Amazon has finally added multiroom audio support to its Echo devices, allowing users to simultaneously stream music over multiple speakers in their homes. It’s a long-awaited move that has been expected since the low-cost Echo Dot launched and made it feasible for people to outfit their entire homes with Amazon’s smart speaker.
The new feature will let you play audio from Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora over multiple speakers today. Spotify is the glaring omission here, but Amazon says support for the streaming service and for Sirius XM is coming soon. (If you’re waiting for Apple Music support, don’t hold your breath.)
To set up multiroom audio, head to settings in the Alexa app. Scroll down until you find Audio Groups and select Multi-Room Music. The app will then prompt you to create a group, making it easier to control music playback by saying things like “Alexa play music upstairs” instead of calling out individual speakers. Once you create your groups, setup is complete.
Using multiroom audio is as simple as everything else with the Echo, just say where you want the music to play. Saying “Play Justin Timberlake” followed by the name of your group will activate the music in your desired location, and so far it’s worked flawlessly in my testing.
Now if you’re like me and you enjoy the ease of use that multiroom audio support provides — but would like to utilize it with better speakers, like Sonos for example — well you shouldn’t have to wait much longer. Amazon has also released a new API for developers that will allow companies like Sonos and Samsung to control their whole-home speaker systems with Alexa.
Sonos has been teasing this feature for nearly a year at this point, but now it looks like it won’t be the only company rolling out an integration with Amazon in the near future. Amazon is has released another API to allow third-party Alexa speakers to operate within the multiroom audio playback setup as well. At this rate, soon Alexa will be the main operator of all music in your home, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Multiroom audio playback is available to Echo owners in the US, UK, and Germany on Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show devices.