What Is the Amazon Echo Input and How Does It Work?

Give your old-school stereo system a web upgrade

Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, such as the Echo Dot, are handy tools that use the Alexa voice assistant. If you have an old-school stereo system, a device called the Echo Input adds Alexa capabilities to external speakers, letting you ask questions, control smart devices, and more. Here's how the Echo Input works and how to set it up.

To use an Echo Input, you'll need external Bluetooth speakers or speakers that connect using a 3.5 mm audio cable. The Echo Input doesn't work with Wi-Fi speakers.

An Amazon Echo Input

About the Echo Input

The Echo Input is a small, circular, internet-connected device that looks like a speakerless Echo Dot. It connects wirelessly to Bluetooth speakers. It's an option if you have powered speakers, a stereo receiver, or a home theater receiver with a 3.5 mm input jack or an RCA jack. (You may need a 3.5 mm-to-RCA cable converter.)

After you hook up your Echo Input, use Alexa voice commands to play music, ask questions, set alarms and timers, add items to a to-do list or shopping list, control compatible smart home devices, and check the news, weather, and traffic. It can also communicate with and control other Echo and Fire TV devices.

The Echo Input doesn't have volume controls. Instead, use Alexa to control the volume in conjunction with the volume controls on your speaker system.

The Echo Input lets you play streaming music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify, iHeart Radio, and more on your audio system.

How to Set up the Echo Input

Setup is quick and easy using the Amazon Alexa app for iOS or Android.

  1. Plug the Echo Input into AC power using the provided adapter.

  2. Open the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device.

  3. Tap More in the lower-right corner.

  4. Tap Add a Device.

  5. Select Amazon Echo.

    Alexa app steps to adding a device, with More, Add a Device, and Amazon Echo highlighted
  6. Select Echo Input.

  7. Tap Yes if your Echo Input is plugged in and displays an orange light.

    Alexa app with Echo Input highlighted
  8. Select your Echo Input, then follow the prompts to connect the device to Wi-Fi.

  9. You'll see a confirmation message that the Echo Input is connected. Tap Continue.

    Echo Input WiFi Setup

    You may have to enter your network password.

  10. Select Connect Aux Cable or Connect Bluetooth Speaker as the method for connecting the Echo Input to your setup.

    If you select Bluetooth, follow the prompts for pairing the Bluetooth speaker to the Echo Input. 

  11. Tap Continue. Your Echo Input is ready for action.

    If you use a wired connection, turn on the external speaker or audio system, and then select the designated input.

Reset an Echo Input

If the Echo Input becomes unresponsive, reset it. Press and hold the Action button (see below) for 25 seconds, and then go through the setup process again.

Echo Input Product Diagram highlighting important technical features, like the Actin button

The Echo Input is best used with powered speakers and audio systems that can be left on. Turn off any standby, power saving, sleep, or auto on/off features so Alexa can respond as needed.

  • Is the Amazon Echo Input discontinued?

    While Amazon hasn't officially announced that the Input is discontinued, its Amazon product page says it's currently unavailable and the company doesn't know when it'll be back in stock. It's also not available to buy new from retailers like Best Buy and Walmart, although you may be able to find a used or refurbished one. If you want one, your best bet may be a site like eBay.

  • What's a good alternative to the Amazon Echo Input?

    Other Amazon Echo products like the Echo (4th Gen.), Echo Dot (3rd and 4th Gen.), Echo Studio, or Echo Flex all include 3.5mm line out, so you can connect them to an external speaker. They can also connect to a speaker via Bluetooth.

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