Sep 22, 2017

DAC/AMP for Amazon Echo Dot?

Since the Echo Dot doesn't have a great internal speaker, and I'd like to use it to listen to music, I was wondering if a DAC/AMP for external bookshelf speakers would be advisable? I've been looking at the various DAC/AMPs that come up on MassDrop as well as the tube amps and 'retro' speakers on Monoprice (https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=109&cp_id=10919&cs_id=1091903&p_id=16157&seq=1&format=2). I'd like something reasonably priced that will work with external speakers. I'd prefer a combo DAC/AMP for convenience, but I'm also willing to stack if that's the best way to go without spending too much money. Budget is about $200.

Any recommendations?
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Is this a joke?
When the Echo Dot came out I was very excited to do what you are trying to. Quickly realized the audio output on it is crap. Get a Chromecast audio. The sound is so much better, and you can use an optical cable from it, which the Dot doesn't support.
Actually it looks like it comes with a cable, just doesn't say what length, but it gets you going. These JBL's by the reviews sound nice and they can take you beyond the "dot" when you want to move up with a better Bluetooth aptX HD DAC using Tidal HiFi, just saying...
rastus
Very nice! I might have to consider increasing my budget a bit.
The other posters are right, you don't need a DAC for this case. If you don't have the speakers already, you can skip the amp and get powered speakers. Just find ones with RCA inputs and bluetooth and you're good to go. Edifier R1700BT would be an example, but I have no experience with them.

If you already have speakers and want to go the amp route, you have a couple of paths. One is a full size stereo receiver, if size isn't a concern. You can find good ones in your price range, such as the Yamaha R-S202BL. I have had a good experience with the prior 201 version, but attached a separate bluetooth reciever.

If you want to go compact, you're looking for a very specific animal that will be a challenge to meet your price on. You're looking for something with RCA or 3.5mm plus Bluetooth input, and speaker terminals (or pre-outs, but then you need powered speakers, so you're back to option 1). The only thing I know of that might work is this:

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/ai-101da-integrated-amplifier-with-usb-dac

...but only at Massdrop prices and I don't know when or if it will drop again, though they seem to drop TEAC stuff fairly regularly.

I use a dot the same way you're looking to, and I'd definitely recommend connecting it via bluetooth. If you connect via 3.5mm, you have to keep your speakers on all the time to interact with Alexa. Using bluetooth, you can just tell Alexa to connect or disconnect from bluetooth and interact via the internal speaker as you wish.

If it were me, I'd go with option 1, but based on your name, you have good musical tastes, so things will work out no matter which way you go!
It looks like the only output you will get is Bluetooth as it is AD2P SRC not SNK ,so the best bet is a Bluetooth DAC, like the Blume recently here on MD,, ended though, https://www.massdrop.com/buy/auris-blume-bluetooth-music-receiveror and hook that in to your system or just a set of Bluetooth powered speakers. Not clear if you will get mono or stereo our of your AI spy friend Alexa; hope would be that that is stereo enabled. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=202011820
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Ok, your first two suggestions sound like the way to go. I do want decent quality sound out of it for listening to music but I can always plug a bluetooth dongle on my stereo receiver if I want to crank it up a bit. I was looking at the DAC/AMP for the external speakers while listening to music, but maybe that's not necessary. I can hook up the external speakers directly for casual music listening and then move it over to bluetooth on my stereo if I need to crank it up more.
A cable: https://www.amazon.com/35wcf-2-Breakout-Unbalanced-6-56feet-2meters/dp/B00X9T75H0/ref=pd_sbs_23_4?
Speakers are here on MD: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-jbl-lsr30x-powered-speakers
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