Picture of the Amazon Alexa Echo Gen 2 smart speaker with power adapter, plugged into wall outlet.

Do You Need Amazon Prime to Use Echo Smart Speakers

You do not need to have an Amazon Prime membership in order to use the Amazon Alexa Echo smart speakers.  While a Prime membership may entitle you to discounts from shipping when purchasing said speakers, grants you access to the Amazon Prime Music service, and while you might be able to buy an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription at a reduced rate if you’re a Prime subscriber, you can still play the speaker and reap virtually all of its benefits without Prime.  Though you won’t be able to play music from Amazon Prime Music without a Prime subscription, the Alexa suite of smart speakers does play several other non Amazon media sources, for free.

Alexa smart speakers will play Internet radio stations from iHeart and TuneIn Radio, Spotify and Pandora content, and thousands of podcasts; all of that without having a Prime membership.  Without a Prime membership, you’ll still be able to receive news and traffic reports, play games, and access the thousands of Alexa skills, most of which do not require a Prime subscription to run.

In fact, all you need to get your Alexa smart speaker going is a Wi-Fi connection to the internet, an Amazon account, and the Amazon Alexa app.  See our  Amazon Alexa Gen 2 Echo Dot Smart Speaker Setup Help Instructions  post, which details precisely what you need to play the Alexa talking speakers on your home or work Wi-Fi networks, and shows you how to set up your speaker.


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Revision History

  • 2017-12-28: Originally published.