Echo Link Amp
Amazon’s $300 Amplifier Adds Alexa to Your Home Theater
The 2-channel amplifier (60-watts per channel) can be seen as a replacement for a stereo receiver. It’s powerful enough to drive large passive speakers but users may also integrate it into an existing home theater setup. It can be used as a 2.1 channel AV receiver, so you use Alexa with your “nicer” system in case you don’t have other bookshelf speakers. (The Echo Link Amp has numerous output lines: analog, optical, coax, headphones 3.5mm and subwoofer.)
Unlike Amazon’s smart speakers, the Echo Link Amp doesn’t have a microphone or Alexa-built-in. To give Alexa voice commands you already have to have an Alexa-enabled device, like an Echo ($100), Echo Dot ($50) or Echo Input ($20). You can also group the Echo Link Amp and the passive speakers it powers, into a multi-room system with other Echo devices.
What Others Are Saying:
• “The Echo Link Amp is a lovely device even though I find the audio quality lacking when compared to less expensive amps. It’s clever and I’m surprised Amazon is selling the device. While the rest of the Echo product line is a mass market play, the Echo Link and Echo Link Amp are designed for a smaller market. The Echo Link Amp features a set of functions unavailable on any other Echo device and the easiest way to add Alexa to a set of speakers.” — Matt Burns, TechCrunch
• “If you’ve got an Echo Dot, Echo Show, or other Alexa interface that you like, and you want to be able to use it to control your hi-fi system, these are a great way to do just that. If, on the other hand, you don’t have a great listening space, great speakers, or a keen ear, you can totally get away with plugging an Echo Dot or another Echo speaker into your stereo to give yourself a similar experience.” — Parker Hall, Digital Trends