One of the easiest ways to start building a smart home is to purchase an Amazon Echo product. These come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but they’re all relatively affordable, easy to use, and pair well with other smart home gadgets you might add to your setup in the future. Here’s a closer look at how to set up your Amazon Echo, along with some optional steps to make your experience more enjoyable.
Comprised of the standard Echo speaker, Echo Dot, Echo Studio, and many other iterations of the show, Amazon’s Echo family is powered by Amazon’s all-knowing voice assistant, Alexa. If you’ve just purchased your first Echo product, or would appreciate being reminded of a few basics, we’ve put together this handy guide to getting your new Echo up and running. Let’s dive into it.
NB: If you want to learn more about individual Echo products, check out our reviews of the fourth-generation Echo (standard) and Echo Dot. You can also read our article on the Echo Show 5, 8 and 10.
Download the Amazon Alexa app
The free Alexa app is a must-have if you’re a file owner Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. Download the app on any smartphone or tablet running iOS 11.0 or higher, Android 6.0 or higher, or Fire OS 5.3.3 or higher. Do you want to download the application on a computer? Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi, then visit the Amazon Alexa website.
Plug in your Echo
This is probably the easiest step in the whole process, as the Echo requires no batteries. Simply plug the included power adapter directly into your Echo, then plug the plug into a power outlet. When the light ring turns blue, it means the power is connected. Then wait for it to turn orange, as this is a sign that Alexa is getting ready to welcome you. Then, you’ll hear Alexa’s voice telling you that the device is ready to be set up.
Connect your Echo to Wi-Fi via the app
Next, you’ll need to connect your Echo to your home Wi-Fi. The latest Echo releases should guide you through this process. However, if you get stuck, just open the Alexa app and search through the available networks until you find yours. If you have multiple Echo devices, go to hardware tab, and then click the icon Echo and Alexa in the top carousel and select your Alexa-enabled device. Under the Wireless heading, you should be able to see the status of your Wi-Fi connection.
Once connected, you have the option to save your Wi-Fi password to your Amazon account, making it easier to connect to smart home devices. You can also set up a new Alexa device on the same network if you decide to purchase more Echo speakers for other rooms. You also have the option to connect your Echo to a public network, though the password isn’t saved on Amazon.
During setup and when using certain apps and features, Alexa will use your location to provide relevant local data, including weather, news, and time. If you move or want to get information from another area, you can change the location of your Echo device at any time right in the Alexa app. To do this, launch the application, and then tap hardware. handle Echo and Alexa, then tap the device you want to change. handle device locationthen tap Memorizes. To test, go ahead and ask Alexa what the weather is like. The helper should respond with local expectations for the address you entered.
Start talking to Alexa
To get started, say the wake-up word, which is “Alexa” by default. If there’s already someone called Alexa, Alexis, or similar in the house, you can change the wake word to something else. Simply tell the Echo, “Alexa, change the wake-up word.”
You can also manually change the wake-up word by opening the Alexa app and tapping Help and Comments> Change the alert word. Currently, you can change Echo to respond to “Echo”, “Amazon”, “Computer” or “Ziggy”. Now, Amazon allows you to choose between female and male speaking voices for Alexa.
Start using your Echo device
Congratulations, your Amazon Echo is set up and ready to go! To make sure everything is working properly, you can do a little test by trying a few basic commands. For example, say “Hi” and then say the wake-up word. If your Echo is set up correctly, Alexa should respond with “Hello” in return. In the Alexa app menu, you will see two sections called Skills and games And Things to try. These are two excellent ways to learn about Alexa’s capabilities.
Skills can help you customize Alexa by giving it certain abilities – think of it as mini-apps from many different creators that you can use for entertainment, organization, news, and more.
You can start using your Echo device for a range of tasks. You can create to-do lists, find out the weather, check traffic conditions, call your friends, text your family, or stream podcasts with simple voice commands. You also have the option to expand your digital network by connecting smart home devices. Everything from color-changing light bulbs to home security cameras can communicate with your Echo. Alexa has thousands of basic and non-essential skills that you can add as well. Check out some of the most useful things your Amazon Echo can help you do.
(Optional) Connect smart home devices or an external speaker
Open the Alexa app and go to the menu on your phone or tablet. Select a file hardware option. We’ve found that Alexa usually allows an ad to appear at this point, but you can tap it to close it. He chooses + in the upper-right corner of the application, then tap Add device. Then, you can select the device you wish to join from the list. If you cannot find the correct option, you will need to click last.
At this point, Alexa can connect to any smart devices that are nearby. You can create more high-level scenes where multiple devices interact at the same time or order your accessories in groups. We encourage you to take a look at our post on routines for more details, helpful tricks, and tips on how to set up these interactions. Setup apps for many smart home products will have quick options for setting up your new device with the Alexa app.
We think it’s worth considering connecting an external speaker to your Echo if you’re looking to ensure you’re getting a high-quality listening experience when enjoying an all-out jam session of your favorite songs or listening to audiobooks. To do this, we suggest pairing a Bluetooth speaker with your Echo for expanded sound. Remember, your Echo can only connect to one Bluetooth device at a time.
If you already have a Bluetooth device paired with your Echo, you’ll need to disconnect it first. Only then can you start going through the entire setup process with the new addon. Some other smart home devices can’t connect via Bluetooth, so they stay connected. One example is your home’s security camera, which uses your Wi-Fi connection to communicate with your Echo device.
Also note that most Amazon Echo devices now support Matter, allowing you to connect to other Matter-enabled devices that normally wouldn’t work with Amazon products. To do this, simply open the Alexa app and go to File hardware menu. Then select Add widgetscroll down to lastand choose Theme. You will then be required to scan a QR code on your Matter device to complete the process.
(Optional) Set up groups for Alexa
In the Alexa app, there’s a great way to separate your Echo speakers from your other smart home devices based on the rooms in your home where those devices are located. It’s a feature called Smart Home Grouping, and it allows you to control several things at once with a single voice or app command. This is especially useful for devices like smart lights, where instead of having to tell Alexa to manually switch each bulb on, the assistant will apply on/off commands to all lights in a single room.
To start a new group, head to the Alexa app and tap hardware. Then press +> Add a group. From here, you can click Create a room or device group. If you want to merge one or more pre-existing groups together, you can also choose Combine rooms or groups. You’ll then be prompted to choose predefined Alexa names for parts of your home, or you can create your own custom name for the group. Then select the devices that are added to each group. When you’re done, click Memorizes.
To try out your new combo, give the Echo speaker in the room a simple on/off command to the different smart devices you’ve assigned to the room. If everything turns on/off correctly, your combination was successful.
(Optional) Set up music streaming with Alexa
One of our favorite features of the Echo speaker is that you can use the hub to stream all of your favorite music and audio services. By default, when you first ask Alexa to play music, the assistant will try to pull tracks from Amazon Music. If you want to pair your Echo speaker with another music service, you can do so through the Alexa app.
Run the application, then tap more. After that, click Settings > Music & Podcasts > Connect New Service. Select the service you’d like to add and follow the in-app instructions to integrate it with Alexa. from Music and podcasts screen, you will also be able to change the default music service. So, you can ask Alexa to play a song or artist without specifying which music service you want to use to play the music.
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