Amazon Alexa amplifier, receiver, subwoofer



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She loves My big ten inch....







Echo Show!



https://blog.aboutamazon.com/devices/amazon-devices-event-september-2018
Echo Link Amp has a built-in 60W 2-channel amplifier, multiple digital and analog inputs and outputs for compatibility with your existing stereo equipment, and lets you control music selection, volume, and multi-room playback on your stereo with your Echo or the Alexa app. It will be available to customers soon.
FYI, I believe these new products are currently being announced. I'd expect to see news by the end of the day.



Holy cow! That's the way to do a product announcement event!



New Echo Dot

Echo Input (no speaker version of Dot)

Echo Sub

Echo Link

Echo Link Amp

New Echo Plus

Amazon Smart Plug

Amazon Basics microwave

Echo Wall Clock

New Echo Show

FireTV Recast

Echo Auto



Plus feature enhancements:



Better multi-room

Stereo pairing of Echos

Frustration Free Setup

Alexa Guard

Alexa Hunches

Skype Support

New Music API (Tidal will be first service to use it)

Notification of new music releases for artists you follow



A lot to digest!
Here's an article for more details.



https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/20/amazon-announcing-alexa-enabled-hardware-products.html



It is a ton to digest and see the different strategies here. One thing that seems to pop out to me is:



Echo Link = Sonos Connect

Echo Link Amp = Sonos Connect Amp



I'm guessing that these get directly tied to a specifiy echo device, similar to how a firetv is tied to a specific device. I would imagine that the clock and microwave work similarly.



So this is going to allow you to setup a more robust multiroom system than you could with just echos alone. No doubt, but still looks to be a few steps behind Sonos in some areas.



On the other hand, this 'link', if it means tying a specific speaker to a specific echo device is good news. Assuming third party speakers like Sonos can be tied to a specific echo, this means you won't have to target, and perhaps will be able to do a few more things with groups.




On the other hand, this 'link', if it means tying a specific speaker to a specific echo device is good news. Assuming third party speakers like Sonos can be tied to a specific echo, this means you won't have to target, and perhaps will be able to do a few more things with groups.




Yep, which is exactly what I’ve been asking in this thread; the ability to control and visualize what’s playing via the Show, while the audio plays elsewhere, like on your Sonos speakers. I believe it’s coming soon...


Yep, which is exactly what I’ve been asking in this thread; the ability to control and visualize what’s playing via the Show, while the audio plays elsewhere, like on your Sonos speakers. I believe it’s coming soon...




That does seem quite possible. If not on the current Show due to hardware limitations, that seems like a no brainer for the new version of Show.



I also think the echo input is going to do well. If the plan is to always wire your echo to a speaker, or Bluetooth it, then just get an input.
A lot of this will play well with Sonos. As always, I’m happy not to be stuck in Apple’s walled garden, lol. Apple just fell further behind, again. Will they ever catch up in the voice arena?



Echo Link at $200 vs Sonos Connect at $350. Hmmm. If it can send to Sonos speakers, no brainer.
The Amp looks pretty decent. $300, analog, coax and optical inputs, sub out, 60WPC. Good enough, with quality speakers, to satisfy a lot of music lovers. What do you think, Kumar? A pair of Harbeths with this? They don’t need huge power to sound great.
A lot of this will play well with Sonos. As always, I’m happy not to be stuck in Apple’s walled garden, lol. Apple just fell further behind, again. Will they ever catch up in the voice arena?



Echo Link at $200 vs Sonos Connect at $350. Hmmm. If it can send to Sonos speakers, no brainer.




I'm still looking at this, but I don't think the link is going to work with Sonos in anyway.



It's not in a lot of the articles, I've seen, but there is an Echo Auto product as well, basically a device linking your phone to car with Alexa control in between. So you can ask alexa to play music for example. With that it place, transferring the audio from your car to home echo units (and Sonos) would be a highly useful feature...and I think alexa cast will do that. All you need to do is enable alexacast initiation by voice, and you're there.
I’ve been using Alexa in the car via the Roav Viva for a while now. I can ask it to play on any home Echo or Sonos from the car now, not that there’s a compelling use case for this. Turning on house lights, unlocking doors, etc from the driveway, however, yes.
I’ve been using Alexa in the car via the Roav Viva for a while now. I can ask it to play on any home Echo or Sonos from the car now, not that there’s a compelling use case for this. Turning on house lights, unlocking doors, etc from the driveway, however, yes.



There is a compelling case if you want to cast what you're currently listening to speakers in your home as your pulling into the driveway. Particularly if it's triggered by geofencing or connecting to the home wifi network.
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What are the chances that the Echo Connect and Amp are licensed from Sonos? If that's not the case, can we finally get the promised Google home integration now that Amazon is invading your turf?



