The Echo Hyperlink takes streaming music and makes it sound higher. Simply wirelessly join it to an Echo gadget and plug it right into a set of good audio system. It’s the lacking hyperlink.
The Hyperlink bridges the hole between streaming music and a pleasant audio system. As an alternative of settling for the analog connection of an Echo Dot, the Echo Hyperlink serves audio over a digital connection and it makes simply sufficient of a distinction to justify the $200 value.
I plugged the Eco Hyperlink into the audio system in my workplace and was happy with the outcomes. That is the Echo gadget I’ve been ready for.
In my case the Echo Hyperlink took Spotfiy’s 320 kbps stream and opened it up. The Hyperlink creates a wider soundstage and makes the music a bit extra full and expansive. The bass hits a contact more durable and the highs now have a new-found crispness. Lyrics are clearer and simpler to choose aside. The variations are delicate. The whole lot is simply barely improved over the sound quailty discovered when utilizing an Echo Dot’s three.5mm output.
Don’t have a set of good audio system? That’s okay, Amazon additionally simply launched the Echo Hyperlink Amp, which incorporates a built-in amplifier able to powering a set of small audio system (learn the overview right here).
Right here’s the factor: I’m stunned Amazon is making the Echo Hyperlink. The gadget caters to what have to be a small demographic of Echo house owners seeking to enhance the standard of Pandora or Spotify when utilizing an audio system. And but, with out assist for native or streaming excessive decision audio, it’s not adequate for audiophiles. That is for wannabe audiophiles. Hey, that’s me.
There are Echo’s scattered all through my home. The gadgets present a implausible strategy to entry music and NPR. The tiny Echo Hyperlink is ideal for the system in my workplace the place I’ve a pair of Definitive Expertise bookshelf audio system powered by an Onkyo receiver and amp. I’ve a turntable and SACD participant linked to the receiver however these are a trouble once I’m at my desk. Nearly all of the time I hearken to Spotify by the Amazon Echo Enter.
I added the Onkyo amplifier to the system final yr and it made an enormous distinction to the standard. The music instantly had extra energy. The 2-channel amp pushes more durable than the receiver, and resulted in audio that was extra expansive and clear. And at any quantity, too. I didn’t know what I used to be lacking. That’s the trick with audio. More often than not the audio sounds nice till it instantly sounds higher. The Echo Hyperlink supplied me with the identical feeling of discovery.
To be clear the $200 Echo Hyperlink doesn’t present an evening and day distinction in my audio high quality. It’s a slight improve over the audio outputted by a $20 Echo Enter — and don’t neglect, an Echo gadget (just like the $20 Echo Enter) is required to make the Echo Hyperlink work.
The Echo Hyperlink offers the additional juice missing from the Echo Enter or Dot. These cheaper choices output audio to an audio system, however solely by an analog connection. The Echo Hyperlink presents a digital connection by Toslink or Digital Coax. It has analog outputs that’s powered by a DAC with a superior dynamic vary and whole harmonic distortion discovered within the Enter or Dot. It’s a simple approach to enhance the standard of music from streaming companies.
The Echo Hyperlink, and Echo Hyperlink Amp, additionally characteristic a headphone amp. It’s an fascinating element. With this jack, somebody might have the Echo Hyperlink on their desk and use it to energy a set of headphones with none lack of high quality.
I arrange a easy A/B check to identify the variations between a Hyperlink and a Dot. First, I linked the Echo Hyperlink with a Toslink connection to my receiver and an Echo Enter. I additionally linked an Echo Dot by its three.5mm analog connection to the receiver. I created a bunch within the Alexa app of the gadgets. This allowed every of the gadgets to play the identical supply concurrently. Then, as wanted, I used to be capable of change between the Dot and Hyperlink with only a contact of a button, offering a simple and fast strategy to check the variations.
I’ll go away it as much as you to justify the price. To me, as somebody who has invested cash into a top quality audio system, the additional price of the Echo Hyperlink is value it. However to others an Echo Dot might be sufficient.
It’s vital to notice that the Echo Hyperlink works a bit in a different way than different Echo gadgets linked to an audio system. When, say, a Dot is linked to an audio system, the inner audio system are turned off and the entire audio is shipped to the system. The Echo Hyperlink doesn’t should override the companion Echo. When an Echo Hyperlink is linked to an Echo gadget, the Echo nonetheless responds by its inside audio system; solely music is shipped to the Echo Hyperlink. For instance, when the Echo is requested in regards to the climate, the forecast is performed again by the audio system within the Echo and never the audio system linked to the Echo Hyperlink. Generally this enables the proprietor to show off the high-power audio system and nonetheless have entry to voice instructions on the Echo.
The Echo Hyperlink takes streaming music and immediately improves the standard. In my case the enhancements had been slight however noticeable. It really works with all of the streaming companies supported by Echo gadgets, however it’s vital to notice it doesn’t work with Tidal’s high-res Grasp Audio tracks. One of the best the Echo Hyperlink can do is 320 kbps from Spotify or Tidal. It is a limiting issue and it’s not shocking. If the Echo Hyperlink supported Tidal’s Grasp Tracks, I’d possible join that service, and that’s not in the very best curiosity of Amazon which hopes I join Amazon Music Limitless.
I spoke to Amazon in regards to the Echo Hyperlink’s lack of assist for Tidal Grasp Tracks they usually indicated they’re involved in listening to how prospects will use the gadget earlier than committing to including assist.
The Hyperlink is fascinating. Google doesn’t have something related in its Google Dwelling Line. The Sonos Amp is analogous, however with a built-in amplifier, it’s a more in-depth competitor to the Echo Hyperlink Amp. A number of high-end audio firms promote elements that may stream audio over digital connections but none are as straightforward to make use of or as cheap because the Echo Hyperlink. The Echo Hyperlink is the simplest approach to enhance the sound of streaming music companies.