Amazon’s Echo smart speakers got even smarter today as the company began rolling out a new feature called “multi-room music.” As the name suggests, multi-room music allows users to control and synchronize music across multiple Echo devices at once. Amazon also announced that users will be able to control multi-room music on other connected speakers using voice commands in the near future.
“In just the last few months,” said Alexa VP Toni Reid, “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. 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.”
At launch, the feature will be compatible with Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora. Spotify and SiriusXM will be added soon as well. In order to sync up multiple Echo devices, just create a group in the Alexa app with at least two speakers and give the group a descriptive name like “downstairs.” Once the group has been created, say “Alexa, play music downstairs,” and those speakers will begin playing in sync.
Users in the US, UK and Germany can all begin experimenting with multi-room music today on the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show. Plus, developers can head to this page to learn more about the multi-room music SDK and sign up to request access to the new AVS developer tools.
It’s worth noting that this announcement just happens to coincide with the classic Echo being out of stock on Amazon with no indication of when it will be returning. Nothing is official yet, but with a new Sonos speaker on the way and the HomePod coming later this fall, it would make sense for Amazon to refresh the original Echo with a new design and additional features before the end of 2017.