On our most recent IoT Podcast episode, we listened to a message from Mark on our voicemail hotline. He has a few Harmon Kardon Invoke smart speakers that are unfortunately getting a little less smart. These speakers use Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant, which won’t be supported as of January. Invoke owners will need to upgrade their firmware at that point to end up with really good sounding non-smart Bluetooth speakers.
Mark wants to know if he can use an Echo Dot to wirelessly stream music to his Invoke speakers, potentially in stereo.
The good news is that you can pair a Bluetooth speaker with an Echo. We tested this process, although we don’t have Invoke speakers that Mark has. However, he should still be able to follow the same steps.
The first thing we’d recommend is to put your Bluetooth speakers in pairing mode. The process for this will differ based on the exact speaker brand you have.
Once the speakers are ready for pairing, open up the Amazon mobile app on your smartphone, and select the “Devices” option. Next, choose the “Echo & Alexa” option and tap on the Echo device you want to pair with your Bluetooth speakers. Finally, select “Bluetooth devices” and the “Pair a New Device” option to start the pairing process with your third-party speakers. In this case, Mark would choose his Harmon Kardon Invoke speakers.
And that’s it! Now, all music and Alexa conversations will be heard through your non-Amazon speakers, which are presumably better sounding than the Echo Dot.
It’s worth noting that in our testing we didn’t have a way to verify stereo speaker pairing. Nor have we found any support documentation explaining that Echo devices support stereo Bluetooth support to two speakers.
Stereo speaker playback on smart speakers typically use Wi-Fi for their connection, so we suspect Mark will have to make do with one great wireless speaker if using an Echo Dot for the music source.
To hear Mark’s question, as well as our full discussion, tune in to the IoT Podcast below.