The Alexa Voice Distant Professional is simply too costly to suggest as a nice-to-have improve, however a good selection in case your outdated Fireplace TV distant is damaged or misplaced
Amazon’s Fireplace TV remotes have steadily improved over time, with further buttons added for controlling TV quantity and shortcuts to open common apps.
The Voice Distant Professional is the corporate’s flagship distant with unique options together with backlit keys, a ringer so you’ll be able to observe it down when it’s misplaced between the couch cushions and a pair of customisable buttons which you could program to do quite a lot of issues.
Within the UK, it isn’t bundled with any of Amazon’s Fireplace TV units – even its precise TVs. This implies it’s an adjunct – an choice for anybody desirous to improve their customary distant to get the Professional’s options.
Within the US, you should buy it as part of a bundle with a Fire TV Stick 4K or Fireplace TV Dice. Oddly, although, it’s equipped as a second distant with a Fireplace TV Stick 4K and it’s no cheaper (or wasn’t on the time of assessment) than shopping for the 2 merchandise individually.
Options & design
Discover my distant
At a look, there isn’t a lot to tell apart the Voice Distant Professional from the threerd-gen Voice Distant. The design may be very related, as are its dimensions and weight.
Look nearer, although, and also you’ll spot a number of new buttons. Prime proper is a headphone button. This brings up the Bluetooth units panel in your Fireplace TV, making it quick to hook up with paired Bluetooth headphones – or audio system – and to pair some new headphones.
Jim Martin / Foundry
It’s a good suggestion, too, as these settings are buried pretty deep within the Fireplace TV’s menus and utilizing Bluetooth headphones means you’re not disturbing others whilst you watch. Conversely, utilizing a Bluetooth speaker is an efficient various to purchasing a sound bar, enhancing upon your TV’s audio system and probably making higher use of a tool you have already got.
There’s additionally a mixed up/down button which works with the TV button. It’s for altering channel when watching reside TV in your Fireplace TV, however like earlier Alexa Voice Remotes, may also work with suitable TVs to alter channel.
In truth, a variety of the buttons together with quantity and route pad work with suitable units. This implies you need to use the Voice Distant Professional to exchange your TV or soundbar distant for the most typical capabilities.
Like every common distant, there’ll all the time be device-specific buttons that you just would possibly miss, however when watching reveals on the Fireplace TV particularly, with the ability to alter quantity with out selecting up a second distant is handy.
What’s lacking, and which makes the Voice Distant Professional much less appropriate as a TV distant alternative is the absence of the 4 colored buttons – crimson, blue, inexperienced and yellow. And, after all, a quantity pad for getting into channel numbers. The remotes that include Amazon’s Fireplace TVs have these further buttons, so the Voice Distant Professional may very well be thought-about a downgrade from these.
Jim Martin / Foundry
The Voice Distant Professional has two huge attracts: backlit keys to be used in a darkish room and a ringer which sounds whenever you ask Alexa to search out your misplaced distant.
The unhealthy information is that though it’s easy to say, “Alexa, discover my distant”, you want a second system for that. An Amazon Echo will do, however you need to use the Alexa app in your telephone or the Fireplace TV app for those who don’t have an Echo or one other system with Alexa in-built.
It really works effectively, with the ringer sounding nearly instantly after you ask Alexa. You’ll want to press one of many distant’s buttons to silence the beeping, which means it’s important to observe it down and retrieve it first. (It didn’t work for me, however that’s as a result of I already had two remotes arrange with Alexa utilizing Tile Stickers. I had to enter the Alexa app, discover the Voice Distant Professional, rename it from “First Distant Management” to “Fireplace TV distant” after which say, “Alexa, discover Fireplace TV distant”.)
Roku’s Voice Remote Pro (which isn’t suitable with Fireplace TV units) does discovering higher. It makes use of its built-in microphone to hear out for “Hey Roku, discover my distant”.
Amazon doesn’t do that, maybe as a result of the distant is powered by the standard pair of AA batteries slightly than a chargeable battery constructed into the distant, as is the case with Roku’s model.
One other further function you get with the Alexa Voice Distant Professional is customisable buttons. Marked 1 and a pair of, you’ll be able to set these to do quite a lot of various things.
Jim Martin / Foundry
Most individuals will most likely select to have them launch apps. There are already 4 buttons for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Amazon Music (the latter being Hulu within the US) which aren’t customisable.
When you needed to launch BBC iPlayer, Discovery+ or another streaming service on a standard Alexa Voice distant, you’d have to press and maintain the Alexa button and say “Alexa, open iPlayer”.
However with the Voice Distant Professional, you’ll be able to set one of many two buttons to try this. It’s easy to do: simply launch the app you need to assign then press and maintain both 1 or 2. The app will likely be displayed within the record of choices, so it’s only a case of choosing that.
Alternatively, you’ll be able to select different shortcuts such because the Information, Watchlist, Notifications, My Stuff and Profiles.
The ultimate choice is to set the button to launch an Alexa command. You press and maintain the Alexa button, say your command and wait till it completes. You then press and maintain the shortcut button and choose that current command from the record. Subsequently whenever you press the button, that command will likely be issued.
You can, subsequently, use it to run an Alexa routine that units up your room for watching a film: dimming your good lights and decreasing a wise blind. Or, you might make it run your ‘Good night time’ routine which may flip off all of the lights, besides your bed room lamp, which is turned on.
Worth & availability
The Alexa Voice Distant Professional prices $34.99 / £34.99 from Amazon. That $5 / £5 greater than the 3rd-gen Voice Remote – certainly cash effectively spent – however each remotes are dearer than you’d count on.
Roku’s Voice Distant Professional (once more, not suitable with any Fireplace TV system) is cheaper at $29 from Amazon which means that Amazon might promote them cheaper if it needed to.
Additionally, it’s unattainable to disregard which you could buy a Fire TV Stick for $39.99 (£44.99 in the UK) which comes with the Third-gen Voice Distant. It’s laborious to imagine that the streaming stick itself accounts for less than $10 of the entire value.
In truth, there are many reasonably priced streaming sticks and packing containers which you could purchase – in case your cause for studying it is because you merely want a brand new distant in your Fireplace TV Stick.
In case your outdated Fireplace TV distant has stopped working, was eaten by the canine or completely misplaced, the Alexa Voice Distant Professional is an efficient selection for a alternative.
It’s a disgrace that it doesn’t have a chargeable battery, however so long as you have already got an Echo in the home and don’t have to purchase one simply to make use of the ‘discover my distant’ function, it’s actually helpful to have the ability to ask Alexa to search out it whenever you – inevitably – lose it.
But when the distant that got here together with your Fireplace TV remains to be very a lot current and dealing, it merely isn’t price spending a lot simply to get the additional options that the Professional has.