Amazon Echo Extends Smart Speaker Lead With Alexa Multi-Room Music Support


Amazon cited the example of someone using three Echo devices and two AVS speakers, playing music across all five.

Amazon is gifting Echo owners with a new feature. It's a long-awaited move that has been expected since the low-priced Echo Dot launched and made it feasible for people to outfit their entire homes with Amazon's smart speaker.

"Consumer demand for increasingly convenient ways to shop is growing rapidly and we're excited to be the first supermarket in the United Kingdom to offer this technology, making customers' lives ever easier".

The feature will initially work with Amazon Music, iHeartRadio and Pandora, and support for Spotify and SiriusXM is rolling out.

Amazon on Tuesday debuted multi-room audio support for its Echo Internet-enabled speakers, consequently allowing users to play music on individual devices or group them together in an effort to create a surround experience.

The Connected Speaker APIs are available in the form of a developer preview starting today, and the AVS Multi-Room Music SDK will be available early next year.

The new feature comes just one day after the news leaked that Sonos is planning a voice-controlled speaker of its own, similar to the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod that, that according to new sources, will be unveiled during an October 4 event. While it might be the first to provide a dedicated Alexa offering, Tesco was the first to trial voice ordering on the Amazon Echo, thanks to its clever IFTTT recipes.

It seems the smart speakers war is heating up, and Amazon is looking to stay out ahead of the pack. You can then tell your Echo device "Alexa, play Smash Mouth downstairs" and playback will begin.

Given that we're coming up to the all-important holiday season, it's a good time to release a new Echo, right before Apple and Sonos and still in time for Christmas.