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How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output

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Offline RS

How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« on: May 01, 2016, 03:36:04 pm »
I'm not sure I understand how the external (Aux cable) speaker connected to a Dot is supposed to work.

I have a Bose radio connected via Aux cable to the Echo dot.  As soon as I connect/turn on the Bose, all audio plays through the Bose as expected.

However, if I turn off the Bose power, but leave the Aux cable connected, I cannot figure out how to tell Alex to revert audio output to the built-in Echo Dot speaker.

The scenario is that sometimes I want the Bose on for music or other listening, but otherwise I want to turn it off and use the Echo Dot internal speaker - but I don't want to have to walk over to the Dot and keep plugging/unplugging the Aux cable.

Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2016, 04:05:16 pm »
The way ANY audio output jack works (including the Dot, or headphones out on phone, etc) is that when no plug is inserted into the jack, the contacts of the jack are closed and device (e.g. Dot, phone, etc) plays audio its normal way.  But, when a plug is inserted, the jack contacts are now opened and contacting the output plug, thus sending the audio signal through the wire to the output device, e.g. a speaker.

You have two choices to return audio to the Dot: 
1) unplug the wire to speaker at the Dot, thus closing the Dot's jack contacts, or
2) do not use wire to play external speaker if it is a Bluetooth speaker, use BT. This way turning off BT of speaker and Dot returns audio to Dot since no contacts were moved on the Dot's jack by inserting a plug.

So, your issue has nothing to do with the Dot, it's that you did not understand how an audio output jack works.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 04:08:14 pm by mike27oct »

Offline RS

Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2016, 12:32:09 am »
I haven't had the reason to use an Aux cable/jack in a long time, and I understand how it works with "dumb" devices, but I have two comments:

1. It didn't exactly work that way here.  With the Dot turned on and running, and the Bose turned off, if I plug in the Aux cable (but leave the Bose turned off),  nothing changes.  The Dot only datects the Bose when I power on the Bose and then the Dot re-directs audio to the Bose via the Aux.

2. I was hoping Amazon was smarter in the design of the Dot, since they have done a good job of creating a new type of product.  I wish they would make the Aux jack a software controlled relay, so it could be turned "off" via a software/voice command to revert audio routing back to the internal speaker without having to physically remove the AUX cable when the Bose is powered down.

The Bose is located in a bedroom and it has a small handheld remote.  It is convenient to turn the Bose on and off remotely.  It would be more useful if the Dot could also be instructed to redirect the Aux audio on/off remotely also without having to physically plug/unplug the Aux cable.

This would also be useful in a media room with a full AV setup.  With the Aux cable running to a stereo AVR, it would be useful to direct to audio to the AVR when the AVR is on, but revert it back to the internal Dot speaker when the AVR is off.  (I don't want to power up the entire AVR/home theater setup just to hear a weather report from Dot, but I would like music to come through the home AVR when desired, without plugging/unplugging the Aux wires.)

Yes, I could get a Bluetooth to Aux adapter, but those devices (and Bluetooth in general) can be problematic in having an automatic pairing that always works without fiddling (think significant "other" that wants music at the push of a button and doesn't want to fiddle once in a while with pairing to make it work when it mysteriously stops working as expected.)

Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 04:14:37 am »
Your comment #1 seemed pretty weird to me.  How can the Dot speaker make a peep if a speaker wire is plugged into it?  Doing this takes the Dot speaker out of commission, whether the speaker wire is unplugged at the other end, or is plugged in at the other end to a speaker that is off, or even if it is plugged into an orange.  Nothing can make a sound this way.

Now, that's not saying you did not hear sound out of the Dot.  This can happen if the audio plug is not plugged in all the way (even if  you think it is). I have two Dots and one's jack is so tight, that it takes a good push in to get all three contacts of the jack to open and contact the plug, and this likely happened to you, too.  Try this again, and this time be sure you have that jack in flush; all the way in with no metal of the plug exposed.  If you get sound again, then I'd say the jack of the Dot is defective and not making good contact with the plug. 

