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Amazon today added a new Alexa feature that allows several Amazon Echo devices to be synchronized and controlled across multiple rooms in a home. Echo owners can now target music to a specific Echo device or play the same music on more than one Echo.

The feature works with a variety of music services, including Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRatio, and Pandora, with support for Spotify and SiriusXM coming soon. To use multi-room support, users will need to use the Alexa app to create groups with two or more Echo devices, giving the group a name like "downstairs." Once the group is enabled, commands like "Alexa, play John Mayer downstairs" will work.

amazon-echo.jpg
"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, Vice President, 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."
Amazon's move to add support for multiple Echo devices comes as Apple prepares to launch both the HomePod and an AirPlay 2 protocol. Multiple HomePod devices can be used simultaneously, and with AirPlay 2, speakers that support the feature can be paired together for a whole-home music experience.

Multi-room music support is available for the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show in the United States, UK, and Germany starting today. Amazon says it plans to extend the ability allow users to control multi-room music on other connected speakers with just a voice command through a new Multi-Room Music SDK that device makers can build into their speakers. Amazon plans to work with brands like Sonos, Bose, Sound United, and Samsung, and some of these manufacturers are also working to support AirPlay 2 in future devices.

In other Echo-related news, the original Amazon Echo is out of stock on Amazon.com, fueling speculation that a new device launch is imminent. Rumors have suggested Amazon is working on a new version of the Echo that's designed to better compete with Apple's upcoming HomePod. The new Echo device is said to feature improved sound quality, better microphone technology, and a new design.

Article Link: Amazon Echo Gains Support for Multi-Room Music Playback
 

usarioclave

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,447
1,506
This is pretty nice, and it works with dot - so I can voice control my stereo when I get around to hooking it up. I wish it worked with Apple Music/iTunes.

Amazon has one-upped Apple in this. iTunes can only stream to one device on iOS, even though multi-destination has been in the iTunes Mac app forever. Even though I can use the remote app, using alexa really would be more convenient.

This shows that whomever architected Alexa/etc was pretty good. Their development model has been really successful, and even though they didn't hit it out of the park with the 1.0 release they've now leading the field.
 

Dragonmount

macrumors demi-god
Oct 20, 2011
12,487
10,211
Austin, TX
This is pretty nice, and it works with dot - so I can voice control my stereo when I get around to hooking it up. I wish it worked with Apple Music/iTunes.

Amazon has one-upped Apple in this. iTunes can only stream to one device on iOS, even though multi-destination has been in the iTunes Mac app forever. Even though I can use the remote app, using alexa really would be more convenient.

This shows that whomever architected Alexa/etc was pretty good. Their development model has been really successful, and even though they didn't hit it out of the park with the 1.0 release they've now leading the field.
Alexa/Sonos integration is a dagger in Apple's direction.
 
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sososowhat

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2003
287
42
Palo Alto, CA
There are plenty of Echo devices prominently displayed at Whole Foods Market in San Rafael, CA. The original Echo's there are half price ($99), and the Dots are also discounted.

It's a little jarring, this marriage of WFM and Amazon. Electronics are not what I expect to see at Whole Foods.
 
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Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
7,442
Silicon Valley, CA
The execution will likely compare two a couple tin cups with a string connecting them. Those echos don’t have the best speakers to begin with.
 

J InTech82

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2013
337
298
There are plenty of Echo devices prominently displayed at Whole Foods Market in San Rafael, CA. The original Echo's there are half price ($99), and the Dots are also discounted.

It's a little jarring, this marriage of WFM and Amazon. Electronics are not what I expect to see at Whole Foods.
Well get use to it or find a new market. I don't mean to sound crass but, unfortunately that's the way it will be from now on at Wholefoods. Hey, you BBQing this weekend? Can I get an Amazon burger?
Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 7.58.01 PM.png
 

npmacuser5

macrumors 68000
Apr 10, 2015
1,563
1,723
Whole house works great on my Echos. Easy setup, just make a group, that is it. Tell Alexa to play on "group name". Add my Sonos Playbar, sweet.
 
