This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.
Location, location, location. Where you place your Amazon Echo smart speaker is important — you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of Alexa. But it’s not just about the specific room you place your Echo device in. It also depends on which speaker you own, what you use Alexa for and which room you spend the most time in.
For example, an Echo Show has a clear home in the kitchen for looking up recipes, but it’s also nifty to have in the bedroom if you want to fall asleep watching Amazon Prime movies. But an Echo Dot might work best in your living room, where you can control playlists and smart home devices, or in your kitchen for setting timers. Whether you have one Echo device or a houseful of devices, you can tailor Alexa to fit your needs. Here are the best uses for your Amazon Echo device in these four places in your house.
Why your Amazon Echo is useful in your living room
If you spend a lot of time watching Netflix at home but wish your TV’s speakers were louder, you can use your Echo speakers to amplify the volume and even create a surround sound effect (we recommend the Echo Studio for this). To do so, you’ll need to connect your Echo device to a smart TV or Fire Stick.
Since the living room is often the area for entertainment, having your Amazon Echo set up there can also be great for family game nights with Alexa.
The best ways to use Alexa in your bedroom
If you’re like me, you have to have background noise to fall asleep at night. Or maybe you just want to watch a movie in your bedroom without hauling out your laptop or buying an extra TV. If that’s the case, placing an Echo Show in your bedroom can help meet both of those needs. It’s also great for seeing the week’s weather forecast in a glance.
However, if the Echo Show’s display light prevents you from falling asleep, you can always just put an Echo Dot in your room and listen to a deep sleep playlist on the screenless device instead. An Echo Dot with Clock is also a good option so you always know what time it is.
Also, if you’re concerned about privacy with the Echo Show, you can turn the camera off or cover the lens with a sticker.
Alexa can be a great tool in your garage, too
If you spend an ample amount of time in your garage, an Echo Dot or Echo (2020) speaker is all you need. For example, you can play music while you work and you can ask Alexa what time it is if you don’t have a clock in your garage. Also, if you have a smart garage door opener, you can simply ask Alexa to open the garage door for you. Note that your garage will need to be within Wi-Fi range for your Echo device to work.
If someone you live with needs to talk to you, they can do so without going into the garage by dropping-in on your Echo speaker. This means you can continue to work on your project without being rude. And you can broadcast a message to them, too.
However, if your garage gets a bit dusty from time to time, make sure you’re keeping your Echo speaker clean for sound quality.
Ways to use Alexa in your kitchen
You spend a lot of time in your kitchen, from making your morning coffee to cooking to eating dinner. An Amazon Echo is essential for measurement conversions and listening to music while enjoying your favorite dish. But using an Echo Show to look up a recipe through voice command, follow along with a cooking video or music lyrics is a must.
Your Amazon Echo is also useful for controlling the smart home devices in your kitchen. For example, if your coffee maker is plugged into a smart plug, you can create a routine or ask Alexa to start making coffee for you.
If you do put your Echo speaker in the kitchen, make sure to keep it away from the sink to keep from damaging it with water. If possible, place it on a shelf to avoid spilling sauces or other foods on it and keeping crumbs out — here’s how to safely clean the speaker if that does happen.
Now that you know where to place your Echo device, you should also know these four worst places to put your Amazon Echo in your house.
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