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The Amazon Echo has become one of the key pieces of creating a smart home How Amazon Echo Can Make Your Home A Smart Home How Amazon Echo Can Make Your Home A Smart Home Smart home tech is still in its early days, but a new product from Amazon called "Echo" may help bring it into the mainstream. Read More . From its ease of obtaining information to integration with dozens of other products, the Echo is getting more powerful all the time.

Your Echo is pretty great out of the box, but there’s one setting disabled by default that certainly shouldn’t be. Whenever you say “Alexa” to your Echo, it acknowledges that it heard you by lighting up. However, you’re not going to be able to see the lights if your Echo is tucked in a corner, or if you’re busy with some other task.

That’s where the audio acknowledgment setting comes in. Open your Alexa app, and on the left sidebar, tap Settings. Tap the name of your device at the top of the list to open its settings, then select Sounds & Notifications.

At the bottom of this menu, you’ll see the Request Sounds header. This contains two settings — the first plays a sound when you say “Alexa”, and the second plays a sound when you’re done speaking. If you need something to ask Alexa, check out the goofiest questions you can run by her 20 Echo Skills That Show Alexa's Not Always So Smart 20 Echo Skills That Show Alexa's Not Always So Smart Despite all the things that you can do with Alexa out of the box, its extensibility via Skills is far more intriguing. Here are 20 Echo Skills that may surprise you! Read More .

This sounds small, and it’s a minor detail, but it helps out greatly. When you can’t see your Echo, or if you’re not sure that it heard you, that little chime lets you know that you’re not speaking to thin air. A little confirmation is always a good thing!

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If you’re thinking about getting an Echo, but are confused by the different types, have a look at our comparison of Echo models Amazon Echo vs. Dot vs. Tap: What Are the Key Differences? Amazon Echo vs. Dot vs. Tap: What Are the Key Differences? One common complaint against Amazon Echo was that it had too many features and cost too much. Amazon's response to that? Releasing two variations with smaller price tags: the Tap and the Echo Dot. Read More .

Do you like hearing a tone to ensure Alexa heard you, or do you get by without it? Let us know your favorite part of the Echo in the comments!

Image Credit: pathdoc via Shutterstock

  1. likefunbutnot
    November 3, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    I don't really have a problem with just the lights. If anything, I wish they were a different color since there are way too many blue LEDs in my place already. But it's fine and even kind of funny when a couple of them light up and answer me at the same time. I wish I could control the color of the lights like I do my Hue bulbs.

    I have an Echo and couple Dots at home and the feature I REALLY wish the devices had is parental controls. I'm not even a parent, but I have had a houseguest add music to my Amazon account that I REALLY wish wasn't there, especially since it has totally changed the recommendations I get on Amazon and my other devices.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 3, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      So the guest said "Alexa, play Justin Bieber" or something like that? Or did they actually order music? You can add a PIN for audio purchases if it was the second case. Otherwise, I agree — there needs to be a guest mode or something similar for when people come over.

      • likefunbutnot
        November 4, 2016 at 2:13 pm

        The former. The "radio" channels seem to be weighted like purchases, or the preponderance of customer preference associated with pop music overrides the other data Amazon has collected about my more specific tastes. It has basically ruined the recommendation engine for content.

  2. Alicson
    November 1, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    The total opposite of this is needed and unavailable for the Amazon Tap. The Tap is an incredibly noisy device, making sounds for Everything even when it has lights that could serve much more effectively for indication and notification, especially given this is a strictly handheld/touched device whose notifications would be much greatly appreciated if they could be seen Rather than heard! (Especially when it's announcing Bluetooth connections and disconnects at random though a day or night.) I've provided this feedback to Amazon regularly since the first week of release; nothing yet.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 2, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      I have an Echo Dot myself, so it's interesting to hear this about the Tap. Does it really make announcements all night? That's quite frustrating, especially if you keep it in your bedroom.

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