video I published on my YouTube channel.
Which Should You Buy
When comparing Echo Studio vs Echo Sub, we are really comparing apples and oranges.
If you have to choose one over the other, I think the question of which one to buy comes down to whether you already own an Echo speaker compatible with the Sub and how important bass is to you.
If this is your first Echo speaker, the Echo Studio is about as good of a choice as you can make. If you already have some Echo speakers configured for multi-room music, adding the Sub will give your bass a nice boost.
Echo Studio vs Echo Sub: Your Take
So what do you think of my Echo Studio vs Echo Sub comparison? How do you like these two sweet-sounding speakers from the Amazon Echo line? Do you agree they have great sound?
I realize they aren’t cheap, especially when you compare them to other speakers in Amazon’s Echo lineup. However, the Echo Studio sounds WAY better than any other Echo speaker you can buy. And the Sub ups your bass game in a big way.
Considering what premium speakers and subwoofers from Bose and Sonos cost, these are more affordable. You can also get great deals on Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
📚 Related: Echo vs Sonos vs Bose Sub
Anyhow, I would love to hear if you plan on buying one or both of these speakers. Please leave a comment below and let me know. Until next time, jam on!
About the Author
Tim Brennan is a technology blogger and host of the @TecTimmy YouTube channel. He shares insights about smart home tech at oneSmartcrib, home theater systems at UniversalRemoteReviews, and the future of AI in writing at Writeinteractive. A graduate of the Northeastern University School of Journalism, he has written about technology for 30 years. He lives on the ocean in scenic Nahant, Massachusetts.
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