The world of digital assistants is a little bit crowded and immensely competitive. Since its introduction, Amazon has looked at ways of setting Alexa apart from the competition, and it just found another one—equalizer controls. In a blog post, Amazon announced it has added EQ and sound mode controls for smart home entertainment devices using Alexa.
If you own an Echo speaker, you can shout, "Alexa, crank up the bass" or "Alexa, turn up treble" and the digital assistant will do exactly that. The new feature is available to customers in the US across the Echo family of devices, and on select Alexa-enabled devices built using the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), such as the Echo Dot.
Here are some examples of how customers can tap into this new capability:
- "Alexa, increase bass."
- "Alexa, increase bass in living room."
- "Alexa, set movie mode."
- "Alexa, set night mode on bedroom TV."
- "Alexa, set bass to three on sound bar."
- "Alexa, decrease treble."
There are four supported modes at present, including Movie, Music, Night, Sport, and TV, each with a different sound profile. And in addition to bass and treble, users can adjust the midrange response using their voice, for a fine tuned audio experience.
All of the new capabilities are headed to customers in the US. They're available now on Amazon's Echo products, and Amazon is also making them available to developers and speaker makers, which could help see Alexa get integrated onto more third-party products. One of Amazon's partners that is already on board is Polk Audio.
"Consumers want simplicity and performance from their audio products. By adding the EQ API and Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to the Polk Command Bar, our consumers can control sound bar functions like setting or changing sound modes (e.g. Movie, Music, Night and Sport), bass volume and volume levels with just their voice. It also simplifies the installation and setup process and makes the value proposition of the Polk Command Bar stronger than before," Michael Greco, Brand Director for Polk Audio.
This is a pretty big deal in the land of audio. It will be interesting to see if Amazon builds a higher end Echo device to truly take advantage of it all.