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TV & streaming

Ditch the soundbar and use your Echo as a home theater speaker

There’s nothing like buying a new TV, setting it up and then realizing it doesn’t have the sound quality you were hoping for. It’s happened to many of us. Some gadgets will even advertise awesome features, but they’re pretty lackluster when we get them home.

There are ways to fix issues like this, though. A few extra surround sound speakers or a new soundbar will spruce up your TV’s sound — but those fixes won’t come cheap. While there are soundbars out there for most budgets, you’ll spend a few hundred dollars on the low end to get one.

So what can you do if you are dealing with crummy TV sound quality but don’t want to invest in a new, expensive fix? Well, you can improvise. There is a way to use an Echo device as a home theater speaker instead — you just need to know how to set it up. Those smart speakers are good for everything!

Using your Echo as a home theater speaker

Amazon Echo devices are a great investment. As you know, these smart speakers can channel Alexa, control your smart devices, play music, entertain the kids, and keep your household schedules on track. What you may not realize, though, is that your Echo device can help improve the sound of your TV.

If you’re hesitant to invest in an expensive new soundbar, you can use your Echo device as a home theater speaker instead. All it takes is an Echo and compatible Fire TV device to use your Echo as a home theater speaker.

If you have both devices on hand, you can set this up without spending a dime. If you don’t have an Echo or a Fire TV device, you’ll have to buy them. They will still be a lot cheaper than that $2,000 soundbar you’ve been eying, though.

This isn’t just an affordable home theater speaker fix. It’s also a way to create the sound you want in your home. While you’re restricted on where you can place a soundbar, your Echo is compact and wireless, so it can be placed wherever you want.

Need more sound by your couch? Place your Echo on the side table right beside it. Want to expand TV sound into the kitchen? Connect via your Echo in there. Want to have sound coming at you from both sides? Use two Echo devices! The world is your wireless speaker oyster.

Ready to get started? There are tons of different Fire TV and Echo devices you can use for this purpose — so you might even have what you need right now.

Let’s start with Fire TV devices. Do you own a Fire TV Stick Lite or a Fire TV Stick for streaming? Either of those will work fine. If you need to invest in a Fire TV device and you want something affordable, you can get Fire TV Stick Lite for under $20 if you’re a Prime member.

You can also use a Fire TV Stick 4K or a Fire TV Cube. Those two devices will cost you a bit more than Fire TV Stick options would, but they’re all solid devices.

When it comes to Echo devices, you need one that has Bluetooth connectivity. Luckily, any Echo other than the Amazon Tap, which was discontinued a long time ago, will work.

The Echo Dot (3rd Gen) and Echo Dot (4th Gen) can be used as a TV speaker, and so can the Echo or Echo Studio. The Echo Dot w/Clock (4th Gen) will also work, but it will cost you more than other options. If you’re looking for the cheapest fix, you can get the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) for under $20 if you’re a Prime member.

Related: Tap or click here to find which streaming device is best for you

How to set up your Echo as a home theater speaker

Once you have your Echo and Fire TV devices in hand, you can set up your new home theater speaker. You’ll do this through the Amazon Alexa smartphone app after connecting both devices to your Wi-Fi.

Before you get started, make sure you’ve placed your Echo device where you want it. You should also make sure your Fire TV device is turned on. Once that’s done, you’re ready to begin.

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app on your phone or tablet.
  2. Select the Devices tab at the bottom right of the screen.
  3. Select the + icon on the top of the screen and then Set up Audio System > Home Theater at the bottom of the screen.
  4. From there, you’ll need to select your Fire TV device.
  5. Tap Next to continue.
  6. Select the Echo you want to use as a speaker. If you’re using two Echos, you can designate one for the left channel and one for the right channel.
  7. Tap Next to continue.
  8. On the next screen, you’ll have the option to select a name for your audio system. If you’re using this trick in the bedroom or living room, you can also assign the system to a specific room during this step.
  9. Tap Save to finish.

That’s it. You’re now ready to start listening to your TV with the help of your Echo device. You might be surprised at just how good these speakers sound when used with your TV.

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