Live: Amazon Event Wednesday Probe Crashes Into Asteroid Prime Day 2: Oct. 11-12 Tesla AI Day Hurricane Ian Satellite Images Save on iPad Pro Refurbs Apple Watch Ultra Review EarthLink Internet Review
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Try these 4 cool tricks with the Amazon Echo in your living room

From turning your room into a home theatre to reenergizing family game night, these are the best uses for the Amazon Echo in your living room.

Place your Echo somewhere in the living room.
Chris Monroe/CNET

If you've got a living room, you probably spend a lot of time there, which makes it the perfect home for your Amazon Echo. And while you may use Alexa to drop in on other speakers in the house or play music, or even as a home security camera, there are several other benefits to keeping an Echo device in the living room. 

For example, Alexa can turn your living room into a home theater, and can even let you control all your smart home devices from your couch. We suggest keeping your Echo devices away from windows to prevent outsiders from getting access to your household Alexa -- while a rare occurrence, it is a possibility. While Alexa has many uses in your home, here are the best uses for an Amazon Echo in your living room.

Read more: Amazon announced the new Echo Show 15 smart display at its September 2021 fall product launch event, along with several other new Echo and Ring products

Your Echo can provide surround sound

If you've got an Amazon Echo, you can turn your living room into a home theater for when you're watching movies. Note that you do need to have compatible hardware. This works best if you have multiple Echo speakers in your living room or an Alexa-compatible soundbar.

To get started, open the Alexa app and select Devices, tap the Plus icon and select Set Up Audio System. For the best results, you'll need an Alexa-compatible smart TV or Fire TV to help prevent any lag issues. This also determines whether you'll select Stereo Pair (connect multiple speakers) or Home Theater (connect speakers to Fire TV) to continue setting up your devices. Follow the onscreen instructions to finish pairing your speakers with your TV.

Read more: 4 best uses for Alexa in every room of your home

Alexa can control your lights

Whether it's plugging your lamp into a smart plug, installing a smart switch or simply using a smart bulb, Alexa can help you turn your lights on and off. This is especially useful when it's dark and you can't seem to find the light switch in the middle of the night.

For whichever smart device you have, you'll need to connect it to your Amazon Echo using the Alexa app. To get started, open the app and tap Devices, then select the Plus icon and tap Add Device. Select the device you're setting up and follow the onscreen instructions.

Read more: LED lights can help save the planet, one bulb at a time 


Alexa can control your lights with a smart switch, plug or bulb.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Lock and unlock your front door from your couch

If you like to keep your doors locked, even when you're at home, smart locks can be useful for locking and unlocking your door with just your voice. Even better, you can connect it to your Echo speaker so you can ask Alexa to control your lock without moving from the couch.

For example, you'd say, "Alexa. Lock the front door." For security reasons, typically a smart lock will lock the door in response to voice commands, but will only unlock it with a PIN code.

Read more: Smart lock buying guide: Find the right lock for your front door 

Family game nights

Playing the same board games over and over can get boring. Fortunately, your Echo device is chock-full of fun games you can play, from trivia to investigation games. Some of the games are already integrated into the Echo speaker, but many are Alexa skills that you can enable in the Alexa app.

The games are great for family nights when you're staying home -- especially with the temperature cooling down. For some starting ideas, here's a list of Alexa games we like best.

For more tips, here are the best uses for Amazon Echo in your bedroom, the best things you can do with two or more Echo devices and the five best ways to use Amazon Echo in the kitchen.

Now playing: Watch this: Alexa's best hidden talent lets you make your own commands

More Alexa recommendations