Amazon Echo Dot

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Gnesen, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Bizarre. My first connected device was a Wemo Switch and it has worked perfectly for years. I am having an issue with our Ring doorbell since we had a power outage where our electricity went on and off about 5 times over the weekend, but the Wemo is still working like a charm.
     
  2. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    Picked up a WeMo outlet for $30 as I was strolling through Target earlier today. Probably should have grabbed both on the shelf but didn't.

    Have it all set up and linked to Alexa. Running the Christmas tree with it for now. Pretty slick...
     
  3. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Looks like Amazon underestimated the demand for Dots. They're sold out everywhere, including Amazon.com. Was in BB yesterday, plenty of $25 CCAs, but nary a Dot to be found.

    Edit: Interesting, they are available through Prime Now. Ordered another one for the Marantz receiver while they're still $10 off. Free delivery (plus a $5 tip) this afternoon.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  4. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Aye. They oversold their beaucoup ad buy; without a doubt. Ergo/alas... "they" are still pimping units to beat the band. icon_drummer.gif

    That said, it appears to me that Google spent even more as they appear even more omnipresent than the Amazon "ad-nausea". Wonder how the Alphabet air-freshener is selling? :idea:

    Battle for the homefronts.....film at 11
     
  5. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    I would bet that it isn't selling as well as the Dot. Just the $$$ difference would be enough to push people to the Dot for X-mas. I expect that the Dot will find its way into many stockings this year.

    Also, many of the Google thingy reviews made it sound like it was not ready for prime time at this point.
     
  6. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Took a chance on a couple of these Ankuoo REC outlets. The WeMo's have been nothing but pain on my Linksys router, though they're made by the same company. Bummed.

    So far the RECs have been pain free. They're smaller and cheaper, though they do require installation of an Alexa skill. Happy camper so far. I just wish these things didn't need the cloud to operate. Security concerns...

    IMG_20161224_114726.jpg
     
  7. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Asked Dot to enable Bird Song. Echo was listening from across the room, lol. Lovely song.

    20161227_102533.png
     
  8. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    I'd like to turn off the "OK" command acknowledgement.

    Looked through settings but maybe I missed it?

    Anyone know of a way short of setting volume to zero (which still doesn't completely silence the OK)?
     
  9. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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  10. tman202

    tman202 Member

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    Can anyone comment on the Spotify sound quality between the Dot and the Chromecast Audio when hooked up to a stereo system? (I know that the Dot is analog only and I don't have an external DAC anyway so I am interested in the sound of each of them connected directly to a stereo input.)

    I know the Spotify Connect stream is supposed to be 320kbps but the CCA comes with dynamic range limited which you can change to High Dynamic Range in the app settings. Wondering if the Dot is handicapped as well and you can't change it, and also the internal DAC would affect the sound as well.

    Also, does the Dot hear you speak commands when you are playing music from it through the stereo? Thinking that if it is near the speakers, this could be a problem.

    Had my CCA at my parents' place over the holiday and got them a Dot, kicking myself for not comparing them side to side on their stereo.
     
  11. Ballylongford

    Ballylongford AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes it does hear commands when you are playing music from it through your stereo. You use the 'wake word", and it responds
     
  12. Gnesen

    Gnesen Super Member

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    It's amazing how well the Dot can hear over relatively loud music. The microphone on the Dot seems to be quite a bit more sensitive than the regular Echo, even when no music is playing.

    EDIT: In researching the previous question about bit rate, I accidentally came across several threads about how wonderful the Echo and related products are for the disabled. It's really remarkable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  13. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    I get a lot of tech to review (not to mention the stuff I buy), but this year, my favorite tech was the Echo Dot. The $50 price tag seems unbelievable when you think about how many things this thing can do. Just this morning, I used it to turn on and off lights, turn off the TV in the living room as I was leaving, and for playing music while I was making eggs.

    The mics on the new and improved Dot that came out late 2016 supposedly has improved mics and they were darn good on the earlier version. One of the really cool things is that it can even detect which Echo you are closest to and have that one respond. I saw a Cnet video where he had several of them in line and even then it could detect where his voice was coming from.

    My only wish is that they would come out with one that had a digital output so I could use an outboard DAC or use my receiver's DACs.
     
  14. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Power on/off and music selection via voice, on a handsome old Marantz receiver. Dot, dressed in leather, fits right in. Pretty sweet.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Nice! Of course, that Marantz is so beautiful, anything next to it would probably glow in its beauty.

    I use my vintage Marantz a whole lot more these days since it can be controlled via voice and I am sending it a Bluetooth signal via the Echo. It went from barely being used to being used a couple times a week.
     
  16. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    Been thinking about changing the key word on mine. It picks "Alexa" when someone on TV mentions the name, and usually responds with "I didn't quite get the question..." or something like that.
     
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  17. tman202

    tman202 Member

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    To answer my own question, I found one guy on AVS who compared the Dot and Chromecast Audio and finds the CCA much better. (Would still be interested in another opinion.)

    http://www.avsforum.com/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=48494913

    "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!"
     
  18. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Sounds like the classic "night and day" differences, almost always caused by differences in volume level or the relative position of the ears to the source.

    I have both, and when level matched, the differences are minor, at best. IME, most perceived differences in everything in the modern audio chain other than speakers depends on one's level of OCD, lol.
     
  19. tman202

    tman202 Member

    Messages:
    59
    Interesting. Although I have definitely heard differences in other components such as CD players and receivers that are obvious even when not level matched. And of course streams with different bitrates (for example, Pandora obviously sounds worse through the CCA than Spotify due to the 64 kbps vs. 320). Argh can't believe I didn't compare for myself when I had the chance!
     
  20. jeep jones

    jeep jones AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have split the aux output on my Dot and ran one side to a set of PC speakers that sit near the Dot in the Kitchen, the other to a 3.5 to RCA converston cable which goes into the aux on my SA-8500. General daily use is covered by the PC speakers. When we have people over or want to hear music througout the house, I flip on the amp which feeds the entire house. I set the volume on the amp to a normal listening level and then use voice control on the Dot to adjust volume after that.

    We enjoy it. Been using Alexa since the first release to do home automation for my mother in-law who has had polio. Using the Phillips HUE and Wemo light/switch kits. Switching on and off lights seems like a small thing until you are unable to. She loves it.
     
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