echo studio vs echo sub

Echo Studio vs Echo Sub: Oh Yeah, Alexa’s Got Bass!

In Amazon Alexa, Music & Audio by Tim Brennan

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In this overdue post, I happily compare my two favorite Amazon speakers: Echo Studio vs Echo Sub. I’ll review the similarities and differences, pros and cons, and compare them side-by-side in a full-specs comparison table.

If you simply want to know the main differences between the two, here they are:

Echo Studio is a full-functioning Alexa speaker that delivers premium sound with a 350W amplifier, 2” midrange speaker, two 2” midrange speakers, and 5.25” downward-firing woofer. In contrast, the Echo Sub does not have Alexa; it is designed to pair with another Echo speaker as a subwoofer. It has a powerful 100W Class D amplifier and a 6” woofer.


Make Multi-Room Music Great Again

Last year on Cyber Monday, I splurged big time. Yeah, I did. I went ahead and ordered myself both the Echo Studio and the Echo Sub.

echo studio vs echo sub

Ever since I’ve been meaning to write this blog post comparing these two “premium” Amazon speakers as a few of you have asked about the differences. So let me apologize for the delay out of the gate.

I absolutely could not be happier that I bought these two speakers. I have them both in my home office. They sound awesome and I listen to them daily as part of my multi-room music configuration.

Adding these speakers to my multi-music has upped the overall sound quality not just in my home office—but in my entire apartment—big time. If you love music and are “on the fence” about splurging like I was, I’m here to say, do it! You can thank me later.

I’ve been enjoying these speakers for almost a year now and have absolutely no regrets.

Next, let’s compare the full technical specifications of the two premium speakers side by side.


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.

Echo Sub - Powerful subwoofer for your Echo - requires compatible Echo device
Echo Studio - High-fidelity smart speaker with 3D audio and Alexa
Echo Sub
Echo Studio
Best for
Music
Music and Home Theater Surround
Positioning
Upright
Upright
Best Paired With [for Full Surround Sound]
Two 3rd Generation Echos
Second Echo Studio + Echo Sub
Most Unique Characteristic
Amazon’s fattest little speaker was designed to function as subwoofer only (does not include Alexa)
Automatically senses room dimensions and adapts sound to match acoustics
Amplifier /Woofer /Tweeter
100W Class D amplifier, and a 6” (152 mm), downward-firing woofer
Forward-firing tweeter
Equalizer
Equalizer Auto Adjusts
Microphone
Microphone LED
Ports
Power only
Power, 3.5mm/mini optical
WiFi
Supports 2.4 & 5Ghz networks
Dual-band Wi-Fi, Supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks
Works with Alexa
Yes, when paired with a compatible Alexa device
Yes, Alexa is right on board this device
Setup
Via Alexa app
Via Alexa app
Product Dimensions
8” x 8.3”
8.1” x 6.9”
Weight
9.3 lbs. (4.2 kg)
7.7 lbs. (3.5 kg)
Warranty
Limited 1-year
Limited 1-year
Price
$129.99
$199.99
Echo Sub - Powerful subwoofer for your Echo - requires compatible Echo device
Echo Sub
Best for
Music
Positioning
Upright
Best Paired With [for Full Surround Sound]
Two 3rd Generation Echos
Most Unique Characteristic
Amazon’s fattest little speaker was designed to function as subwoofer only (does not include Alexa)
Amplifier /Woofer /Tweeter
100W Class D amplifier, and a 6” (152 mm), downward-firing woofer
Equalizer
Equalizer Auto Adjusts
Microphone
Microphone LED
Ports
Power only
WiFi
Supports 2.4 & 5Ghz networks
Works with Alexa
Yes, when paired with a compatible Alexa device
Setup
Via Alexa app
Product Dimensions
8” x 8.3”
Weight
9.3 lbs. (4.2 kg)
Warranty
Limited 1-year
Price
$129.99
Echo Studio - High-fidelity smart speaker with 3D audio and Alexa
Echo Studio
Best for
Music and Home Theater Surround
Positioning
Upright
Best Paired With [for Full Surround Sound]
Second Echo Studio + Echo Sub
Most Unique Characteristic
Automatically senses room dimensions and adapts sound to match acoustics
Amplifier /Woofer /Tweeter
Forward-firing tweeter
Equalizer
Equalizer Auto Adjusts
Microphone
Microphone LED
Ports
Power, 3.5mm/mini optical
WiFi
Dual-band Wi-Fi, Supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks
Works with Alexa
Yes, Alexa is right on board this device
Setup
Via Alexa app
Product Dimensions
8.1” x 6.9”
Weight
7.7 lbs. (3.5 kg)
Warranty
Limited 1-year
Price
$199.99

Last update on 12/01/2021 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Amazon Echo Studio

echo studio vs echo plus

Last year, Amazon produced the Echo Studio to rival Apple’s HomePod, delivering a bigger, better sound, more advanced sound optimization, and a truly “smart” device.

