How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

You can create a solid setup using the speakers you already own.

TVs aren’t known for having the best built-in sound, but buying a set of speakers to amplify your audio can be a pain (not to mention expensive). But y ou can use the smart speakers you already own to upgrade your home audio , adding an extra level of immersion to your movies, shows, and music.

Some smart speakers are actually capable of pumping out a decent level of sound now, particularly Amazon’s Echo lineup. T he standard $100 4th-gen Echo offers decent audio; there’s also the $200 Echo Studio with its superior sound quality, and even the $130 Echo Sub to bring out the bass.

Unfortunately, you can’t yet use your Nest smart speakers or a Chromecast to round out your home theater; the feature was officially promised more than a year ago, but it hasn’t made an appearance. If you’re all in with Amazon or Apple gear, though, you’re in luck. Here’s how to get started.

Apple HomePod

You can use your HomePod and HomePod mini speakers as an audio setup for your television, as long as there’s an Apple TV 4K box plugged into it. This works with one or two speakers, which must be assigned to the same room as your Apple TV 4K in the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and it’ll cover all sounds, including navigation clicks. You can’t use third-party speakers for this, even if they’re compatible with the AirPlay 2 wireless standard.

Logitech StreamCam

This webcam puts out a 1080p image at 60 fps
It’s optimized for all the popular streaming software (OBS, Xsplt, Streamlabs, etc).

If you’re using two HomePod speakers, they need to be set up as a stereo pair before you connect them to your Apple TV 4K. Open up the Home app in iOS or iPadOS, then tap and hold on a HomePod device. Tap the settings cog icon, then choose Create Stereo Pair to pick your second speaker and complete the pairing process.

To make sure your Apple TV 4K and the associated speakers are in the same room in the Home app, again it’s a long press on the device in question to access its settings, and then Room. If you need to create a new room for your home theater setup, it’s the + (plus) icon in the top right corner of the main Home tab, then Add Room.

The next time you start up your Apple TV 4K box, you should be able to select the Use as Apple TV Speakers option that pops up on screen. If you don’t see the message, you can get to the same option by opening up the Settings app on the Apple TV 4K device. Choose Video and Audio, then Audio Output, then pick the HomePod or HomePod pair that you want to use. It’s also possible to go through the Home app by tapping and holding on the Apple TV 4K icon, then picking the settings cog icon and Default Audio Output.

Amazon Echo

To get this working with Amazon devices , you need one or more Echo speakers , as well as a device running Fire TV plugged into your television set. All the devices involved need to be linked to the same Amazon account, which should already be the case if you’ve configured everything through the Alexa app on your phone.

Open the Devices tab, then tap + (the plus icon) and Combine speakers. Select Home Theater, then you should be able to select your Fire TV device from the list that appears. With that done, you can choose one or two Echo devices to use as a single speaker or stereo pair, and you can optionally add an Echo Sub to the configuration as well. If you’re using two main speakers, you can designate left and right models.

The next step is to give your home theater setup a name to make it easy to access it at a later stage, and assign it to a room or group in your house. You’ll then need to turn your attention to your TV, where the Fire stick or box should enable you to finish the setup. The first message you should see will give you the option to preview the audio setup you’ve just created to make sure everything is working.

You can access the new setup and modify it if necessary from the bottom of the Devices tab in the Alexa app. Bear in mind that some Echo speakers come with aux outputs, so you can potentially hook up a bigger and better-sounding speaker while still taking advantage of the home theater configuration set up through the Alexa app.

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

Thanks to the arrival of virtual voice assistants effortlessly baked into our speakers from big-hitters such as Amazon, Apple and Google, wireless speakers have never been smarter.

Amazon’s Alexa has led the way for smart products, finding its way cheaply and effectively into a vast array of speakers and smart devices, making it one of the best choices to control multiple devices around your home vocally (unless you’re an avid Apple user, in which case you might want to read our Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod Mini to decide which is the best smart speaker for you).

With plenty of Alexa speakers to choose from, including Amazon’s own, ever-growing family of Alexa devices led by the Echo Dot, Echo, Echo Show and Echo Studio, which one is right for you?

Do you want something small and unassuming to kick-start a smart system, or do you want a substantial wireless speaker with built-in smarts that sounds good to boot? Oh, and does the idea of spying on your cat while you’re out pique your interest? It does? Good – check out the first product on this list, then allow us to reveal our pick of the best Alexa speakers you can buy.

  • See thebest Amazon Echo deals

1. Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd gen)

Specifications

Reasons to buy

Reasons to avoid

The Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd gen.) is the priciest smart device Amazon has produced by a whole £20 ($20, AU$50). But when you consider that its 10.1-in Full HD screen can now tilt and twist to follow you around the room, and that both the speaker and camera performance have been significantly improved from the previous-generation model, that price hike begins to look entirely reasonable.

