Amazon Echo makes a great soundbar for a small TV

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If you have a small TV (like a kitchen or garage TV) and the sound from the TV’s built-in speakers sounds terrible, it could be worth buying an Amazon Echo smart speaker as a soundbar for your TV.

Amazon’s Echo (4th generation) smart speaker has an often overlooked line-in feature where you can connect another device like a TV to the Echo and then use the Echo as a speaker for that TV or other device. The way Amazon have implemented this feature is quite clever and has these benefits:

  1. When you are speaking to the Echo to give it voice commands or a timer is going off on the Echo, the Echo will reduce the volume of the TV sounds playing through the Echo, so you can hear Alexa (the voice assistant on the Echo) properly.
  2. The volume controls on the Echo change the volume of the TV’s sounds like they control all other sounds coming through the Echo. This means that turning the volume of your TV up or down is as easy as saying “Alexa, volume up” or “Alexa, volume down” to your Echo.
  3. The equaliser controls on the Echo - accessible via the Alexa app for mobile phones and tablets under the “audio settings” section - for adjusting bass, mid-range and treble volumes, works for TV sounds like it does any music playing directly on the Echo.

To connect your TV to an Amazon Echo, you just need to connect the “headphone out” port on your TV to the “line-in” port on your Amazon Echo, using a mini-jack to mini-jack cable like this one.

Beware that for Amazon’s current generation Echo devices, the line-in feature is only available on the Amazon’s Echo and (much more expensive) Amazon Echo Studio.

The line-in feature is NOT available on the smaller and cheaper Amazon Echo Dot.

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