The Amazon Echo Input has gone on sale for $19.99. The regular price is $34.99 and this is the first time it has ever been on sale. The Echo Input is essentially an Echo Dot without a built-in speaker. It has far-field microphones for the same hands-free Alexa capabilities as the Echo Dot, but the Echo Input is meant to connect to existing speakers, either via Bluetooth or via a 3.5mm audio out cable. Since the Echo Dot 3 is on sale for $29.99 and the Echo Dot 2 is on sale for $24.99, you aren’t saving too much by forgoing the built-in speaker. That said, the Echo Input is a much slimmer and discreet device that is purpose-built for adding Alexa to existing speakers.
I have an Echo Input connected to my soundbar so that I can include my home theater speakers when playing whole home audio through Alexa. The Echo Input is ideal for this because I keep it muted all the time, since I already have Echos and the Fire TV Cube in the same room, so I just use it as an audio bridging device. Since the LED on the Echo Input is tiny, it’s much nicer having it tucked away versus an Echo Dot with a bright red LED light ring on all the time.
For most people, the Echo Dot is a much more versatile product, even if it will be connected to speakers all the time. However, for those who can take advantage of its minimalistic qualities, the Echo Input, available in Black or White, could be the better fit. Now that it is finally on sale and less expensive than both Echo Dot versions, it finally makes more sense to buy the Echo Input over an Echo Dot.