Amazon Echo Input: how to turn any speaker into a smart device

       

This article connects to the home sound system so that it responds to voice commands thanks to the Alexa assistant.

In case the great bet of Amazon by its assistant of voice Alexa had not remained sufficiently clear with the presentation of four loudspeakers at the end of the past year, the signature continues adding devices to its ecosystem. After trying the Amazon Echo, we analyzed one of the latest models to arrive, the Amazon Echo Input, to see how an adapter gives intelligence to any sound system that we have at home.

Analysis and valuation of Amazon Echo Input

 

It is a compact device with a flat disc shape that is available in two colors (black and white). It only has two physical connections – one auxiliary and another micro USB to connect it to the current – and two buttons: one with which to deactivate the microphone and that does not ‘listen’ to what we say and another to use it without using the voice command ‘Alexa ‘

It incorporates four microphones that make it possible for you to hear us from any part of the room, even if there is noise. Each time it detects an instruction, a small LED lights up so that we can see at a glance that the communication has been successful.

 

In addition, it boasts a very simple installation: you have to connect it to the power and connect it to the speaker via Bluetooth or with an auxiliary cable that is included in the package. If you have any doubt, simply follow the steps from the Alexa application previously downloaded on any smartphone or tablet.

“Alexa, put relaxing music”

Once connected to the home network via Wi-Fi, we can interact with our speaker as with any other member of the Echo family. In fact, the possibilities are the same: ask Alexa to read the news, report on the weather, answer questions about current affairs, characters, mathematical operations and spelling, perform real-time translations, adjust timers and alarms and add items to a task list, among many other options.

In addition, he is able to read books aloud (those purchased for Kindle) and to play music when we ask for a specific song, an artist or a record. For this, it resorts to streaming services such as Amazon Music, Spotify Premium or Deezer although, if it is linked by Bluetooth with the mobile phone or the tablet, we can also send the music stored in them. One more reproduction option: configure the speaker as part of a multiroom system.

  • Dimensions: 14 x 80 x 80 mm.
  • Weight: 79 grams.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity: Wi-Fi dual band compatible with 802.11a / b / g / n (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks. It is not compatible with ad hoc Wi-Fi networks (peer-to-peer).
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP) for the transmission of audio from your mobile device to the Echo Input or from the Echo Input to your Bluetooth speaker. Audio and video remote control profile (AVRCP) for voice control of connected mobile devices.
  • Sound: Requires an external speaker with a 3.5 mm audio port or Bluetooth.
  • Compatibility: Devices with Fire OS, Android or iOS through the Alexa app. Compatibility with computers through web browser.

During our tests, we used the Echo Input with several speakers and connected both in the auxiliary port and wirelessly. The best experience has been with cable, without a doubt. We have not experienced a single error during the three weeks of use once a series of precautions have been taken: move both devices away 15 centimeters to avoid interference, for example. When using Bluetooth, on the other hand, a certain delay is perceived when processing the orders. He always responds, but for this he usually needs a couple of extra seconds.

Limitations

It is very important to choose well with what loudspeaker this device is going to be used, and not only for the audio quality that we are going to enjoy. You also have to take into account your connections: although most have an auxiliary connection, some systems (especially the higher-end ones) include an optical or RCA connection instead, and in that case, an adapter will be necessary.

On the other hand, it is essential that it works plugged into the current and not through an internal battery to ensure that it is always active. In this sense, in addition, Amazon recommends deactivating any standby system or automatic shutdown of the equipment.

THE BEST, THE WORST AND CONCLUSION

  • The best: Easy installation, very tight price and versatility.
  • The worst: To use with some sound system – those that do not incorporate Bluetooth or auxiliary input – an adapter will be necessary.
  • Conclusion: The idea of ​​Echo Input is very interesting. As its installation is very simple and its functions are exactly the same as those of the intelligent devices with Alexa, it is an ideal alternative for all those who already have a speaker or sound system at home.

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