Using Multiple Amazon Echo’s. An Everything You Need to Know Guide
Setting up multiple Amazon Echo devices | What you can (and can't) do | Music on multiple devices | Setting up different users | & more
26th Nov 2020 Published:
5th Jul 2019
By SHN Team
We are the SMARTHOME news team, with over 30 years of combined experience in publishing, tech and no
If you happen to be a smart home enthusiast, you might already have Amazon’s Echo or Dot at the centre of your setup. Using this innovative device and the very able AI assistant, Alexa, you can do almost everything with a simple voice command. But did you know that you can take the functionality even further with multiple Echos and Dots?
In case you are wondering what it would be like to have Alexa in every room of the house, continue reading to discover what you can and cannot do with multiple smart devices.
Searching for an answer? Here's our table of contents:
Amazon Echos are designed to work together with other devices that support Alexa voice services. As such, you can connect two or more Echos and have them co-exist and cooperate in love and happiness for the good of your smart home. In fact, the higher the number of Echo devices you have in your smart home, the better. Take a look at some of the benefits below.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to have multiple Echos in your smart home. Admittedly, the core functionality of the smart speaker and Alexa will not change much. However, by syncing up multiple devices, you will have the opportunity to unlock novel features of the voice assistant and smart speaker system.
You may have noticed that an Echo can pick up your shouting from a significant distance. However, while it may respond to your request even from afar, high chances are that you will not hear the response. Having multiple devices means that you will have access to Alexa no matter where you are and when you issue commands, you will hear the response.
Secondly, having smart speakers is not all about giving voice commands. When you stream music through your Echo, it would be nice if you can hear it at a reasonable volume in every room. This is obviously better than setting a booming volume in one room, potentially disturbing others in the house or even the neighbourhood. Having multiple devices allows you to set the optimal volume and enjoy the same music in as many rooms as you wish. It would also make it possible to stream different music to different rooms, matching occupants’ preferences.
Another advantage of having multiple Echos is the possibility of creating stereo pairs. For anyone who values the quality of sound, this feature lets you enjoy high performance. To access it, however, note that you need two speakers of the same type.
Go to your Alexa app
Tap the control icon
Select one of the speakers you want to pair.
Tap on ‘Connected Devices’
Select ‘Stereo Pair/Subwoofer.’
Read through the instructions and choose the speakers to create your stereo pair
How Can You Sync Multiple Echos?
There are many approaches on how to configure multiple Echos to get them to work together, no matter how many you want to have. The easiest way to do this is through the Alexa app on your mobile device.
Go to the app and tap on ‘Devices’.
Tap on the plus icon (+) on the top right side of the screen.
From the pop-up menu, select ‘Add Device’ and choose device type, in this case, Amazon Echo or Dot.
The next screen will require you to confirm the generation of the device and once you do that, you will be taken through the setup process.
Ensure that your device is plugged in for this process and once the ring turns orange, tap ‘Continue’ on the app.
In case the ring fails to turn orange, you will need to hold down the action button until it does. It normally takes 6 seconds.
Next, you need to connect the device to Wi-Fi by going to Wi-Fi settings in your smartphone. It should appear on the list in the form AMAZON-XXX (XXX should be three letters in uppercase).
Go back to your app and tap ‘Continue,’ choose your Wi-Fi network and wait till the device connects.
A screen will appear to confirm that your Echo is now online and Alexa will follow this up with a confirmation that the new device is ready.
Confirm whether Alexa is listening by asking a question and then tap ‘Continue.’
At this point, the new Echo device will prompt you to connect it to a group. This step will help you organize your gadgets according to rooms or any other criteria you might choose. Simply assign the device to an existing group or create a new one and after adding it, tap ‘Continue.’
With that, your new device is ready to roll. Follow the same procedure to set up more devices. Note that Alexa will name every new device sequentially, such as Echo Dot-1, Echo Dot-2. However, for ease of reference, you might consider assigning them more descriptive names. To do so:
Go to the app and click on ‘Devices'.
Tap the ‘Echo & Alexa’ icon and select the speaker you want to rename.
Go to ‘Settings’ under the device and ‘Edit Name.’
Syncing multiple Echo devices makes it easy to access personalized functions on the different devices around the house. To illustrate, if you have synced your to-do list, calendar and shopping lists to your Alexa account, the details will become available to the different devices. This means you can easily check your plans for the day from any room of the house and add items to your shopping list.
How Do I Get Alexa To Recognize Another Voice?
If you are planning to use Amazon Alexa and Echo in a family setting, you might be wondering, “Can Alexa recognize different users?” In fact, if you live in a residence where there are multiple Alexa users, you might already have noticed Alexa having difficulties identifying the person speaking. Fortunately, there is a solution to that, the creation of voice profiles.
If you want Alexa to recognize the different voices in your smart home, you need to create a profile for each voice. Once you do that, not only will she call you by name, but she will also personalize responses accordingly. Note that the feature is available to persons over the age of 13.
To create a voice profile, go to the Alexa app:
Tap on the hamburger menu, select ‘Settings’
Then tap on Alexa Accounts > Recognized Voices.
