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How to pair your Amazon Echo with a Bluetooth Speaker

Thanks to a recent update, you can now pair the original Echo with a Bluetooth speaker for better sound.

Even if you put aside all of what the Amazon Echo can do, it's still a great speaker in its own right. It's not going to wow picky audiophiles, but it should suffice for most casual listening. That said, if you're having guests over or want music to fill the room a bit better, you might need more firepower.

Previously, the only official way to use Alexa through more serious speakers was with the smaller and more affordable Echo Dot. Bluetooth on the original Echo was limited to usi​ng another device to stream music through it. With a recent update, however, you can now pair the Echo with a Bluetooth speaker, making it possible to stream music, news and podcasts through your home entertainment system. Here's how to set it up.

Pair the Amazon Echo with Bluetooth speakers

Of course, you will first need a speaker that has Bluetooth capabilities. Many modern sound bars come with the wireless standard built-in. However, if your sound bar or surround sound isn't Bluetooth-enabled, you can add it for about $20 or £15 with a Bluetooth receiver.

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Screenshot by Taylor Martin/CNET

To pair a Bluetooth-enabled speaker with the Amazon Echo:

  • Power on the speaker and put it in pairing mode.
  • Go to alexa.amazon.com in a web browser or open the Amazon Alexa app on iOS or Android.
  • In the left menu, select Settings.
  • Under Devices, select the Alexa device you want to pair with the speaker.
  • Select Bluetooth.
  • Tap Pair a New Device.
  • Wait for your Bluetooth speaker to appear under Available Speakers and select it.

When you begin streaming music or cue up Alexa with a question or command, the audio will play through the paired speaker instead of the Echo. To disconnect the Bluetooth speaker, simply power it off or return to the Bluetooth settings for that specific Amazon Echo in the Alexa app, tap the downward arrow beside the connected speaker and select Disconnect.

If at any point audio stops playing through the paired speaker, go back to the Bluetooth settings in the Alexa app and tap on the speaker to manually connect it again. If you're using a sound bar, make sure you have the input set to Bluetooth (or Aux if you're using a Bluetooth receiver).

If the speaker fails to reconnect to Alexa, tap the downward arrow next to the paired speaker to expand the options, select Forget Device and perform the pairing process again.