At CEDIA Expo, currently underway in San Diego, CA, Original Acoustic revealed its new Valet amplifier, which integrates with the Amazon Echo Dot, and allows users to access popular music sources through Alexa voice control.
The Valet amplifier works with the Amazon Echo Dot to create a simple, interactive four-zone system. Featuring eight, 75w channels, it can be connected to a range of speakers and provide the power necessary to drive them to substantial volume levels, says Origin.
Each of the four stereo zones sports an RJ45 connection that sends power to the Dot over a standard CAT5 cable and also returns the audio signal to the amplifier via a proprietary balun. Taking advantage of the Dot's audio output allows both music and Alexa's voice to play through the room's loudspeakers. This allows for an upgrade in audio quality from the Dot's internal speaker, or even the original Echo's larger transducer.
Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn libraries can all be accessed and played through the system directly from the Dot. External sources can also be played through the system and the Valet's Patent Pending muting circuit will mute the source when Alexa is addressed and unmute when the appropriate action is completed. There is also a 12V trigger for each zone that will allow for additional activation of third party devices upon Alexa being addressed.
Users can blend the Echo Dot into a room setup using Origin's patented Tool-less mounting system. The Dot can be ceiling mounted behind a perforated 3" speaker grille making it virtually invisible in the room but easily voice activated. Up to four Dots can be incorporated, all communicating with one another.
"We have seen voice activation take centre stage as the technology has rapidly improved in recent years," says Jeremy Burkhardt, founder and CEO of Origin Acoustics. "The Valet amplifier will make integrating this technology into even modest homes a reality for millions of homeowners across the nation."
The Valet amplifier will retail for US$1,500 and will include the baluns necessary to integrate with the Echo Dot.
The Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are not yet officially available in Canada. Origin Acoustics products are distributed in Canada through Toronto-based Evolution Home Entertainment.