Amazon Echo Input Review Small Echo

AMAZON ECHO ENTRY DETAILED REVIEW OF THE

Smart speakers are a relatively new phenomenon and not everyone likes to invest extra money in one. It is worth highlighting the type of users who already have a speaker system (regardless of caliber) or even a Bluetooth speaker at home. It can be hard to justify the cost of an extra speaker, just for its smart capabilities, which doesn’t even connect to your main setup. For these people, Amazon now has The Echo input, a small black disk that brings Alexa’s Smarts to traditional speakers and Bluetooth at a relatively affordable price. But does the speaker offer enough value for money to justify the purchase? We find out.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

Amazon Echo Speaker Plugin
Micro USB Cable
Wall adapter
Auxiliary Cable

BUILD AND DESIGN

The Amazon Echo Plugin basically looks like a roller coaster, albeit a bit thicker. On top there are two buttons with a smartly placed LED indicator between them. Around the periphery of the echo input are four holes, under which there are four far-field microphones. The bottom has a rubberized layer to prevent The echo from slipping. Finally, you’ll find a Micro-USB port and a 3.5 mm circumference output on the back, which allows you to transfer Audio to your speakers.

In terms of build quality, The Echo entry feels robust and minimal. There is very little to complain about here, because there is very little here in the beginning. The Echo inlet is slim enough to slip into your tight jeans, which means it can easily slip into a corner on your desk or table.

CONFIGURING THE INPUT ECHO

Setting the Echo input is a breeze. Once you plug the device into an outlet, simply launch The Alexa app on your Smartphone. You will find the new Echo entry in your “devices” section, which can be associated with your account. That’s literally all you need to do for your Amazon Echo input to work. To pair Bluetooth devices to The Echo input (for example, a Smartphone or Bluetooth speaker), simply say ” Hey Alexa! I want to pair a device.The Echo input starts by searching for available Bluetooth devices and is paired with the one you selected.

Interestingly, Audio is transmitted to the wired speakers by default if you have connected an auxiliary cable to The Echo input and have paired an active Bluetooth speaker with the input. The only way to redirect The Audio to the Bluetooth speaker is to unplug the AUX cable. We would have liked Amazon to make it easier, either by voice command or through The app. Again, a simple solution through the software, hopefully Amazon will soon spend it.

PERFORMANCE

The Echo input does not have its own speakers. Its purpose is simple; bring Alexa to your existing normal or Bluetooth speaker. This feature can be achieved with any of the other Echo speakers, so what is special about what The Echo input? Honestly, this is a device specifically designed for those who want to use their existing speakers with Amazon’s Assistant without having to look for a speaker that they would never actually use (as a speaker). The Echo input brings the convenience Of Alexa to your existing speakers, both via a 3.5 mm Audio output and via Bluetooth. We tested The Echo input in both conditions to see where it shines best.

Amazon Echo input paired with speaker via 3.5 mm audio cable

We first connected the Amazon Echo input to our Logitech Z906 speaker system using the extra 3.5 mm cable provided. Alexa was invited to play Classic Rock from the Amazon Music library. Once the playback started, we noticed that the output volume was too low. We had to turn up the volume of our Logitech Z906 to almost 75% for the music to be loud enough to be enjoyed. In comparison, if the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was connected to the same speaker with the same cable, the speakers had to be lowered to 30% to maintain the same volume. We tried connecting The Echo input to a smaller Logitech Z623 2.1 speaker setup, and found that the overall echo volume was also low in this matter. Hopefully, Amazon can do it with a software update.

Aside from the low-volume output, the Echo input’s ability to record commands was commendable. Even if the music was playing and the Echo input was placed right next to the center speaker of our Home theater system, the microphones could recognize the command. This allowed the speaker to make 8 of 10 attempts from distances between 2 and 6 feet. At a distance of 10 feet, the detection rate decreased. We tried to speak louder so that The echo heard us above the sound of the music, but there was no noticeable difference. Once the music was turned off, command recognition naturally improved dramatically.

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