Amazon’s Echo Studio comes loaded with many impressive features including its much-advertised Dolby Atmos capability. But can it double up as a soundbar for your TV?
Yes, Echo Studio works well as a soundbar provided you have a Fire TV device. You can connect it to your TV using Bluetooth or WiFi. But to use its Dolby Atmos technology you would need a compatible Fire TV device like the Fire TV 4K stick, Fire TV cube (1st/2nd Gen), or a 3rd generation Fire TV.
If you do have a compatible Fire TV device, you can pair it with the Echo Studio to create a compact home theater system.
The Echo Studio can be used as a soundbar substitute because it not only improves your TV audio, but takes it to a whole new level.
And that too on a budget. Priced around $200, (Amazon link), this smart device is capable of providing immersive, surround sound but also so much more. Here are some of the advantages of using Echo Studio as a soundbar:
One of the outstanding features of the Echo Studio is that it supports three-dimensional sound and Dolby Atmos audio for music and movies.
Through its clever design that uses five separate speakers facing in different directions, the Echo Studio manages to emulate surround sound through a single device.
The Echo Studio consists of a 5.25-inch downward-firing woofer, a forward-firing one-inch tweeter, as well as three midrange (left, right, and upward-firing) drivers.
A small horizontal opening towards the bottom of the speaker allows audio from the downward-firing woofer to spread out. The upward-firing driver emulates the effect of height speakers. Together they create a 3D effect by bouncing sound off the walls.
What makes the Echo Studio stand out is its high quality sound, especially the bass, which is far better than other soundbars available in the same price range. The added smart features you get with it help to sweeten the deal.
Another plus point of the Echo Studio is its room adaptation feature. Once you have placed it in position, it will automatically sense the acoustics of your room and adjust its playback accordingly to provide you with optimal sound.
Of course, as with all other Alexa devices, the Echo Studio provides you with voice control so you can stream music, ask Alexa about the weather, get her to read the news, or answer questions.
Using Amazon Music HD you can enjoy music in lossless audio formats like HD or Ultra HD and spatial audio formats like Dolby Atmos. Users have found that even if the music is playing at a high volume, Alexa is still able to hear and respond to your commands.
Other perks include using Echo Studio as a smart hub with Zigbee-enabled devices and controlling it with Alexa. And if you have other Alexa devices, you can use it as an intercom as well.
If you don’t want the frills and just want to use the Echo Studio as a stand-alone soundbar, it still provides good value for money when compared to a soundbar of a similar price. It is louder, has more channels, and supports advanced connectivity options.
Using an Echo Studio as a soundbar also has its limitations such as-
If you do not have a compatible Fire TV Device such as a Fire TV 4K stick, Fire TV cube (1st or 2nd Gen), or a 3rd generation of Fire TV you will not be able to utilize the advanced features of Dolby Atmos and 3D sound. Users who have tried to use Echo Studio with non-amazon devices have complained of audio lag.
It also doesn’t support Apple Airplay and Google Chromecast.
Echo Studio has a cylindrical shape as opposed to most soundbars which are oblong and sleek and fit nicely under the TV. It also takes up more space compared to other smart speakers.
Since the Echo Studio has a circular driver arrangement it needs to be placed in such a way that it has a clear path at the top and sides of the speaker. Often placing it mid-way in the home theater space may be the best option. Some users may not find this practical.
Another issue users have found is that the TV reverts to its own speakers when you are watching non-Fire TV content.
Setting up Echo Studio as a soundbar is fairly easy and intuitive. Here’s a quick guide on how to connect it to your TV.
To use WiFi to connect you will need a compatible Amazon Fire TV device such as a Fire TV 4K stick, Fire TV cube (1st or 2nd Gen), or a 3rd generation of Fire TV.
Download the Alexa app on your phone and simply follow the instructions. You will need to connect your Fire TV and Alexa through your Amazon account on the same network.
- Turn on the FireTV
- Open the Alexa app on your phone or tablet and select ‘Devices’ and then the ‘+’ icon.
- Next tap ‘Set Up Audio System’, and select ‘Home Theater’.
- After this, select ‘Fire TV.’ The app will then search for your speakers. You should name this connection.
- Finally, use your Fire TV remote to test the sound using ‘Play Preview’.
You can connect Echo Studio directly to your TV or through a receiver. If you use a receiver, you can connect it through the receiver’s settings. If you are connecting it directly to the smart TV, you can use the TV’s settings.
- Make sure the devices are switched on and plugged in.
- Go to the settings screen on your TV or receiver and turn on Bluetooth
- Say ‘Alexa Connect’ and wait for the devices to connect.
- Finally, test to check if the TV’s sound is playing through the Echo studio
Also read: Tower Speakers vs Soundbars
For its price, the Amazon Echo Studio is a fantastic soundbar substitute provided you already possess an Amazon Fire TV device.
It makes Dolby Atmos and surround sound accessible for those on smaller budgets and with less space. If you don’t have one, however, it may be better to check out other soundbars such as the Sonos One or even a Google Home Max instead.