Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem is more compelling than ever before as its lineup of speakers has expanded in recent years to cover just about every budget. It’s easier (and less expensive) in 2019 to coat your home in Alexa-enabled devices and the inclusion of Apple Music makes it all the more intriguing. If you find yourself already invested in an audio setup, whether high-end or not, you may be asking yourself, “How do I to add Alexa to an existing speaker system?” In a rather wise move, Amazon has made the answer to this question easier than ever before. With various options available, it’s easier than ever before to add Alexa to your at-home audio setup. Head below for a step-by-step guide.
How to include Alexa on existing speaker systems
Overall, it’s fairly easy to add Alexa to the mix of your home theater or streaming music setup. Many of Amazon’s Echo devices offer a 3.5mm output which can easily be plugged in to various speakers. It’s when you dive into the various features of each speaker that it becomes more difficult to make a recommendation.
Alexa can be added to your existing setup for $35 or less, but making the right choice really depends on the needs of each user. Here’s a brief look at each option.
Echo Input – The cheapest Alexa option
Amazon announced Echo Input in the fall of last year as means for solving this exact question. This accessories quite literally input Alexa into your setup via 3.5mm cable or Bluetooth. It offers both physical buttons and the ability to call up the voice assistant via the Alexa verbal command. All of the usual Alexa features are present here with the ability to utilize various skills, stream music and more. Connecting via Bluetooth is option but going hardwired is our recommendation here if possible. Taking one more potential problem area of out the equation is always a good thing with these setups.
Echo Input usually sells for $35 but is periodically on sale for as low as $20.
2nd Generation Echo – A solution for those requiring flexibility
The second generation Echo Speaker solves today’s question of adding Alexa to existing speaker systems with the same 3.5mm output. However, this is a fully-functioning standalone option as well. So if you’re on the fence or would like some flexibility, shelling out a bit more cash gives you the option of breaking out this speaker away from your exiting setup.
You can buy the latest version of Amazon’s Echo Speaker from $90 in various finishes when not on sale.
2nd Generation Echo Plus – Smart home hub, music powerhouse
Jumping up to the second generation Echo Plus offers a number of benefits. First and foremost, it has a built-in ZigBee hub making it a great way to tie-in your smart home. But on the audio side, Echo Plus delivers more with both a 3.5mm input and output. Meaning you can use this speaker not only to connect Alexa to your existing setup, but as a bridge to bring in our content sources as well. Much like the Echo above, it’s also a flexible product that can be moved around your house if need be.
The second generation Echo Plus is available from $150 in various designs when no on sale.
If you’re still considering jumping into the world of Alexa, head over to Simon’s on-going series that covers his ever-expanding Echo setup.
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