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Amazon Echo Studio vs. Sonos One: Which smart speaker should you buy?

Amazon Echo Studio
Amazon Echo Studio (Image credit: Android Central)

Amazon Echo Studio

Amazon Echo Studio

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After years of making decent sounding smart speakers, Amazon has finally heeded the call for a high-end, Hi-Fi home for Alexa. The Echo Studio features five speakers for room-filling sound, and can automatically sense the acoustics of the room and tune the output accordingly.

Amazon Echo Studio

Alexa goes Hi-Fi

Multi-directional, immersive sound
Supports multi-room audio
Can be paired with another Echo Studio or Fire TV
Supports multiple music services and Apple Airplay 2
Physical microphone mute switch
First-gen product
Most expensive Echo device

Sonos One

Sonos One

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Sonos pioneered the connected speaker setup, and the Sonos One has been one of its most popular and affordable devices. It supports other protocols like Apple's Airplay and Amazon's Alexa. It can also be paired with another Sonos One for stereo sound.

Sonos One

A smart speaker classic

Dynamic, room-filling sound
Integrates with Sonos ecosystem
Supports a wider variety of music services than the Echo
Supports Alexa and Google's Assistant
Less powerful sound than Echo Studio or other Sonos Speakers
No Bluetooth support

It's the classic story of the experienced incumbent versus the upstart... well, not exactly. While Sonos does have a solid track record of producing smart speakers with amazing sound and connectivity, Amazon is no stranger to this space. What is new for Amazon is the focus on sound quality, but did it manage to pull it off and build a Sonos-killer? Should you consider the Echo Studio over tried-and-true Sonos One? Let's dive in and see.

Let's break it down

Amazon and Sonos have been frenemies for a while now. Amazon allowed Alexa to live on Sonos devices, but then proceeded to add multi-room pairing support for its Echo speakers, which was one of Sonos' key selling points. Amazon invited Sonos to be a part of its Voice Interoperability Initiative, and then it announced a high-end Hi-Fi speaker, which is a market that Sonos seemingly had control of. However, just because Amazon's Echo devices are gaining feature parity to Sonos' speakers doesn't mean they are better, does it? Let's take a look at the specs to see how these two devices compare.

Amazon Echo StudioSonos One
Size8.1" x 6.9"4.7" x 4.7"
Weight7.7 lbs4.08 lbs
AudioThree 2" midrange speakers, one 1" tweeter, one 5.25" wooferTwo Class-D digital amplifiers, one tweeter, one mid-woofer
Dolby AtmosYesNo
Supported Music Streaming ServicesAmazon Music, Audible, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, TuneInAmazon Music, Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Tidal, Pandora, Deezer, Audible, SiriusXM, TuneIn, Napster, iHeartRadio
Smart TV compatibilityPairs with newest Fire TV devices for audio outputPairs with Apple TV via AirPlay 2
Smart Home compatibilityBuilt-in Zigbee support and Alexa integrationAlexa, Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2 integration for smart home controls
Bluetooth connectivityA2DP supportNo
WiFi connectivityDual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 and 5 GHz networks802.11 b/g, 2.4 GHz
Smart Assistant compatibilityAlexaAlexa and Google Assistant

Sonos One Lifestyle Black

Source: SonosPictured: Sonos One. (Image credit: Source: Sonos)

The Echo Studio is the newer product in this comparison, and newer products typically have improved specs over older products. It also happens to be a much larger device than the Sonos One, coming in at almost double the size, so you can see where Amazon had room to add additional speaker capabilities.

Like the Sonos devices, you can pair the Echo Studio with other Echo devices to create multi-room and multi-device groups. Unlike the Sonos One, you can pair one or more Echo Studio speakers with your late generation Fire TV devices to serve as a sort-of stereo soundbar for enhanced audio. While Amazon doesn't list as many compatible music streaming services as Sonos does, you can use the Echo Studio as a Bluetooth speaker and stream any audio from your phone to the device.

Sonos has been able to achieve a rich, dynamic sound in a much smaller (and arguably much more attractive) form factor than the Echo Studio. It supports more music services than Amazon's device, and it works with Alexa or the Google Assistant, so you have a choice when it comes to your smart virtual assistant. While you can pair multiple Sonos devices together seamlessly, you can't easily stream TV audio to a Sonos One unless you have an Apple TV and use AirPlay 2. The Sonos One is a capable W-iFi smart speaker, but it does not support Bluetooth audio playback, which may be a deal-breaker for some folks.

Sounds like a winner

These two smart speakers have so much in common that it is legitimately hard to pick a favorite. One the one hand, Sonos is a known industry-leader when it comes to high fidelity connected speakers, and the Sonos One supports more streaming services out of the box.

However, the Echo Studio has more and bigger speakers, better networking support with Bluetooth and faster Wi-Fi, and it serves as a smart-home hub with built-in Zigbee integration. Add to that the fact that it is generally priced similarly to the smaller, less well-equipped Sonos One, and it seems clear to us that the latest from Amazon is worth your consideration. Not only is it one of the best Alexa speakers, it's one of the best-sounding smart speakers, period.

Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.