Amazon has already filled millions of homes with the Alexa assistant through its suite of smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot (available from Amazon). Now, after years of waiting, Amazon has finally announced multi-room audio support. In layman's terms, that means users can synchronize their music across their Echo, Dot, and Echo Show.
Right now, you'll be able to sync audio from Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora. If you're like me and use Spotify, support for that and Sirius XM is supposedly coming soon. Although there are workarounds you can use to bypass this restriction, it's honestly more hassle than it's worth.
If you own multiple Echo speakers, here are the steps to setup multi-room support:
- Go to "Settings" in the Alexa app
- Scroll down until you find "Audio Groups" and select "Multi-Room Music"
- Next, you'll create a group for some or all of your speakers. Something like "Upstairs" or "Everywhere"
- That's it! Setup should be complete.
To use multi-room audio, all you have to do is say where you want your music to play using the group you created during setup. "Alexa, play Lady Gaga downstairs" will prompt all of your grouped devices to blare "Bad Romance"—perfect for an impromptu dance party.
When we tried it out, we discovered that each Echo speaker you own can only be in one group, making it impossible to have an "Everywhere" group include speakers in an "Upstairs" group, but Amazon will likely fix this flaw in future software updates.
While support only currently exists for Echo devices, Amazon also released new tools for developers that will allow companies to integrate their speakers with Alexa multi-room audio, as well as allow Alexa to control third-party speaker systems like those from Sonos and Bose.