I hate Alexa but Sonos' lack of Google Home integration is the only reason I still use it.
What are the chances that the Echo Connect and Amp are licensed from Sonos?



Since Sonos invented and patented just about everything having to do with multi room WiFi audio, chances are high that Amazon and plenty of others are having to pay licensing fees to Sonos, or some other form of compensation.
The Amp looks pretty decent. $300, analog, coax and optical inputs, sub out, 60WPC. Good enough, with quality speakers, to satisfy a lot of music lovers. What do you think, Kumar? A pair of Harbeths with this? They don’t need huge power to sound great.

Yes but...

For one thing, I am no longer a big Harbeth fan, from a value for money perspective. The all built in UK tag is used to justify over the top premium pricing for a product , passive speaker, where obtaining long service life can be done just as well at lower price points. As can pretty close to equivalent sound quality be achieved for a lot less, because at the end of the day, it is just a well engineered passive speaker. It isn't an ESL...

I haven't seen the Amazon amp details, but I would not go for it if it has a built in smart front end; what happens when this tech evolves to a better place in a couple of years? Get a new amp? Better to not pay for the built in front end, and get a third party amp instead that will work with Amazon standalone front ends that are cheaper. Third party because there would then be nothing special about the Amazon amp. I would consider the best amp+speaker combination one can afford, assuming a 10+ year service life from it so that no corners need be cut on sound quality. Or even quality active speakers from someone like Dynaudio. And then marry them to a throwaway front end from either Amazon or Google.

On the other hand, Sonos must be looking at all of this with concern. For someone that knows little of Amazon or Sonos with respect to difference between the two offerings, Amazon starts to look compelling.
For a throwaway front end it is going to be hard to beat the new "Echo Input". Full price is $35 so I wonder what it will go for on Black Friday?



If I use an Echo Input for $35 plus an OSD XMP 100 amplifier for $100 and some existing speakers for $0 I can have a pretty decent sounding multi-room system for $135 per room with full Alexa features like phone calls that an "Alexa Enabled" product can't do. Depending on the legacy speakers I have around it might in fact sound quite a bit better than just decent.
That is also a good approach; at USD 100-150, even a 4-5 year service life for the amp is acceptable, IMO. So if it fails and after sales isn't possible, just replace it. Get the best passive speakers that are easily driven by normal power amps, and those will last for decades without service. Going the active speaker route, one has a choice between cheap but good pro monitor type of speakers or better looking but expensive ones like Dynaudio.
That is also a good approach; at USD 100-150, even a 4-5 year service life for the amp is acceptable, IMO. So if it fails and after sales isn't possible, just replace it. Get the best passive speakers that are easily driven by normal power amps, and those will last for decades without service. Going the active speaker route, one has a choice between cheap but good pro monitor type of speakers or better looking but expensive ones like Dynaudio.
A possibly useful new Alexa feature that is announced: It will soon be able to understand when a person is whispering and will reply in a whisper.

Will Sonos One/Beam get this automatically, or will it take an extra 10 months?
If Sonos ever kills off my Connect:Amp and Connect, the Link with my old QUAD 405-2 would be a nice combo with the ESL-63s. Built like a tank.









Would someone today desiring to make those already awesome caps smart, add a Connect or the Link? Or a Spot - Why the Link, leave alone the Connect, when the Spot is there with always visible artwork?
Also, I would not dismiss the Sub in a hurry. One needs to first see how a Echo pair+ Sub does, compared to a Sonos One pair, for about USD 150 less at a total of USD 250. Or, compared to a much more expensive HomePod pair.

Equally noteworthy is that the new products will be officially available from Amazon India from Nov 11, just a month after they are released in the US. At prices that are as sensible in India as they are in the US. Compared to Sonos still not being in a position to say when Sonos One will work with Alexa in India, leave alone when it will be sold at similar prices compared to their prices in the US.

PS: I notice that the Sub is already flagged by Amazon US as a best seller based on just pre orders in the Subwoofers category.

PPS: My experience of Echos is limited to 5-6 products so this is just anecdotal. I have found them as easy to set up as Sonos and as stable in music play in a home with a Apple TC base station and two AEX wifi extenders in bedrooms on opposite sides of the open space where the TC is kept. Without any IP address conflicts, Boosts, or things not working after updates - I don't even have to update anything, it must be happening on its own in the background perhaps late at night. And this, with a 2011 vintage WiFi network. If this experience is typical, and very unlike the AEX for home audio experience that led me to Sonos in 2011, it would seem that Amazon will continue on the road they established when the Echo took the world by storm a few years ago.
From Cnet yesterday:

"Amazon has a history of jumping into categories that're occupied by its partners, and today was no different. Appliance makers that worked to integrate Alexa into their products have to be giving Amazon's offering a critical, potentially worried, look. After the speakers were announced, Sonos' stock fell nearly 3 percent, to $13.94.