Choose ‘Your Voice’ and after going through the ‘Welcome Menu’ that appears, select ‘Begin.’
On the next page, you will see the prompt, “Alexa is now ready to get to know you.”
From this point, you have five minutes to mute devices nearby, ensure the room is quiet and then get within 1-5 feet of the Echo or Echo Dot.
Once you have done that, say, “Alexa, learn my voice.”
She will ask for your name and then prompt you to repeat 10 phrases, including some that begin with her other wake words (Computer, Amazon and Echo). After repeating the phrases, Alexa will say “It’s nice to meet you” and ask you to try out the new voice profile. You can do that by asking her to send a message or play music, to confirm that she can match your identity to your personal preferences and contacts.
To add another voice profile, request the person to sign in to the app using their device. Alternatively, you can log out on your device and have them sign in using their Amazon account. After signing in, have them go through the same procedure. If at any point Alexa makes a mistake, correct her to avoid recurrence. To test if she has mastered the different voices, ask, “Alexa, who am I?” or “Alexa, whose profile is this?”
How Do I Use Multiple Alexa Devices?
Previously, having multiple Alexa devices necessitated changing the wake word on the ones that were in close proximity. Otherwise, every time you said “Alexa” you would have more than one of them responding.
Currently though, if you have multiple devices that use the same wake word, Alexa will respond using the one you are closest to. By virtue of a feature known as Echo Spatial Perception (ESP), the devices are now much smarter than before. Not only can they hear the direction your voice is coming from, but they can also determine your distance from various Echos. On the basis of that information, Alexa analyzes which of them you are closest to and shuts down the rest, using only that one to respond.
Voice control is a primary use for multiple Alexa devices but it is by no means the only one. You can also use them to play multi-room music, play different music on different devices and as an intercom system between different rooms. Let us take a look at each of these functions individually.
Can Echo/Alexa play music in multiple rooms?
Yes it can, thanks to what is known as multi-room music. Playing multi-room music essentially means that you can play the same music on different Echo devices across different rooms in your house. Notably, though, you can also play different music on multiple Echo devices in different rooms of the house at the same time.
How do I create a multi-room Alexa?
The first step is to create groups on your Alexa app, which can consist of two or more Echo devices.
From the menu, select Smart Home > Groups > Create Groups > Multi-Room Music Groups.
Either pick one of the preset group names or create your own name by tapping ‘Create Custom.’
After creating a name, tap next and wait for Alexa’s confirmation of group creation.
As soon as you get the confirmation, you can say, “Alexa, play [playlist] on [group name].”
Note that if you do not specify where you want Alexa to play music, she will automatically play it on your ‘Preferred Speaker.’ Preferred speakers are considered the default speakers for your smart home ecosystem. If you do not select a preferred speaker, then Alexa will play music on the device closest to you.
Multi-room music currently only works with music and not any other type of content. A major limitation to the feature is that while a device is playing as part of a group, you cannot use it to connect to any other Bluetooth speaker. Furthermore, the feature presently supports Amazon devices exclusively and is not available to third-party smart speakers. However, Amazon has said that they will be giving third-party developers the tools to support that feature in the near future.
Play Different Music on Multiple Echo Devices
Using the above feature to play different music on multiple Echo devices is quite simple. After creating groups of devices, all you need to do is give Alexa the relevant instructions. For instance, you could create an upstairs group and a downstairs one. In that case, you would tell Alexa what music you would like upstairs and downstairs.
Can I Have Multiple Echos on One Account?
The straightforward answer to this question is yes, you can. You can order as many Echo devices under one account as you need for your household. When you place an order for a second Echo device use your Amazon account to activate it, a majority of the settings on your existing device will automatically transfer to the new one.
These include household profiles, your calendar, music settings, smart home devices, Alexa skills and Flash Brief Settings.
What settings cannot be shared between devices
Sounds, alarms, timers and Bluetooth connections.
This may give rise to yet another question:
How do I add a device to my Amazon account?
Well, all your devices will be automatically linked to your Amazon account. Therefore, you will not be required to add it manually. The above explanation also implies that you will not need to set up the new device settings from scratch.
How to Sync Calendars and Shopping Lists with Multiple Echos?
Anything that’s synced to your Alexa account will be accessible through all your Echo devices. As such, you can make a change to your calendar from any of the Echo devices and the change will reflect in all the devices. You can also use one of the Echos to add something to your shopping list and you’ll get the reminder from any of your other Alexa devices or Echos.
How to Use Multiple Echos as an Intercom (Alexa Drop In)
You also have the option of using multiple Echo devices as an intercom system within the house. Known as drop-in, this feature lets you check how family members are doing or broadcast messages. You can use video call, voice call, broadcast to one Echo or several of them simultaneously. We’ll explore the drop-in feature in greater detail in a separate article.
Amazon has recently launched a flagship security feature called Alexa Guard with which you can treat your multiple Echos like security devices.
Alexa Guard is a feature with which your Echos can listen for sounds that indicate danger. Your Echo devices basically turn into guard dogs with the capacity to detect the sound of breaking glass, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and even human activity.
