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Turn any old dumb speaker into a smart speaker

Have a speaker system you’re dying to use but wish it were a little smarter? Have an Amazon Echo product that doesn’t quite sound loud enough? Looking to stream your music collection wirelessly to the best speakers you own? You just might be in luck.

Amazon is releasing its newest addition to the smart speaker family: the Echo Link Amp. Designed to bridge the gap between existing home audio setups and Amazon’s ecosystem, the Link Amp brings a new range of smart speaker functionality to audio devices across the board. This includes speaker systems built before Amazon Echo even existed!

The Link Amp is designed to work seamlessly with whatever speakers you already own, and includes a hi-fi amplifier to boost volume and audio quality. Best of all, it connects to any Echo devices to bring Alexa and voice control to your console. Keep reading to learn how you can harness the Amazon Echo Link Amp to turn your “dumb” speaker into a smart speaker.

Is my system compatible with Amazon’s Link Amp?

If you want to make the most of an Echo Link Amp, you’ll need to look at your home’s audio needs and decide if the product fits. The Link Amp is designed to be a complementary device to an existing home audio setup or Echo product. This means that, out of the box, the Link Amp needs other devices in your system in order to function.

The reason for this is the fact that the Link Amp works as a central hub for both wired and wireless connections. The back of the Link Amp contains a variety of audio output plugs to which you can connect your headphones, speaker system, or soundbar.

As for audio input, you also have the ability to connect devices like record turntables, iPods and other physical media players. You can also connect your mobile device to wirelessly play music through your speakers.

How to use the Link Amp to put Alexa on your speaker system

The biggest draw for fans of Amazon’s ecosystem will be this new method to get Alexa on their hi-fi speaker setup. The current offerings in Amazon’s Echo series have decent speakers on their own, but compared to home theater audio configurations, the onboard speakers are lacking.

The Link Amp, however, can connect your exiting echo device to the strongest speakers in the house without any additional wires. All you need to do is connect the Link Amp to your speakers.

When it is in place and connected to your audio setup, simply make sure your Echo is connected to the same wireless network and talk into it just as you would normally. The echo device acts as a microphone for the Link Amp, translating your speech into commands that the device can use. This gives any speaker in the house Alexa potential, and can help you create a network of audio devices that spans multiple rooms.

If you’re throwing a party, or want to enjoy music throughout your house, the Link Amp can make your music follow you and your echo device. Plug a Link Amp into your outdoor speakers, for example, and ask Alexa on your Echo to play your favorite tune. The music will play from whatever speakers are connected to the Link Amp — all without any additional wired connections.

It is a little pricey, though. It’s selling on Amazon for nearly $300. But, if you’re looking to upgrade your system the Echo Link Amp might be for you.

As our homes continue to become more advanced, the ways we enjoy leisure will change as well. Technology we didn’t even see coming 10 years ago is now commonplace. The Link Amp is just another step in the direction of a totally immersive digital home. Who knows what we’ll be up to indoors in the next decade.

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