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What Are the Buttons on Your Amazon Echo Speaker For?

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Amazon Echo devices are great smart home tools that many of us use every day. Despite this, it’s not necessarily clear to everyone what the buttons on your particular Echo device do.

This short guide should get you clued up on the uses behind all of those different buttons, no matter which generation or model of Echo speaker you have.

What the Buttons on Your Echo Speaker Do

Currently, there are three different models of Echo speakers from Amazon, each with its own buttons depending on the generation of the device.

Echo & Echo Dot (1st Generation)

Echo and Echo Dot 1st Generation

The first generation of Echo speakers only featured two buttons, an action button with a circle symbol, and a mute microphone button with a crossed-out microphone symbol.

The mute microphone button disconnects the microphone until pressed again, while the action button can be used to stop timers or alarms, and wake the Echo device in place of a wake word. On these devices, volume is controlled by a rotating segment at the top of the speaker.

Echo & Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

Echo and Echo Dot 2nd Generation

Both models of the second-generation Echo speakers feature the same buttons. The action and mute microphone buttons from the first-generation devices look the same and have the same functions, but there are also two new buttons.

Rather than volume being controlled by a rotating dial, the second-generation devices feature volume up and down buttons, represent by minus and plus symbols respectively.

Echo & Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

Echo and Echo Dot 3rd Generation

The third-generation Echo speakers feature the same buttons as previous versions, but the mute microphone symbol has been changed to a circle with a line through it, rather than a microphone with a line through it.

Echo & Echo Dot (4th Generation)

Echo and Echo Dot 4th Generation

The buttons on the fourth-generation Echo speakers function in much the same way as the previous models. The only tangible difference is that the latest Echo speakers have touch-sensitive buttons that are mounted through the fabric, rather than buttons that recede into the device when pressed.

Buttons on Other Echo Devices

There are a few extra models of Echo speakers that have some slight variations to the buttons on them.

Echo Plus (1st and 2nd Generation)

Echo Plus 1st and 2nd Generation

The Echo Plus speaker is a more powerful version of the regular Echo devices that features better sound quality and a Zigbee smart home hub built-in.

The first-generation device features the same buttons as the first-generation Echo speakers, while the second generation matches those of the third-generation Echo line, including the updated mute symbol.

Echo Studio

Echo-Studio

The Echo Studio is a high-fidelity speaker featuring 3-D audio and automatic acoustic adjustment to give the user the highest possible sound quality from their Echo device. Although there have been several revisions, these devices are not separated into different generations.

An Echo Studio device features the same buttons as the third-generation Echo speakers, but with a slightly different placement. All four buttons are made much smaller and sit on the very edge of the plastic trim at the top of the device.

The Action Button

Although we briefly touched on what it can do above, the action button on your Echo speaker is capable of various interesting features. The chart below should fill you in on what it can do.

Function How to use the Action Button

Activate AlexaPress once.Activate Siri or google AssistantHold the button for a few seconds. Answer/end callPress the button once during a call, or when someone is calling you.Reject callHold the button for a few seconds while someone is calling you. Call you top contact Double-press. Stop alarms or timersPress once while an alarm or timer is going off. Turn off the Echo device.Press once, then press and hold for a few seconds.

Making the Most of Your Amazon Echo

There you have it. You should now have no trouble using your Echo speaker like a complete master, no matter which version of the device you happen to own.

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