The Dolby Atmos-compatible directional audio makes it 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 The National Anthem 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.

This is the best sounding Echo speaker that you can buy today in my opinion.

Echo Studio Pros:

  • Compact speaker, big and bold sound.
  • Offers the full range of Alexa voice assistant capabilities.
  • Cutting-edge sound processing produces the best sound quality for every room.
  • Mimics surround sound field that fills the space; great directionality.

Echo Studio Cons:

  • A few times now the speaker has generated some static noise with no reason and needed to be restarted.
  • 3D Ultra HD music only possible with Amazon Music HD subscription. (This is also worth it in my opionion.)

Video Review

Video Credit: Digital Trends

Where to Buy It


Amazon Echo Sub

Echo Sub

Amazon’s Echo Sub is the go-to choice for anyone who wants a true bass experience with Alexa. It’s basically 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 (like Tiesto!), the Sub will deliver that thumping, pulsing feel you’re looking for.

It certainly lacks in “smart” capabilities—it’s basically an additional speaker that has to be connected to an Echo hub or another Alexa-enabled device—and doesn’t generate the largest sound field, but it’s all about that accurate, crystal-clear bass to make your music truly sizzle.

Pro Tip: After you buy this, you can adjust the bass level using the equalizer on the paired Echo speaker. Check out my post on How to Improve Alexa Sound Quality for some pointers.

Echo Sub Pros:

  • Best-in-class bass quality in Amazon Echo speaker. If you want to see some more premium options, check out this post I wrote comparing Echo Sub vs Sonos Sub vs Bose Sub.
  • Dynamic sound, powerful output for its size.
  • Great price tag.
  • Enhances listening experience for any Echo or Echo Plus. (I also wrote a post comparing Echo Studio vs Echo Plus if you are interested.)

Echo Sub Cons:

  • Occasionally loses connection to the paired Echo speaker and may need reconnecting.
  • No Alexa on board; designed to be a subwoofer only.
  • Not Bluetooth-compatible.

Video Review

Video Credit: Automate Your Life

Where to Buy It


Design

When comparing the Echo Studio vs Echo Sub physically the Studio is both taller and thicker than the classic Echo and Echo Plus, with the fabric grille and sleekly curved shape that will make it instantly recognizable as an Amazon Echo product. The top features both 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.

echo studio internal

Along the body are cutouts (on the front and back) for the bass ports, giving it the look of a subwoofer. 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’s what my Echo Studio looks like on the table lamp beside my bed.

echo studio vs echo sub

My Echo Studio

The Echo Sub is surprisingly small compared to the subwoofers that typically accompany soundbars, just 8.0” x 8.3”. It’s just big enough to fit the 6” downward-facing subwoofer that generates the potent bass. It looks like a thicker Echo Plus, with Amazon’s classic fabric grille and curved edges.

echo sub internal

However, unlike other Echo products, the Echo Sub only comes in black and lacks both 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:

echo sub vs echo studio

My Echo Sub


Audio Quality

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, other 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.

echo studio vs echo sub

Amazon Schematic Diagram: Echo Studio

The Echo Sub doesn’t cover the high- or mid-range, but the bass output far exceeds the Echo Studio. It’s designed specifically to flesh out the weakness most Echo speakers encounter in the lower ranges. On its own, it’s got power enough to kick the party up a notch by adding in driving beats. But pair it with other Echo speakers—particularly the Echo Studio—and that’s when the truly potent surround sound magic happens.

📚 Related: Echo 4th Gen vs Echo Plus 2

Echo studio vs echo sub

Echo Sub: Amazon Schematic Diagram


Setup and Software

The Echo Studio is about as easy to 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 was able to 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:

echo sub in alexa app

Echo Show Sub Pair in the Alexa App

It’s one of the easiest of the Echo devices to set up; literally 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 specifically tailored to be an add-on 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. Quite, literally, this is plug-n-play at its best!

📚 Related: 19 Awesome Amazon Echo Device Gifts


What’s In The Box

echo studio vs echo sub boxes

My Echo Studio and Echo Sub Boxes

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s the box for the Echo Studio vs Echo Sub speaker.

Echo Studio

  • Echo Studio
  • Power Cable
  • Quick Start Guide

If you are interested, check out this Echo Studio unboxing video that I published on my YouTube channel:


Echo Sub

  • Echo Sub
  • Power Cable
  • User’s manual

And here is my unboxing of the Echo Sub:


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?

I realize they aren’t cheap especially when you compare them to other speakers in the Amazon 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.

If you consider what premium speakers from the likes of Bose and Sonos cost these actually start to seem more affordable.

A few of my fellow Alexa enthusiasts out in the Facebook groups have said they like some of the premium third-party speakers (like Marshall Stanmore with Alexa built-in) better. However, these two speakers are ideal for me at a price point that I could afford.

Anyhow, I would love to hear if you plan on buying one or both of these speakers. Please leave a comment down below and let me know. Until next time, jam on!

echo studio vs echo sub