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The idea of voice control technology has long been embedded in our expectations for the “future,” and even though most of those old science fiction movie-makers couldn’t imagine computers any further-advanced than those already available in 1979, they certainly hit the nail on the head with their forecast of voice control. Nowadays, with the help of products like Amazon Echo (and its voice-controlled personal assistant ‘Alexa’), users can control aspects of their home just by verbalizing simple commands. But even with the huge strides this technology has made in recent years, it’s impossible to get audiophile-quality sound from the speakers in an Amazon Echo product. Audioengine can help with this, but before we dive into how, let’s talk a little more about the Amazon Echo.
Echo is a line of smart speakers manufactured by Amazon, and Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant software used to control Echo. Users can speak aloud to give Alexa, and therefore Echo, verbal commands (always beginning with the wake word, ‘Alexa’) such as, “Alexa, play my favorite song,” or “Alexa, what’s on my calendar this Saturday?” Alexa will respond accordingly, so long as the questions asked or commands given are within Alexa’s realm of capability. With tons of Echo-compatible add-on products on the market, there really isn’t a whole lot that falls outside of Alexa’s wheelhouse.
The most common commands Alexa handles are music-related: whether it’s calling up a Spotify playlist, turning up or down the volume, or finding a specific song you haven’t heard in years but are randomly thinking about and absolutely have to hear right this second!! The accessibility is astounding, no doubt, but its main consequence is that you are forced to listen to all your music on Echo’s built-in speakers instead of your own beastly audio system. This is not to say Amazon has ignored their sound quality altogether, but realistically there’s only so much a single speaker housing of that size can handle. Suffice it to say, there are limitations.
Luckily, Amazon has implemented a crucial feature which expands its functionality to accommodate customers who want to be able to interact with Alexa and still enjoy listening to podcasts, music, and stock tips through exterior systems. That’s right, it’s quick and easy to connect your Echo to Bluetooth speakers:
Now you can treat Alexa as if it were any other input device; you can still have whatever other devices you so choose connected to your Audioengine speakers, and since Alexa can control Echo’s volume with a simple, “Alexa turn down volume,” you can leave Audioengine’s volume knob exactly where you like it and adjust volume accordingly with Alexa. If you have our S8 Powered Subwoofer connected wirelessly to your mains, this configuration will still work which means you’ll get full-spectrum high fidelity audio when listening to all your favorite songs, without sacrificing the unparalleled convenience provided by a product like Amazon Echo. This will also work with our standalone B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver in the event you have a set of wired speakers you want to turn into wireless speakers.
We are reaching the point where we can do just about anything we want with voice control technology, as long as we have all the right accouterments. Products like Amazon Echo make life so easy it hurts… perhaps it hurts so good that you want to lie down and say, “Alexa, play ‘Hurts So Good’ by John Mellencamp.” Don’t worry – we designed Audioengine Wireless speakers to do the rest.
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