Physically, it’s a bit of a beast (think CD-sized speaker barrel with tablet attached) and it needs some room to rotate (kitchen islands are ideal), but the headline grabber is of course is its ability to track around so you can always see the screen. At first, it is a little disconcerting, because the Echo Show 10 locates you via its camera as well as sonically – a bit like HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey – but this neat perk also enables features such as ‘dropping in’ while you’re out, to pan around your room (or simply spy on your cat).

Although the Echo Show 10 isn’t about to become your new sound system (we expected a little more sonically) if it’s a fantastic Alexa device with a touchscreen you’re after, we enjoyed this one very much indeed.

The idea of voice control technology has long been embedded in our expectations for the “future,” and even though most of those old science fiction movie-makers couldn’t imagine computers any further-advanced than those already available in 1979, they certainly hit the nail on the head with their forecast of voice control. Nowadays, with the help of products like Amazon Echo (and its voice-controlled personal assistant ‘Alexa’), users can control aspects of their home just by verbalizing simple commands. But even with the huge strides this technology has made in recent years, it’s impossible to get audiophile-quality sound from the speakers in an Amazon Echo product. Audioengine can help with this, but before we dive into how, let’s talk a little more about the Amazon Echo.

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

First, while Echo and Alexa do in fact go hand-in-hand, they are not the exact same thing.

Echo is a line of smart speakers manufactured by Amazon, and Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant software used to control Echo. Users can speak aloud to give Alexa, and therefore Echo, verbal commands (always beginning with the wake word, ‘Alexa’) such as, “Alexa, play my favorite song,” or “Alexa, what’s on my calendar this Saturday?” Alexa will respond accordingly, so long as the questions asked or commands given are within Alexa’s realm of capability. With tons of Echo-compatible add-on products on the market, there really isn’t a whole lot that falls outside of Alexa’s wheelhouse.

The most common commands Alexa handles are music-related: whether it’s calling up a Spotify playlist, turning up or down the volume, or finding a specific song you haven’t heard in years but are randomly thinking about and absolutely have to hear right this second!! The accessibility is astounding, no doubt, but its main consequence is that you are forced to listen to all your music on Echo’s built-in speakers instead of your own beastly audio system. This is not to say Amazon has ignored their sound quality altogether, but realistically there’s only so much a single speaker housing of that size can handle. Suffice it to say, there are limitations.

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

Luckily, Amazon has implemented a crucial feature which expands its functionality to accommodate customers who want to be able to interact with Alexa and still enjoy listening to podcasts, music, and stock tips through exterior systems. That’s right, it’s quick and easy to connect your Echo to Bluetooth speakers:

  • Open the Alexa App (Apple link | Google Play Link)
  • Tap the “Devices” icon and select the Echo device you want to connect to speakers
  • Select “Bluetooth Devices”
  • Select “Pair New Device”
  • Find your Audioengine Wireless speaker on the list of available Bluetooth devices

Bang, you’re done!

Now you can treat Alexa as if it were any other input device; you can still have whatever other devices you so choose connected to your Audioengine speakers, and since Alexa can control Echo’s volume with a simple, “Alexa turn down volume,” you can leave Audioengine’s volume knob exactly where you like it and adjust volume accordingly with Alexa. If you have our S8 Powered Subwoofer connected wirelessly to your mains, this configuration will still work which means you’ll get full-spectrum high fidelity audio when listening to all your favorite songs, without sacrificing the unparalleled convenience provided by a product like Amazon Echo. This will also work with our standalone B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver in the event you have a set of wired speakers you want to turn into wireless speakers.

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

Modern technology is really opening up doors… and windows… and exhaust fans… it’s basically blasting the roof off the whole place.

We are reaching the point where we can do just about anything we want with voice control technology, as long as we have all the right accouterments. Products like Amazon Echo make life so easy it hurts… perhaps it hurts so good that you want to lie down and say, “Alexa, play ‘Hurts So Good’ by John Mellencamp.” Don’t worry – we designed Audioengine Wireless speakers to do the rest.

In addition to voice commands such as “Alexa, order a taxi”, Amazon’s Alexa voice control system already offers a wide range of voice commands for music playback such as “Alexa, play Radio 1” on its Amazon Echo systems. In our opinion, the Amazon speakers cannot replace a stereo or home cinema system in terms of sound. However, you can combine the sound of high-quality speakers with the functionality of voice control. We explain how to connect a voice control wizard like the Echo Dot to a Hi-Fi system.

Connect Echo Dot and Echo Input to a sound system via Bluetooth

An existing system can be expanded with certain Amazon-Echo devices to include Alexa voice control in a matter of minutes. The audio system only needs to have Bluetooth or free line-in. The Echo Dot and the Echo Input are particularly suitable as extensions for music playback.

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

Both the Echo Dot and Echo Input have Bluetooth and analogue audio output. Depending on the equipment, these two interfaces enable the connection to the existing system. Pairing the Amazon device with your own sound system is initiated in your Alexa app under Settings > Bluetooth. It is important that the systems are in pairing mode.

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

✔ Note: For speech recognition to work properly, the Amazon Echo should be at least 1 meter away from your speakers. 1st generation Echo speakers do not provide a cable interface.

Expand voice control for your audio system

The Bluetooth coupling described above is still limited in the control system. For example, you cannot switch the system on or off via voice control. You’ll need additional hardware such as Logitech’s Harmony Hub to give such commands. This control unit and app turns the smartphone into a multi-functional remote control. It is also Alexa compatible. The control unit can connect to a wide range of electronic products via infrared, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

You can also find devices compatible with the Harmony Hub in our online shop:

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

IMPAQ 8000

With the Harmony Skill for Alexa you already have a series of pre-set voice commands at your disposal. With services like Yonomi you can even define your own voice commands for your Hi-Fi system.

That might sound a little complicated, but the effort pays off. You can also use this set-up to control other devices such as TVs and SAT receivers via Alexa or your smartphone. For all those who are interested in Smart Home and automated control, it is definitely worth putting in a little time to set up your system.

Functions of the Alexa voice control

After successful pairing, Alexa responds with a voice message. Now you can hear the voice of the voice assistance software over your speakers. You can also control the playback of Amazon Music and Spotify with Alexa and hear it through your speakers. Deezer and TuneIn are also directly supported by voice control.

Furthermore, there is the possibility to extend the range of functions via Alexa Skills. In the Skill Store, a variety of specific skills are available. For example, radio fans might be interested in the Deutschlandfunk News Skill, which allows you to listen to the news by voice command. In addition, a number of other audio applications are available for download in the audio area of the Skill Store.

Smart by nature – Teufel Streaming speakers

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa systemWe make our speakers so that they are ready for the networked living room: they have a Wi-Fi module for integration into the home network, smartphone control, Bluetooth for coupling with other devices and support a variety of digital playback sources.

This article explains how to use an Echo Dot as a speaker. In addition to streaming music, podcasts, or audiobooks directly from your paired device to your Echo Dot, you’re also able to connect to other devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or an external speaker through Bluetooth or an AUX cable.

Can Echo Dot Be Used as a Speaker?

Yes, the Echo Dot is a speaker that, in addition to virtual assistant functionality called Alexa, can play music, read audiobooks, or keep you entertained with your favorite podcast. The Echo Dot comes equipped with a 1.6-inch front-firing speaker that can successfully fill a large room with sound.

The Echo Dot is a diminutive speaker, so keep your sound expectations in check (it's likely better than the speaker in your smartphone, however). While you can connect a bigger, better speaker to the Echo Dot, this article is going to focus on using the Echo Dot as the output (aka speaker) device.

To use your Echo Dot as a speaker, you’ll have to first set up your Amazon Echo Dot. Once you’ve completed this process, you can ask Alexa to play some music or use your paired device to select what you want to listen to through the Alexa app. Here’s how to get started.

How Do I Use My Amazon Echo Dot as a Speaker?

Since the Echo Dot is a speaker with additional functionality, to use it as a speaker is to simply start using it.

Open the Alexa app.

Navigate to Play.

Tap the playlist you want to listen to from Amazon Music or scroll down to select other options like local radio.

If you want to link a new music service, navigate to the bottom of the screen and choose a service listed under Link New Services.

Once selected, tap Enable to Use.

Follow the prompts, such as entering your credentials and giving Alexa permission to link your account.

Once the account is linked, you will see a confirmation in the Alexa app. Tap Close.

To use your desired music streaming service, say “Alexa, play Pandora” or “Alexa, play Spotify.”

Use the Echo Dot as a Speaker for Another Device via Bluetooth

Another way to use your Amazon Echo Dot as a speaker is by pairing it with another device, such as a phone, tablet, or computer.

Make sure the device you want to connect is within Bluetooth range and its Bluetooth is enabled.

Ask Alexa to “Pair New Device.” Alexa will search for the device you want to connect.

Go into your device’s Bluetooth settings and tap Echo Dot-XXX (the exact name of the network will be different for each device). Connect to it.

You can now stream music from this device over Bluetooth through your Echo Dot's speaker.

For certain devices like an external Bluetooth speaker, you may need to manually add the device in the Alexa app by going to Devices > Echo & Alexa > Echo Dot (your device) > Connect a device. You'll then select the device from the provided list of available devices.

Connect to an Echo Dot With a Cable

If all of that sounds like a hassle, there’s another way for you to use your Echo Dot as a speaker, which involves connecting an AUX cable to the Echo Dot’s 3.5 mm input. By doing so, your Echo Dot will play music from the connected device.

Plug the AUX cable into the 3.5 mm output on your Echo Dot, which is next to the power port.

Plug the other end of the cable into the device to which you want to connect your Echo Dot, such as a smartphone.

With both devices connect via the wire, any sound from the source device (a smartphone in our example) will play through the Echo Dot's speaker.

To reset your Echo Dot back to factory settings, open the Alexa app and tap Devices > Echo & Alexa, choose your Echo Dot, then tap Factory Reset. For a less drastic solution to many problems, consider restarting your Echo Dot instead: unplug the power cord, wait a few minutes, then plug it back in.

