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While Apple and Amazon may be competing companies, that doesn’t mean that their devices are incompatible. That’s good news for people who have Echo devices (which come in all forms these days) and iPhones, because these are easy to pair together with a universal Bluetooth connection and easy to control with the right voice commands. Once you know how to do it, you can play your iPhone music from an Echo any time you want!
Make Sure Your Echo Is up and Running
You want both devices ready for action before you start connecting. Make sure your iPhone has battery life, and get your Echo device is up and running. If it’s a new Echo, don’t worry; Amazon makes it very easy to set up, although you will need to download the Alexa app and sign in with your Amazon account before you add your Echo device. Fortunately, Alexa doesn’t require any extra skills or steps for a basic Bluetooth connection with your iPhone, so the initial setup is all you need.
Pair Your Devices with Alexa
- Head to the Settings section in your iPhone.
- Open up Bluetooth so you can see all connected devices while you pair for the first time.
- Now say, “Alexa, pair with my iPhone” while standing near your Echo device.
- Alexa will chime and start searching, and your phone should pop up with the traditional Bluetooth handshake notification.
- Let your phone know that you want to pair, and the two devices should connect.
- Alexa will chime again, and your Echo should appear on the list of your connected Bluetooth devices.
If this isn’t working for some reason, you can always pair manually by going into the Alexa app, going to Devices, and selecting Echo and Alexa at the top. Now select your device and look for an option that says Bluetooth, where you have the ability to Pair a New Device. In our testing, we found this option wasn’t available for every Echo, but it’s worth looking at if voice commands aren’t working.
Now, Test the Sound and Commands
With your iPhone paired, it’s time to test out the connection. Open up Apple Music or the music player of your choice and try out some tunes. Your Echo should immediately start playing the song you choose. Note that you can control the volume on both your iPhone and on your Echo device, so find out which is easier and which sounds better with different volume levels.
Note that basic Alexa commands will still work while playing music, so you can adjust volume with your voice, pause music, and skip songs. However, you can’t ask Alexa to play a specific artist or go to a certain playlist, or other more in-depth commands.
Unpair with Voice Commands
When you are finished, remember to say, “Alexa, disconnect from” and then say your iPhone’s name or just say, “iPhone.” Alexa will chime or announce the disconnection, and the Bluetooth pairing will end. You can pair again whenever you want with the opposite command, “Alexa connect to” and then your iPhone’s name.
Bonus Tip+ Connect to Apple Music
If you subscribe to Apple Music and want a bit more control over what your Echo does, we suggest making Apple Music your primary music service. This is actually very easy to do: Just head into your Alexa app, go to the left side menu, select Settings, and go to Music & Podcasts. Now choose Link New Service, and select Apple Music. Sign in with your Apple Account, and make sure it is set to be your primary music service.
Now you can skip the iPhone step and tell Alexa to play directly from Apple Music, including specifying genres, artists, or songs as you want. This works with Podcasts, too!