GEOFF HAYNES, TIVOLI AUDIO
We talk room acoustics, CD ripping and Roon in the first of our retailer mini interviews...
The HEOS multiroom platform was also showing its new Alexa skills at the Integrate Expo, and QualiFi’s Joe Salamanca talked us through the new abilities.
“We’re showing Amazon Alexa capabilities in the HEOS range — and also that covers any of the HEOS-enabled Denon or Marantz receivers. Anything HEOS-enabled now has the ability to integrate with Amazon Alexa — and down the track there’ll be other voice assistants too.
“There’s quite an extensive range of control, not only transport and playback. Right now you can request stations to be played from, say iHeartRadio, and off it’ll go, it’ll do that.”
He then proceeded to demonstrate, and very effectively the system responded, especially given the noise levels and unreliable Wi-fi of a show floor.
“Alexa, Play Bruno Mars station from iHeartRadio on Lounge.”
“Alexa go to volume 30 on Lounge.” “Alexa pause Lounge”
“So it’s exciting, it’s still a bit gimmicky, and you’ve got to be specific,” Joe admits, ”though it is getting better in that regard. If you say something like ‘Alexa Pause’, it’ll ask you which room. I think with time, with Artificial Intelligence, it’ll get better all the time. On a receiver you can say go to HDMI 1, or go to Blu-ray, and requesting songs more and more. We can’t wait to get Amazon Music officially available on streaming devices here because then you can ask for a specific song, artist album etc. Currently you can do that on a Dot but it’s only enabled for third-party streaming devices in the US.”