When you’re sleeping or going away, you can set up Alexa Guard by saying “Hey Alexa, I’m leaving.” This will trigger the Away mode and your Echo devices will actively look for suspicious sounds. If it hears any of the aforementioned sounds, it will send you a push notification along with a short 10-second recording of what it heard.
Once you receive the push notification, you can also connect to any of the Echos to remotely listen to what’s happening (using Alexa Drop In). You can also use your Echo devices as intercoms to speak to those on the other end. For example, if someone has broken into your home and you’re away, you can speak through the Echo and inform them that you’ve called the police.
Multiple Echos are ideal for integration with Alexa Guard because you can set them up around various entry points. As such, you’ll have a guard dog stationed at different points of the house, covering up the entire perimeter.
You can have Amazon Echo in two different houses and control them from a single app. However, to do this effectively, it would be wise to name devices in such a way as to avoid confusion. This feature comes in especially handy when you have Alexa in your regular home and holiday home. It allows you to enjoy voice control and automation in both spaces, and even monitor your smart homes remotely.
Can You Bluetooth to Multiple Echos
While using multiple Echos in multi-room music settings, it is now possible to connect an Echo device to a Bluetooth speaker. Bluetooth has always been treated separately between Echo devices. This approach is logical since it eliminates the chances of having them interfere with each other or connect to Bluetooth speakers in different rooms. Therefore, in the past, connecting multiple Echos automatically disabled Bluetooth. But the feature is now available.
However, if the speaker in question causes a stadium effect or echo, you need to resync it to your Echo device.
To do that:
Select Devices > Multi-Room Music group (where the issue is) and tap on Audio Sync Problems.
Mute the speakers until you identify the ones with a problem.
Select the speaker you wish to resync, toggle the slider position and then tap on ‘Apply.’
After allowing the app to confirm changes, tap ‘Back.’
Multiple Echos on Spotify
Playing music on multiple Echos can be done using a number of music services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music. Others include third-party services such as iHeartRadio and TuneIn.
How to Create an Alexa Home Theatre System?
We already know that different Amazon Echos can be connected to each other. We also know that an Amazon Echo can control your Fire TV. But, you can now combine these features to create an Alexa Home Theatre System! Amazon has announced a new app called Alexa Home Theatre with which you can connect all your Amazon Echos and Fire TV in a single network to create a home theatre experience. According to Amazon, “You can now link compatible Echo and Fire TV devices, enabling wireless audio output when watching your favourite shows, movies, and more on Fire TV. This allows you to build a variety of immersive, wireless speaker configurations for your living room setup, including 1.0 and 2.0 configurations and, for owners of Echo Sub, 1.1 and 2.1 configurations as well.” However, Alexa Home Theatre System has the following limitations:
You can only connect two Amazon Echos and an optional Amazon Echo Sub to a single Fire TV
Alexa Home Theatre System only works with Fire TV. You can’t connect multiple Amazon Echos to watch cable or content streamed from other devices
Setting up the Alexa Home Theatre system is pretty simple. You just have to follow these steps:
Use a single Amazon account to connect your Fire TV device and Echo speakers to the same network
Access the Alexa app on your phone
Go to ‘Devices’ and then select ‘+’
When the pop-up option comes up, select ‘Set Up Audio System’
Go to ‘Home Cinema’ on the next screen
Select your Fire TV device and select ‘Next’
Enter a name for your Home Theatre system
Select the Echo speakers you want to connect to your Home Theatre system
Follow the instructions to complete the setup
With these simple steps, you’ll be able to enjoy a home theatre experience in your living room with your Amazon devices!
Can You Connect Two Phones To Alexa?
It is possible to connect two phones to Alexa by creating a second profile for them on Voice Match.
In order to do this, have the second person install the Alexa app on their smartphone.
Direct them to sign in to the account using the same Amazon ID and password that you use on your smartphone.
After doing that, they need to select “I’m someone else” from the list. This will prompt Alexa to initiate voice training to allow her to recognize the person’s voice.
What you Can’t Do with Multiple Echos
So far, we’ve discussed how you can use multiple echos in conjunction with each other. But some features aren’t suitable for multiple Echos and work on individual devices.
Setting Collective Timers and Alarms
Echo is the ideal smart device for setting timers and alarms for any purpose — be it as a wake-up call or a reminder to get food out of the oven. But timers and alarms are specific to a single Echo device.
If you set an alarm for 5 AM in your bedroom’s Echo, the alarm won’t automatically sync to all your other devices. If you set an alarm for 15 minutes in your kitchen’s Echo, that alarm won’t ring on your living room Echo device.
If you want to set a collective alarm, you’ll have to do so manually for all devices. This is a pretty intuitive feature because you don’t want to wake up the whole house early in the morning, do you?
Collective Bluetooth Connections
Bluetooth connections are naturally treated separately for each Echo device. If you connect your phone to your bedroom’s Echo, it won’t automatically connect to your other Echo devices as well. This feature is also essential so the different Echo devices aren’t always interfering with each other.
Other sources which you might find useful from Amazon: