What Is an Alexa Preferred Speaker and How to Set One Up

Make listening to music with Alexa even more enjoyable

What to Know

  • You can use certain speakers with Alexa that include Amazon devices, Sonos speakers, and more.
  • Set up speakers in the Alexa app by going to Devices > Plus (+) > Add Group and following the onscreen instructions.
  • Change speakers by going to Devices > Device Group > Select Edit Preferred Speaker > Select a new preferred speaker

Using Alexa to play music through the Echo and other compatible Alexa-enabled speakers is convenient, but if you have several in your home, you must identify each speaker by name when you want to play music. To make things easier, set up an Alexa Preferred Speaker that automatically plays the music you request.

What You Can Use as an Alexa Preferred Speaker

Here is a list (which continues to grow) of some of the devices that you can designate as your Alexa Preferred Speaker:

Alexa Preferred Speaker Setup

With the Alexa app Preferred Speaker feature, you can designate one of your Echo or another Alexa-compatible device as a "default" speaker. After setup, you say, "play music" or "play music from (artist or service)" and it plays that music automatically on the speaker you chose as your favorite for playing music, without any further identification.

Here is an example of how to set up an Alexa Preferred Speaker using the Alexa app.

  1. Open the Alexa app on your smartphone. On the Alexa app's home page, tap the Devices icon on the lower right-hand corner. 

    Smartphone Home Screen – Alexa App > Select Devices
  2. On the Devices page, tap the Plus (+) in the top right corner of the app, then tap Add Group

    Alex App - In Devices > Add Group
  3. On the Group Name page, select a name from the provided list or type in an original name to create an Alexa speaker group, then tap Next.

  4. On the next page, choose the Alexa-enabled devices you want to place in the speaker group, then tap Save.

    Alex App - Group Name > Next > Select Alexa Enabled Device
  5. On the next page, go to Preferred Speaker Setup and tap the Plus (+).

  6. In the preferred speaker setup page, choose the Alexa-enabled speaker that you want as your preferred speaker, then tap Save to confirm your selection.

    Alex App - Preferred Speaker Prompt – Select Preferred Speaker(s)
  7. Your Preferred Speaker is now ready to use. Using Alexa's voice commands, just say "Alexa, play music" (or also specify artist, song, station, streaming service) and music will start playing from your preferred speaker. There is no need to specify the speaker or room name.

Selecting a Speaker Group as a Preferred Speaker

In addition to selecting an individual speaker as your preferred speaker, you can also select an entire speaker group as your preferred speaker. This means that all of the speakers in a group will play the same music when you say "Alexa, play music (or artist, station, genre, etc...)"

Alex App - Preferred Speaker Prompt – Select Preferred Speaker Group

Follow the steps outlined above for designating a single speaker as a preferred speaker, but, instead, select a speaker group as your preferred speaker. 

Changing Your Preferred Speaker or Speaker Group

If you want to change your preferred speaker or speaker group, just tap your Alexa device group name in the Alexa app, then tap Edit Preferred Speaker.

Tap Devices > Device Group > Select Edit Preferred Speaker > Select a new preferred speaker

Alexa App – Edit (Change) Preferred Speaker

Additional Alexa Preferred Speaker Features

After setting up an Alexa Preferred Speaker, here are some tips to keep in mind when using this feature:

  • Using playback voice commands: In addition to starting music playback with a simple command without having to identify a specific speaker, you can also use Alexa music playback control commands (volume, pause, stop, resume) with your preferred speaker without having to identify the speaker's name or location.
  • Alexa Equalizer commands: These may also be available for some devices. This feature allows you to adjust bass, treble, mid-range frequencies or, on select devices, sound modes (may include Movie, Music, Night, Sport, or TV) to improve sound quality.
  • Using another speaker: If you want to play music on another speaker other than your preferred speaker just tell Alexa what you want to play and designate the speaker by name or location as normal. 
  • Non-music related commands: Commands such as information requests will still be answered or responded to by the Echo or other devices with Alexa built-in you are specifically addressing. 
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