Should you upgrade to the Amazon Echo Studio (2022) from the Amazon Echo Studio (2019)?
Best answer: No. If you have been happy with the performance of the Amazon Echo Studio (2019) for things like background music, private listening, or enhanced sound when listening to TV or playing video games, there’s no need to rush to grab the newer version. But even so, the main upgrade with the new model is the addition of spatial audio technology, and it will reportedly be available to the existing Amazon Echo Studio (2019) by the end of the year.
Amazon Echo Studio (2022) vs. Amazon Echo Studio (2019)
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Amazon debuted its Echo Studio back in 2019 to answer the need for better sound quality from a smart speaker. Offering studio sound with Dolby Atmos and powerful bass along with all the benefits you’d expect from a smart speaker, including being able to leverage Alexa, it has been a popular and affordable option.
When considering the just-announced Amazon Echo Studio (2022) vs. Amazon Echo Studio (2019), there are a few notable upgrades that make the Amazon Echo Studio (2022) the better option to buy new. But the new color option aside, the audio upgrades will actually be available for the existing Amazon Echo Studio (2019) before the end of this year as an over-the-air update. So, with a bit of patience, you’ll be able to enjoy them with the speaker you already have.
So, what’s actually new? The Amazon Echo Studio (2022) looks almost identical to the Amazon Echo Studio (2019) with one notable aesthetic difference: it comes in a new Glacier White finish option alongside the Charcoal you can get with both.
The Amazon Echo Studio (2022) has five speakers providing powerful bass, improved clarity, dynamic midrange, and crisp highs. You’ll get better bass response thanks to the inclusion of spatial audio processing along with improved 3D sound technology when listening to music from streaming playlists or your own library, watching TV or movies, or playing video games. There’s also better frequency range, stereo upmixing, and spatial virtualization.
The older model already includes Dolby Atmos support, but Amazon claims that its custom-built spatial audio processing technology that is being added to the new model is designed to “enhance stereo sound, making music and movie soundtracks feel closer to the listener with greater width, clarity, and presence.”
According to Amazon, the technology “mirrors the performance of a hi-fi stereo system, so vocal performances are more present in the center, while the stereo-panned instruments are better defined on the side, creating a more immersive sound experience that reproduces the artist’s intent. Additionally, frequency range extension technology delivers better performance, improved midrange clarity, and deeper bass.”
Seeing as this audio upgrade is coming to the Amazon Echo Studio (2019) soon, there’s no need to replace it with the new model. What’s more, in his detailed review of the Amazon Echo Studio (2019), Daniel Bader called the original version a “sonic boom for your living room,” deeming it one of the “best products in its category,”, especially for fans of Alexa. Chances are, most are already pleased with its performance as is unless you have particularly discerning ears.
With both, you can stream from sources like Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal. You’ll get lossless audio video Amazon Music, and you can take advantage of the spatial audio song options that are offered in Dolby Atmos. Note that you will need the right Amazon Music subscription that includes access to this content. It also auto-senses acoustics in the room to fine-tune playback, just like the original.
Alexa is a core component in both: you can summon the virtual assistant to select a playlist or play a specific song or genre of music, read the news aloud, ask questions, and more. You can also enjoy Drop in announcements, using it as an intercom when you have other Amazon Alexa-enabled devices in the home. Speaking of which, both can connect to other Amazon smart devices like the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick, and Omni TV series for a more immersive home theatre experience. You can also pair two for stereo sound or connect with an Echo Sub to get even richer bass and sound.
Both also include privacy controls so you can turn the mic off if and when you prefer to do so, like when you simply want to use it as a speaker for better sound.
Bottom line: the Amazon Echo Studio is already ranked among the best smart speakers you can buy. If you’re buying new, of course, grab the new one, which is currently on pre-order for the same price, with shipping by October 20. But suppose you already own the old one. When looking at the Amazon Echo Studio (2022) vs. Amazon Echo Studio (2019), there’s no reason to upgrade because you’ll soon be able to enjoy the same audio upgrade benefits.
Your only reason to upgrade to the Amazon Echo Studio (2022) would be if you prefer the Glacier White finish. Given that they can work in stereo pairs, however, it’s not a bad idea to buy a new one anyway to enhance the sound in your space, making it even richer and more dynamic. Or, you can always move the old one to another room. But as a replacement, save your money for now: the old one will continue to work just fine.
Enhanced audio performance
You’ll get an enhanced audio experience with the Amazon Echo Studio (2022), but since the same spatial audio processing technology will be made available to the Amazon Echo Studio (2019) via an over-the-air update by the end of this year, you’re better off waiting. With that said, it’s not a bad idea to grab a new one and pair them for even better, more immersive stereo sound, or to extend the Amazon Echo Studio experience to another room of the home.
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Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.