Your Echo device and the Alexa service is, as you might expect, closely tied to the other services Amazon offers. From shopping to Prime to Amazon Music, the more services you have access to, the more use you can get from Alexa.
So, the simple answer to “Do you need an Amazon account to use Alexa” is yes. And while you will get much more from Alexa and Echo if you have a Prime account, to begin using Alexa you only need a free, standard Amazon account.
You can access the free version of Amazon Music (which isn’t terrible, but doesn’t offer a massive selection of music) with only the standard Amazon account. And if you already have subscriptions to other music services, such as Spotify, Deezer or Apple Music, you can play music from these through Alexa without upgrading to Prime.
Everything you say to your Echo speaker is recorded and saved as part of the process that lets Alexa get better at responding accurately to your voice. You can review this history at any time, and you can also delete all or some of the recordings saved there. You can also use this recording list to further improve how well Alexa works for you.
While the Amazon Echo speakers may not have the sound quality of a Sonos speaker, it is being improved with each new version of the hardware. But even if you don’t want to upgrade your current Echo speaker, there are ways you can improve how it sounds. The easiest way is to change bass, mid and treble levels of the speaker using the Alexa EQ feature. The EQ, or Equaliser, allows at least some degree of fine-tuning of how music sounds on your Echo speaker.
Alexa gives you a couple of different ways to message or talk through Echo devices. We have already looked at Drop In’s elsewhere, so lets take a look at the other way to send a spoken message to an Echo device connected to your Amazon account: Announcements.
Amazon Alexa not only lets you control music, news and alarms through your Echo speaker, but also lets you shop on Amazon using just your voice. To do this, you will need to make sure that you have your Amazon account set up properly, and may need to add extra information (such as payment details), but once you do, the actual process of Voice Purchasing is incredibly easy, especially for items you buy regularly.