Help my existing computer speakers play nice with the Amazon Echo Dot
March 24, 2016 1:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to buy an Amazon Echo and an Echo Dot. I would like the Dot to send music through two separate sets of speakers, which are both currently wired into my desktop PC. Help me make it happen.

My current set-up is simple: I have a Windows 7 tower with a y-splitter plugged into the sound card. There are two sets of wired speakers connected to the splitter. One set is right next to the computer. The other set is in the next room, about 30 feet away.

I would like the new Amazon Dot to send music through those same speakers, but I still want to maintain the ability to use them as they currently work (i.,e, connected to my desktop computer).

What sort of electronic adapter-type gizmo would I need to make this system work?
posted by akk2014 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does your sound card have an input? Can you plug the Echo Dot in to that and have it pass through to the output?

If not, you'll need a mixer.
posted by AaRdVarK at 1:11 PM on March 24, 2016

Response by poster: @AaRdVarK -- not sure about the sound card, but I'd rather not have the Echo Dot send music through the computer (in case the computer is turned off).
posted by akk2014 at 1:15 PM on March 24, 2016

You need something that will allow you to select which input goes to the speakers. The search term "audio source selector" on Amazon yields a few promising leads (1, 2, 3, 4). #4 is more expensive but allows automated switching, which may be really useful - that's probably the one I would buy. You will then need the proper audio cords to change back and forth between RCA-style plugs and headphone-style (3.5mm) plugs. Assuming you go with one of the selectors above that have RCA-style inputs & outputs, you'll need two of these cords, one for your computer input and one for the Dot input. You may need a third one of those cords for the output, but more likely is that you'll need one that has a female 3.5mm jack.

There are probably fancier ways to do this - there may even be "smarthome" style switches that you could control directly with the Echo/Dot, but this should be a solution that works.
posted by Betelgeuse at 1:17 PM on March 24, 2016

With just two sources, you may be able to get away with just summing the Dot and the computer together if you don't want to have to worry about switching sources. You just have to have a Y connection that combines the computer and the Dot and then sends it to another Y connection to go to the speakers. There are active boxes that will do the same thing too.
posted by Candleman at 2:47 PM on March 24, 2016

Response by poster: I think what I really need is this TinyMix mixer (I wish it were cheaper, though). This seems to be the only device on the market that mixes audio from 3.5 mm plugs. Thanks for all the tips. I found the TinyMix myself, but my search was based on leads I got from this thread.
posted by akk2014 at 5:36 AM on March 25, 2016

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