How to Use an Amazon Echo as a Speaker for Your Television
Want to expand and enhance the sound from your TV? You can enlist the aid of your handy Amazon Echo. By connecting your TV and your Echo via Bluetooth, you can use your Echo as another speaker. This works both with standalone TVs and for receivers with a multi-speaker setup. Further, if you have a compatible Fire TV device, you can connect that to a supported Echo to expand the sound.Device RequirementsTo connect an Echo to your TV or receiver, you’ll need to meet a few requirements. Your Amazon Echo must be Bluetooth capable. Don’t worry, though. This includes any of the current or previous generation Echo devices with the exception of the now-defunct Amazon Tap. Your TV or receiver must also support Bluetooth, either built in or through a Bluetooth dongle. And both your TV/receiver and Echo should be close to each other, or at least in the same room.To use your Echo with a Fire TV device, you must hit a few requirements as well. Your Fire TV device must be one of the following:Amazon Fire TV Stick 4KAmazon Fire TV (3rd Generation)Fire TV Cube (1st Generation)Fire TV Cube (2nd Generation)Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Generation)Amazon Fire TV Stick LiteAnd your Echo device must be one of the following:Echo Dot (4th Generation)Echo Dot (3rd Generation)Echo Dot (4th Generation) with clockEcho Dot with clockEcho (4th Generation)Echo (3rd Generation)Echo (2nd Generation)Echo Plus (2nd Generation)Echo Plus (1st Generation)Echo StudioUsing an Echo with a TV via Bluetooth can result in latency, which means the audio from your Echo is slightly behind the audio on your TV or other speakers. The connection between a Fire TV device and your Echo is made via Wi-Fi, meaning the audio should be free of any latency issues. So using the Fire TV is the better option, assuming your devices are compatible.Let’s look at both methods for enlisting your Echo as a speaker for your TV.Connect Your TV With an Echo DeviceThe process for setting up your Echo with your TV will differ based on whether you use a standalone TV or a multi-speaker system with a receiver, such as a 5.1 setup with two front speakers, two rear speakers, and a middle speaker. If your TV is standalone without a receiver, then you’ll create the connection with your Echo through your TV settings. If you use a receiver, you’ll need to go through your receiver’s settings.Turn on your TV or receiver and go to its Settings screen. Search for Bluetooth settings and turn it on. You may also need to adjust an option to direct the sound to either just your Echo or to both your Echo and your TV speakers.For my Denon receiver, I had to turn on a switch for Bluetooth Transmitter and then change the option to pipe the sound to both Bluetooth and the speakers connected to my receiver. At the same time, say “Alexa, connect” and the Echo will start searching for a Bluetooth connection while your TV is looking for a Bluetooth device. If all goes well, both devices should find each other. The Settings screen on the TV or receiver should point to your Echo device, your Echo should tell you that it’s connected to a TV or receiver.Now, play a video on the TV. You may want to bump up the sound on your Echo. Sit or stand next to your Echo to listen for the audio. If you hear the sound coming through from your TV on your Echo, then you’re in business. If not, try the Bluetooth connection again.When you turn off your TV or receiver, the connection with the Echo shuts down as well. When you turn your TV or receiver back on, the connection with the Echo should automatically establish itself again. In this case, your Echo will announce that it’s connected to your TV/receiver. If you don’t want to use the Echo as another speaker, simply say: “Alexa, disconnect,” and Alexa will tell you that it’s now disconnected from your TV/receiver. If you wish to cut your Echo device completely, you’ll need to go back to the settings screen for your TV or receiver and remove your Echo as a Bluetooth device.There is that one frustrating problem you may experience with your TV and Echo device, specifically a delay in the audio caused by latency. When I connected my receiver to my Echo and played a video, the audio from the Echo was not synchronous with the audio from my other speakers and exhibited a slight delay. Connect a Fire TV Device With an Echo DeviceBecause of the latency issue, Amazon does not officially support connecting your TV and Echo via Bluetooth. Instead, if you have a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, there is another option that uses Wi-Fi and a feature called Time Synchronization for a more reliable audio performance. If you have a compatible Fire TV device and compatible Echo, you can quickly set this up.To get started, make sure your Fire TV device is turned on. Open the Alexa app on your phone or tablet. Tap the icon for Devices in the lower right, then select the plus icon at the top and choose the option to Set Up Audio System. At the next screen, select the option for Home Theater. You then choose your Fire TV device. If you don’t see it listed, tap the link to Rescan. Tap Next to continue. Next, select the Echo you want to use as a speaker for your Fire TV device. If you have more than one Echo in the same room, you can designate one for the left channel and the other for the right channel. Tap Next to continue. At the next screen, select a name for your audio system, such as Home Theater or Sound System. Tap Next, then select a group to which you want to add your home theater. Tap Save to finish. Your Fire TV should display a message telling you that your home theater was created. With your Fire TV remote, click the Play Preview button to make sure you can hear audio coming out of your Echo. You can now play a movie or TV show from your Fire TV device, and the sound will come out of your Echo as well as your TV or external speakers.
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