You can now turn Echo devices into a full-fledged home theater system

Amazon recently released an update to Echo devices and the Alexa app that enables the ability to convert your smart speakers into a full home theater system. It’s quite simple and only requires you to have newer Amazon devices to do so. The only catch? This feature is limited to being used with Fire TV only, and can’t be used for general content. Keep reading to learn how to turn your Amazon Echo and Fire TV devices into a full home theater system.

Only certain devices are eligible

First thing’s first, only certain Echo and Fire TV devices are able to be used with the Alexa Home Theater System. The latest Echo Dot (3rd generation), the Echo (2nd and 3rd generation), Echo Plus (1st and 2nd generation), Echo Dot with Clock, and Echo Studio. Another eligible device is Echo Sub, but more on that later.

For streaming, you’ll need the 2nd generation Fire TV Cube, the 3rd generation Fire TV, or the Fire TV Stick 4K. Sadly, it doesn’t look like Fire TV Edition is eligible to be used quite yet.

What home theater setups are possible with Alexa

There are currently four different configurations that you can set up with various Echo devices. There is 1.0, which just uses a single Echo device as your Fire TV’s speaker. 1.1 uses a single Echo device with an Echo Sub for the bass. 2.0 uses two Echo devices as left and right, and 2.1 uses two Echo devices as left and right with an Echo Sub for the bass.

We recently went over different home theater setups in our handy guide, walking you through the differences, pros, and cons of each.

How to use Alexa Home Theater System

Using Amazon’s Alexa Home Theater System is quite easy. Basically, you’ll go into the Alexa app on your device, tap the “+” icon in devices, and then click “Set Up Audio System.” From there, choose “Home Cinema”, select your Fire TV, then choose the Echo devices you want to use as speakers. Currently, there’s only up to 2.1-channel audio, though we’re hoping Amazon releases the ability to use 3.1, 4.1, or 5.1 sometime in the future.

After you set it up in the app, head to “Settings Display & Sound Home Theater System” on your Fire TV. This is where you’ll manage volume control, lip-sync tuning, and gaming audio.

Why would you use Alexa Home Theater?

Many people have multiple Echo devices around their house from various promotions at Amazon, Best Buy, or other retailers. Some sit new in the box, and others are just in various random rooms (bathrooms, a guest room that rarely sees activity, etc.) Alexa Home Theater System is a great way to put those spare Echos to use, and if you’re neck-deep in Amazon’s ecosystem, this is a simple way to upgrade your home theater without buying expensive sound bars.

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