3 Zone Receiver with Echo / Alexa

M

michaelaghy

Audiophyte
Hello,

Are there any 3 zone receivers that work with Alexa voice controls?

I currently have an Onkyo receiver with speaker A and B controls. Speaker A is set to TV room (3 speakers and a sub) and I have split speaker B into living room (2 speakers) and outdoor (2 speakers) using a speaker selector switch. Sound is not great...

I technically don't need a receiver with 3 zones, since the source of the audio is likely going to be the same throughout the zones. But I don't see any receivers that have speakers A, B and C controls.

I know I could get into multi zone powered amplifier to hook up to a receiver but hoping to just buy a 3 zone receiver which would ideally have Alexa support. So something like:

"Alexa, play Rolling Stones"
"Alexa, tell to turn on zone 3"

If I can't choose zones via voice commands, at least receiver volume control via Alexa would be nice.

As far as cost, under $500 would be good. But not sure if Alexa and 3 zone puts me in the $1000+ category.

Thanks
 
Last edited by a moderator:
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
They don't do A/B in avrs much and never saw a C (none recently I can think of at least), it's zones now. You may also need external amps, particularly for the third zone. I have no desire to talk to a stick in my house, but thought if your avr is network control enabled then devices like Alexa work?
 
M

michaelaghy

Audiophyte
Thanks for reply. Ya, I figured the days of A/B speakers are sorta done. I don't mind the options for zones, its a cool feature, but the rooms are so close, I just don't foresee different audio sources for them. But I'm fine with buying a multi zone receiver.

Re: Alexa
Haha, I guess its a bit silly but I don't think Alexa is replacing any of my friends. It nice when you're busy or have hands full to just say what you want to hear as oppose to finding album, then artist, then track.

And could be mistaken but I don't think a "network control enabled" AVR would mean Alexa could talk to it. I think it needs to actually say its compatible.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Thanks for reply. Ya, I figured the days of A/B speakers are sorta done. I don't mind the options for zones, its a cool feature, but the rooms are so close, I just don't foresee different audio sources for them. But I'm fine with buying a multi zone receiver.

Re: Alexa
Haha, I guess its a bit silly but I don't think Alexa is replacing any of my friends. It nice when you're busy or have hands full to just say what you want to hear as oppose to finding album, then artist, then track.

And could be mistaken but I don't think a "network control enabled" AVR would mean Alexa could talk to it. I think it needs to actually say its compatible.
Another restriction with zone use can be digital sources due drm issues.

Seems Denon is incorporating Alexa into their Heos abilities from a brief search so you might check out which Denon and Marantz avrs offer what you're looking for.

I haven't run across that situation where I need to play something I can't spend 5 seconds to find/play it and really just don't like the idea of talking to devices, or repeating myself until it gets it right let alone having Amazon collect everything you do with it. When I see friends talking to their phones to send a text I just don't get it either, but I'm old :)

Does make me wonder why a device that can translate speech to some sort of digital command couldn't deal with what's already enabled with network control...but that's the I'm old thing coming in again? :)
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
I have started using (Pandora via) Alexa (Dot) for my "music server" more than any other source!
I like that I get a shuffle of songs because there are so many artists that I love, but really don't want to listen to a solid 45 minutes of. I like the variety. I also like being able to say "Alexa skip" if I want to move on or "Alexa Thumbs Down" if I want to avoid hearing a song again in the mix.
The main reason I like Pandora as compared to iTunes or Spotify is their "music genome" project which developed a system of evaluating similarities in music and identifying music I might like, so I am discovering new music (or music I forgot about).
Of course Pandora works fine using a Roku or Amazon Fire TV, but that means I need to be where the remote is and have my hands free!
So I wonder if Denon is adding a microphone to the remote or receiver, or if it simply provides a BT interface to allow a separate Alexa device to transmit a pre-established set of commands? I was disappointed at how vague explanations of Denon/Marantz support of Alexa has been.
 

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