Amazon is ready to launch whole-home audio support for Alexa speakers, and the technology could come via a software update, according to a German report.
Amazon has completed testing on the new feature, says German blog Caschys. “It will probably soon be possible to use the Echoes as multiroom speakers, the music is then synchronized on several loudspeakers.”
Also, owners will be able to “group” Alexa speakers, so that multiple devices can listen and respond to a single command or question.
Whole-home playback is already available from the Google Home and Chromecast devices. Adding this feature to Amazon speakers will help the company better compete with rival products such as Sonos speaker and Apple HomePod which will arrive in December.
The news should be interesting for people who have several echo devices in use. The feature is expected to be completed shortly. The corresponding tests have been successful so that Amazon could theoretically distribute the update at any time.
Amazon has been making inroads with its Echo devices, featuring the Alexa personal assistant. Most recently, the company launched the Echo Show, a model with a touchscreen display.
While Amazon’s Echo lineup is capable of playing music, the hardware has function as the main medium of Alexa assistant. Apple, on the other hand, has taken the opposite approach, pushing HomePod as a quality music player first and foremost.
This could explain why Amazon is pushing for multi-speaker, multi-room capability, which will enable greater music effect, countering the key selling point of the HomePod. In addition, Amazon is reportedly working on a new music-focused Echo with better speakers, which could more directly compete with the HomePod, says AppleInsider.