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In the post, I am going to share five killer tips you can use to help you dramatically improve Alexa sound quality on your Amazon Echo devices.
Here are five pro tips to help you make your Echo devices sound better:
- Tip #1: Adjust the Equalizer
- Tip #2: Set up Multi-Room Music
- Tip #3: Pair with Other Bluetooth Speakers
- Tip #4: Upgrade Your Echo Speakers
- Tip #5: Add a Subwoofer
You can click on any link above to rock out to the details for that tip. Or read on to peep the intro.
Make Alexa Sound Awesome
Anyone who knows me knows what a big fan I am of Alexa multi-room music.
This counts double for residents in my apartment building 😉🎶.
By pairing multiple Echo speakers together, you can get some really amazing sound. Some Echo speakers sound better than others though, much better. (I will give you my opinion on which devices sound best down below, so read on!)
There are also some key things you can do to help improve the sound quality of your Alexa devices.
Without further ado, let’s get into those tips to help you really improve Alexa sound quality.
Tip #1: Adjust the Equalizer
Feel free to call me a dolt. I have been actively using multi-room music for over a year. However, I only recently (i.e., yesterday) discovered that some Amazon Echo devices actually have an equalizer that you can use to adjust the treble, bass, and mid-range.
Too cool! A very simple way to improve Alexa sound quality!
I spent the better part of the day yesterday fiddling around with the equalizer on my various Echos and boy what a difference in sound quality. If you own an Echo Show, here are some quick steps to adjust it on screen:
- On the Echo Show home screen, swipe down, then tap Settings.
- Tap Sounds.
- Tap Equalizer.
- Adjust treble, mid-range, or bass to your heart’s content.
For all devices that support the equalizer, you can also say things like:
- “Alexa, lower the base.”
- “Alexa, increase treble.”
- “Alexa, decrease the mid-range”
And Alexa will adjust the audio setting for you.
For the newer Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot other newer speakers without screens you can adjust the equalizer settings in the Alexa app.
- Open the Alexa app
- Tap Devices > Echo and Alexa.
- Next, choose your device and tap Audio Settings.
- Adjust treble, mid-range, or bass to your preferences.
NOTE: The option to tap Audio Settings in the app is only there if an equalizer is available for that device; otherwise, you will just see an adjustment for volume.
Tip #2: Set Up Multi-Room Music
If you haven’t already figured it out, I tend to get pretty giddy over Echo multi-room music.
In fact, I think this probably the best way to improve Alexa sound quality for music. It is relatively easy to set up but there is some configuration required using the Alexa app. HomeAutomationX has a nice video overview of how to create multi-room music groups and assign speakers to them. I’ll embed it below for your viewing pleasure.
Multi-room music is not perfect, however. It can be quirky, and there are sometimes some issues with it though that can be frustrating for owners. Devices can sometimes drop out of a group due to issues with network configuration, Alexa software updates, and for other reasons.
I blog about some troubleshooting tips that actually work over in this post and there is a full-on “reset” fix near the bottom of the post that should work 100% if you have serious issues.
Judging from the traffic that this post gets, lots of other folks have challenges too. But my fix has worked for dozens of users who have written in thanking me for publishing it.
Long story short, if you aren’t using Alexa multi-room music you are really missing out. When multi-room music first came out you were limited to adding speakers to a single group. You can now have Echos in multiple groups at the same time. For example, you can have groups for upstairs, downstairs, outside, and all.
Craig’s Tech Talk covers this nicely in the following video:
Multi-Room Music is the best way to give your overall sound quality a nice boost in my humble opinion.Alexa multi-room music is one of the best ways to give your overall sound quality a nice boost.Click To Tweet
Since some Echo devices like the Echo Show have deeper bass and better overall sound quality, the whole configuration just sounds better when you pair your less optimal sounding devices with more optimal sounding ones. For example, on its own, the Echo Spot sounds meh. But pair it with a newer generation Echo Show or Echo Dot and – that’s where the real magic happens.
Tip #3: Pair With Other Bluetooth Speakers
Did you know that you can pair your Echo devices with other Bluetooth speakers in a multi-room music configuration? You can!
So tip # 3 to improve Alexa sound quality is to pair your Echo devices with other Bluetooth speakers.
Have a favorite Bose speaker? Add it to the mix!
You can also likely pair your multi-room music set up with the soundbar that you are using with your television.
If you are a big Sonos user, smarthome-diy has a handy video that shows you how to create multi-room groups for your various Sonos speakers.