To set up your Echo Dot, open the Alexa app and select Devices > plus sign, then tap Add Device > Amazon Echo, choose your device, then tap Connect to Wi-Fi. After you see an orange light on your Echo Dot, tap Continue. Navigate to your smartphone's Wi-Fi settings, then find and connect to the Amazon network. Back in the Alexa app, tap Continue, select your Wi-Fi network, and tap Connect.

There's no dedicated power button that will turn off an Echo Dot. Unplug the unit to power it off completely. If you'd like to mute the Echo Dot, press the mute button to turn off the device's microphone.

If your Echo Dot is flashing green, the device is indicating that you’re on a call or that you have an incoming call. The Echo Dot will keep flashing green until you end the call. To end a call, say, Alexa, end call.

How would you like to have a pop artist in your living room, a rapper in your den and a country singer out on the patio — all at the same time? How about a special playlist for your basement workouts, one for cooking and one for when you’re working in your home office? With Alexa Multi-room audio, you can have all that and more.

Amazon Alexa provides you with a robust selection of hands-free commands. Communicating over your Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth ® , Alexa gives you control over not only music devices but also lights, ceiling fans, televisions, locks and thermostats, to name just a few. For this article, we’ll focus on music playback, and show you how to use the Multi-room audio feature, which lets you use the Alexa app in your mobile device to create a custom music system that will play what you want, where you want, all under voice control.

Room(s) to Grow

One of the advantages of Alexa is that you can create a setup that consists of a variety of sound bars and/or speakers of different makes, as long as they are all Alexa-enabled. For example, you could have Yamaha YAS-109 and YAS-209 sound bars in two rooms and Amazon Echos in the others and access them all from the Alexa app. You can also use Alexa to control any Yamaha MusicCast-enabled multi-room speaker system . It’s incredibly flexible and completely wireless.

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

The Yamaha YAS-109 sound bar.

Make the Connections

Connecting Alexa to a YAS-109 or YAS-209 is easy. Simply download the Yamaha Sound Bar Controller app from the App Store for iPhone ® or Google Play for Android™. With the sound bar powered on, open the app, then follow the onscreen prompts on the app to connect the unit to your Wi-Fi network:

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system The Yamaha Sound Bar Controller app.

As shown in the illustration above, you turn on Alexa support by pressing and holding the Alexa button on the sound bar and then following the prompts on the Sound Bar Controller app. When you’ve completed the setup, you’ll see your YAS-109 or YAS-209 show up as devices in the Alexa app. (Click here for more information about using Alexa with Yamaha sound bars.)

Create Custom Groups

By default, you can ask Alexa to activate individual speakers or play the same music on all speakers at once. But one of the most powerful aspects of Multi-room music is the ability to designate custom speaker groups you can turn on with voice commands in the Alexa app.

Groups allow for total customization of what plays where. If, for example, you have five Alexa-enabled speakers in your system (say, two upstairs and three downstairs), you can make an upstairs group and a downstairs group — or groups with any combination of speakers.

Here’s how to create a speaker group with a YAS-109 or YAS-209 sound bar and other Alexa-enabled speakers:

1. Touch the Devices icon at the bottom of the Alexa app.

2. From the Devices page, touch the “plus” button on the upper right-hand corner of the screen:

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system The Alexa app + button (circled in red).

3. Choose Combine Speakers.

4. Touch Multi-room music:

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system The “Multi-room music” option in the Alexa app.

5. From the list of available speakers, select the speakers you want to include in the group.

6. Select a name for the speaker group, either from the preset list, which includes choices like Chill Out, Party Time and Chores, or by typing in a name of your own.

7. Go back to the Devices page and you’ll see your group listed under speaker groups.

Put Alexa to Work

Once you’ve completed your setup, it’s time to put Alexa to work.

If you use specific group names in your commands, Alexa will only play the music on the speaker group you mention. For example, if you say, “Alexa, play classic rock on Party Time,” your system will start playing your favorite hits of the ’60s and ’70s over the Party Time speaker group. Other Alexa commands (also known as “ skills ”) include pausing the music, making it louder or softer, or skipping to the next or previous selection in the playlist.

The Alexa app also offers lists of preset commands that you can enable on your app, allowing you to do everything from playing nature sounds, podcasts or audio books to turning on your favorite internet radio station. You can even ask Alexa to tell “knock-knock” jokes!

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system Some of the available Skills in the Alexa app.

Targeted Audio

Another fun Alexa feature is the ability to create custom playlists on Amazon Music (Amazon Prime members automatically have Prime Music accounts) or other apps or music services you’ve connected to Alexa.

You can get creative and make playlists for various rooms or situations, i.e., “Alexa, play Laundry Music on Basement” or “Alexa, play Wake Up Music on Kids Room.”

Cast of Many

If you’re using Alexa with a Yamaha MusicCast system, the setup and command instructions are slightly different. For instance, after you say “Alexa,” you must add “ask MusicCast to” before the specific command. For a deeper dive into using Alexa and MusicCast, check out this blog article .