Again I will say, the Dot speaker will be silent if a plug is correctly inserted into Dot, whether the other end is left unplugged or plugged into a speaker.

What you described has never happened in my experience, and the Dot is plugged into our stereo AUX-in.  We never need to listen to the Dot's speaker; since our amp is left on 24/7/365 because we are always using it for something since all our gear audio goes through this amp.  We just select the source knob for whatever we want to hear.  The TV's audio source was usually left on the amp's input, and two clicks away is the Dot audio, and now that we have a Dot, that is the source we are keeping the knob resting on nowadays.

Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2016, 03:31:12 pm »
I have a bluetooth connection issue that I have alluded to in another post, and wonder if others may have run across it as well.

I paired my Dot with my Onkyo NR-TX626 receiver, and the Bluetooth connection, once established works beautifully. The problem is the time it takes to complete the process. Even after pairing of the devices, I still have to invoke the "Bluetooth" input on the 626 to affect a connection, and the devices always go through the several minute process of re-pairing. The delay is off-putting - enough to make me want to use the wired connection instead.

Has anyone else experienced this issue, and, what, if anything can be done to resolve it? Thanks in advance.

Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2017, 10:14:50 pm »
i'm not sure how all this works so i hope i'm not stepping on any toes.  I read your reply about toggling between echo dot and wave (III). my question is simpler.  i connected a cable from the dot to the aux in on the wave, turned on the dot and the wave and no sound.  when i unplug the dot, the sound is fine.  what am i doing wrong?

Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2017, 10:50:06 pm »
A virgin Dot's audio out plug is very tight, so when aligned perfectly, push male jack of audio cable into Dot's audio out plug firmly so all three contacts of jack and plug are connected.  Plug other end into the wave's input.

Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 01:03:32 pm »
I agree that the lack of a Smart Audio Shut Off is old mechanical technology.  I thought that the Echo Dot was to bring about a SMART Home.  I have the same issue.  Sometimes I want to use my sound bar for listening to music, but other times I just want to converse with Alexa for commands and information.  Not so smart Echo Dot.

Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 04:09:36 am »
I would just lower the volume if I'm done listening to music or I feel like talking to an AI. Easier and can be controlled via voice rather than manually unplugging aux every time. I mean,  I have to do EXACTLY the same on my tower echo, no external speakers connected. So what really is the difference?

I don't think you can ever have that auto audio shut off in aux connections. I maybe wrong in 20 yrs though, LOL.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 04:17:26 am by asianrocker »

Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 01:42:56 am »
You may have already figured this out.  It's really quite simple, but you need a 2nd Echo, which can be a Dot. Setup the 2nd Echo on the same wireless network as the 1st and connect it to your Bose system. Disconnect the Aux cable from the first Echo. Give the 2nd one a unique name, like "Bose Echo".  Then, when you're near you primary Echo, if you simply give it a command, it'll respond through its internal speaker. If you give it a command and say "play through Bose Echo", the music will play through the Bose system connected to your 2nd Echo. I have a setup like this and it works perfectly.

Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2017, 02:44:52 pm »
Ah, this is exactly how I want my Echo to work.

All it needs is the addition of a command to 'Play through AUX', and for the output of the audio streaming (but not Alexa's own voice synthesiser) to be diverted to the AUX socket. This is trivial to do in software, as the Echo can certainly switch the AUX output on or off under computer control. When Alexa wants to speak, it switches to internal speaker, so if the device on the other end of the AUX cable is off the Alexa is still perfectly functional.

(the old 'wire the speaker in series with the jack's plug-activated switch' circuitry is thoroughly out of date now; that switch is just used to send a 'plug present' signal to software which can then decide what to do with it).


Offline kevb

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Re: How to toggle Echo Dot Aux sound output
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2017, 06:19:43 pm »
What some have done is use a "Y" split audio out cable on the Dot. Connect one end to your receiver, and the other to an "always on" small speaker, like external speakers for a PC. You will hear the Dot through the smaller speakers, and when you turn on the receiver, it will likely drown out the smaller speakers. When done, turn off the receiver, and you'll only hear through the smaller speakers. I haven't done this myself, though, so can't confirm how well it works.