Smart Speakers are wonderful because you will probably have better access to the audio you want, but not always. Since my life seems under control, I am completely uninterested in 99.9% of the abilities or “skills” of all smart speakers including Alexa’s except for one . . . radio.
I have both the Alexa and Google Home but I have been using the Alexa so far. With the frequent changes to their phone app interface it now looks impossible to search for your favorite station so you will initially have to request your station by voice. It can be very frustrating to get your favorite radio station on Alexa because it won’t understand you. Using the call letters of the station along with the frequency seems to work best (Alexa get KFI 640 AM). There is an app that you can download to your phone, so you don’t need to talk to Alexa (as much) to get your favorite station. There are little lines in the upper left-hand corner of the app that are supposed to suggest a “menu”. Press that and then go to “Activities” which will show your recent stations. Tap the station you want and up it comes. This process is easy once you fail in numerous ways. Once you become familiar you will have your phone as the remote control you always wanted for a radio. Alexa will often pump you to find out more about Alexa instead of letting you use it the way you want. I think they want my data? A husband and wife can both download the Alexa app but this will allow Amazon to combine your data as partners. My wife prefers talking to it, so we keep Amazon guessing. It is interesting to see who they think we are by the odd ads they come up with things to buy. I do try and help them by occasionally searching for random weird items.
I initially tried plugging Alexa into my CCRadio 2E because the audio is perfect for my “news and information” preference. Unfortunately, Alexa’s switching power adapter destroyed the AM reception on my CC Radio. I prefer over the air radio because internet radio advertising is repetitive and degrading when you realize it is based on what you Googled that day. Plugging Alexa into another circuit about 25’ away solved the noise problem and puts Alexa out of listening range. Using an FM transmitter from Alexa to my CC Radio solved the transmission problem and gave me the “CC” audio clarity I enjoy. I also have an expanded radio dial that has infinite possibilities available to every radio in my house. There are a two potential obstacles to be aware of before you try an FM Transmitter.
- Some locations have a full dial of strong FM stations. You can check https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/vacant for a vacant station slot or tune and search the dial for dead air.
- The FM Transmitter-2 is low power so it only goes a maximum distance of about 45 feet line of sight with no obstructions. In my location I was getting less. You can search “FM transmitter 2 mod”for user solutions if you’re not getting the range you need. I can listen to Alexa using any radio in the house or separate wood shop with the FM Transmitter.
Bluetooth is a good way to go too because smart speakers have the capability built-in. You might want to wait until we come out with our new Bluetooth CC Radio about September of 2019. The new radio will be good match to any smart speaker because of the superior audio and long distant reception of regular radio. You can also receive weather with the emergency alert plus the 2-meter ham band for monitoring local communications. My next article will be about what to do when/if the web goes down. Stay tuned! Bob
I plug my Amazon Fire tablet (with Alexa) into my CCrane 2E Radio to stream talk shows. I got a loud popping noise until I started streaming my program. It scared me so I unplugged the tablet from it. Is this transmitter what I need??
I do not have a smart speaker and would love to try one out.
Was interested in your article….I listen mostly to AM radio, often thru Alexa and the IHeart radio application. My problem is that some of the local stations that I would like to listen to are not available on IHeart (so I use my trusty CC Pocket). Any suggestions for AM? Please enter me in the drawing….I love all your products!
I don’t have a smart speaker yet, but I am very interested in disaster preparedness and found the article enlightening.
Love crane products looking at New SAN sortwave radio looks like TH transmitter would begoodc
I dont have a smart speaker. I would consider it if my privacy concerns were “made right”. Im not a conspiracy type person but these products push one closer to that ledge.
I have an echo and it works very well. I found out that you need to enable skills like pod buddy, any pod, tune in and i heart radio to get the full listening experience that you have in an internet radio. An are thet the echo lacks is the ability to use reciva,com. I found that reciva was the best service to use for listening because you could add podcasts, stations, streams by using the url. Tune in claims you can do this but alexa doesn’t always recognize the command.
I use my Echo to listen to news and play Jeopardy! Also as a timer.