Whether you’re using Yamaha sound bars or a MusicCast system, Alexa integration gives you an unprecedented level of hands-free control. You might even say that the home audio system of tomorrow is here today.

Check out these related blog articles:

Click here for more information about the Yamaha YAS-109 sound bar.

Click here for more information about the Yamaha YAS-209 sound bar.

Alexa is Amazon‘s cloud-based voice service. Through voice commands, Alexa allows you to operate your Sound bar via Amazon Alexa equipped devices (Amazon Echo, etc.).
Amazon Alexa functions are unavailable at countries and regions where Amazon Alexa equipped devices (Amazon Echo, etc.) are not sold.

For example, you can:

  • Playback/Stop music.
  • Switch tracks: go to Previous/Next track.
  • Control the volume

In the EU, Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn & Deezer are supported. Depending on the music service, you may be required to adjust specific settings on the Amazon Alexa app.
Note that Spotify cannot be played on Alexa Multi-Room Music.

Note that currently you can't turn the power on/off, play back USB content, switch input or change the sound mode by using Amazon Alexa.

What do I need to use the Amazon Alexa?

  • an Amazon Alexa device (Devices similar to Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus etc.)
  • a smartphone that can connect to Google Play or App Store to perform initial setup
  • a Home network with Wi-Fi capabilities
  • the Sony | Music Center app – Google Play Store – App Store
  • an Amazon account.
  • update the Soundbar software to its latest version

How to use Amazon Alexa with your Sound bar

Installation & setup

  1. Ensure that you update your Sound bar firmware to its latest version
  2. Install the Music Center app on your smartphone
  3. Connect your smartphone and Sound Bar to the same wireless network.
  4. Run the Music Center app.
  5. Perform initial setup following the Music Center app screen.

If you want to use a Multi-room music setup:

  1. Run the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Create a "Multi-Room Music Speaker Group" in the Amazon Alexa device settings and register the Sound bar.

How should I give voice commands when using the Amazon Alexa function?

You must give preset voice commands to your Amazon Alexa equipped devices (Amazon Echo, etc.).

Here are some voice commands in detail:
Note: In this case "Sound Bar" is set as the device name. You can freely set the device name, but since the recognition accuracy of the Amazon.com, Inc. service may change depending on the device name, we recommend using "Sound Bar" as the device name.

  • Play music on the "Sound bar".
  • Play some Jazz music on the "Sound bar".
  • Play Bruno Mars on the "Sound bar".
  • Turn up the volume on the "Sound bar".
  • Turn down the volume on the "Sound bar".
  • Stop the music on the "Sound bar".
  • Play on the "Sound bar".
  • Play a song on the "Sound bar".
  • Stop on the "Sound bar".
  • Next on the "Sound bar".
  • Previous on the "Sound bar".
  • Pause on the "Sound bar".
  • Pause music on the "Sound bar".

Troubleshooting

I cancelled the Sound bar registration on the Amazon Alexa app, but the Sound bar doesn't get cancelled.
Signing out from the Alexa setting of the Music Center app should resolve this.

Music services such as Deezer, GimmeRadio, Saavn do not play correctly.
There is a possibility that the Sound bar software version is not updated to its latest version. Please update the software and try again.

The song information is not displayed correctly on the playback screen of the device while Amazon Alexa Multi-Room Music is playing.
Depending on the devices and music services that you use for Alexa Multi-Room Music, song data may not be sent through.
In this case, song information will not be displayed on the playback screen, or the information of the previous song may remain on the playback screen.

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

Amazon is turning Alexa into a public address system for the home, with Echo speakers now able to make one-way announcements to summon the family down for dinner. Dubbed Alexa Announcements, the new feature is like a one-way intercom, Amazon suggests.

Say “Alexa, announce that it’s time to get up,” for instance, and “It’s time to get up” will be broadcast to all the other Echo devices in the household. Rather than being repeated in Alexa’s own voice, it’ll be the user’s own voice that is heart. Alternatively, the instructions “Alexa, tell everyone. ” and “Alexa, broadcast. ” can be used to do the same thing.

Amazon isn’t the first to the functionality, mind. Google added a broadcast feature to its Google Home smart speaker back in November last year, in fact. Like Alexa Announcements, it allows owners of multiple Google Assistant powered speakers to give a the command “Ok Google, broadcast it’s dinner time,” and have that repeated across every unit.

Google, meanwhile, went even further. It has preset sounds which can be triggered by Google Home broadcasts, for particular incidents. For example, there are specific sound effects for when it’s time to wake up, to leave the house, or to go to bed.

