It's official: Amazon is getting .
The retail giant announced three new devices that allow you to attach your own speakers: theand two devices that cost a lot more.
Lacking the microphones of traditional Alexa speakers like the Echo, they're basically small Alexa audio controllers with multiple inputs and outputs. Both let you "control music selection, volume, and multi-room playback on your stereo with your Echo or the Alexa app" in Amazon's words. In other words, you'll need another Echo speaker to use one.
For $199 Amazon will sell the Echo Link, a little box with a volume control that's designed to connect to your existing AV receiver and speakers.
Don't have an AV receiver? The slightly larger Echo Link Amp ($299) adds a built-in amplifier (60 watts per channel, stereo) that you simply connect to speakers. It lacks HDMI inputs so it's strictly an audio device, with analog audio as well as optical and coaxial digital inputs and outputs. There's also an Ethernet port for wired connections.
The Amp in particular is reminiscent of the-- for half the price. Of course that product has more than twice the power and adds HDMI capability to integrate your TV, as well as Sonos' superb multiroom capabilities.
To go with its new audio gear Amazon issystem. You can set up speakers as stereo pairs and designate one speaker to be the "preferred" speaker, device or group. This fall, it's also expanding multiroom music to be available on third-party devices like the .
Both are the Echo Link will ship later this year, while the Echo Link Amp ships early in 2019.
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