Among the Sonos Connect-like .at its event on Thursday, one of the most intriguing was the awkwardly named Amazon Echo Link Amp. This is a $300 streaming amplifier with multiroom and voice control, and it's a companion to the new
While the Link is a strange proposition -- who has speakers sitting around that they'd connect a $200 Amazon preamp to? -- the Link Amp makes much more sense.
Sure, at $300 it's a little bit, but it's essentially a "BYO speakers" mini system.
- 60-watt x 2-channel amplifier
- Coaxial in/out
- Optical in/out
- Line in/out
- Subwoofer output
The Amp is part of Alexa's expanded multiroom system, which incorporates devices that now include the new Echo Plus and the Echo Sub. As far as its competition in the market the closest is the , but that device offers HDMI, twice the power and retails for $600.
Amazon says the Amp offers "voice control music selection and playback with your compatible Echo device or the Alexa app." While it's obvious that the company wants you to interact with the device via voice it's a little disappointing that there's no onboard microphone or even a source indicator. At this stage it's unclear if the inputs will even be selectable or if everything connected will simply play at once. (Hopefully it's the former.)
As far as possible partners for the Link Amp, I'd suggest looking at speakers in a similar $300 band, including theor the .
According to the Amazon Echo Link Amp product page the device has yet to pass certification by the FCC and is not available for preorder, but Amazon says it will ship in early 2019. Interested users can join an email list to keep informed of updates, however. Likewise, Australian and UK pricing and availability are not yet known.