The Amazon Echo is a device that can quickly become the center of your SmartHome setup, but what if you live in a larger home where a single Echo just won’t cut it? Here’s what you need to know about adding a second or even a third Amazon Echo to your home.
You might be wondering if an Amazon Echo can even get along with another Echo in the same location, but really there’s nothing to worry about — they’re built to work with each other. However, there are some things that don’t work across multiple echoes, so we’re here to avoid confusion.
Your second echo will already be pre-configured
When you order a second Amazon Echo and activate it with your Amazon account, many of your settings from your first Echo will be automatically transferred to your new Echo device. Thanks Amazon!
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The settings transferred include music settings, home profiles, Alexa skills, smart home devices, Flash briefing settings, and calendar.
Don’t worry if two echoes hear you at the same time
You used to have to change the wake word on some of your Echo blocks if they were too close together so you didn’t have more than one Wake Echo when you said «Alexa», but that’s no longer necessary.
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Alexa is now smart enough that if two or more of them hear the word wake up, only one device will answer you. Your Echoes now have the technology to not only hear your voice and the direction it’s coming from, but also determine how far you are from your various Echoes. Using this information, Alexa determines which echo you are closest to and only uses that device, disabling other Echo devices that also heard your voice.
Timers and alarms do not work on multiple echoes
Unfortunately, if you tell Alexa to set a timer or alarm on one Echo, it won’t sync with all the other Echo devices in your home. This means that any timer or alarm you set will only work on the echo you used to start it.
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This is so that you can set a timer or alarm on one echo and, if necessary, set a different timer or alarm on another echo (you can also set multiple timers or alarms on the same echo). While you have timers or alarms going off on each Echo at the same time, they won’t interfere with each other.
Music can be played through multiple echoes
If you love listening to music while doing housework or hosting a party and want music to play in different rooms, you can play music on multiple Echos at the same time. This is a relatively new feature for the Echo, but it’s been on the wish list for a long time.
Unfortunately, this needs to be configured manually to get it to work. The good news is that it’s quite customizable, allowing you to create «bands» and only play music in certain echoes in your home.
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Bluetooth configurations are independent
Speaking of music, if you prefer to play music from your phone and use your Echo as a Bluetooth speaker, it’s important to know that Bluetooth settings and configurations don’t sync across multiple Echos.
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Instead, if you connect your phone to one echo device in your home, but also want to connect to another echo later, you will have to do the connection process again on the second echo. You can also connect your phone to only one Echo at a time.
You can use them as intercoms
A new feature for Echo is Drop In, which basically allows you to call one Echo from another — whether they are in the same house or not. This is a great feature for home use with multiple echoes as you can use them as a sort of intercom.
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This allows you to chat with a family member if you’re in a different place in the house from each other — you can tell your kids that dinner is ready if they’re in their own rooms, or even just tell your spouse a quick message if they’re busy in the garage . The possibilities are endless.
Shopping and to-do lists are synced between echoes
Apart from a small number of things that are synced across multiple Echos, your shopping lists and to-do list are also shared across your Echo devices.
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This means that if you tell Alexa to add an item to your shopping list or a task to your to-do list, it will automatically sync to your Amazon account, from where you can access it from any of your Echos. You can even view your shopping list in a web browser on the Amazon site as well as the Alexa app (pictured above).
As you can see, for the most part, your Echos works independently, except for the things it actually stores in the cloud, such as the shopping list, household profiles, and various other settings. We still wish Echos had a few things in sync, like timers or alarms, but I’m sure Amazon will be expanding their Echo features more and more in the next couple of years — there’s probably a lot to look forward to.