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Alexa and Echo are often used interchangeably, but they are actually separate entities. The Echo is a hardware device that you can use even when it’s not housing Alexa, after all, you paid for the hardware separately! If you’ve been wondering about the functionality of Amazon's Echo Dot Speakers – without Alexa, this article will answer all your questions.

From how Echo Dot functions without Alexa to set up and what the Dot Speakers can offer without the voice assistant we’ve included it all!

What is the Difference Between Alexa and Echo?

Here's one fact that'll help you understand how Echo and Alexa work and how they're different. You can think of Alexa as the software and Echo as the hardware.

So, essentially, Amazon's Echo houses the voice assistant, Alexa, and the two work hand in proverbial hand. At the risk of sounding too reductive, we can say that Echo is basically just a speaker and microphone.

As to what the two can do – well, that's a different story. Alexa's functionality includes listening to voice commands and doing things like playing music/podcasts, setting timers, helping you order stuff from Amazon, turning your lights on and off, etc. 

Amazon's Echo is the speaker that connects you with Alexa. Of course, it also helps do other stuff like stream the audio you want to hear and command Alexa via its built-in microphones.

Do you have to have Alexa to use an Echo Dot?

Technically, it's not necessary to have Alexa to work Echo Dot. The catch, however, is that without Alexa, your Echo Dot will serve as speaker only. 

How? That's simple. To bypass Alexa and utilize the Echo Dot, you can link up the speakers to your tablet, iPad, smartphone, or PC via Bluetooth. 

As for the initial setup, you have two options: use the Alexa app or a browser link. Both methods are covered in this article below!

Setting Up an Echo Dot without the Alexa App

If you want to set up the Echo Dot without having anything to do with Alexa, here's how to go about the process. However, before you go about trying to set up the speaker – make sure you have a Windows 10 PC or laptop.

  1. Start by going to the following site https://alexa.amazon.com or just click here to access it. The link will work on almost every browser.
  2. The next step is logging into your Amazon Alexa account (if you have one) or setting up a new one to sign in.
  3. Once you're signed in, you'll have to turn on the Echo Dot device. After you power on the device, wait for the LED ring to go orange. Next, you'll notice the Echo device appear on the page you signed into because your Echo Dot purchase is linked to your Amazon account.
  4. Locate the action button ( with a circle on it) and press and hold the button down for at least 5 seconds. Turn back to your PC or laptop and click on the ‘settings' selection.
  5. When you click on ‘settings,' you should see the option ‘click to set up a new device' appear. Click on that, and you'll see a prompt asking you what type of Echo device you're trying to set up. Click on the Echo Dot option.
  6. The next step is selecting your relevant Wi-Fi network and typing in your password. Once you're done with that, click on the ‘connect' selection.
  7. That's pretty much it. All you have to do is wait some seconds until your Echo Dot completes the setup, and you're good to go!

Setting Up Echo Dot by using the Alexa App initially

For readers who'd like to set up their Echo Dot device with the help of Alexa – here's what you'll need to do.

Firstly, ensure you have the Alexa app on your tablet, iPad, or smartphone of choice. You can download the app from the Google Play Store (for Android devices) or the Apple App Store – for free.

  1. When trying to set up Echo Dot with Alexa, make sure you're standing not more than 3 feet away from the device.
  2. Next, turn on the Bluetooth connection of your smartphone or tablet.
  3. Log in to the Alexa app and choose the ‘devices' selection. Next, select the ‘Echo & Alexa' heading.
  4. You should see your Echo Dot device pop up in the list of devices – choose your relevant device.
  5. Next, choose the ‘pair a new device' selection from the ‘BlueTooth Devices' option, and you're done.

If you're wondering how to link your Echo Dot via Bluetooth according to your existing smart device/assistant – here's what to do.

  1. Open your smart device's settings and choose the ‘BlueTooth' heading.
  2. Next, select Alexa from the drop-down list of options.

What can you do without Alexa?

For readers wondering what they'll be able to use their Echo for without Alexa, here's a shortlist of things you can and can't do.

  1. You'll be able to use the Echo Dot as an external speaker by pairing it with another to extend your range.
  2. You'll be able to listen to podcasts, music, audiobooks, etc. This is easily done via Spotify or other music streaming apps that you prefer. Note that this means you'll have to choose your audio manually (through the app) and not voice commands.
  3. You'll be able to set up reminders or timers through the Echo Dot's ‘action button.'
  4. You will not be able to access any smart features, including having the weather relayed through the smart speaker, searching for information, or communicating with your smart home setup through voice commands.

The Verdict

Yes, you can use your Echo Dot device without Alexa – but you won't be able to access any of the smart features the AI Alexa offers. The most you can do with without Alexa is to listen to your favorite audio or set up timers and reminders.

Sources

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