Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Add Alexa to your hi-fi with Amazon's Echo Link / Amp

Add Alexa to your hi-fi with Amazon's Echo Link / Amp

Other new product announcements include the Echo Auto, a dongle that adds Alexa voice control to your vehicle; Echo Input, an accessory that adds Alexa to any speaker; Echo Link and Echo Link Amp, two home theatre accessories to stream high-fidelity music; and Fire TV Recast, a set-top box that can record over-the-air TV programming for free. You plug the Smart Plug into the outlet and it has its own outlet.

Amazon revealed a flurry of new Echo, Fire TV, and and Alexa devices this week, now a bunch are up for sale. This version of the Echo Plus has a new look, Dolby play 360-degree audio, and a temperature sensor.

If you're a bit more of an audiophile, you'll want to check out the Echo Link or Echo Link Amp.

Amazon also made improvements to the Echo Show speaker, adding a bigger screen and better sound, qualities that will help it stack up to Google's high-end device.

Furthering the notion of a hifi system built from separates (and not active speakers), the Echo Link and Echo Link Amp both offer a subwoofer output and a line-level input. It can be paired with an Echo to create a more robust sound system with powerful bass. Hey, you can't fault Amazon for trying. The Echo Dot is priced at $49.99, the Echo Plus at $149.99, the Echo Show at $229.99, and the new Echo Auto for using Amazon Alexa in your vehicle.

And you thought Amazon's crafty consumerism ended with the microwave.

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Good news for makers of personal home assistants, but even with Google Home and Alexa, it seems most people aren't yet willing to fully embrace their potential.

Amazon is taking the fight to rivals by announcing a number of smart devices. It produced a satisfying rumble in Amazon's demo, reaching far past the low frequency range of any other Echo device we've tested.

More than 15 global automakers, including General Motors, Hyundai, and Nissan, have added Alexa skills for their cars, according to Amazon.

Echo Auto has a built-in 8-microphone stack designed for in-car acoustics, Echo Auto can hear you over music, A/C, and road noise. It also enables location-based skills, so you can flip on a bunch of devices as you arrive home (if you can't do that already).

It has the weight you'd expect from a decent sub - 4.2kg and stands around 20cm off the isn't a compact device. You can also set them to turn your smart lights on and off to mimic someone being home, kind of like that movie with that kid who beat up the house-robbing criminals in the wintertime.

The takeaway: The $25 Smart Plug is a really easy and convenient way to make non-smart devices act like smart devices.

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