How AUX / line out works on Alexa products

Also, the article will be about pairing two Amazon Echo Studios and some issues – just scroll down. Switching between line in and the internal signal source could be also a bit pain in the bottom, problem explained on the end of the article.

First of all not all Amazon Alexa products accept line IN/AUX. Please carefully see TWO paragraphs below.

Products listed below, with 3.5mm jack socket, can be only connected as a sound source, sending the sound to eg. amplifier. You cannot use the socket to receive signal eg. from tape recorder or radio or TV. Only way way to receive a signal to the products is to connect to them through bluetooth.

Devices with no AUX (line in):

  • Echo DOT
  • Spot Show
  • Echo Auto
  • old generations of Echo

Other group are devices with Aux (line in) socket, which can also work as line OUT (!) – to switch modes you need to go to the Alexa app and change the setting.

I have got only Amazon Echo Studio and it is a special one – there is a socket which also works both ways (line out or line in). It also automatically switches between a copper cable and optical toslink/S/PDIF. Amazing.

Devices with AUX (line in):

  • Amazon echo 3rd generation
  • Echo plus
  • Echo Studio

I can’t review other devices but Echo Studio is doing an amazing job for other reasons.

I have got a TV tuner and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Both are connected through the HDMI cables to my projector. My projector has got no Bluetooth. So how could I connect the projector to my Amazon Echo Studio?

I used 3.5mm jack connected to line out of my projector and the other side is connected to the AUX socket in Amazin Echo Studio. The device automatically recognises a classic 3.5 copper cable and works correctly. But… somebody may say it will be a quality drop if I use analogue cable as a signal source for my Amazon Echo Studio. So this is another place where my Amazon Echo Studio is doing a great job. The device simply ignoring AUX input from the projector and using wireless digital connection between Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Echo studio. How can I know it? Because when I press mute button on the projector remote control, the mute symbol appears on the screen, but the music is still playing.

I hope it will be helpful explanation for some people.

EDIT:

After few days I decided to but another echo. Before I did it I got confused a bit and I decided to check few thing myself.

So… pairing. The process of connecting and making stereo connection using two Amazon Echo Studio is easy. However, I have had an issue with it too! When I tried to create a home cinema system, connecting my Amazon Echo Studio to Fire Stick TV – I got information the device is…. incompatible!!! Quick chat with Amazon customer service gave me the answer – I had to update Studio’s software – I just had to say: Alexa, check for software updates”. The first update took about 5 minutes, despite Alexa told me it will be 30 minutes. After that, I had to say again: “Alexa, check for software updates”. The second update took real 30 minutes or so 🙂

After updating my (both) Amazon Echo Studios I was able to make a home cinema system by connecting together my Fire TV Stick, and both my Studios.

The sound quality and stereo effect are very good. I was very happy.

Disappointment appeared when I tried to connect my TV Box through optical, digital toslink cable. I expected the problem, but anyway I was hoping miracles will happen and it will work. I was hoping the signal for the other channel will be sent to the other speaker wirelessly, like teh Fire TV Stick does. Unfortunately not. So, you can’t really connect a single optical output from the TV box (or any other device) to both Studios speakers. Well, to be honest, you can buy optical splitters, but by doing so you will provide the same signal to both speakers…

Another disappointment become, when I tried to pair my mobile phone to the Amazon system through bluetooth. No way – you can connect only to one of the Amazon Echo Studio speakers…

The problem with my TV box and only a single connection I resolved by using old style analogue RCA cables. My TV box is equipped with toslink optical output , but it also has a good old RCA outputs, separately for left and for right channel. So, the RCA cables brought me the solution, but theoretically the sound quality can’t be as good, as the digital. However I can’t hear any diffrent.

Amazon, shame on you….

Summary – if you are using two Amazon Echo Studios paired together as a home cinema system:

  • you can have a nice stereo sound if you are connected to Fire TV
  • you cannot have stereo if you are connected through bluetooth (eg. from your mobile phone)
  • you can not have a stereo if you are connected to one of the speakers with using an optical, digital toslink cable
  • you can have a stereo sound if you can connect separately to each speaker using the old style RCA analogue cables – but you sound source must have them…

Other problem is switching between line in and the external signal source. Let’s say you watch TV box, connected to the speakers through the line in, and then you ask: “Alexa, play the best of Metallica”. So Alexa is playing Metallica from its internal network source. Later you say “Alexa, stop”, but instead of switching back to play sound from music box, you hear silence. To force Echo Studio to play line in signal source, I found the only one solution is unplug cable and put it back. I decided to send both studios back to amazon.

I found here a lot of people had the same issue: https://www.amazonforum.com/s/question/0D54P00006zSv5USAS/echo-studio-optical-input-commands

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