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As a result of this question I have read some articles about Alexa and its wake-words. One of the articles mentions the following:

Finally, for people with multiple Echo units, there’s an argument to be made for multiple wake words. The microphone array on the Echo and Echo Dot units is very sensitive. If you have an Echo in your living room and a Dot upstairs in your bedroom, there’s a good chance that issuing a command to Alexa while standing in the foyer will trigger both units. In such instances, it’s really handy to have one wake word for the downstairs unit and one wake word for the upstairs unit.

Now it says that:

The microphone array on the Echo and Echo Dot units is very sensitive. If you have an Echo in your living room and a Dot upstairs in your bedroom, there’s a good chance that issuing a command to Alexa while standing in the foyer will trigger both units.

So then why would I need more of them when one can cover an average home? What are the possible use-cases that reasons having multiple Alexas at home?

Also to extend coverage it could be enough to use a simple wireless microphone unit connected to Alexa.

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    Maybe you don't even need one. I think you could start off with one unit and if you feel that you need more reach, or can't be heard at some locations, you can put up a second one. – Paul Jan 12 '17 at 13:34
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First, the main reason is not the Echo hearing you, but you hearing it. While my downstairs Echo Dot can usually pick up my shouting from upstairs, I usually can't hear it's response.

Now to your point of multiple Echo's turning on, Amazon rolled out new technology a few weeks ago called ESP that will automatically get the nearest Echo to your voice to activate, and the rest remain silent.

If you have more then 3 people in your house, there is usually too much background noise for the Echo Dot to hear you more than 10 feet away (obviously walls are a factor as well, reducing that distance even more).


Now this isn't part of my answer, but let's be fair to the Echo here. Chances are that if there is a situation where Echo can't here you clearly, a human probably wouldn't be able to either. This is also a good way to test the limits before you purchase.

9

Your quote is actually about the Echo / Echo Dot - physical products that provide interface to the Alexa service. But that is not all they do - they are also music streaming speakers for example. If you are listening to music, it's often best to have it playing through speakers in the room you are in, rather than have it booming through the house from a different room at high volume, potentially disturbing a sleeping baby, or even neighbors.

Additionally, it's entirely possible that each device cannot (reliably) hear commands spoken at the location of the other, even though there is some part of the house such as hallway or stairwell in between where both devices can hear what is spoken - it would be logical to expect that the regions of audio input coverage would overlap only partially, not fully. Additionally zones where it works "sometimes" but not consistently could be annoying.

6

Instead of purchasing a second unit, Amazon offers a remote that can be taken with you into other rooms. This would be a cheaper option assuming you are using the Echo or Echo Dot.

Amazon Alexa Remote

  • Official remote for Amazon Echo and Echo Dot (Not compatible with Amazon Tap)
  • Connects to Amazon Echo and Echo Dot via Bluetooth
  • Includes an integrated microphone for when you are too far away or it's too noisy for Echo to hear you
4

Sandbox?

I don't know how Alexa connects to other machines (http,...) but this could be used to apply only specific rules to each unit.

You can have Alexa in your living room to help people dim lights, play a tune on the hifi,...

The other Alexa can be in your garage and help you with general automation (garage door, tools, appointment,...).

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    Another thing to consider may be background noise. If you're playing music in the background, an unit that is far away may not be able to hear you. – Paul Jan 12 '17 at 13:33
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Having multiple devices would not be necessary for a silent and small place.

But there would be necessary condition if the area is huge and there are walls everywhere, many windows, too much of noise etc.

As @Justin Allard mentioned in his answer, a remote for Echo will be a partial solution. But, as the range of Bluetooth is limited, again it's disgusting if Alexa doesn't hear our cry!

So in this condition, having a few of them around might seem necessary!

And as @Nathaniel mentioned, The new ESP feature that Amazon released helps Alexa find the optimal or nearest Echo to respond! This is an amazing feature.
Only the nearest one would respond and the rest of them keep quiet! A very helpful feature, adds up to the point that we could use a couple of them.

Just like we use Wi-Fi repeaters to extend Wi-Fi signal reach, we would use maybe another Alexa for the kitchen and another one for the bedroom.

Since we can train them all differently, it would be great having a few of them!

Again it depends on the necessity.

If we could carry her along, great!

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