Amazon’s Echos make fantastic music devices, thanks to designs that often focus on 360-degree sound and placement that’s ideal for filling rooms with tunes, whether you like rocking out while cleaning house, holding a party, or creating ambiance at a business. If that sounds good to you, we’re helping out with the best ways to get music stations with the Alexa voice assistant and what station skills you should try.
Note that plenty of speakers and soundbars are compatible with Alexa beyond Echo devices, so these tricks should work with them as long as Alexa is built-in.
Already have a favorite streaming service?
The good news is that Alexa can probably play it right from your Echo or other speaker device. If you head to Settings in the Alexa app, you can choose Music & Podcasts, then change your Default Service. Alexa is compatible with a variety of popular services, including Apple Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, Tidal, and others. Just login in with your account information, and the Alexa app will use the service as your default music any time you want to play something. That can save you a lot of hassle — our guide to listening to Apple Music with Alexa has more information.
How do you find Alexa’s own radio stations?
You may be wondering what music stations a voice assistant like Alexa can play or what music stations are free on Alexa so you don’t need to have a subscription. That brings us to Alexa skills, Alexa’s mini-apps and compatibility packages that allow the voice assistant to offer all kinds of extra content. These are the skills we’ll be focusing on in our top recommendations.
Do you have a favorite radio station?
If you already have a favorite local — or not-so-local — station, you may be able to save a lot of time by simply asking Alexa to play it. You can either call the station by its full name or refer to it by its code, like, “Alexa, play WE 102.9 radio.”
Alexa will automatically search for an internet version of that station (Echos don’t come with tuners), apply any necessary skills to enable it, and start playing. This is an excellent option if you already know exactly what station you have in mind. If you don’t, we have some suggestions for you!
Radio Paradise lets you take your hands off the wheels and trust the skill to play some of the latest and great music, curated by professional DJs who pick from all kinds of genres. That makes it a perfect pick for background music, but it’s also fun to just turn it on and see what plays. We like this option for finding new favorite bands and checking out what latest music is making waves in a number of different genres.
MyTuner Radio is a popular option to gain access to global FM and AM radio stations in their online formats. This is a great choice if you like to listen to international music or news directly from stations in Europe, Asia, or Australia. It also has access to popular stations like NPR News, Radio Disney, ESPN Radio, and more. That makes it an excellent general pick even for those who aren’t interested in international genres.
The Roots FM
There are countless radio stations available for listening to classic rock, many with online components, but if you are looking for one to start with, we highly recommend The Roots FM. It’s a popular choice and specializes in knowledgeable DJs and a catalog of songs that goes far beyond the typical top 100 or so classic rock titles that so many stations play.
Classic Mix Radio
Few other station skills span as many eras as Classic Mix Radio, which plays popular tracks from the 60s up through to today. It’s a great pick if you enjoy the most popular tracks from every era starting with The Beatles. They also have special music shows for America’s deployed armed forces.
Deep House plays all Deep House, all the time. It’s one of the better Alexa picks for those who are looking for an electronic station to pulse to and would prefer that quite a few songs embrace vocals or remixes along the way. Find something new and share it with your friends.
The Wiz (93.5)
This little gem, based out of Louisville, plays a wide variety of popular music and keeps things “clean,” so it’s one of the best skills for family-friendly businesses like restaurants and others. There are also live DJs every night.
Hard Rock Hell Radio
Alexa’s hard rock stations don’t get much better than Hard Rock Hell, which plays a wide variety of hard rock content from America, the U.K., and beyond. If you like listening to the most popular hard rock and metal bands as well as finding some new bands to follow, this is definitely a skill to try.
This station offers hard tunes for the metalheads, and does it well. It’s a particularly good pick for those who like their music hard and are interested in finding new bands, as the hand-selected songs try to keep up with the latest sensations in the genre.
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