Amazon’s Echo and newer devices like the Dot and Tap might be much smarter than your average speaker, but they are still speakers at heart. Now they’re going to get even better for music listeners, as DTS announced earlier this week that it is working with Amazon to bring the ability to play music over its DTS Play-Fi multiroom wireless audio technology to the entire range of Alexa-powered hardware, including Fire TV devices.
“Alexa has delighted customers with its ease-of-use, depth of skills, and broad support of connected consumer devices,“ said Dannie Lau, Play-Fi division general manager for DTS. ”Adding the Alexa service to the Play-Fi ecosystem delivers a new level of functionality and convenience for DTS Play-Fi users. This collaboration further demonstrates our continual commitment to delivering next-level entertainment experiences with DTS Play-Fi technology.”
In addition to bringing Play-Fi functionality to Amazon hardware, DTS is working on another way of Alexa and Play-Fi working together as well. The company and its Play-Fi partners are working to bring Alexa voice control to DTS Play-Fi speakers using a set of far-field microphones built into the speakers that will allow customers to use them to control not only music playback, but a multitude of devices in their homes.
As with the Amazon Echo and Dot, noise-reduction will be built in, allowing voice commands to be heard and understood even in noisy rooms. DTS hasn’t said which companies will be releasing this hardware, but partners include Aerix, Anthem, Arcam, Definitive Technology, Integra, Klipsch, Martin-Logan, McIntosh, Onkyo, Paradigm, Phorus, Pioneer, Polk, Rotel, Sonus Faber, and Wren Sound Systems.
“Music is one of the most popular features on Alexa-enabled devices, so it’s very important that we’re able to offer multiple high-quality home audio choices for our Alexa customers,” said Amazon Alexa Vice President Steve Rabuchin. “Working with DTS Play-Fi technology to expand Alexa-enabled home audio is doing just that — plus it’s being done in a unique, delightful way through a combination of far-field hardware and Alexa software. We’re thrilled to work with DTS Play-Fi technology to bring these products to customers in 2017.”
There are currently no specific dates for when the new functionality will come to Amazon’s products or when new Play-Fi products featuring Alexa will be released, but the former is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2017.