So you just got an Amazon Echo, either from the recent sales or the holidays. Let’s take a look at how to set it up and some useful things you can task your Echo with.
What Is the Amazon Echo?
Simply put, the Echo is a voice-controlled virtual assistant that lets you control smarthome devices, check the weather, play music, get news updates, and more.
There are a handful of different Echo models that you can choose from. The main Echo is the $99 version which comes with a decent speaker for the price. There’s also the cheaper $50 Echo Dot on the lower end (which comes with laptop-quality sound in a smaller package), and on the higher end is the $150 Echo Plus, which has a built-in smarthome hub and a slightly better speaker than the $99 model. You can also get Echos that have screens on them, like the Echo Show and Echo Spot.
Before we set the Echo up and play around with it, though, let’s take a quick tour of the physical device and its buttons. In this guide, we’ll be setting up the regular Echo model, but setting any of them works pretty much the same.
As far as physical manipulation goes, there are three things on the Echo you can mess with: the microphone button (which toggles the listening feature on and off), the action button (which, when tapped, summons Alexa without having to say anything), and the volume buttons. On the Echo Plus (and the previous-generation Echos) there’s a volume ring around the edge, rather than volume buttons.