Amazon has announced an all-new Alexa feature that lets you control and synchronize music across multiple Amazon Echo devices in your home. Consumers now can target music to a specific Echo device or a group of devices via voice. Soon, this ability will be extended to control multi-room music on other connected speakers using simply your voice.
“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, VP, 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.”
The new feature allows synchronization of music playback across Echo devices to play songs from Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora, with support for Spotify and SiriusXM coming soon. The Alexa App allows the creation of groups with two or more Echo devices by naming the group, such as “downstairs.” Once the group is created, simply say “Alexa, play John Mayer downstairs.”
Customers in the U.S., UK, and Germany can start using multi-room music on their Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show devices.
Amazon also is introducing new developer tools that enable AVS device makers to integrate with Amazon Alexa Multi-Room Music. Doing so will allow customers to play their music across supported Echo and AVS devices — for example, a customer with three Echo devices and two standalone AVS speakers can play synchronized music across all five devices. These tools will be available early next year.
These new tools enable device makers with connected audio systems to control music playback using Alexa. A customer can then use any Alexa-enabled device — for example an Echo Dot — to play music throughout their home on their connected audio systems. Amazon is already working with Sonos, Bose, Sound United, and Samsung.
“Alexa set the standard for voice in smart homes, so working with Amazon to bring voice control to Sonos for the first time was an obvious choice,” said Antoine Leblond, VP of software, Sonos. “This has been a close collaboration from the beginning as we’ve worked together to combine the magic of Alexa with the seamless multi-room audio capabilities that Sonos pioneered. 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.’”
“Sound United is constantly striving to provide consumers with the best possible user experience,” said Kevin Duffy, CEO and president, Sound United. “With AI voice services simplifying how we control our home environments and products, we’re excited Denon, Marantz, and HEOS customers will be some of the first to experience Alexa multi-room audio compatibility and the power of voice control. Soon, users will be able to play their favorite song, alter the volume, or change an input in any room where our connected products are placed, simply by asking Alexa to do so.”
“We’re thrilled to integrate Alexa multi-room audio with Samsung speakers,” said Jun Young Kim, VP of AV business team, Samsung. “With Alexa multi-room audio and Samsung, customers will simply be able to ask Alexa to play their favorite music in any room of the house — using only their voice. Listening to great music on Samsung speakers has never been easier.”
The Connected Speaker APIs are now available in developer preview.