How to use Amazon Echo speakers and Alexa as intercoms

Echo Dot

You can call your Echo device from within your house from another Echo device or the Alexa app.

With Amazon’s Echo speakers, you can set up multi-room intercoms and even Drop In on different rooms in the house. If you’re away from home or don’t have an Echo in the room you’re in, you can just use the Alexa app to call into another room. You’ll need to get a few settings straightened out before you can use your Echo devices as intercoms. Here’s how.

Note: I recently wrote an editorial about how Amazon should add password protection to its Alexa app. It’s something to consider before enabling Drop In.

Step 1: Rename your Echo devices

Though you could keep the default name of your various Echo devices, it’s much easier to just rename them based on the room they are in. For example, if you have an Echo in the living room, rename it “Living Room.” Do this with all of your Echo devices.

Note: If you only have one Echo device in the house, and plan on using the Alexa app to call it, there is no need to rename your Echo since you will be manually Dropping In, not verbally asking Alexa for help.

  1. Launch the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu icon in the upper left corner of the app. It looks like three lines stacked up on top of each other.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Open the Alexa app, then tap menu, then tap Settings

  4. Tap your Echo device.
  5. Tap Edit next to Device name.
  6. Rename the Echo device.
  7. Tap Save.

    Tap your device, then tap Device Name, then rename the device and tap Save

Repeat this with all Echo devices in your house.

Step 2: Enable Drop In for your household

Just like Dropping In on friends and family, you have to give permission for yourself and others listed as members of your household (this might include people not physically in your house if you share your Amazon Prime benefits with someone else) to Drop In on you. You’ll have to enable it in under your profile and make sure you haven’t disabled Drop In on your individual devices.

Enable Drop In under your profile

  1. Launch the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the Conversation icon. It looks like a chat bubble.
  3. Tap the Contacts icon at the top right of the screen. It looks like the silhouette of a person.

    Open the Alexa app, then tap Conversations, then tap Contacts

  4. Tap your profile at the top of the list of contacts.
  5. Turn the Your household can Drop In on your Echo devices switch on.

    Tap your profile, then turn on Household Drop In

Enable household Drop In on each device

You may have disabled one or more of your Echo devices from receiving Drop Ins. Double check and re-enable them if you need to.

  1. Launch the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu icon in the upper left corner of the app. It looks like three lines stacked up on top of each other.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Open the Alexa app, then tap menu, then tap Settings

  4. Tap your Echo device.
  5. Tap Drop In.
  6. Tick the box for either On or Only my household. It’s up to you.

    Tap your device, then tap Drop In, then choose On or Only for Household

Step 3: Initiate a Drop In

This last part is fairly easy. If you’re using one of the Echo devices, simply say “Alexa, Drop In on the living room” or “Alexa, drop in on the office” or wherever you’ve got the other Echo devices set up. It’ will happen automatically and the person in that room will hear three chimes before the call is connected.

To use the intercom feature from the Alexa app, tap the blue Drop In banner at the top of the Conversation screen, and then select which room you want to Drop In on.

Tap Drop In, then select a room

Check out our guide to using Drop In

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to turn your Echo devices into intercoms? Put them in the comments and we’ll help you out.

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