I have been wanting to build my multi-room Music solution for a while, but was debating whether to buy SONOS, Build my own wired/wireless speakers with something like Denon receiver and Heos speakers or go with Amazon Echo-Dots attached to powered speakers
The 1st 2 options were very enticing as I have heard very good reviews of both solutions, but they were above my budget for this project.
The Echo solution had two drawbacks, which was that it did no have multi-room capabilities (that was mostly fixed by its recent release of multi room groups) and one major drawback, that I could not use my own digital collection to stream to the Echo’s
Well the second drawback has been eliminated by a service called My Media for Alexa (http://www.mymediaalexa.com/), not really sure how they do it but basically you install a server on your PC where you have your music and then enable their skill for Alexa and it will basically allow you to use your own media like it was a music streaming service, you just ask Alexa to tell MyMedia to Play X or Y Artist, Album or Playlist and it will find and stream the music to you Echo. The service is a yearly subscription but its only $5 a year so very reasonable, its still has its kinks and it will sometimes stop playing or not start in the week I’v had it enabled, bit I think it has to do with internet connectivity (hurricane Irma has left us with spotty internet here in South Florida)
So I now have a couple of Echo Dot’s connected to Edifier Powered Speakers, one connected to my Home Theater Receiver and one connected to my Garden Speakers and amplifier, that last one I have paired with an Amazon remote so I can “speak” to it even when I’m outside.
The sound on the Edifier speakers is at least to my ears very good and the HT connection as well with the added value of having several Echo devices over the house to issue commands to ST and the Harmony remote, and each “station” has stereo speakers with less cost than a SONOS 1
Now if I could only use the Echo as a Text to Speech device…