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How to stream any audio with the Amazon Echo

If the built-in streaming options the Amazon Echo have to offer simply don't do it for you, there is another option. Pair your devices using Bluetooth and stream virtually anything you want.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Amazon Echo can stream all sorts of audio. It can read the news to you, play audio streams for major networks, stream your favorite local radio stations from iHeartRadio and it can play various forms of audio from Amazon's own multimedia offerings, as well as Spotify.

But what if you want to listen to something that isn't offered by the Echo out of the box? What if your favorite podcast isn't available through Spotify? Or what if you want to watch a movie from your laptop, but you want to amplify the audio?

You can actually circumvent the official support of the Amazon Echo and stream practically any audio to the Echo using Bluetooth.

Learn how to setup the Amazon echo as a Bluetooth speaker.

Pairing via voice command

There are two ways to pair your devices with the Amazon Echo. The easiest way is by simply speaking to Alexa. Say "Alexa, pair." This will put the Echo in Bluetooth pairing mode and make it discoverable.

From your device of choice, open Bluetooth settings. In the list of devices, you should see a device named Echo-XXX. Tap the device name to confirm the paring.

Pairing via Amazon Alexa app

Manually put the Echo in pairing mode by opening the Amazon Alexa application from your mobile device or navigating to echo.amazon.com and navigating to Settings. Find the correct Echo device at the top of the menu and select it by tapping or clicking on it. Select Bluetooth and click Pairing Mode.

When you open the Bluetooth settings, you should see the device name (Echo-XXX) in the list of discovered devices. Tap or click on the device name and confirm the connection.

Use the Amazon Echo as a Bluetooth speaker

With so many built-in options for streaming audio from the Amazon Echo, it may not seem immediately apparent why you might want to use it as a Bluetooth speaker. Currently, media streaming services that Alexa supports are your own Amazon Music library, Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Audible and it can even read some of the e-books from you Kindle library.

However, if you want to stream Apple Music from your iPhone, Google Play Music from your Android device or even audio from some a local video on your computer, all you have to do is pair your device with the Echo using Bluetooth and select it as the audio output.

This means you can stream practically any audio from the Echo from any Bluetooth-compatible device.

Additionally, you can now speak to Alexa to control the audio that is playing from your external device. Speak "Alexa, pause" or "Alexa, next" and the music or audio will pause or skip to the next song.

Unpair Bluetooth devices from Echo

If you want to clear the device pairings from the Amazon Echo, you can do so by opening the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device or navigating to echo.amazon.com and opening Settings. From there, select the device at the top of the page and click Bluetooth. When the page loads, click or tap Clear.

This removes all paired devices, which means you will need to pair any devices you want to stream from once again.