How to play music in several rooms at once with Amazon Alexa and Multi-Room Music
As we explained in our recent Alexa guide, there are several reasons why two Amazon Echo smart speakers are better than one. For this feature we will look at Multi-Room Music.
Added to the Alexa app last summer — but only gaining support for Spotify in December 2017 — Multi-Room Music lets you play the same music through various speakers throughout your home at the same time.
Here's how spending just $100 on a pair of Amazon Echo Dot speakers can make this possible:
First, you should follow our guide on setting up multiple Echo Dot speakers via the Alexa app. We then advise readers to rename their Echos to something more logical — in our case, we have one Dot in our bedroom called 'Upstairs' and a second Dot in our living room called 'Downstairs.'
This, as we have previously explained, is all you need to play different music through each Echo Dot at the same time. But, bizarrely, playing the same music through both is more complicated — and there are some limitations you need to be aware of.
To do this, open the Alexa smartphone app — or go to alexa.amazon.com — and tap the menu icon in the top-left corner. Then tap Settings, followed by Multi-Room Music. You will then be asked to create a group, which you can name yourself or pick from a list of common options, such as 'Kitchen,' 'Dining Room,' 'Bedroom' etc. Alternatively, you can call the group 'Everywhere,' which is what we did.
A group called Everywhere can be created to play music through every Echo at onceGearBrain
Next you need to tell Alexa which Echo speakers are going to be used in this group. We only have two and we'd like them both to play when the 'Everywhere' group is selected. If you have a whole house full of Echos, you will want to — for example — create a group called 'Kitchen', then assign every Echo in the kitchen to this group. Then tap save and wait a minute for the app to create your group and link the Echos together.
Now, just say "Alexa, play music everywhere" and the same playlist will begin on every Echo assigned to the Everywhere group. In our case, this meant the same song playing in our bedroom and living room.
An extra note; if you have set up several groups, you can control them all from any Echo speaker. Just ask Alexa to play something else in a specific group, or ask her to stop music in that group altogether.
How to control Alexa Multi-Room Music with Spotify
Until December 2017, this was not an option. But now, every Echo speaker you connect to your Wi-Fi network and every Group you create in the Alexa app will appear as a device in Spotify. For us, we just tapped 'Everywhere,' and our Spotify music played on both Echo Dots.
For now, Spotify support for Multi-Room Music only works in the US, UK and Germany on Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show devices. Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and Pandora also work with Multi-Room, although the latter two are US-only.
Multi-Room Music does not work with Bluetooth speakers
We said earlier there is a limitation, and here it is. As the Dot's small internal speaker is quite poor at music playback, you may want to connect a better speaker via the Dot's Bluetooth connection or 3.5mm audio input. However the Bluetooth connection does not work in conjunction with Multi-Room Music, so if you want to stream music through several Dots at once, you will need to connect them to speakers with a cable via the 3.5mm input.