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mwd25

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2012
228
309
Tempe
While this news is appreciated as Im on board with echo, it seems we have really gone backwards only to slowly move forward to where we were. Ive never really bought into the sound in todays speakers. Though Bose et all have tried to convince us how great these single speaker systems sound is. I know, waveguide technology amplifies sound so you have a room filling......blah blah. Well, I have yet to hear anything that compares with two speakers placed on opposite sides of the room. I mean, music is recorded in STEREO. So now after what 10-15 years at least, we are now going to be able to do what I was doing, heck my mom was doing in the 60's. These speakers are great for the patio or nightstand, or using as Alexa to control things they are awesome, but to listen to music, nothing beats the old two (I used to have 4) speaker set up.
 
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creepyTowel

macrumors member
Apr 29, 2016
35
58
I just tried this. The iPhone Alexa app will only let you place a device in one group at a time, and groups can't be nested, so the feature is a bit limited. In my case, I have a "Downstairs" group consisting of two devices, neither of which can now be used to define another group (such as "All").
 
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EmanonSBS

macrumors newbie
Jul 31, 2017
4
1
I just tried this. The iPhone Alexa app will only let you place a device in one group at a time, and groups can't be nested, so the feature is a bit limited. In my case, I have a "Downstairs" group consisting of two devices, neither of which can now be used to define another group (such as "All").
I just ran into the same issue. For example, I have my Philips Hue and Leviton lighting all in multiple groups (i.e. Downstairs, Kitchen, Living Room, Whole House). Once a echo is added to a group for the new audio grouping, it cannot be added to another group. I would imagine that is a 1.0 limitation for now that will be resolved soon.

Does anyone know how to increase the streaming bitrate for Spotify/amazon/pandora for the exhos?
 

NeilHD

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2014
204
287
The execution will likely compare two a couple tin cups with a string connecting them. Those echos don’t have the best speakers to begin with.

Upstairs in the bedrooms we have full-size Echos. They are rarely used for music, so that's fine, and even so they aren't exactly terrible.

Downstairs we have 3 dots in different rooms, connected to either Bose or Harmon Kardon speakers that we already owned. This is the beauty of the dots, and being able to have the downstairs all playing the same thing will be great. We did try it with AirPlay and some Apple TVs and Airport Expresses, but it never worked well.
 

npmacuser5

macrumors 68000
Apr 10, 2015
1,563
1,723
While this news is appreciated as Im on board with echo, it seems we have really gone backwards only to slowly move forward to where we were. Ive never really bought into the sound in todays speakers. Though Bose et all have tried to convince us how great these single speaker systems sound is. I know, waveguide technology amplifies sound so you have a room filling......blah blah. Well, I have yet to hear anything that compares with two speakers placed on opposite sides of the room. I mean, music is recorded in STEREO. So now after what 10-15 years at least, we are now going to be able to do what I was doing, heck my mom was doing in the 60's. These speakers are great for the patio or nightstand, or using as Alexa to control things they are awesome, but to listen to music, nothing beats the old two (I used to have 4) speaker set up.
Will two Echos actually produce stereo sound, or just the same sound out of two speakers using the groups function?
 

Uofmtiger

macrumors 68020
Dec 11, 2010
2,192
942
Memphis
I tried this with my 3 Dots and it works fine for my needs. I did not try to create other groups.

I did test using my iPhone via Bluetooth to connect to one Echo and send that signal to all of the Echos and it wouldn't work. It appears to only work with streaming services they support. However, with the limited amount that I utilize multiroom, the ease of using the Echos is definitely a nice feature to have.
 
I did test using my iPhone via Bluetooth to connect to one Echo and send that signal to all of the Echos and it wouldn't work. It appears to only work with streaming services they support. However, with the limited amount that I utilize multiroom, the ease of using the Echos is definitely a nice feature to have.

Yeah I was really hoping this would be possible too. Multi-room music is great, but I’d love to be able to stream my podcasts through my whole house as well. This probably will never be possible with the current hardware. Airplay 2 in theory should fix this, but I believe requires additional hardware.
 

fhall1

macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
3,688
1,072
(Central) NY State of mind
This is pretty useless with Echo Dots. Tried it yesterday with my two downstairs Dots which are across the room(s) from their paired (fairly high-end) Bluetooth speakers. Imagine my surprise when the "multi-room" music started playing from their crappy internal speakers.

Some research confirms multi-room music only works with the Dot connected to a speaker using a 3.5mm cable....sigh.

Deleted the Dot group....will wait and see if this ever works over BT to try again.
 
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