Update: Turns out, Amazon has sound effects too, ranging from roosters through to dinner bells. They’ll sound depending on what command you give Alexa, and you can find the full list below:

Wake Up – Sound Effect: Rooster Crow

· Say: “It’s time to wake up”, “rise and shine”

Quiet Time – Sound Effect: Shhhh

· Say: “Quiet Down”, “Everyone be quiet”

Late/Let’s Go – Sound Effect: Feet running

· Say: “We’re late”, “Let’s go”

Bedtime – Sound Effect: Twinkle Twinkle

· Say: “It’s time for bed”, “Time to sleep”

Goodnight – Sound Effect: Yawn

· Say: “Goodnight everyone”, “Sleep tight”

Meal – Sound Effect: Dinner bell

· Say: “Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner’s ready”, “It’s time to eat”

Congratulations – Sound Effect: Cheer

· Say: “Congratulations,” “Way to go”

Media time – Sound Effect: Show tune

· Say: “Let’s watch TV”, “The movie is about to start”

Love you – Sound Effect: Playful kiss

· Say: “love you”

For this to be useful, of course, you’ll need more than one Echo (or Google Home, if you’re in the Google ecosystem) and have them all assigned to the same household profile. Just as with Amazon’s other multi-Echo features, like Drop In, multi-room music, and calling & messaging, the goal is to encourage greater adoption of the smart speakers in a broader number of rooms.

Still, it could be that existing Amazon devices you already have are getting new Alexa features. Earlier this week, for instance, Amazon revealed that the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 (2017) tablets would be upgraded with a hands-free Alexa mode. Whereas until now you’ve needed to long-press the home button in order to trigger the virtual assistant, with the update, as long as you’re either using the tablets or have them plugged into a power supply, Alexa will listen out for her keyword.

Alexa Announcements will be rolling out to Echo devices in the US and Canada from today, Amazon says.

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

Smart devices have become even smarter with built-in Amazon Alexa. The virtual voice assistant does everything and anything for you, and all you have to do is holler a command. Dim the lights, play Spotify, set reminders or even listen to the news. Alexa has your back. For your convenience, we sought out the best five Alexa-compatible gadgets on Amazon that will make your smart home even smarter. Don’t forget to become a Prime member before ordering; you’ll receive your package the very next day!

1. Best Overall: Amazon Echo (4th generation)

  • Excellent audio quality
  • Four microphones for distant voice commands
  • Compatible with smart home devices
  • Understands both English and Arabic
  • Wired

Amazon’s latest Echo speaker is a fantastic upgrade from the last. Plug in the device, connect it to your Wi-Fi and ask your all-rounded voice assistant to do anything. Say ‘Alexa’, followed by your command – it can set prayer reminders, check the weather, play your music and link with other Echo and Echo Dots around the house. Alexa handles your smart locks, lights and sensors that use Zigbee, too, so that you can voice control your home. Through automatic updates, your voice assistant will keep getting smarter, that way you’re never stuck with an obsolete device.

2. Best Display: Echo Show 8 (2nd generation) with Alexa (Arabic or English)

  • 8-inch HD touchscreen display
  • Built-in 13-megapixel camera
  • Uses display for outdoor cameras
  • Understands both English and Arabic
  • Wired
  • Video call limited to at-home calls
  • Features are region-specific
  • Expensive

Echo Show 8 works just like the Dot speaker, except it has an eight-inch high-definition screen to go with it. Besides answering your questions, setting reminders and performing its usual set of tasks, Alexa also plays movies and TV series from Prime Video and Netflix. What’s more is that you get access to a built-in 13 MP camera, which lets you make video calls, even doubling as a nanny cam for your pets that you can tap into via your Alexa app. This device is going to come in handy, if there are smart cameras around the house.

3. Best Security Camera: TP-Link Tapo Outdoor Security Camera

  • Two-way audio
  • Motion detector with built-in siren
  • Night vision of up to 30 metres
  • Water- and dust-proof
  • Rain might trigger a false alarm
  • Alexa needs a screen

TP-Link’s all-in-one outdoor camera is the best buy you’ll ever get with Alexa in mind. This Amazon-approved device listens to your voice commands using an Alexa screen like the Echo Show above. See who is at the door via the screen and ask them to leave the package by the door via the camera’s two-way audio feature. With this camera installed, you also get instant alerts to your phone whenever it detects any sound or motion, giving you the option to trigger a siren. Don’t worry about leaving the device out through all the seasons – its IP66 guarantees ultimate weatherproofing.

4. Best for Video Calling: Facebook – Portal TV Smart Video Calling on Your TV with Alexa

  • 12.5 MP smart camera
  • Use Alexa on TV with streaming apps
  • Control smart home devices
  • Uses home sound system for audio
  • Only works with TV

Tired of video calling your loved ones on the mobile screen? Meet Portal TV by Facebook, which casts all your calls to the big screen at home so that the whole family can join in. This sleek device comes with a 12.5-megapixel camera that moves and pans when you do. Its built-in Alexa feature links to all the smart devices and cameras at home, immediately switching videos to show you who’s at the door. Portal TV brings you the hottest streaming apps from Prime Video to Spotify, all of which you can access by using just your voice.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29, one-year accidental damage protection for Dh48 and two-year damage protection plus one-year extended warranty for Dh61.

