After months of rumors and speculation, it looks like whole home audio on Amazon Echo devices is finally rolling out across the US, UK, and other territories.
Once in, you’ll be able to create a group – you will want this group to consist of all of the devices you want to play synchronized music. Once you select the devices, scroll to the bottom and click the blue create group button. You will see a notification that Alexa is “checking” your devices (this step takes some time, so be patient).
Once this step is complete, you will see a message saying saving was successful, and instructions on how to properly enable the feature “Alexa, play music downstairs,” replacing downstairs with the name of your group.
Still, it looks like there are some downsides to the feature so far. First, each device can only belong to one group. So if you wanted to create Everywhere, Upstairs and Downstairs, but put all devices in Everywhere, you can’t. Once devices are assigned to one group, they can no longer be assigned to other groups.
It also looks like Bluetooth devices connected to your Echo’s are also affected. Any Echo that is part of the group cannot play music to a bluetooth speaker – or even be connected to it. So if you try to connect to Bluetooth while music is playing to a group, the speaker will not connect. And if you have a Bluetooth speaker connected before you ask Alexa to play music to a group, it will disconnect the Bluetooth speaker entirely.
It also looks like Spotify does not have full compatibility with the feature, but it’s possible this could be fixed down the line. However services like TuneIn, Pandora and of course – Amazon’s own Music Unlimited service – work just fine. [Update 12/22/17: Spotify and Sirius XM integration is now available!]
Are you excited for whole home audio on the Echo? Let us know in the comments below!