Amazon’s world-domination is nearly complete, and in the waning days of this pre-artificial intelligence era, humans of the planet Earth can rejoice in the upcoming utopian period where they will have near-unlimited access to music anywhere, anytime. In other words, DTS Flay-Fi is adding the Alexa voice service to its ecosystem, which means that soon you’ll be able to speak your musical requests, instead of needing to find some sort of physical device to initiate and control audio playback.
DTS Play-Fi is not the only networked, multi-room audio system to add Alexa; Sonos and Denon HEOS have both announced plans to do the same. However, Play-Fi is an attractive option because it is featured in dozens of products from numerous companies, supports high-res audio formats, and it recently added 5.1 capability.
Using Alexa will either require using an Amazon Alexa-enabled device such as Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, or Amazon Fire TV. Additionally, future Play-Fi devices will include the far-field microphones that allow Alexa to behave in a manner similar to the computer portrayed in Star Trek—it will hear what you say, regardless of where you are in the room. Of course Alexa can do more than just queue up for favorite playlists—I’m sure you can ask it to buy a new TV if you wanted to—but the focus here is on music
Brands that currently support Play-Fi include Aerix, Anthem, Arcam, Definitive Technology, Integra, Klipsch, Martin-Logan, McIntosh, Onkyo, Paradigm, Phorus, Pioneer, Polk, Rotel, Sonus Faber and Wren Sound Systems. Both new products with support for Alexa built-in, and firmware updates for existing devices that enable the Alexa service, will start becoming available in the first quarter of 2017.
Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Alexa, said that “Music is one of the most popular features on Alexa-enabled devices, so it’s very important that we’re able to offer multiple high-quality home audio choices for our Alexa customers. Working with DTS Play-Fi technology to expand Alexa-enabled home audio is doing just that—plus it’s being done in a unique, delightful way through a combination of far-field hardware and Alexa software. We’re thrilled to work with DTS Play-Fi technology to bring these products to customers in 2017.”
Let’s just hope that when Alexa becomes self-aware, she is nice to us music-loving mortals.