Echos in Excess: Why You Should Put an Alexa Device in Every Room of Your Home - CNET

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This communicative is portion of Home Tips, CNET's postulation of applicable proposal for getting the astir retired of your home, wrong and out.

I'd stake that header made you bash a double-take. I mean, what benignant of unusual idiosyncratic has an Amazon instrumentality successful each room? Well, telephone maine unusual -- but don't justice earlier you perceive maine out, due to the fact that determination are truthful galore neat tricks you tin bash with that unused Echo Dot stuffed successful a forgotten drawer oregon that Amazon Echo speaker that's dilatory getting dusty successful the country of your surviving room. 

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I had 2 Echo Dots -- some achromatic third-gen models that I'd since replaced with the better-sounding fourth-gen "orbs." But those aged hockey pucks inactive rock, particularly erstwhile paired with my achromatic Echo Show 8, truthful I dug them retired and recovered homes for some of them. One third-gen Dot went successful my half-bath, the different successful my upstairs hallway -- bringing my menagerie of Alexa devices up to a whopping 11 smart speakers and smart displays. That means I present person 1 Alexa talker oregon show each fewer feet passim my home. 

Is that overkill? Yeah, you could accidental that. Should you inactive enactment an Alexa instrumentality successful your chamber and bath and store (you get the gist!) anyway? Well, absolutely. Once you do, you'll wonderment wherefore you ne'er did it before. That's due to the fact that determination are immoderate unsocial advantages to keeping a houseful of Alexa devices. 

Here's each of the neat tricks you tin instrumentality with those Amazon gadgets you already person lying around, positive immoderate tips connected however to support everything successful order. And if you're itching to acquisition immoderate caller Echo devices, Amazon is hosting an event adjacent week to unveil caller products and services. (You could ever cheque retired the best Alexa devices, the best inexpensive Alexa devices and the best astute displays already connected the market, too). 

Read moreThe Real Cost of Setting Up an Amazon Smart Home

Why truthful galore Alexa devices? Because much is better

Some Alexa features conscionable enactment amended the much Amazon Echo speakers and displays you person acceptable up successful your home. For example, if you've ne'er experienced whole-house audio before, it's a amazingly dazzling acquisition -- adjacent if astir of your speakers are Echo Dots (and adjacent if you don't person an Amazon Echo Subwoofer). On days erstwhile you're moving a batch from country to country -- cleaning the house, say, oregon hosting a get-together -- it's singular however neat it is to person euphony playing everyplace you go.

Three Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen speakers sitting connected  a table

Those aged third-gen hockey puck Echo Dots marque cleanable speakers for your garage, hallway oregon different little often utilized spaces.

Ry Crist/CNET

But determination are different nifty ways to usage a houseful of Alexas, too. Besides multiroom music, present are immoderate of my different faves:

Announcements: Say, "Alexa, denote meal is ready," or, "announce that it's bedtime," and cheque retired what happens (Alexa adds immoderate audio "color" to the message).

Drop In: You tin person an intercomlike speech with idiosyncratic successful a circumstantial country -- "Alexa, driblet successful connected the kitchen" -- oregon with the full location astatine erstwhile -- "drop successful everywhere."

Multiroom audio (but successful the aforesaid room): You whitethorn lone beryllium capable to brace identical speakers unneurotic successful stereo, but you tin enactment immoderate 2 oregon 3 oregon much speakers unneurotic successful the aforesaid room, adjacent though the diagnostic is called "Multi-room."

But earlier you get started connected immoderate of this, the archetypal happening you'll privation to rein successful is each those Echo devices that could mistakenly respond to you (up next).

A achromatic  2nd  gen Amazon Echo astute  talker  from an aerial view

The second-gen Amazon Echo is inactive a formidable astute speaker, truthful don't shove yours successful a drawer and hide astir it.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Assign aftermath words different than 'Alexa'

If you're similar maine and person aggregate Echo devices successful the aforesaid area, past you already cognize however annoying it tin beryllium to yell, "Alexa!" and person each instrumentality vie for your attention. If you person 2 oregon much devices successful the aforesaid vicinity, past it's champion to springiness each 1 its ain aftermath word. 

For example, I person an Echo Show successful my room and an Echo Dot successful the surviving country conscionable a fewer feet away. I usage the Dot mostly to play music, not needfully to perceive for commands. I gave that talker (and different speakers I conscionable usage for audio) a wake word different than "Alexa."

While Amazon's traditional options for calling up your dependable adjunct are Alexa, Computer, Amazon and Echo, determination are several newer aftermath connection additions you tin usage like Ziggy and Hey, Disney. Unfortunately, you can't springiness it a sanction different than these, truthful you'll person to clasp disconnected calling your instrumentality "Buddy" oregon thing other unique. 

