Audio synchronization coming to the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot for whole home audio support

The Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and possibly other Alexa devices will soon be able to synchronize audio across multiple devices. Users have reported seeing a new audio synchronization feature appear in the Alexa app. The feature, often referred to as whole home audio, will allow you to use multiple Alexa devices to play music as if they were satellite speakers connected to the same audio source.

You’ll be able to trigger multiple Alexa devices to start playing the same thing by adding “everywhere” to the end of a request. So saying “Alexa, play music everywhere” to one device will start playback on multiple devices simultaneously. You’ll be able to select specifically which of your Alexa devices are triggered, when the “everywhere” request is made, from within the Alexa app.

It does not appear as if audio synchronization is working just yet. Those who are seeing the new setting in their Alexa app are unable to select their Alexa devices to participate because the app states a firmware update for those devices is required. The app also states “saving will interrupt streaming audio and activate Bluetooth connections,” so the feature may use the Echo and Echo Dot’s Bluetooth signal to keep audio in sync. It’s unknown when the feature will make its way to all devices, but it should be coming soon.

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24 comments
  1. David G says:

    I hope this functionality extend to firetv devices.

    Chromecast audio multizone groups exclude Chromecast video dongles and AndroidTV devices. Apple still doesn’t natively support multizone airplay audio only possible via third party apps. The natural progression would be to enable these features. It would be nice if Amazon could avoid this type of self crippling.

    • Stuart says:

      Apple supports multi-zone audio through iTunes.

      • David G says:

        Yeah, forgot about that. I don’t really use iTunes for anything anymore other than for iTunes match. But you can’t route audio from other apps to it. Enabling on mobile devices with out need for a computer or server is more appealing.

        • Stuart says:

          Agree.

          Sad fact is that you’ll need a computer somewhere to handle the synchronisation. Will be clever if Alexa can juggle audio.

          • David G says:

            Actually airaudio and allstream synchronize airplay directly the mobile device for android. Whaale will too on iOS. So it is totally possible to implement on device.

            Chromecast audio (CCA) is quite amazing since it will sync using Internet source directly to the Chromecast. If it synced it’s video devices with the CCA.

    • Jimm says:

      Google home has it , love it, I can tell it to play music , play music on certain speakers or play music on all speakers and they are perfectly synced

      • Paul says:

        Is that playing through muliple google devices or multiple linked speakers?

        • Goodhur says:

          Only Chromecast audio dongles ($35usd) and speakers with Chromecast audio built in (Sony and lg make some). Android TV and Chromecast video dongles unfortunately cannot be linked with a Chromecast audio to play simultaneously.

  2. Joe D says:

    Wonder if this would allow two Echo’s to play music in stereo.

  3. Proximiy says:

    If you read the reddit post this article cited. There was only one user reported it. No one else in the thread can replicate the finding. It may very well be fake. Got my hopes up too soon.

  4. Mike says:

    Hope they add alarm syncing at some point, for things I cook for a while in the oven and go watch tv, if I set a timer on the echo unit in the kitchen and then ask the echo in the family room how much time is left it tells me I have no alarm set.

    • erok says:

      If you add IFTTT, you can create a trigger from alexa to devices like Philips Hue that can trigger the lights to blink. I use timers all the time in the kitchen, then the lights flash when it is time. Here is my receipt for this – Applet ID 43311046d.

      This is the one feature I have been eagerly waiting for. I hope this comes out shortly, even if this is a hoax.

      • gdr says:

        i have this applet setup but what he wants is different he wants to be able to hear how much time is left from an echo in another room i also would find this useful

        though i only have it blink my kitchen lights
        i could all the living room lights but that still won’t tell me how much longer on the timer
        i just hope they have more options
        for routing audio

        “You’ll be able to select specifically which of your Alexa devices are triggered, when the “everywhere” request is made, from within the Alexa app.”

        i don’t like the sound of this , i want it to be able to route the audio to where i want by telling alexa,and not have no rely on going in and changing app settings

        when i tell alexa to play a pandora station on the kitchen echo then i go into another room i should be able to say alexa stop playing on my kitchen echo to the echo in the bedroom and it should be able to stop it ,or reroute it to the bedroom echo stop it on the kitchen echo and play in on the bedroom echo

        also i would like it to be able to route audio not just to multiple echo devices but (for the dot) to any external speakers connected to the echo via the 3.5mm jack or bluetooth
        i should be able to tell it to switch to bluetooth speaker or play on echo and not on bluetooth speaker or play on both or play on 3.5mm connected speaker only or play on 3.5mm connected speaker and on echo dot
        they should give us full audio routing option through voice and not have us have to go to the app settings

        • badbob says:

          When I read “You’ll be able to select specifically which of your Alexa devices are triggered, when the “everywhere” request is made, from within the Alexa app.”, I think it’s referring to assigning your echos to specific names in a one-time setup.

          So for word “everywhere”, I would check all my echos.
          For “bedroom”, check “echo 2”
          For “livingroom”, check “echo 3” and “echo 4”
          For “2nd floor”, check “echo 2, 3, and 4”
          etc…

          I think if your dot is connected to 3.5mm and you want it to play to bluetooth speakers, you can to tell it to connect. And to switch back to 3.5mm, tell it to disconnect.

          • Gdroid666 says:

            Yeah I am not sure Bout that I think I called once and they told me not it is not possible I don’t know what the exact syntax would be to do that

          • badbob says:

            we’re just speculating on a rumor of something that will either be an upcoming feature or just a cruel joke that someone just made up. Obviously you’re not going to get anywhere by calling amazon. Nonetheless, it’s fun to imagine how we WANT it to be implemented.

    • Andrew says:

      Mike, I have the same issue with timers so I set up an IFTTT trigger to flash the lights. If this is an option for you it’s a decent interim fix.

  5. Paul says:

    So here is how I sync my Alexa devices. First I choose a playlist a playlist im the Alexa music app then i start playing it on device 1. I switch to device 2 and hit play and so on. Once the playlist is playing on all 4 of my devices I use tha pause/play function while listening to two of the devices to get them synced up. It usually takes about 5 min to get them all ligned up. Would be much better if there was a drop down in the music app that said all devices, but for now, this works as long as you don’t want to change your playlist.

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