Amazon’s recently released Echo Wall Clock is a handy accessory for Echo smart speaker owners who regularly set timers, however, it does suffer from an issue that is common among all Alexa Gadgets. Playing multi-room music that includes the Echo device that the clock is paired to will cause the Echo Wall Clock to lose its connection to the Echo device. This could result in the clock inaccurately displaying the status of timers.
Every time the Echo device that the Echo Wall Clock is paired to begins playing multi-room music, the clock’s status LED, just below the clock hands, will start to pulse red. This indicates that the clock has lost its connection to the Echo device. The red pulse happens intermittently, about once a minute, until the connection is re-established. Shortly after multi-room music is stopped, the clock reconnects to the Echo device on its own.
The good news is that if one or more timers are set before starting multi-room music, the Echo Wall Clock will continue to display the status of those timers correctly while multi-room music is playing. The status LED on the clock will pulse red occasionally, but the timer LEDs around the clock face will continue to correctly move as time passes and the full LED countdown that occurs during the last 60 seconds of a timer does get displayed properly.
If multi-room music is playing when a timer or alarm ends, the Echo Wall Clock does not flash all of its LEDs, as it normally would when a timer ends or an alarm sounds. This lack of LED flashing is true even if the timer was set prior to starting multi-room music, so it seems that the paired Echo device directly causes the flashing remotely, while the clock itself keeps track of the LED countdown internally. Of course, the timer and alarm sounds will still play out of the Echo device, even if multi-room music is playing.
The real annoyance with this issue occurs if new timers are set or existing timers are modified/canceled while multi-room music is playing. If a new timer is set while multi-room music is playing, the Echo Wall Clock simply does not display the timer at all. If multi-room music is stopped before the newly created timer ends, the Echo Wall Clock will eventually become aware of the timer and display its remaining time correctly. Re-establishing a connection between the clock and the Echo device does not happen instantly after multi-room music is stopped, so timers created while multi-room music was being played may not show up on the clock for quite a while.
The worst scenario seems to be when existing timers, which are already being displayed on the Echo Wall Clock, are canceled while multi-room music is being played. Since the clock is not connected to the Echo device while multi-room-music is playing, the clock does not know that the timer has been canceled, so it will continue to display the status of the non-existent timer. Worse yet is it does not seem to remove the orphan timer once its connection to the Echo device is re-established.
When this occurs, there is no way to remove the timer from the clock. It will simply continue to display the status of the canceled timer until the timer ends. You can add new timers just fine, as long as multi-room music isn’t being played, but those new timers do not cause the orphaned canceled timers to be removed from the clock.
This temporary disconnection issue is common for other Alexa Gadgets, like Echo Buttons, which also lose their connections during multi-room music playback. Alexa Gadgets pair to Echo devices over Bluetooth and it seems like multi-room music needs to use that Bluetooth connection to synchronize music playback. While it’s certainly an inconvenience, it’s not terribly difficult to work around the disconnections as long as you’re aware of why they’re occurring.