Audiophiles, get ready to turn your whole house into a sound system. Well, sort of. Thanks to Alexa’s new music feature, you’ll be able to “control and synchronize music across multiple Amazon Echo devices in your home.” That means you’ll finally be able to have different music playing on different Echo devices (or groups of devices), and of course, all by way of your voice. And in the near future, Amazon promises, “this ability will be extended to control multi-room music on other connected speakers.”
Using your Alexa app, you can create groups of Echo devices by naming these groups (whether it’s the living room, the downstairs, or the upstairs bathroom). After creating the group, just tell Alexa what you want to listen to. For example, you can say, “Alexa, play Josh Groban in the upstairs bathroom.” You’ll be able to listen to your favorite tunes from Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora. Amazon notes that Spotify and SiriusXM support is forthcoming. One thing to note — while you can control all the content on these speaker groups using nothing more than your voice, you’ll still have to adjust volume either manually, through the app, or by talking to individual speakers.
“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 movie trailers on Echo Show; and activity-based music searches — and we’re just getting started,” said Toni Reid, vice president of Amazon Alexa. “Today, we’re making Alexa even smarter with an all-new feature that lets you play music synchronized on multiple Echo devices to provide room-filling music throughout your home.”
This feature is already live for Echo device owners in the U.S., U.K., and Germany.
Moreover, Amazon announced a series of new tools that will allow AVS device makers to integrate with Amazon Alexa Multi-Room Music. Slated to become available early next year, these new functionalities will allow device makers with connected sound systems to control their music by way of Alexa. That means you’d be able to use an Amazon Echo Show to play music on your Sonos speaker.
“Alexa set the standard for voice in smart homes,” said Antoine Leblond, vice president of Software for Sonos. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done together as Amazon’s first multi-room partner – all you’ll need is an Alexa-enabled device, and playing music out loud on Sonos will be as easy as saying ‘Alexa, play music in the living room.’”