I bought an ANKER bluetooth speaker, from Amazon, that works up to 66 feet away fom my CC2 radio that I plug a bluetooth transmitter/receiver into, from Amazon, I can then tune in my C.C2 radio to my favorite station or plug in my Echo Dot to auxiliary in port on the radio, plug the bluetooth transmitter into the C.C2 radio earphone jack, pair the transmitter to my ANKER bluetooth speaker then I can carry my ANKER speaker anywhere in or outside my home and listen to echo dot ALEXA streaming online or AM/FM radio. Works up to 66 feet away from my CC2 radio, fantastic! Enjoy!
Control heating and cooling only
I don’t personally have a “smart speaker”, but I gave one to a friend in appreciation for much of the help she gave me when it was needed.
I’m planning to get a smart speaker! Need to save money to get it because I bought a radio for X-mas.
I have the full size Alexa and use it primarily to control lighting in my home via Wemo. Works great. Will soon hook it up to my security system.
I don’t have one, but after reading these ideas I may have to get one. I do have the original CCRadio which is still working like new. I’ve had it since 2005! It has the discontinued TV receiver for when you could listen to local channels on your radio
I don’t have a smart speaker, but i would enjoy one. I am loving my ccwifiradio…use it everyday without fail! Have had it for a few years no issues!
Do not have one, but I want one after reading this article!
Entry for transmitter Steve schreder
I don’t have one and would like to see how well they work. Am considering getting one
I have not tried using my cc radio with alexa — rather, we just use alexa to play iheart radio stations we can’t get via radio.
I use my Bose mini sound dock with everything – including Alexa. It’s bluetooth capable and works with iPhone, iPad, Amazon Echo Dot, TV, and devices friends and family bring over. Plus it works with or without power connection. Small enough to take anywhere!
Alexa. Use it for XM radio. No tricks
Don’t own a smart speaker yet, but plan to get one. Have four CCCrane radios waiting to be connected.
Don’t have one, need to get one soon.
would be nice to talk
As it would happen, I have a bluetooth speaker from CCrane, the Senta, and I love it! I use it to run my phone into the speaker when I listen to Pandora, and also when I am using my phone to provide directions for travel via Google Maps, I port the phone to the Senta and I can then listen to the directions issued by Google to get to my destination without interfering with the radio operation. It is an amazing little speaker and the sound quality is very good! I think everyone should have one!
I would like to win one of the Fm transmitters.
Love all the five radios I have from you fine folks.
JUST LEARNING !!
Do not have a smart speaker and after reading over most these posts I believe I made a wise decision
Vizio, No bass speaker. Sounds good. Use it for blue tooth with my phone etc..
I do, it is a Denali S1002 Bluetooth pairing stereo. these are great, use phone, tablet, computer with Bluetooth dongle. the sound is fantastic and in Stereo. it also has a standard jack like headphones. either battery powered or USB mini so a cell phone charger runs them forever. LOVE IT. The Denali S1002 speakers, there are two of them and they pair bluetooth between them then the source. Good heavy duty well built.
I have not tried using alexa.
I don’t think I have a smart speaker but I wouldn’t bet on it.
This would be a great addition to my Crane collection!
I do not have a smart speaker yet.
C.Crane is a great company. Love the radios I have bought from the company.
I have the Alexa smart speaker. I have started using the skills to get a specific radio station – tuned to the stations that I enjoy. Listen to the station you desire and they will tell you what to say to Alexa to get that station. It will be something like: “Alexa – enable Talk 99.5 skill”. She will enable it and then to play:” Alexa – play talk 99.5″
Love C.Crane. smart speaker too Bonus.
Thanks Old Fogy Bob. I talk to your best sales Lady Sue and bought CC3 with BLue Tooth keep up the great AM radio works HCMartin 28714. U tha best
Didn’t get a smart (dumb) speaker, but I got a Cc 2 transmitter. I luv it. I have a downstairs neighbor who likes to get a little wild with her radio boom box, listening to her “music”. I just turn on my Cc 2 and plug it into my mp3 pod and play some weird alien space music for a while. I usually hear a shriek and cursing out her radio station and music. I even heard her tell her friend that her radio is possessed.