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Turn your Amazon Echo into a free TV speaker -- here's how

Why spend money on a new soundbar or speaker system when you can use a device you already own?

- 01:46
Amazon Fire TV echo alexa

If you have an Amazon Echo, you have all the extra TV speaker you really need.

David Katzmaier/CNET

We've all done it -- there's an exceptionally quiet scene in a movie and you turn your TV volume all the way up just to hear what the hushed actors are saying. Or maybe you crank it up to feel the thrill of a car chase. Those are signs you need a better speaker for your TV. Fortunately, your Amazon Echo device is likely compatible with your smart TV, so you don't have to worry about damaging your eardrums when the next loud scene comes on if your TV speakers just aren't up to snuff.

The best spot to place your Echo is on the side table so you can hear what's going on without maxing out the volume. Keep in mind that your Echo speaker is only compatible with smart TV's that have Bluetooth capabilities. However, you can also connect your Echo to a Fire TV if you don't have a smart TV.

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To get started, place your Echo device near the TV you'll be connecting to and make sure both are plugged in and turned on. Now say, "Alexa, connect" -- the voice assistant will start checking for devices to connect to. On your smart TV, navigate to the Bluetooth settings to find the Echo speaker you're wanting to connect. For example, I might see "Katie's Echo Dot" or "Living Room Echo Plus." It's the same process if you have a Fire TV.

Note that all smart TV's are different, so the setup may not be exactly the same for you, though it should be close. For example, the TV I used is a Vizio and has an option for Amazon Alexa that explained I needed to download the Vizio SmartCast skill to pair the two devices. When you're ready to disconnect the speaker from the TV, just say, "Alexa, unpair."

If you tried this at home and the setup was different for your TV, let us know in the comments. For more tips on connecting your smart speakers, check out how to simultaneously stream music across all your Amazon Echo devices, how to control your Fire TV with Amazon Echo and 6 Amazon Echo settings you won't regret changing.