echo dot + ?? + regular speakers = voice controlled music, etc.
February 15, 2017 12:37 PM   Subscribe

What can I use to power my existing unpowered speakers and give them bluetooth capability to play my amazon prime music from Alexa?

I don't really want a big stereo receiver and would prefer to spend as little as possible. I have many pairs of speakers after downsizing from a previous life. I have an older yamaha receiver as well but I'm sure it does not have bluetooth and it's really too large to put anywhere. It also seems to me that whatever device I use would need to be powered on all the time for Alexa to control it. What am I looking for? Does it exist?
posted by mismatchedsock to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah you're going to need that receiver. The Dot has a 3.5mm audio output jack, so run that to your receiver using a 3.5mm to RCA adapter. It will need to be on all the time.

Alternatively, you could buy an amplifier for a smaller solution and skip the receiver. One long 3.5mm male to male cable running from the Dot to the amp, and regular speaker wire from the amp to the speakers. You'll lose whatever audio processing your receiver provided though, which means you may end up with some unwanted noise.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:53 PM on February 15, 2017

The Dot can output to Bluetooth speakers. If your speakers aren't big (or if they're big and you don't care about getting loud), there are lots of little mini amplifiers like this one or this one that also have a Bluetooth receiver.
posted by zsazsa at 1:08 PM on February 15, 2017

Something like this might work.

There are many other small amplifiers available as well. The linked one is inexpensive, but the reviews are mixed. I actually have one waiting for me at home. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan on using it to replace a large 1980s vintage Sony receiver to power a pair of similar vintage Allison Six Cube speakers in a relatively small space. I'll report back when I get a chance.
posted by The Deej at 1:28 PM on February 15, 2017

Battery for the Dot.

We use ours almost every night to listen to podcasts in the hot tub.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:06 PM on February 15, 2017

I can't tell from your question whether you don't want your Yamaha receiver anywhere or rather if it's just inconvenient to put near your Dot. If it's the latter, you can get a bluetooth receiver add-on (here's a well-reviewed one on Amazon) and put your receiver some distance away from the Dot.

To address your "always on" issue, I have a Alexa-controllable wifi outlet that I plug my stereo into. I can then say, "Alexa, turn on the stereo" and it comes on.
posted by Betelgeuse at 2:06 PM on February 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, wait, I think I misunderstood what you're trying to do, sorry. I agree that an Alexa-controllable outlet would probably resolve at least one part of your issue.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:08 PM on February 15, 2017

Follow up: the little amp I linked above is actually pretty good! Obviously an inexpensive device like that is not going to put out audiophile reference sound, but it put out a good amount of volume without distortion. I would like it better if it had bass/treble controls, and there are probably similar devices with them.
posted by The Deej at 8:46 PM on February 15, 2017

I'm using an AudioSource AMP-100 for exactly this purpose. It's harder to get now (and more expensive than it should be), but the newer AMP100VS looks like a good replacement, and is cheap.

It sounds great, and while it has to have power all the time, it automatically goes into a "sleep" mode (where it draws single-digit milliamps) when there's nothing playing, then wakes up automatically when there's an audio signal.

It even has two inputs and can select the right one automatically.

The only problem, if there has to be one, is that it takes two or three seconds to wake up from sleep. I solve that by starting with "Alexa, say hello" to wake it up, then whatever I actually wanted to do. If you're playing music (as opposed to asking about the weather or something), then you probably don't need to bother with the extra step.
posted by sourcequench at 1:48 PM on February 16, 2017

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