​How to set up multi-room audio on your Amazon Echo speakers

How to make Alexa do a Sonos impression

Guide to Alexa multi-room audio
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If you own multiple Alexa speakers, you can create a Sonos-style multi-room audio system, which enables you to sync the same music across multiple Echo devices. That could mean seamlessly listening to music as you move throughout your home, or filling large rooms with multiple speakers working in tandem.

Multi-room audio systems have been big business in tech for the last few years, in no small part thanks to the success of Sonos. While Amazon’s Echo range of speakers can’t match Sonos for sound quality, or Apple AirPlay 2 for versatility, the Alexa voice assistant has at least learned the art of playing music, in time, across devices on your network.

Read this: Best Amazon Echo deals

How to set up multi-room audio on your Amazon Echo speakers

How to set up Echo multi-room

1. Open the Alexa app and select Devices.
2. Tap the plus sign in the top-right cornerand select Add Multi-Room Music Speakers.
3. Give your group a name, or you can choose from the pre-set ones.
4. Select the Echo devices on your network and then choose Save.
5. To begin playback, simply say "Alexa, play [music selection] on [group name]."

Which Echo speakers support multi-room?

When the feature launched a couple of years ago, it was only supported by a handful of the Amazon Echo range. However, now every Echo speaker is capable of getting hooked up. That means all the generations and variations of…

  • Amazon Echo (all generations)
  • Amazon Echo Dot (first and second generations)
  • Amazon Echo Show and Echo Show 5
  • Amazon Echo Plus (first and second generations)
  • Amazon Echo Spot
  • Amazon Echo Sub

You’ll notice that the Sonos One, which rocks Alexa, isn’t listed here. In fact, at present, only speakers that have rolled off Amazon’s own production lines get multi-room audio support. That also applies to the ageing Amazon Tap.

Talking Sonos, though - you can, if you wish, group Sonos speakers and use Alexa to control them.

What music sources can you play?

Music support is pretty ubiquitous. You can take advantage of multi-room via Amazon Prime Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora and Sirius XM. In addition, TuneIn and iHeartRadio will play radio stations using multi-room, if you prefer.

Alexa multi-room commands

Once you’ve followed the steps above, it’s party time. Just say “Alexa, Play [music] on [group name]” to start playing across your selected devices. To stop, you can say “Alexa, stop playing music on [group name]”.

Also, if you’re using music services that aren’t default, don’t forget you’ll also need to add the source and the group. For example, “Alexa, play rock music on Apple Music downstairs”.

It pays to choose the 'preferred speakers' once you've set this group up. That way, all you'll need to say is, for example, “Alexa, play Arctic Monkeys”, and Alexa will start playing music on your preferred speaker, no matter which one is closest or which group it's in. If you don't set a preferred one, the request will be carried out by the Echo that heard your request.

Amazon Echo stereo setup

Great news - it's also possible to pair a duo of Echo speakers as a dedicated stereo pair – i.e. one as the right output and one as the left output.

It's the same setup as the multi-room one described above, but choose Add Stereo Pair / Subwoofer after you've tapped that + button in the devices home screen.

Yep – Subwoofer. If you own an Echo Sub you can throw this into the mix, too, for a bit of extra bass.

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