Amazon is a little late to the whole-house audio party. Ecosystems like AirPlay and Sonos had them beat for a while, but Amazon has finally added the ability to play music on multiple Echos at once. Read on as we show you how to configure a whole-house system using your Echo speakers.
To get started with the whole-house setup, you’ll only need two or or more Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show speakers. Presently, the brand new whole-house audio functionality is only available for those three Amazon-produced speakers—but don’t worry if you have a third-party Alexa device like the Eufy Genie. Amazon has software tools to help third-party speaker makers integrate their speakers into the Alexa whole-house setup. The tools are in development release at the moment, and by the end of the year there should be updates for non-Echo speakers available.
With your two-or-more Echo speakers on hand, let’s dive right into the painless setup process. Make sure your speakers are powered on, connected to the same network, and have easy to parse nicknames, so grouping them is painless. If you’ve never messed around with renaming your Echo products from the default naming (which is ambigious like “Jason’s Echo Dot”, “Jason’s Second Echo Dot”), check out our guide to renaming all your Echo devices with more descriptive names.
Then, open up either the Amazon Alexa app on phone or tablet, or hit up alexa.amazon.com from a browser while logged into your Amazon account to complete the setup. Both have identical menus and identical steps (but our screenshots below are from the iOS app).
First, tap on the menu icon to bring up the left-hand navigation menu.
Next, select “Settings” from the sidebar.
Scroll down in the Settings menu until you see the entry for “Audio Groups”. Select the only entry in that group: “Multi-Room Music”.
In the Group configuration screen, you’ll select a group name along with a list of Echo devices that belong to that group. Tap on “Choose Group Name” at the top.
You don’t manually type in the name, however. Instead, pick the name you want from a very well populated list of potential group names. The very first group you should create is “Everywhere” to immediately unify your whole-house audio system.
Next, check off all your Echo devices (this is the “Everywhere” configuration, after all) and then click “Create Group”.
At this point, if all you wanted was every Echo in sync, you’re done. Otherwise, you can click “Create Group” again in the Groups screen displayed after you finish creating your first group, and create additional groups (such as “upstairs”, “downstairs”, “outside” and so on).
With your “Everywhere” group created, it’s time to test the system. The syntax for whole-house audio system is “Alexa, play [valid audio source command], [group name]”. At launch, the valid audio sources are Amazon Music, TunIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora (with support for Spotify and SiriusXM on the way), so any command that you previously used with the aforementioned services will work with the multi-room music system.
For example simply saying “Alexa, play Guns ‘N Roses” would, on an individual Echo and if you’re a Prime subscriber, spool up the Amazon Prime Music Library Guns ‘N Roses playlist. Now you can simply append the command to “Alexa, play Guns ‘n Roses everywhere” to match the group name we just created.
And boom, just like that, a single unified playlist is streaming to all available Echo devices in sync with each other. So whether your taste runs 1980s hard rock or 1780s instrumental, your entire home can be filled with your favorite tracks with a single voice command.