Having become a proud owner of an M1 Mac Mini, I set it up to use a nearby Amazon Echo as a Bluetooth speaker, a relatively easy process documented by my colleague Barry Collins. However, I found that it suffered from interference whenever it played any sound, so quickly abandoned that solution.
Both the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot also contain aux ports, so it occurred to me that, as the Echo was nearby, I could connect it via an audio cable instead. I promptly did this and… no sound came out. Lots of trying of different cables occurred, as did checking of the system settings and, indeed, lots of head scratching.
It turns out… it needs switching on. Kind of.
The aux ports in an Echo can be directed both ways – you can use it to direct sound out of the device but also direct audio into it too. By default, my Echo was set for the former. Here’s exactly how to use the Echo and Echo Dot as a wired speaker.
How do I change the Echo’s aux set-up?
- On a mobile device, head into the Alexa mobile app
- Select “Devices” and then choose the Echo you want to use
- Scroll down the resulting settings and, under “General”, you’ll find one named “AUX Audio”
- This should be “Line In” (in preference to “Line Out”). If it’s not, click on it and change it.
Alexa muted my line-in!
If you forget whether it’s your external device or Alexa that’s playing something, and it’s the former, if you ask her to “Stop”, she’ll mute the line-in port. However, it’s not obvious how to then revert this.
Thankfully, it’s not hard to fix.
Press any of the volume keys on the top of the Echo and the line-in will be unmuted again.