Prime Day is a great time to build an Amazon Echo-powered whole-home audio system

Prime Day is your chance to build the cheapest possible whole home audio system.

See our main Prime Day coverage here for PopSci and PopPhoto.

Cruise the feature list for Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot speakers and you’ll find an enormous list of capabilities. They can control a smart home, help your kids cheat on their math homework with help from Alexa, and even act as a speakerphone if you want to conduct business while whipping up a quick batch of duck a l’orange. The Echo devices have an underrated ability, however, that allows you to setup a whole-home audio system for an extremely cheap price. 

Bathe your house in sound with this Amazon Echo audio system

On Prime Day, the 4th generation Echo is down to just $59 from its regular $99 price. The plucky little Echo Dot is just $25. Once connected to your home network, both models can sync up to create a network of devices that will bathe your entire house in music. Just a few years ago, this kind of functionality required people to buy expensive and complex systems like Sonos in order to get the Slayer playing in the kitchen to sync up perfectly with the same song playing in the rest of the house. 

Because Alexa is integral to all the Alexa devices, Amazon’s whole-home audio functionality allows listeners to call out specific locations in which they want the music to play. So, if you want to keep a steady stream of Kenny G tracks playing on the Echo Dots you have–for some reason–placed in every bathroom, you can do just that with a simple voice request. 

The whole-home audio isn’t limited to just Echo and Echo Dot, either. You can rope in other devices, including the Echo Show smart screens as well as the more powerful Echo Studio. But, whole-house audio also works with non-Amazon services, including Pandora, Spotify, and several podcast providers.

The platform obviously supports Amazon’s own streaming services, including the underrated Amazon Music Unlimited (which is currently offering a free three-month trial), and its audio book service, Audible

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The Echo home theater audio solution

Even if you’re not determined to play TikTok songs that have been stuck in your head for three weeks in every room of your house, Amazon’s sound syncing tech can still come in handy. You can pair Echo speakers with a compatible Amazon Fire TV device to create a stereo system that will blow your TV’s built-in speakers out of the water and create a pretty sweet Amazon echo audio system.

Because you can place the Echo speakers farther apart than the boundaries of your TV, they can create a wider soundstage that gives viewers a real sense of movement and depth. Sure, it’s not going to replace a fancy high-end surround sound system like the one your uncle got when he went through his mid-life crisis, but a pair of 4th-gen Echo speakers will pump out an impressive amount of sound for less than $140. 

Stan Horaczek
Stan Horaczek

is the senior gear editor at Popular Science and Popular Photography. His past bylines include Rolling Stone, Engadget, Men's Journal, GQ, and just about any other publication that has ever written about gadgets. For a short time, he even wrote the gadget page for Every Day With Rachel Ray magazine. He collects vintage cameras, eats pizza, and hopes you won't go looking at his Tweets even though the link is down there.