Posted January 31, 2017
Like many when the Amazon Echo came out in 2014 I thought it was unnecessary at best and silly at worst. I already had Siri and it was always with me, the Echo was also physically large and cost $179. Time passed and when a hack surfaced last April where you could buy an Amazon Dot though still expensive i felt $90 was way more acceptable than twice the price and it was nice and small, and you could plug in external speakers if you really wanted better sound.
I so far haven’t ever used the Dot for playing music or sports or audio books, I know many do i just haven’t done that yet; I really prefer wearing headphones for any serious audio. I still thought, however, that a better sounding external speaker was a good idea. The problem was if I plugged the Dot into the 3 external speakers I tried, the speaker also got a lot of annoying noise. Not exactly a 60 HZ hum almost like an alternator interference from a car. I was about to give up when Patrick Perdue told me on twitter that a ground loop isolator might solve the problem. Two days later after plugging one in between the Dot and any of those 3 speakers, the noise was gone and Alexa sounded great.
Then I thought it would be cool if I could pair the Dot to a Bluetooth speaker with a built in microphone and make the Dot portable at least around the home, not so lucky there. The Dot paired to the Bluetooth speaker just fine but only for audio out. I tried with both the Anker Soundcore XL and the Cambridge Soundworks angle. Oh well, can’t win them all, Alexa still sounds a lot better than before.