Amazon may have entered the Australian smart speaker market a little late but the e-commerce giant is doing everything it can to make home automation simple and affordable for Aussie users. The Echo range of smart speakers are some of the most affordable options available to anyone looking for a new voice-activated audio system, but what if you already have a Bluetooth speaker you love or a home Hi-Fi system set up?
That’s where the Amazon Echo Input comes in. It's a small (80mm across and 14mm tall) web-connected device designed to pair with your old-school stereo via either Bluetooth or a 3.5 mm audio cable. Once connected, you can call on Alexa to do everything an Echo speaker can straight from your existing ‘dumb’ speaker.
Your old speaker doesn’t even need in-built microphones to hear your voice commands – the Echo Input is equipped with a four-microphone array, so you can call on Alexa from across the room. There’s also dual band (2.4 and 5GHz) Wi-Fi to maintain a consistent connection, and Amazon has been steadily improving Alexa’s skills in Australia.
What makes the Echo Input an enticing choice is its affordability. Priced at just $55, it’s good value for money if you already have a great sounding speaker or home cinema receiver. The only caveat is that it currently doesn’t support Sonos speakers.
Amazon Echo Input | $55
It’s the most cost-effective way to add Alexa smarts to your existing ‘dumb’ stereo system so you can have your questions answered, keep tabs on the weather, stay up to date with the latest headlines, control your smart home, play music and do a lot more besides with simple voice commands.
- Read more: All-new Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) review
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Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.