Technology is an admirable thing, but it is making a lot of things obsolete. Take, for instance, our home stereo system—in this age of Bluetooth speakers, wireless or wired headphones, or even voice-controlled speakers from Amazon or Google—few listen to music on these old systems, rendering them almost useless and occupying precious shelf space in our TV or study room. A fairly common desire for many among us has been to look for that bit of technology that can upgrade our old system to a smart speaker.
Enter Amazon Echo Input, a nifty piece of equipment from the Jeff Bezos-owned firm, that promises to bring life to our seldom-used humble home speakers.
Echo Input, priced at `2,999, upgrades any speaker to a smart speaker by bringing Alexa (Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant, cloud-based voice service) through a 3.5mm audio cable or Bluetooth. It features a four-microphone array so you can talk to Alexa from across the room. Echo Input is just 12.5mm tall so it blends easily into every room. Unlike Echo Dot which has a built-in speaker, all audio is played through your connected speaker at home.
Echo Input is simple to set up. I configured it with my extensively corded Harman Kardon music system. Simply plug in the device to a power source, connect to your Wi-Fi network and register using the Alexa app. Yes, you will have to use the Alexa app (available for Android and iOS devices) to connect Echo Input to Alexa and your speakers. Moving further, you will need to connect the Echo Input to the speakers with 3.5mm audio cable (included in the box) or over Bluetooth with the Alexa app. Afterward, just ask Alexa for music, news, weather and more.
Alexa, the brain behind Echo Input, is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. The more you use Echo Input, the more Alexa adapts to your speech patterns and vocabulary. Using Alexa is as simple as asking a question—just ask and Alexa will respond instantly.
Echo Input streams music from Amazon Prime Music, Saavn, Gaana, Hungama Music—just ask for your favourite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. Search for music by album, decade, or let Alexa pick the music for you. You can wake up to your favourite music by setting a musical alarm. You can even play music across Echo devices and connected speakers in your home (Bluetooth is not supported when using multiroom music). With Amazon Prime Music, you can also create and manage your personal playlist.
The best part is that Echo Input has a slim and low profile design that makes it a convenient addition to any room in the house. You can connect Echo Input with your speaker system in the living room and use it to play music, check news, sports scores, calendar and movie show times. You can connect with bedroom speakers and use it to set musical alarms, play favourite songs, and turn off lights. Or use it in the kitchen to set timers, add items to lists and shop for products on Amazon just using your voice.
In a nutshell, buy this nifty gizmo to make your old speaker smart. Customers can purchase Echo Input from Amazon.in at a retail price of `2,999.
Estimated street price: `2,999
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