All posts in “Belkin”

Ecobee’s new voice-powered light switch moves closer to whole-home Alexa

Alexa is already everywhere in a lot of homes, thanks to the affordability and ease of installation/setup of the Echo Dot. But Alexa could become even more seamlessly integrated into your home, if you think about it. And Canadian smart home tech maker ecobee did think about it, which is how they came up with the ecobee Switch+.

Ecobee is probably most known for their connected thermostats, which are one of the strongest competitors out there for Nest. The company’s been building other products, too, however, and developing closer ties with Amazon and its Alexa virtual assistant. The Switch+ has the closest ties yet, since it includes Alexa Voice Service and far-field voice detection microphone arrays to essential put an Echo in your wall wherever you have a light switch handy.

The ecobee Switch+ is still a connected light switch that works like similar offerings from Belkin’s Wemo, too, and offers full compatibility with Alexa, HomeKit and Assistant for remote voice control. But it goes a step further with Alexa, acting not only as the connected home smart device, but also the command center, too.

The Switch+ is now available for pre-order from ecobee and select retail partners including, unsurprisingly, Amazon, in both the U.S. and Canada for a retail price of $99 U.S. or $119 Canadian. It should work with most standard light switches, although not 2-way switches where multiple switches control the same light or lights. In-store availability and shipping starts on March 26.

Amateur podcasters — this device will make your setup run more smoothly for only $10

Apple is cruelly trying to rip the headphone jack from us, but we’re not buying it. 

In addition to all the reasons that have already been brought up ad nauseam, one problem with the missing headphone jack is the inability to easily use a headphone splitter to share audio. For those of us fortunate to still have a jack, though — on our phones, computers, or audio equipment — this Belkin device is the Cadillac of headphone splitters.

The uses for this are numerous and obvious — more people can listen to what you’re listening to without bothering people around you. Just plug the device into whatever you’re listening to and everyone else can plug in their headphones. It’s great for traveling, classrooms, or gaming where you want several people to listen to something but not the whole room.

It can also be used by amateur musicians, podcasters, and filmmakers who need to record multiple people on a single microphone. Everyone will be able to hear how they sound on mic, which is absolutely necessary in order to record audio that doesn’t suck. 

You can pick up the Belkin Rockstar audio splitter on Amazon now. It comes in five colors and is only $10. Stop fighting over headphone jacks and just be grateful you have one (or five.)