5. Best Budget Lights: LED Smart Bulb, Baytion 10W Smart WiFi Light Bulb 2-Pack with Alexa

  • 16 million vivid colour options
  • Control lights via Alexa
  • Value for money
  • Alexa needs an Echo device to work

Ever heard of voice-controlled light bulbs? These two in a pack have 40,000 hours of lifetime, eight different light modes, scheduled timings and even Wi-Fi connectivity. Just ask Alexa to switch to a colour of your choice, set a timer or dim the lights down to a certain percentage. Baytion’s smart LED light bulbs work especially well with Amazon Echo devices, though you can run the controls just as well on your phone. It’s a perfect smart home addition for those who don’t want to leave their bed to turn the lights off. All you have to do is ask Alexa.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

Many users have been able to fix smart speaker problems by following the troubleshooting steps below. Or our Known issues page lists problems that we’re aware of and are working to resolve.

Make sure your device is supported

Check the Can I use BBC Sounds with my smart speaker? page to see if your device is supported and how you can use it with BBC Sounds. Some functionality is different between devices.

Restart the device

Unplug the device from the mains, wait a few moments, then plug it back in and let it reboot itself.

Check for a software update on your device

It’s always best to make sure your device is running on the latest software available to it. Click on the links below to see how you can check for software updates on your device:

  • Amazon Echo: Update the software on your Echo device
  • Apple AirPlay: AirPlay system requirements
  • Google Home: Updates to Google Nest devices
  • Sonos: Update your Sonos speakers

Check your internet connection

Try switching off other devices using the same internet connection to see if that helps as they’ll be competing for bandwidth. Also, if your speaker is not in the same room as the internet router, experiment by moving your smart speaker closer to your internet router as that may help you diagnose whether some locations in your home have a weak WiFi signal.

Restarting your internet router is also a good step to try, and marking sure your router’s software is up to date.

Your WiFi may be affected by interference which would cause issues with streaming on a smart speaker. To help diagnose and fix interference, please have a look at the following site which has some really useful tips to help: How to perform a Wi-Fi interference test
(The BBC is not responsible for content on third party websites)

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

SEATTLE–( BUSINESS WIRE )–Today Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced it will invest over $124.4 million to build 1,060 affordable homes near four public transit sites and work in partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) and Sound Transit, the transit system serving the Central Puget Sound region of Washington state, to complete the housing developments. The new deals stem from Amazon’s $300 million transit commitment from 2021 to create 3,000 new affordable homes in collaboration with the transit agencies in each region.

“The Amazon Housing Equity Fund is tackling the affordable housing crisis on multiple fronts and through innovative solutions, such as teaming up with public transit authorities, which brings people closer to more opportunities, services, and a better quality of life,” said Catherine Buell, director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, a more than $2 billion commitment to create and preserve 20,000 affordable homes for individuals and families earning moderate to low incomes in Washington state’s Puget Sound region; the Arlington, Virginia region; and Nashville, Tennessee. “We know that our investment in these areas brings many economic opportunities for residents in the region, but we also acknowledge that this growth needs to benefit everyone in the community. The progress we have made in our first year is promising, but we have more to do.”

Since the launch of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund in January 2021, Amazon has invested more than $1.2 billion to create or preserve over 8,000 affordable homes for families earning between 30%-80% of area median income (AMI), including first responders, teachers, and service industry employees whose wages haven’t kept pace with escalating rents. For each Amazon-funded affordable home, rents will be maintained at levels affordable for low- and moderate-income families (generally for 98 to 99 years), and rents will only rise with wage growth as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As real estate prices continue to rise, this commitment will save affected families thousands of dollars annually. Based on the average rental household size in the zip codes of funded Amazon initiatives, the newly affordable homes will support an estimated 18,000 people across all three regions, nearly a quarter of whom are children. All 8,000 units are or will be within a 10-minute walk to public transit; this ensures that moderate- to low-income families can afford to live near—and benefit from—quality public transit.

Investments in the Arlington, Virginia-Washington, D.C. Region

Since January 2021, the Amazon Housing Equity Fund has committed more than $795 million in loans and grants for the Arlington, Virginia-Washington, D.C. region to create and preserve more than 4,400 affordable homes. Based on data provided by Arlington County, through its efforts in the past year, the Amazon Housing Equity Fund has increased the long-term committed multifamily affordable housing stock in Arlington by 22%. New transit-oriented housing commitments announced today include:

  • The Margaux at the New Carrollton Metro Station: In partnership with Metro and developer Urban Atlantic, Amazon is creating 291 new construction apartments, with guaranteed affordability for 98 years, adjacent to the Metro station in New Carrollton, Maryland, a major mixed-use, multimodal transportation hub for commuter rail and bus lines, Metrobus, Metrorail, Amtrak, and the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) under-construction Purple Line. Amazon is funding $25.4 million in low-rate loans to Urban Atlantic to begin construction. The Margaux will offer 1-, 2-, and 3- bedroom units and is an essential part of the transformation of New Carrollton, a vital gateway to the Washington, D.C. region.
  • Atworth at the College Park Metro Station: In partnership with Metro and developer Gilbane Development Company, Amazon is creating 451 new construction apartments, with guaranteed affordability for 98 years, immediately adjacent to the Metro Station, bus lines, MARC Train, University of Maryland Shuttle Service, and under-construction Purple Line. The Atworth development includes a public park which will be used for community events focusing on health and wellness, such as hosting farmers markets to promote greater access to fresh food while supporting local businesses. The Atworth is within walking distance of the University of Maryland and the Discovery District, and it contains over 2 million square feet of office, laboratory, and research space for both private companies and public agencies. Amazon is funding a $56.3 million low-rate loan to the Gilbane Development Company to begin construction.