The only real catch is that it needs to support Bluetooth. This means that hundreds if not thousands of third-party speakers will work with your Echo devices. This article from Bose explains a little bit of history of how Alexa works with its soundbars.
Tip #4 Upgrade your Echo Devices
My next tip is a bit of a “master of the obvious” tip but if you really want to improve Alexa sound quality you might actually need to update one or more of your Echos. The difference in sound quality between the older generation Echo’s and the newer ones is like night and day.
The Echo Show second generation is the one exception to this in my opinion. I think it is the best sounding of all the Echo Show speakers, even though Amazon has introduced the Echo Show 8 and 5. I’ll add a link to the 2nd Gen Echo Show over to Amazon below.
- Premium speakers with Dolby processing let you stream music and books in crisp, stereo sound. With a vibrant 10.1" HD screen for watching videos, movies, and TV shows in a new fabric design.
- Make video calls to anyone with Skype, the Alexa app, an Echo Spot, or Echo Show.
- Ask Alexa to see lyrics and album art with Amazon Music. See weather forecasts, calendars, to-do lists, and your favorite playlists.
- Watch award-winning movies and shows from Prime Video, music videos from Vevo, or live TV and sports with a Hulu subscription.
Last update on 2020-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Improve Alexa Sound Quality: Speaker Grades
In fact, let me put together a little table that illustrates my thoughts on which Echo speakers sound best. And yes, I either owned or have extensively tested all of these myself.
|Echo Speaker||Generation||Sound Quality Grade|
|Echo Show||2nd Generation||A+|
|Echo Show 8||3rd Gen||A|
|Echo Show 5||3rd Gen||A|
|Echo Show||1st Gen||D|
|Echo Studio||1st Gen (Premium Sound)||A+|
|Echo Dot||3rd Gen||A|
|Echo Dot||2nd Gen||C-|
|Echo Dot Kids||3rd Gen||A-|
|Echo Dot Kids||2nd Gen||C-|
|Echo Sub*||1st Gen||A (Bass only)|
|Echo Flex||1st Gen||F|
|Echo Spot||1st Gen||C-|
*Update: I find this quite surprising but it looks like the Echo Sub is no longer available for purchase on Amazon.com. It is not clear to me whether Amazon will discontinue this or perhaps it is out of stock. It could also be that they will come out with a better 2nd Gen model. I own the Echo Sub and love it (killer bass).
OK, so I suppose I was a little harsh on the older generation speakers, but they really do sound pretty cruddy compared to the newer ones. However, they CAN work nicely as part of multiroom music to give a variety of tones on the mix.
In fact, this is why I suggest you keep them around and joined up to your multi-room music config. Overall they do help to improve Alexa sound quality.
Tip #5 Add a Subwoofer
Last but not least on my list of ways to improve Alexa sound quality is to add a subwoofer into the mix.
If you want some serious sound, try pairing your Echo multi-room music config with a subwoofer. Amazon last year created a subwoofer called the Echo Sub for this very purpose.
The nice thing about the Echo Sub? It was guaranteed to play nice with your Echo configuration and super easy to set up an ad as part of your multi-room music group. Sadly though, it looks like the Subwoofer is no longer available.
Sonos and Bose both have great subwoofer options, and industry experts recommend the Echo Studio as a great alternative as it includes a high-quality subwoofer and a tweeter in an advanced five-speaker configuration.
I will also add a link over to Amazon for the Echo Studio here.
- Immersive sound – 5 speakers produce powerful bass, dynamic midrange, and crisp highs. Dolby Atmos technology adds space, clarity, and depth.
- Ready to help - Ask Alexa to play music, read the news, and answer questions.
- Voice control your music - Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and more. With Amazon Music HD, listen to 50 million songs in the highest quality audio formats...
- Adapts to any room - Automatically senses the acoustics of your space, fine-tuning playback for optimal sound.
Last update on 2020-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
You can add pretty much any Bluetooth compatible subwoofer though. For example, I’m sure many of you may already have one or more Sonos speakers. You can add those too. Check out this blog post I wrote comparing the Echo Sub vs Sonos vs Bose subs.
5 Tips to Improve Alexa Sound Quality: What Do You Think?
So what do you think of my five tips to improve Alexa sound quality?
Do you plan on implementing any or all of them?
Will you try to pair your Echo devices with your other Bluetooth speakers? How about the soundbar connected to your TV.
Or maybe you will fiddle with the equalizer on the existing Echo speakers you own? Trust me, it will make a big difference.
Please leave me a comment below and let me know your plans to improve Alexa sound quality.
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About the Author
Tim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger
Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.