Amazon Echo Dot vs Chromecast Audio streaming - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-27-2016, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Amazon Echo Dot vs Chromecast Audio streaming

I fell in love with the original Amazon Echo in my kitchen. I use it for timers and streaming with Spotify or podcasts. The voice interface is perfect for Spotify. When the new Dot came out I bought a few for the house and put one on my bedroom audio system.

Sad realization time. The audio output from it is crap as far as I can tell. It doesn't have a toslink output so I have it hooked up with a 3.5mm to RCA wire. After a short while of "wtf is wrong with this" I switched in a Chromecast audio. It's a night and day difference (once full dynamic range output was enabled). The Dot sounds like the Chromecast did before enabling full dynamic range.

Maybe I'm missing something but the sole purpose of the Dot version of the Echo is to connect to external audio systems, and it sounds terrible! It's a shame, because the Echo is by far my preferred interface for streaming but it is unusable. Anyone else try this and come to any conclusions? I didn't see any Echo threads here, only Chromecast. Now I know why!
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-27-2016, 07:27 PM
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i don't have Chromecast and only use Echo Dot for casual listening in a game room. It's a hodge podge system so I don't notice it's sq or lack there of. I mostly use dot for home automation (hue lights, Harmony remote) and it's great for that. how would you characterize the sound compared to the c cast?

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post #3 of 13 Old 11-27-2016, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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It seemed very compressed and thin sounding to me. I'm still going to hedge and say maybe I didn't have it set up right. Maybe there's a hidden setting similar to the Chromecast full dynamic range? I was using the analog output on both. But I can confirm that Chromecast audio sounds great, as reported in the Chromecast thread on this forum. I had it sitting in a drawer for the last year but reading up on streaming options got me to pull it back out and test with my new system.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-02-2016, 10:46 PM
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I use a chromecast audio via the S/PDIF output. Sounds great Echo devices are not for any critical listening.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-03-2016, 12:27 PM
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Even with TosLink the Echo is crappy.

I found a way to get it to play hires off of a DNLA server but it will not pass direct, runs it through its own DAC and ruins it.

Would love to see a hi quality option to connect to it.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-29-2017, 05:00 AM
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Would you be so kind and compare the quality of the 3,5mm audio jack vs the 3,5mm audio analog of the chromecast?
Do you use spotify? Maybe a update fixed it? Because I really want to get the echo dot but I also want good audio quality. I am using an older Sony Stereo with big speaker from 2004 which was like 1400€ when I bought it... It only has analog cinch connectors. So yeah I don't care about the digital out. Thank you!
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-29-2017, 05:01 AM
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I mean compare both connected via the analog 3,5mm Line out. The Echo Dot vs Chromecast Audio with Spotify.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-25-2017, 09:13 AM
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I was wondering which device had better streaming quality via Spotify, so I did a bit of an empirical analysis.

Streaming an average Spotify track via the Chromecast Audio and the Echo Dot showed that the Echo Dot has a noticeable roll-off around ~16.5kHz. The Chromecast Audio seems to have frequency response up to 22.05kHz, which makes me think that it's streaming 48kHz audio, but I haven't tested that myself. The Echo Dot also has slightly worse stereo pairing, with one channel being roughly 0.25dB louder than the other.

(I don't have enough posts on AVSForum to post links or images, but check out blog.petersobot.com slash echo-dot-vs-chromecast-audio-an-evaluation for the full post.)
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-27-2017, 09:12 AM
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Does the Dot sound better and get louder than the speaker on the iPhone 6? I imagine that it does, but I wanted to make sure before I purchase one. Thank you.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-27-2017, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psobot View Post
I was wondering which device had better streaming quality via Spotify, so I did a bit of an empirical analysis.

Streaming an average Spotify track via the Chromecast Audio and the Echo Dot showed that the Echo Dot has a noticeable roll-off around ~16.5kHz. The Chromecast Audio seems to have frequency response up to 22.05kHz, which makes me think that it's streaming 48kHz audio, but I haven't tested that myself. The Echo Dot also has slightly worse stereo pairing, with one channel being roughly 0.25dB louder than the other.

(I don't have enough posts on AVSForum to post links or images, but check out blog.petersobot.com slash echo-dot-vs-chromecast-audio-an-evaluation for the full post.)
How did you determine the ED has a frequency roll off at 16.5, and CA "seems" to have a frequency response up to 22.05 kHz?

Yamaha, Tannoy, & Polk
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-27-2017, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxBR View Post
I fell in love with the original Amazon Echo in my kitchen. I use it for timers and streaming with Spotify or podcasts. The voice interface is perfect for Spotify. When the new Dot came out I bought a few for the house and put one on my bedroom audio system.

Sad realization time. The audio output from it is crap as far as I can tell. It doesn't have a toslink output so I have it hooked up with a 3.5mm to RCA wire. After a short while of "wtf is wrong with this" I switched in a Chromecast audio. It's a night and day difference (once full dynamic range output was enabled). The Dot sounds like the Chromecast did before enabling full dynamic range.

Maybe I'm missing something but the sole purpose of the Dot version of the Echo is to connect to external audio systems, and it sounds terrible! It's a shame, because the Echo is by far my preferred interface for streaming but it is unusable. Anyone else try this and come to any conclusions? I didn't see any Echo threads here, only Chromecast. Now I know why!
The only way , I use my Echo and/or my echo dot for music is through blue tooth with my AVR's or dedicated stereo systems. It does a pretty credible job that way. Otherwise it is pretty useles as a stand alone, for music. Of course your reproduction system has to be of a minimum quality level to get any kind of decent sound.

Cheers
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-24-2017, 12:32 PM
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Echo dot is going to sound bad no matter what because it's RCA and has to convert to digital.
Chromecast has a tiny crummy DAC and tons of jitter in the optical port.
You get what you pay for.
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-09-2017, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SoCalCyclist View Post
Chromecast has a tiny crummy DAC and tons of jitter in the optical port.
Chromcast Audio delivers pretty good sound quality for me, when it's working properly. But I don't even use the optical ports and I get tons of 'jitter' or 'stuttering' anyway. It works better if you use just one or two zones at once, but that sort of obviates the purpose of a whole-house audio setup.

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