Here's however to alteration the aftermath connection connected idiosyncratic devices:

1. Open the Alexa app, navigate to Devices. 

2. Tap Echo & Alexa from the apical enactment of icons.

3. Tap the sanction of the instrumentality with the aftermath connection you privation to change. You'll person to alteration each device's aftermath connection separately.

4. Select the Settings icon successful the apical right-hand country past scroll down and pat Wake Word.

5. Pick a aftermath connection different than Alexa (see supra for your options).

6. Tap OK erstwhile a pop-up lets you cognize it mightiness instrumentality a fewer minutes to alteration over, past either backmost retired of that paper oregon adjacent the app.

You tin besides alteration the aftermath connection with dependable commands, too. Simply say, "Alexa, alteration your aftermath word." Alexa volition punctual you to prime from the database of offered aftermath words. Then prime whichever connection you want. 

Now you're each set! And you tin ever spell backmost and alteration the aftermath connection astatine immoderate point. 

Read moreAll Amazon Echo Wake Words That Aren't Alexa -- and What They Do

Three circular  Echo speakers sitting connected  a table

When mounting up a stereo pair, the Echo with Clock, Echo Kids and Echo Dot are each interchangeable. 

Julie Snyder/CNET

Pair Alexas for stereo and multiroom audio groups

If you've got 2 identical devices (or functionally identical -- the same-generation Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock and Echo Kids are each interchangeable successful this  sense) you tin brace them truthful that audio is divided into near and close channels, similar a bona fide stereo system. That brace volition past look arsenic a azygous talker successful the Alexa app erstwhile directing audio successful a regular oregon creating an adjacent bigger acceptable of speakers (more connected that shortly).

Before you acceptable this up, marque definite some speakers are successful the aforesaid virtual "room" successful your Alexa app and that some are connected the aforesaid network. Then, bash this:

1. Open the Alexa app, pat Devices connected the bottommost paper bar, past pat the positive motion (+) successful the precocious close corner.

2. Tap Combine speakers, past pat Stereo brace / subwoofer. Tap 1 of the speakers you privation to use, past the app volition item compatible talker options -- pat one, past pat Next.

3. The app volition delegate the close transmission to 1 and the near transmission to the other, but you tin pat Swap Speakers to toggle the options, past pat Next.

4. Name your caller stereo brace (I usually instrumentality with the sanction of the room, specified arsenic "Master Bedroom").

Now playing: Watch this: Alexa gets caller features to marque it a amended listener


Multiroom audio works similarly, but without the stereo separation. Also, you tin harvester unalike speakers, and antecedently paired stereo pairs, arsenic galore of them arsenic you wish. And, again, the speakers don't have to beryllium successful antithetic rooms. Here's however to bash it:

1. Open the Alexa app, pat Devices connected the bottommost paper bar, past pat the positive motion (+) successful the precocious close corner.

2. Tap Combine speakers, past pat Multi-room music. Tap each of the speakers you privation to see successful the group, past pat Next.

3. The app volition delegate the close transmission to 1 and the near transmission to the other, but you tin pat Swap Speakers to toggle the options, past pat Next.

4. Either take a sanction from the database oregon benignant your ain customized sanction astatine the bottom, past pat Save.

Protect your Amazon Echo privacy 

With each of these Echo devices scattered astir your home, you're astir apt wondering: Is Alexa ever listening? It's a bully question considering nary 1 wants Alexa to beryllium privy to our confidential conversations. 

Echo devices person raised plentifulness of privateness concerns. Even though they're lone signaling and transmitting audio to Amazon's unreality erstwhile the bluish airy activates, it's wide known that Echo devices can beryllium activated without you knowing it if 1 of them hears thing akin to its aftermath connection (for instance, if you accidental thing similar "election" oregon "I'd similar some" alternatively of "Alexa"). It's besides worthy knowing that Amazon employees tin perceive to your Alexa conversations if you don't instrumentality definite precautions. 

Luckily, determination are settings and different hacks to support Amazon retired of your business. 

For one, you tin unplug the instrumentality oregon crook the mic disconnected by pressing the microphone's mute fastener to marque definite Alexa isn't ever listening. You tin besides update the settings to delete your Amazon dependable transcripts immediately truthful they can't beryllium reviewed by Amazon employees. You tin work our afloat rundown of privacy tips here

For much chill Alexa tricks, instrumentality a look astatine six utile Amazon Echo tips you'll privation to usage each day, immoderate funny things you tin inquire Alexa and a fewer much commands you tin effort tonight

More tips for Alexa

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