Amazon’s Echo Input adds Alexa to any speaker

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Amazon is introducing a small new device that you can plug into any existing speaker to turn it into an Echo. It’s called the Echo Input, and it includes far-field microphones on it just like a normal Echo would. But instead of including its own speaker, it’s supposed to plug into or pair with another speaker, so that Alexa gets added to an audio setup that’s already in your home.

The device will sell for $34.99 and launch later this year in the US, UK, and Germany. Amazon also says it’ll be bundled with some third-party speakers, including Bose, allowing customers to turn them into smart speakers straight out of the box.

This product is Amazon’s answer to Google’s Chromecast Audio, a $35 dongle that you can plug into another speaker in order to stream music to it. The Echo Input has a huge advantage: it also includes microphones, whereas the Chromecast Audio doesn’t. So Google’s product doesn’t give you a voice assistant, too.

Photo: Dieter Bohn / The Verge

Comments

I wonder where the light is. I enjoy getting notifications from my Echo units, and this would be nice to hook up to my existing mixer on my desk (that is already hooked into speakers/headphones), but I’d like the same functionality as a dot/echo.

Doesn’t a Dot already do the same thing? You can go 3.5" out to 3.5" in from a Dot to an existing speaker, and you get the lighting & built in speaker if/when you need it

Right, but this is thin.

It’s cheaper than the new dot.

I seriously hope they put in a better dac in this than the Dot. I wish they would have added an optical his high resolution audio support.

Will this do multi-room audio like the Echo Dots?

What’s the difference between this and the Link? Seems like you get more functionality with this in adding the voice assistant but minus a volume knob and maybe a better dac?

Google doesn’t have a direct competitor to this or the Dot. The Mini has Google Assistant and bluetooth media output (it does Assistant speech through its own speaker), but no 1/8" output. The Chromecast Audio has 1/8" and SPDIF output, but no Google Assistant. It would be nice if Google would compete with Amazon head-on.

This came out 5 days ago… Give them a chance to respond lol

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