The way Amazon pitches it, Echo devices, such as the Echo Dot, are brilliant for playing Amazon Music Unlimited. The trouble is that relatively few people use Amazon Music Unlimited. So can the Echo Dot play Spotify instead?
Can the Echo Dot play Spotify?
Yes indeed. All Echo devices can connect to Spotify to play music. That’s true even if you don’t have a Spotify Premium account, thanks to a relatively recent change – although if you don’t pay, then you’ll still have to put up with ads, just as you would on any other device.
How do I make Spotify the default music player on the Echo Dot?
Of course, when you open up and start playing with your Echo Dot, you might wonder if I’m mistaken. That’s because saying “Alexa, play The Rolling Stones” will default to playing it on Amazon Music Unlimited – and if you don’t have it, Alexa might offer you a free trial. Instead, you need to say “Alexa, play The Rolling Stones on Spotify” which is a whole lot more unwieldy – especially if you have a specific song in mind. “Alexa, play Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones on Spotify” doesn’t exactly slip off the tongue.
Good news – you can change this!
Go into the Alexa app and tap “More” in the menu along the bottom of the screen. Scroll down to “Settings”, then “Alexa preferences”, and tap on “Music”. Under “Account Settings”, you’ll find an option called “Default Services” – tap this, and then tick Spotify instead of Amazon Music. From now on, you won’t need to add “on Spotify” to your requests.
Does the Echo Dot play Spotify well?
That’s a whole different question, and it depends on a number of factors.
The good news is that no matter how weak the sound from your Echo Dot is, it can be improved. That’s because every Echo Dot comes with an audio-out jack, meaning you can connect it to another, better speaker. That doesn’t just mean Alexa’s voice will come through clearer: music will sound better too.
Do you need to do that? Well, it depends. The first- and second-generation Echo Dots come with sound that’s a little bit tinny. It’s fine for Alexa chatter, listening to books via Audible or enjoying talk radio, but for music it’s not exactly an ideal experience.
The third-generation Echo Dot makes big improvements to sound quality. Don’t get me wrong: it’s still not up there with a full-sized Echo, but it’s perfectly serviceable for Spotify streaming.