Echo Plus: Why you should put an Alexa device in every room in your house

This story is part of home tipsCNET’s collection of practical tips for making the most of your home, inside and out.

I bet this title made you do double duty. I mean, what kind of weird guy has an Amazon device in every room? Well, call me weird – but don’t judge before you hear me, because there are so many cool tricks you can do with unused ones echo dot Stuffed in a forgotten drawer or something Amazon Echo speaker Dust slowly accumulates in the corner of your living room.

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I had two echo points – both are white 3rd generation models which it has since replaced with the better-sounding 4th generation “Orbs”. But those old hockey balls still rock, especially when paired with my lions Echo Show 8So I took them out and found homes for both of them. A third-generation Dot went into my bathtub, and another into the hallway upstairs – bringing my set of Alexa devices to 11 smart speakers And the smart screens. This means that I now have one Alexa speaker or displays every few feet throughout my house.

Is this an exaggeration? Yes, you can say that. Should you still put an Alexa device in your bedroom, bathroom, and garage (you’ll get the gist!) anyway? Well, sure. Once you do, you will wonder why you didn’t do it before. That’s because there are some unique advantages to keeping a home for Alexa devices.

Here are all the cool tricks you can do with the Amazon tools you already have, plus some tips on how to keep everything in order. And if you want to buy some new Echo devices, Amazon host Event Next week to unveil new products and services. (You can always check a file best alexa devicesThe Best cheap Alexa devices and the The best smart displays Already on the market too).

Read more: The true cost of creating an Amazon smart home

Why so many Alexa devices? Because more is better

Some Alexa features work better the more speakers and Amazon Echo screens you set up in your home. For example, if you’ve never experienced whole-home audio before, it’s a surprisingly great experience—even if most of your speakers are Echo Dots (and even if you don’t have an Amazon Echo Subwoofer). On days when you frequently move from room to room — like cleaning the house, for example, or hosting a get-together together — it’s great how great it is to play music everywhere you go.

Three third-generation Amazon Echo Dot speakers sitting on a table

These 3rd generation Echo Dots are perfect speakers for the garage, hallway, or other less-used space.

Ry Crist / CNET

But there are other great ways to use Alexas House, too. Besides multiroom music, here are some of my other favourites:

AdsSay, “Alexa, announce dinner is ready,” or “Announce it’s bedtime,” and check what happens (Alexa adds some vocal “color” to the message).

drop in: You can have a one-to-one conversation with someone in a specific room – “Alexa, get down in the kitchen” – or with the whole house at once – “get down everywhere.”

Multiroom audio (but in the same room): You may only be able to pair identical speakers together in stereo, but you can put any two, three, or more speakers together in the same room, even though the feature is called “Multi-room.”

But before you get into any of this, the first thing you’ll want to rein in is all the Echo devices that can accidentally respond to you (later).

Amazon Echo white smart speaker from an aerial perspective

The second-generation Amazon Echo is still a great smart speaker, so don’t shove it in the drawer and forget about it.

Tyler Lisnesby/CNET

Set alert words other than “Alexa”

If you’re like me and have multiple Echo devices in the same area, you already know how annoying it can be to yell, “Alexa!” And make every device vie for your attention. If you have two or more devices in the same vicinity, it is best to give each of them their own wake word.

For example, I have an Echo Show in my kitchen and an Echo Dot in the living room a few feet away. I mostly use pip to play music, not necessarily to listen to commands. I’ve given this amplifier (and other amplifiers I just use for audio) a wake up word Other than Alexa.

While Amazon The traditional options for calling up the voice assistant are Alexa, Computer, Amazon, and Echo Many newer wake up words additions You can use like Ziggy And the Hello Disney. Unfortunately, you can’t give it a name other than those, so you’ll have to stop calling your “friends” device or something else unique.

Here’s how to change the alert word on individual devices:

1. Open the Alexa app, and go to Hardware.

2. Faucet Echo and Alexa From the top row of icons.

3. Tap on the device name with the alert word you want to change. You will have to change the alert word for each device separately.

4. select file Settings in the upper-right corner then scroll down and tap wake up word.

5. Choose a non-Alexa alert word (see above for your options).

6. Faucet yes When a popup lets you know it may take a few minutes to change it, then either exit that menu or close the app.

You can also change the alert word by voice command. Simply say, “Alexa, change the wake word.” Alexa will prompt you to choose from a list of displayed alert words. Then select the word you want.

You are now ready! And you can always go back and change the alert word at any time.

Read more: All the words of an Amazon Echo Wake that aren’t Alexa – and what they’re doing

Three round Echo speakers sitting on a table

When setting up a stereo pair, the Echo with Clock, Echo Kids, and Echo Dot can all be replaced.

Julie Snyder/CNET

Pair Alexas for stereo and multiple audio groups

If you have two identical devices (or functionally identical—the same generation Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock, and Echo Kids are all interchangeable in that sense) you can pair them so that the audio is split into left and right channels, like a bona fide stereo system. This pair will then appear as a single speaker in the Alexa app when you route the voice in a routine or create a larger set of speakers (more on that soon).

Before setting this up, make sure that both speakers are in the same virtual “room” in the Alexa app and that they are both on the same network. Then do this:

1. Open the Alexa app, tap Hardware in the bottom menu bar, then click the plus sign (+) in the upper right corner.

2. Faucet Combine loudspeakersthen press Stereo / subwoofer pair. Tap one of the speakers you want to use, then the app will select the compatible speaker options – tap one of the speakers, then tap next one.

3. The app will set the right channel to one and the left channel to the other, but you can tap switching speakers To toggle the options, then tap next one.

4. Name your new stereo pair (I usually stick with the name of the room, such as “Master Bedroom”).


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Alexa is getting new features to make it a better listener


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Multiroom audio works similarly, but without the stereo separation. You can also combine dissimilar speakers with previously paired stereo pairs, as many of them as you wish. And again, the speakers don’t ought to Be in different rooms. Heres how to do it:

1. Open the Alexa app, tap Hardware in the bottom menu bar, then click the plus sign (+) in the upper right corner.

2. Faucet Combine loudspeakersthen press Multi-room music. Click on all the speakers you want to include in the group, then click next one.

3. The app will set the right channel to one and the left channel to the other, but you can tap switching speakers To toggle the options, then tap next one.

4. Choose a name from the list or type your custom name at the bottom, then tap Memorizes.

Protect your Amazon Echo’s privacy

With all those Echo devices scattered around your house, you’re probably wondering: Is Alexa always listening? It’s a good question considering no one wants Alexa to be privy to our secret conversations.

Echo devices have raised many privacy concerns. Although they only record and transmit audio to the Amazon cloud when the blue light activates, it is widely known that echo devices It can be activated without your knowledge If someone hears something similar to the alert word (for example, if you say something like “elect” or “I want some” instead of “Alexa”). It is also worth understanding that Amazon employees can listen to your Alexa conversations If you do not take some precautions.

Fortunately, there are other settings and hacks to keep Amazon out of your business.

First, you can unplug the device or turn off the microphone by pressing the microphone mute button to make sure Alexa isn’t always listening. You can also update the settings to Delete audio texts from amazon immediately so that Amazon employees cannot review it. You can read our full summary Privacy tips here.

For more cool Alexa tricks, take a look at Six useful tips from Amazon Echo You’ll want to use it every day, some funny stuff You can ask Alexa and others Orders you can try tonight.

More tips for Alexa

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