Want to use Amazon’s Alexa voice service around the home, but don’t want to make do with Amazon’s speakers? The company has a few high-end solutions on the way… but there’s also a cheap option that launches today.
The Amazon Echo Input is a $35 device that you can plug into any existing speakers to turn them into Alexa-enabled speakers.
The Echo Input is a small dongle that has built-in line inputs, a far field microphone, and Bluetooth. Plug your speakers into it and start talking to Alexa to stream music, get answers to questions, control your connected smart home gadgets, or do just about anything else you would do with an actual Echo speaker.
It’s pretty much Amazon’s answer to Google’s similarly-priced Chromecast Audio, which is a dongle that you can plug into any speakers to stream music from the internet. But while you have to use a phone, tablet, or PC as a controller for Chromecast Audio devices, the Echo Input has a microphone which opens the door for Alexa support.