Adam Machin

Tech Blog

Echo, Amazon & hifi

Since the introduction of Subscription Music Services I’ve felt un-easy. I’ve owned, so far, subscriptions to Rdio, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and lately I’ve settled for Amazon Music Unlimited for Echo only.

I dislike the idea of not owning a physical copy, call me crazy, I’m not going into it now; ok maybe quickly – I see possessions as extensions to a persons character.

(I’d rather listen to Vinyl as standalone. I want to be able to focus my thoughts, and don’t want to have to think about my connection to wifi, or someones servers and all of the jazz that goes with everything online.)

That being said I’ve come up with the following. If I must have a music subscription service, I want to pay as little as possible. Amazon opened up their entire Digital Music Library to the UK late last year and started offering Amazon Music Unlimited at various prices. But if you wanted it only on “Echo” the Alexa (smart home) device with built in speakers it’s just £4 / Month with the catch you can only listen on Amazon Echo. So I signed up late last year for Amazon Music Unlimited for Echo.

I needed a way to be able to listen to Albums before I buy them in reality. I just did. Or for the simple reason that sometimes I’m just too lazy to put Vinyl on.

Last week however I worked out, I could get this £4/Month subscription onto my hifi. Without upgrading and using what Amazon would prefer the Dot.

Most people assume that Amazon Echo is a great Bluetooth Speaker for pairing with their phone, and they’re not wrong (being able to talk to it to connect is ever so useful, “Alexa connect bluetooth”). But it goes the other way, as with the Amazon Dot, Echo can pair with a Bluetooth Speaker and beam it’s Audio away from itself. So I discovered the following.

  • Amazon Music Unlimited for Echo £4/Month
  • Logitech Bluetooth Receiver for hifi (powered)
  • Hifi (logitech->amp->speakers)

And to my surprise this works and sounds great – I can now listen to anything on my hifi for £4.

My Echo is in my bedroom even and my hifi the living room, and you can control the Echo over wifi/data from anywhere in the world. For these purposes volume and songs.

Things to be aware of, the Logitech Bluetooth Receiver once paired initiates an auto bluetooth connection that you cannot stop even by telling Alexa/Echo to disconnect bluetooth, it reconnects. I’ve put it on a switched power socket. (you could actually automate on/off power with a smart socket and Alexa if you really wanted.)

(The technical logistics are over complicated if you think about it, you’ve got:
-Amazon Echo connected to Wifi, Streaming Music from the Internet, Wirelessly linking with Bluetooth to a receiver connected to an Amp connected to your Speakers, that you control from an App that changes the Volume over the Internet over WiFi or Cell Data.)

But it works.

Goodnight.

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