Amazon Echo gets major audio upgrade – ‘Alexa, play music everywhere’

Amazon has finally added support for multi-room music playback on Alexa-powered devices like the Amazon Echo.

Like Sonos speakers, Amazon Echo devices are intended to be placed in several rooms around your house, for maximum smart home fun. But unlike Sonos, Amazon’s smart speakers have offered no simple way to synchronise music playback across your home – until now.

Amazon has finally launched support for multi-room music playback on Amazon Echo devices, which means you can control and synchronise audio across multiple speakers in your home using the built-in, voice-controlled Alexa digital assistant.

The feature, which goes live today, lets you target music to specific Echo devices, or even a group of devices. You just need to ask using your voice – for instance, you could say “Alexa, play my music everywhere”. Alternatively, you can create groups within the app, and say something like ‘Alexa, play John Mayer downstairs”.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Trusted Reviews that the feature would be going live in the UK and USA today, as well as for customers in Germany and Austria. Music playback will work from Amazon Music and TuneIn, with support for Spotify said to be “coming soon”. US customers will also be able to listen to iHeartRadio and Pandora, with additional support for SiriusXM also coming in the future.

Speaking about the announcement, Toni Reid, VP of Amazon Alexa, said: “In just the last few months, we’ve added dozens of new features to Alexa that enhance your entertainment experience – control of Amazon Fire TV and your home entertainment systems via Echo; music lyrics, Amazon Video, and move trailers on Echo Show; and activity-based music searches – and we’re just getting started.”

Reid continued: “Today, we’re making Alexa even smarter with an all-new feature that lets you play music synchronised on multiple Echo devices to provide room filling music throughout your home.”

The new functionality will work on the Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot, and Amazon Echo Show. An Amazon spokesperson tells us that the update will arrive over-the-air today, and that getting multi-room music support will require no action on the part of the user.

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What’s your favourite Amazon Alexa skill? Let us know in the comments.