“The transformations underway at New Carrollton and College Park are revitalizing underutilized land to create vibrant mixed-use commercial and residential destinations. These developments will reduce barriers to taking advantage of all the conveniences transit-oriented development has to offer,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld, general manager and CEO of Metro. “Thanks to Metro’s aggressive joint development initiatives and Amazon’s commitment to affordable housing near Metro, the future looks bright for smart growth near Metro and other transit options in Prince George’s County and throughout the entire region we serve.”

Investments in Puget Sound, Washington

Since January 2021, the Amazon Housing Equity Fund has committed more than $344.3 million in loans and grants for the Puget Sound region to create and preserve 2,870 affordable homes. Based on data provided by the City of Bellevue, through its efforts in the past year, the Amazon Housing Equity Fund has increased the long-term multifamily affordable housing stock in Bellevue by 20%.

“The scale that Amazon has gone to in order to create and preserve affordable housing in our region makes a real difference,” said Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson. “Their commitment is bringing much needed affordability and accessibility to Bellevue residents.”

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

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The idea of a home theater usually conjures up images of plushy couches, floor to ceiling projector screens and standing floor speakers — all worthy investments if you have the time, space and money to transform an extra room in your house into a luxury cinema.

But really, upgrading your home viewing experience can be as simple as swapping out your TV’s speakers with a soundbar: a relatively affordable piece of audio tech that can offer a surround-sound experience without taking up too much room. As 4K TV sets become increasingly slimmer, it’s important to find a soundbar that can pack advanced audio capabilities into a compact frame. And like most audio products, Bose offers some of the best soundbars on the market — without any hefty price tags.

Below are some of the best Bose soundbars to buy this year, with a variety of options depending on your budget and audio preferences:

Bose TV Soundbar

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

Bose’s TV speaker is widely regarded as the company’s best small soundbar, recognized for its strong performance with dialogue-centric content like T.V shows and some movies. The no-frills bar doesn’t come with a bunch of audio adjustments, but it does come with a dialogue enhancement feature to provide impressive clarity to vocals, in addition to a bass adjustment feature that’s helpful when listening to music. For only $279, the budget bar doesn’t come with all the advanced features of some of the more expensive options on Bose’s lineup, but it certainly gets the job done for those looking to upgrade their TV’s audio without breaking the bank.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Bass Module

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

Bose’s new smart speaker set up, which came out in 2021 as an upgrade to their 700 series, promises immersive, crystal clear audio that works for a wide range of content. Not only does it support Dolby Atmos, but its ADAPtiQ feature automatically calibrates audio depending on your room’s specific acoustics. This feature, alongside a subwoofer that adds an extra kick to the bass, makes it the absolute best option for music (not to mention intense action movie scenes). Plus, PhaseGuide technology with discrete satellite speakers allow for premium surround sound to rival some of the most expensive soundbars on the market.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900 Dolby Atmos

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

The Smart 900 is the best bang for your buck, supporting Dolby Atmos and surround sound, with impressively precise bass and treble adjustments — for less than $1,000. Its headlining feature is its ADAPTiQ room corrector, which automatically adjusts audio based on your TV set’s surroundings, a particularly helpful feature for producing neutral and versatile audio profiles for a wide range of music. Plus, a discrete center channel allows for localized dialogue that can be made even clearer by turning on its dialogue enhancement mode.

Bose Lifestyle 650 Home Entertainment System

How to use your amazon echos as a household pa system

Bose’s lifestyle 650 is another great option for a surround sound device that won’t take up too much space. The 5.1 surround sound system comes with the soundbar, subwoofer, four additional speakers and wireless receivers right out of the box. By using the soundbar exclusively as the center channel, the innovative multi-speaker system literally surrounds you with neutral, well-balanced sound that works just as well for movies as it does for music. Although it doesn’t have a built-in Amazon Alexa, it does have an HDMI and optical audio input for easy connection, in addition to a seamless pairing process with Amazon Echo devices.

Amazon Echo and Google Home are Bluetooth-enabled speakers and voice-command devices. You may be able to stream audiobooks from the OverDrive app to an Amazon Echo or Google Home like you would with any other Bluetooth speaker. However, OverDrive does not officially support streaming audiobooks from the OverDrive app to these devices at this time.

For help using Bluetooth with your Amazon Echo, check out Amazon’s help article about pairing your mobile device with Echo.

For help using Bluetooth with your Google Home, check out steps 1 and 2 in Google’s help article about playing music on Google Home.

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