Amazon's stock, meanwhile, was up 1 percent, to $1,947.14, as everyone absorbed the sheer amount of products in its new lineup."
For a throwaway front end it is going to be hard to beat the new "Echo Input". Full price is $35 so I wonder what it will go for on Black Friday?



If I use an Echo Input for $35 plus an OSD XMP 100 amplifier for $100 and some existing speakers for $0 I can have a pretty decent sounding multi-room system for $135 per room with full Alexa features like phone calls that an "Alexa Enabled" product can't do. Depending on the legacy speakers I have around it might in fact sound quite a bit better than just decent.




I'd want to confirm that the echo input will be involved in Amazon's multi-room system. I would guess that it would work when hard wired to your amp, but not when connected through Bluetooth, which is probably just fine for most folks.



Would someone today desiring to make those already awesome caps smart, add a Connect or the Link? Or a Spot - Why the Link, leave alone the Connect, when the Spot is there with always visible artwork?



There are a lot of folks out there that do not want voice control for privacy or whatever reasons. There are also those that do not want to be limited to the streaming sources Amazon allows, or want to be able to play from a local library (although that market is small). It also would depend on what multiroom system they're currently invested in, or want to be invested in. You're point is very valid though as I would imagine that a lot of folks who would have leaned towards Sonos as a solution, or never really considered a multiroom/streaming option before, are now more likely to consider Amazon's options.





Also, I would not dismiss the Sub in a hurry. One needs to first see how a Echo pair+ Sub does, compared to a Sonos One pair, for about USD 150 less at a total of USD 250. Or, compared to a much more expensive HomePod pair.





Agreed that that's a big factor. But I also think people are going to look at other factors besides sound quality and price. And I'd look at the benefits of the entire system, not just the specific setup. Just as an example, if you want your HT theatre to be tied wireless and tied in to your multiroom system, then Amazon is perhaps at a disadvantage. All that said, I can't say with a ton of confidence really care about that too much or will really spend much effort considering the system too much.



I also think it's worth noting that a lot of these products are in actual competition with their partners. Sonos is just one example, as @Kumar's quote pointed out. I think that's partly because can use it's branding to make an easy buck. I'd also imagine that Amazon thinks they're partners are moving a little too slow and want to make sure they remain dominant with their voice assistant product. But I don't think the strategy comes without a cost. Their partners are going to remain, they don't have much chose these days. However, I wouldn't be too surprised if businesses might look to work with Google more, or even Apple. I wouldn't be too surprised to see companies like Google, Apple, Samsung, Walmart, etc trying to work together more as a necessity in preventing Amazon from being completely dominant. If you can start playing your Apple music through Google Home for example (and vice versa) that could push the sales of Google and Apple.
Would someone today desiring to make those already awesome caps smart, add a Connect or the Link? Or a Spot - Why the Link, leave alone the Connect, when the Spot is there with always visible artwork?



I agree the Spot is the ideal Alexa source component at the moment because it is the only Echo that combines a screen and line-out. We don't really know what the full feature set of the Link is going to be so it is hard to tell what might push somebody to that device... maybe the ability to switch amongst multiple physical inputs via voice? I guess we will have to wait and see. In the meantime I use Spots for each room where I want to use an amp and passive speakers except outside porches and the garage where I use Dots I got on sale (some as low as $10 in bundle deals) with the expectation that the harsher environment will inflict more wear and tear on them.
We don't really know what the full feature set of the Link is going to be so it is hard to tell what might push somebody to that device... maybe the ability to switch amongst multiple physical inputs via voice?



I don't quite get the Echo link. I mean, you can connect your echo do to your stereo system, a cost of $50 bucks, so why is this device $200? I get that it pairs with an echo, so you don't have to have your listening device placed next to your stereo system. I don't get the need for inputs though. I suppose so that your stereo system can always be 'listening' to alexa without having to switch your stereo system inputs. The link would do the switching for you. But then, why are they inputs not labeled as distinct inputs. Why does it appear like they are only looking at music sources, and not video...like a tv? What's the purpose of the giant dial? I'd guess volume control, but that seems a little odd. And if it's volume control, no remote to control volume as well?



The echo link amp makes more sense to me.