Connect Alexa to a Bluetooth Speaker
[In this article, I’ll sometimes refer to “Echo” and sometimes refer to “Alexa” – the terms are interchangeable.]
Let’s face it, Amazon Echo devices are pretty great. One detail, though. For some Echo devices, particularly the Echo Dot, the sound quality isn’t as good as we would like. Amazon thought ahead on this topic. Every Echo, with the exception of the Echo Show can be connected to a speaker or sound system with a 3.5 mm stereo cable. All of them can be connected wirelessly by Bluetooth. In this article, we’re going to show you how to Connect Alexa to a Bluetooth speaker.
The Limitations of Bluetooth
Bluetooth is very handy, but there are limitations. First, you can only connect Alexa to one device at a time. That means that you can connect Alexa to one Bluetooth speaker, or you can connect Alexa to your phone. You can’t connect to both at the same time. So, if you want to stream something from your phone to your Alexa and you want great sounding speakers, you’ll need to connect Alexa to your speakers or sound system with a 3.5 mm cable and connect Alexa to your phone using Bluetooth. However, if you’re happy streaming straight from the Echo, you can connect Alexa to your Bluetooth-enabled speakers or sound system and stream away.
The second limitation is that Bluetooth will only operate if the two devices are within 30 feet of each other. Now, this shouldn’t be a problem for most folks and in fact, for me, it’s a plus. I have an Echo Dot in my office that’s connected via 3.5 mm cable to a sound system. I often stream from my iPhone over Bluetooth to Alexa. It works very well. My habit is to take a break every hour or two just so I can rest my eyes for a moment by looking at something far away and so I can relieve any kinks in my legs from constant sitting. So, I get up and go outside the building and pace for a few moments, then come back a bit refreshed. Of course I take my phone with me because you never know when a client will call. Carrying my phone outside, which is further than 30 feet breaks the Bluetooth connection with Alexa. It’s kind of like a magical off switch – I don’t have do anything extra to make it work. When I come back, I simply call out, “Alexa, connect,” and Bluetooth is restored and music is playing again.
Connect Alexa to a Bluetooth Speaker Step-By-Step
We’re working from the thought that you’ve already connected Alexa to your network and everything is working as expected. With that in mind, here’s how to connect Alexa to a Bluetooth speaker or sound system:
- Start up the Alexa app on your phone or tablet
- Select the “hamburger menu” in the upper left corner of your home screen. This will bring up the Alexa menu system.
- Select the “Settings” entry near the bottom of the screen.
- Select the Echo device you’re connecting to your speaker.
- On the resulting screen, you’ll see a Wireless section (at or near the top). Select “Bluetooth.”
- Turn on Bluetooth pairing on your speaker or sound system. After it comes on, it should show up on the Alexa screen. Select “Pair A New device.”
- Lastly, select the speaker or sound system that popped up on the Alexa screen.
Look for the list of Alexa devices (it should be at or near the top of the screen).
Once Alexa and your speaker are done connecting, Alexa will tell you you’re ready to go. You can exit out of the Alexa app and begin using your Echo device connected to your Bluetooth Speaker
If you break the Bluetooth connection by either telling Alexa to break the connection or by moving your Bluetooth speaker more than 30 feet from your Echo device, you can reconnect by moving the devices within 30 feet of each other and saying, “Alexa, connect.”
Folks love Alexa to the point where they will purchase multiple Echos for their home. One for the family room, one for the kitchen, one for the office, one for the bedroom, etc. You can stream music to multiple Echo devices at once, you can send messages from one Alexa to another, and you can use them as an intercom system. Now, you can do all that and enjoy great sound. It’s amazing what you can do with Alexa and I recommend trying a lot of things. It’s a lot of fun and perhaps a bit enlightening, too.
About Steve Cooper
Steve Cooper is an applications software developer who also builds custom home media solutions. His interests include reading, music & movies, guitar, woodworking and motor racing.
Steve Cooper's full author bio and article archive...