Alexa just got an excellent multi-room audio upgrade

Alexa's audio controls are now much closer to Sonos, Spotify Connect and Apple's AirPlay

Amazon Echo Studio (2022) review: woman listening to music on a home speaker in a living room
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon makes some of the best smart speakers for buyers on a budget, but while devices such as the Echo Studio sound great the Alexa app hasn't been as good as rival devices'. As a long-time Alexa, Apple and Spotify user I'm not a fan of the Alexa app when it comes to controlling audio, especially with groups of speakers and multiple rooms. So I'm pleased to see that Amazon has upgraded the Alexa app to deliver much better multi-room features.

As reported by The Verge, the app update brings a new pop-up screen that should be instantly familiar to anyone who's used AirPlay, Spotify Connect or Sonos speakers. It makes it really easy to play audio on specific Alexa-enabled devices and in specific speaker groups.

What devices does Alexa's multi-room menu control?

The app works with the current Echo line-up, including the little Echo Dot and the big Echo Studio. It also enables you to play audio on Echo Show devices and on Fire TV devices too.

Amazon has also added a page that looks very – and by very I mean likely to end up getting a nastygram from lawyers – like the System page of the Sonos app. It's called the Active Media List and, whenever audio is playing in your smart home, it shows you what audio is playing on which device(s) and enables you to control them from the app.

Alexa devices have come a long way since their debut, when they were more about the smart than the speaker; some of the best ones are surprisingly good, especially when you consider the price tag. So it's good to see the app evolving too, making Alexa audio that little bit easier, more convenient and more controllable. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (