How to Play Music on Alexa

The most popular Alexa feature

One of the many functions Alexa can do is control music playback on the Echo and a number of third-party Alexa-enabled smart speakers and related devices. Here is a look at how to get started playing music with Alexa.

What You Need

  • Internet access and Wi-Fi
  • Amazon Echo (also includes the Dot, Show, Spot, and Studio), or other compatible Alexa-enabled devices (select third-party speakers, soundbars), or Fire TV devices.
  • A smartphone with the Alexa app installed. 
  • Subscription to one or more compatible music services.

Play Music Using the Alexa App

Here is how to set up Alexa to play music on a compatible device.

  1. Open the Alexa app and select Options (the hamburger menu on the top left or right corner) > Settings.

    Alexa App Home Page – Select Options and Settings
  2.  In Settings select Music. 

    Alexa App Music Services
  3. Check the list of available services. You can connect Alexa to a variety of music services, including: Amazon Music, Deezer, Gimme, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, Apple Music/iTunes, and several others.

    Alexa Smartphone App – All Music Services

    Before streaming, you may need to establish an account with each music service. If you don't see one of the above music services on your selection list, go to the Alexa Skills category in the Alexa App and activate the skill associated with the service you want to add. Follow any account setup and linking instructions. 

  4. Choose a Default Music Service from the list. 

    Alexa App Music Services – Choose Default Music Services

    When using Alexa to play music but don't specify a specific service, Alexa and Echo will go to your default music service first. If you don't choose a default music service, Alexa will play songs from Amazon Music. 

  5. Activate Explicit Filter settings if desired (optional).

    Alexa App Music Services – Explicit Filter Settings

Use Voice Commands

There are several ways to play music on your Echo devices using Alexa voice commands. Depending on the music service, not all voice commands are applicable. Alexa voice command features may vary by country or device. 

If you don't want to use Alexa's voice commands, you can use the playback controls on the Alexa App or Echo Show using the touchscreen. 

Basic Music Commands 

  • "Shuffle" or "Stop shuffle."
  • "Stop" or "Pause."
  • "Play" or "Resume."

Music Service Commands (may vary depending on service)

  • "Play song, album, or artist."
  • "Play happy or sad music."
  • "Play station (name of music station)."
  • "Play (name of playlist)."
  • "Who's the lead singer for (band)?"
  • "Add song, album, artist to (playlist name)."
  • "Create a playlist."

Amazon Prime Music Commands

  • "Play a Prime Playlist."
  • "Play (song title) from Prime Music"
  • "Show me songs, playlists, genres from Prime Music."

Using Alexa's voice commands, you can adjust the volume or use the Alexa Equalizer (if available for your device) to adjust the bass, treble, and midrange frequencies.

In addition to voice commands, you can navigate music playback options on your smartphone with the Alexa app touchscreen controls. 

The Alexa app (and Echo Show/Spot) can display song titles, album covers, and song lyrics (when available).

Use Alexa With Bluetooth From Smartphone

You can use Bluetooth to stream music from your smartphone to your Echo or select Alexa-enabled devices.

This will enable you to play music from other services that may not be offered by the Alexa app, as well as music stored on your smartphone

  1. On your smartphone, select Settings > Bluetooth.

    Smartphone > Settings > Bluetooth Selected
  2. Open the Bluetooth settings on your smartphone. Tap Scan for Devices. The Echo or other compatible device should appear.

    Smartphone Scanning for Bluetooth Devices
  3. Say Alexa Pair or Tap your Echo Device to continue the pairing process. When the pairing process is completed, you should hear Alexa announce that both devices are connected.

  4.  If you don't want to use the "Alexa Pair" voice command, you can also use your smartphone's Bluetooth pairing option as shown below.

    Smartphone Connecting to Bluetooth Device
  5. Once paired (connected) you can control playback using Alexa commands, touchscreen controls in the Alexa app or Echo or Alexa-enabled device.

    Smartphone Connected to Bluetooth Device

Use Alexa and Bluetooth With a PC

You can also use Bluetooth to stream music from a PC to your Echo device. This works best with a Windows 10 PC.

  1. Enable Bluetooth on your PC.

    PC Settings – Bluetooth and Other Devices
  2. Sign in to your Amazon Account on the Amazon Alexa webpage.

    Alexa Account PC Sign-In
  3. Go to Settings in your Alexa Account and click on your Echo Device or another compatible device. 

    Alexa PC Settings Echo Device Selected
  4. Select Bluetooth.

    Alexa Settings – Select Bluetooth
  5. Select Pair New Device and select your PC when prompted.

    Alexa Bluetooth Settings – Pair New Device
  6. In your PC's Bluetooth and other devices page, a prompt will appear asking you to pair devices—choose Allow

    PC Bluetooth Settings – Allow Pairing
  7. When pairing is confirmed, a prompt will appear saying "connection completed"—click on Close.

    PC Bluetooth Settings – Connection/Pairing Successful
  8. Your PC is added to Alexa's Bluetooth Devices list. If there are multiple paired devices on the list, highlight the Bluetooth icon for the device (such as your PC) you want to connect for music playback at any given time.

    Alexa Bluetooth Settings – PC Listed

You should be able to stream music from online streaming services, media server software (such as Plex), or downloaded/ripped music files (such as from CDs) from your PC on your Echo device (barring any file compatibility issues).

In addition to using Alexa to control music playback from a Bluetooth source, you can also use Bluetooth to stream music from an Echo to a separate Bluetooth speaker

Use Alexa to Play Music on Fire TV

In addition to Echo and related audio devices, Alexa can also play Music on Fire TV devices, including Fire Edition TVs

Here's how:

  1. Highlight Apps on the main Fire TV or Fire Edition TV Menu and select Categories.

    Amazon Fire Edition TV Apps Categories Page
  2. In Categories, select Music and Audio.

    Fire TV – Music and Audio Apps Screen
  3. Select a music app to listen to and use Alexa voice commands to control available playback options.

    Fire TV – Music and Audio Apps Screen