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Cheap Echo Dot Meets Premium Multiroom Audio: The Genius of Origin Acoustics’ Valet Amp

Debuting at CEDIA 2017, Valet Amp from Origin Acoustics delivers premium whole-house audio, Alexa voice control, and a host of Amazon services with about $200 worth of Echo Dots.

Origin Acoustics’ new Valet audio amplifier, debuting at CEDIA 2017, is all kinds of WOW. It takes a bunch of cheap Amazon Echo Dots and turns them into elegant sources for a premium whole-house music experience. The solution is unique. There’s nothing like it … today.

If you think about melding a $50 Dot with a high-performance sound system, it seems a little absurd; however, Origin founder and CEO Jeremy Burkhardt says the Dot’s role in the whole set-up is pretty simple: “We’re using it as a mic and an Internet device.”

And when he says “we,” he means long-time integrator Joe Whitaker, who co-developed the system with Burkhardt and team.

Makes sense since Whitaker’s Dallas and St. Louis-based company The Thoughtful Home does higher-end projects but “always incorporates technologies that clients already love,” he says. “First it was iPods in the early days, and now Sonos and Echo today.”

Meanwhile, Origin Acoustics makes great loudspeakers and audio amplifiers for professional home-technology installers. Typically, the installer connects these products to specialty music streamers, and maybe adds voice control as an afterthought.

It’s not always an elegant integration, but that’s beside the point. The point is that no one’s heard of Origin or the premium streamers that smart-home pros typically specify. Oh, and the customer has to be trained on them because they're stuck in their old ways, just asking Alexa for whatever the need. So they get frustrated and tell the installer to “just give me something that works like Alexa.”

Why not meld the familiarity and remarkable power of the $50 Dot with the luxurious audio experience provided by not-$50 components?

Enter the new Origin Acoustics Valet Amp, which does all of that and more.

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