Amazon Echo Dot Networked Bluetooth Audio Player Hands-On - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-07-2017, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Amazon Echo Dot Networked Bluetooth Audio Player Hands-On

Few audio accessories have opened my eyes to a paradigm shift quite like the Amazon Echo Dot. This is the least-expensive Alexa-enabled audio device Amazon sells, with an MSRP of $50. And while its connectivity is limited to 3.5mm analog stereo or Bluetooth stereo, what it brings to the table in terms of convenience is hard to ignore.

I have not had the chance to give the Echo Dot a proper evaluation, but in casual use I have found it is reasonably responsive and accurate. Sure, there are some instances where it amusingly misconstrues what I'm asking for and I have to yell "Alexa, stop!" But most of the time, the Echo Dot has served as a handy streaming companion that grants effortless access to an inexpensive (to subscribe to) yet vast library of tunes through Amazon Music.

I'm not sure how much fidelity I'm giving up by choosing to stream through the echoed office, but I do know that in the applications where I have used it, ultimate fidelity is not the primary concern.

Anyhow, I'm hooked on voice search and voice control. That's the lesson I learned by buying one Echo Dot.

More to come...


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The AVS Forum Hands-On Review Process (master list of hands-on threads)

Mark Henninger (aka Imagic)

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post #2 of 9 Old 08-08-2017, 11:28 AM
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If you're not aware, the Echo can stream more than just Amazon music (Spotify, Pandora, etc). The Alexa app on a tablet/phone will allow you to choose your default music library and station service. They're also working on Sonos integration as well.

Echo works great with home automation products too (Philips Hue, Harmony remotes, etc.).
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-09-2017, 06:04 PM
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Trust me, you are only scratching the surface....the Dot and Echos can do so much more than just play music, even though music is probably my favorite thing to do with them....
One thing I discovered...the dot is the best alarm clock I ever owned. I don't always get up at the same time everyday. Being able to climb into bed and say 'alexa, set an alarm for 7 am' is fantastic. Then when it goes off 'alexa, stop'. All hands free.
As I climb out of bed, I say 'alexa, whats up' and it tells the date, the weather report, and usually a fun fact for the day. Then I usually ask for my sports update, then tell it to play music. It has access to many music services as posted above, but I usually use Pandora or I ask for my preferred local station, 107.3 the eagle, and it finds and plays that through tune-in.
I have most of my lights through a hue hub and tell it to turn on the livingroom lights. When I'm watching tv I usually tell it to dim the livingroom lights to 40%.
I also have a Honeywell thermostat and its nice to tell it to turn the temp up or down 1 or 2 degrees as needed.

A couple new things recently added:
If you have multiple dots/echos you can use them as intercoms to call each room they are in.
Or you can use them to call a friend who also has one house to house all touchless.
And the newest big feature...they now can control fire tv or fire tv stick media streamers by voice.

If you get a chance the reddit amazon echo forum is pretty good.

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-09-2017, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan4081 View Post
Trust me, you are only scratching the surface....the Dot and Echos can do so much more than just play music, even though music is probably my favorite thing to do with them....
One thing I discovered...the dot is the best alarm clock I ever owned. I don't always get up at the same time everyday. Being able to climb into bed and say 'alexa, set an alarm for 7 am' is fantastic. Then when it goes off 'alexa, stop'. All hands free.
As I climb out of bed, I say 'alexa, whats up' and it tells the date, the weather report, and usually a fun fact for the day. Then I usually ask for my sports update, then tell it to play music. It has access to many music services as posted above, but I usually use Pandora or I ask for my preferred local station, 107.3 the eagle, and it finds and plays that through tune-in.
I have most of my lights through a hue hub and tell it to turn on the livingroom lights. When I'm watching tv I usually tell it to dim the livingroom lights to 40%.
I also have a Honeywell thermostat and its nice to tell it to turn the temp up or down 1 or 2 degrees as needed.

A couple new things recently added:
If you have multiple dots/echos you can use them as intercoms to call each room they are in.
Or you can use them to call a friend who also has one house to house all touchless.
And the newest big feature...they now can control fire tv or fire tv stick media streamers by voice.

If you get a chance the reddit amazon echo forum is pretty good.
Oh... I get that there's a ton more to do (and I use it in that capacity). I have Hue too, and using Alexa for reminders is great. Yes, I ask about weather too. But... music is the angle that justifies writing about it/blogging about it here. Looking forward to learning more, and following where this awesome twist on modern computing takes us.

I've been using speech recognition to write for years (Dragon Naturally Speaking) so my take is it's about time this tech goes mainstream.

Mark Henninger (aka Imagic)
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-09-2017, 06:12 PM
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Multi-room audio looks to be the next big change to Echo. This has been really my only critique, so adding this capability is fantastic.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-09-2017, 06:19 PM
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I've been wanting to pick up a Dot. I have an original Echo right now, and while I love the device's capabilities, the sound quality from the built-in speaker leaves a lot to be desired. I have a pair of KRK Rokit 8s that have been busy gathering dust in a closet since I upgraded form those to my Elac Uni-Fis, I bet those would make a nice bedroom sound system paired up to the Dot.

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-09-2017, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogday View Post
Multi-room audio looks to be the next big change to Echo. This has been really my only critique, so adding this capability is fantastic.
Multi room audio on the echos/dots is the big feature most everyone is waiting and hoping for.
Keeping my fingers crossed...........
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-12-2017, 07:15 AM
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I'm still waiting on the telephone anyone anywhere service.

* Still need to pay for 911 service.

.

"There you go again..." - Good Ol' R. Reagan's favorite Troll line !
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-12-2017, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan4081 View Post
Multi room audio on the echos/dots is the big feature most everyone is waiting and hoping for.
Keeping my fingers crossed...........
No kidding. Thus far, Sonos has been untouchable in terms of market share, but the moment that happens...

Mark Henninger (aka Imagic)
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