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How to get and install Amazon Alexa AND get glorious room-filling stereo for under £45.00

We know our customers are Wise, we love to see how you use our products in genius new ways, from wearing our earbuds under ear defenders or using our howlers for a race car sound system we like to see things we never thought of! One of our customers Mark Nicholl has written a blog for Home of Wellness about how he has used our Boomer2 speakers alongside his Alexa, and it was too good not to share!


Oct 29, 2019 Home of Wellness


How to get and install Amazon Alexa AND get glorious room-filling stereo for under £45.00


I am really picky when it comes to smart tech and audio. I want my smart tech to be smart but unobtrusive so it does the job in the background and is low maintenance. From audio, I want good stereo separation and clear, crisp sound with noticeable bass (but not overpowering) and sharp trebles. I am also on a restricted budget. Here’s how I achieved my goal. Firstly, the Amazon Echo Input.


Amazon Echo Input

As you can see, it’s discretely placed by my bedside, attached using velcro tape, although there ARE brackets available on Amazon and elsewhere.


Here is a full review of the Echo Input, done by our friends at TechRadar:


Design and features The Amazon Echo Input is a dinky little thing. Like a squashed wheel of cheese or an oversized jacket button (but certainly not a hockey puck), it’s a mere 80mm across and 14mm tall. A button on the top surface mutes the four far-field microphones used to pick up your Alexa wake words and voice commands, while another can be used to manually trigger the assistant. A small blue LED in the center lights up when Alexa is active and listening.

With a microUSB power port and a 3.5mm output, it’s about as simple as it can be in terms of cabling – one goes into a power supply, the other into your stereo of choice. Provided you don’t need to play with the buttons very often (thanks to the joys of hands-free voice control, naturally), you could tuck this away and never need know it exists again.

So, plug it into a wall, fire up the Alexa app on your phone to connect the Echo Input to your home Wi-Fi and, voila! With a choice between that 3.5mm jack and a Bluetooth connection, you’ve just brought your stereo into the connected, smart-assistant-equipped world.

From there on in, the Echo Input is capable of doing anything an Amazon Echo speaker can do, from playing back music via streaming services such as Spotify and Amazon Music to answering general knowledge questions and setting alarms and timers. It’ll also control Alexa-compatible smart home devices, too. Your existing Hi-Fi system delivers the audio on its behalf.


It’s simple and effective then – though arguably a little too simple for some users. The lack of an RCA or optical output could be a problem for some systems, but 3.5mm and Bluetooth usually come as standard, and anything else you may require could be retrofitted with whichever niche converter necessary.


Performance The Amazon Echo Input works like a treat. Its four microphones have good range and sensitivity, its dual band (2.4 and 5GHz) Wi-Fi retains a consistent connection, and Alexa is an increasingly capable voice assistant to work with.


The only potential downfalls sit with its Bluetooth connection, and to a lesser extent, the power saving settings on your stereo system of choice (which admittedly Amazon has little control over).


When it comes to Bluetooth, it can prove difficult to make that initial connection to the device, with the Echo Input not always recognizable. Then, when connected over Bluetooth, certain speakers take a few moments to register data from the Echo Input, meaning you occasionally miss a few words from Alexa’s responses. And, when it comes to stereo systems and amps, some have low-power settings that turn them off when no audio is outputted for a set amount of time.


The Echo Input on the other hand remains on and ready to take your Alexa commands, just like an always-on Echo – except, as with the scenario just stated without returning a response, which could lead to unwanted Skills being triggered. The Echo Input will send a notification to your phone if it notices the connected device has been switched off, but that’s not great when Alexa can, for instance, be allowed to make purchases on your behalf.


Wiseprimate Boomer 2 true stereo speakers.

The Echo Input, as stated, has no audio output and must be paired with a hifi or speakers in order to fully appreciate its abilities. After much searching, I chose a pair of Boomer 2 speakers made by Wiseprimate.


I chose these because:


I used to own an original Boomer and was extremely impressed.These speakers bang out 10w per device, meaning 20w in total! Plus, as they are separate units, I can have wide separation and can also unplug them to take them into other rooms if I choose.They are made by a British company. No cheap, foreign imports here!They are currently on special offer on Amazon, it being a 2 for 1 offer, meaning that you get two amazing speakers for around £20!!!


The speakers come in a really sturdy and well designed box which is great if they are a gift. Otherwise, Wiseprimate make the clever suggestion of using the box as a carry-case, thus being useful AND eco-friendly!


The speakers are really well designed with a nice, firm rubber base and leatherised fascia which is both sturdy and stylish.


Controls are simple via the hard-wearing and responsive controls on top although I won’t be using these much as I am able to control volume via Alexa. If you want to discover all the features, simply click the link at the bottom of the article and you can read all the gory details.


Initial setup is extremely simple although, both speakers must be fully charged first to ensure Bluetooth connection. Firstly, pair the two speakers to each other by putting them into Bluetooth mode. They pair automatically and in literally seconds. Secondly, pair them with the echo input as per the instructions in the Alexa app. Once again, this takes seconds.


Hey presto! You now have a fully functioning smart hifi system!!!


Alexa DOES have her little quirks and if for some reason, WiFi is down or Alexa is updating, you can use the speakers as stand-alone devices and receive FM radio using the supplied antenna or you can play downloaded music via a data card.


Blog link: https://wellnessspiritual.home.blog/2019/10/29/how-to-get-and-install-amazon-alexa-and-get-glorious-room-filling-stereo-for-under-45-00/

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