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Want to use smart speakers to improve your TV’s sound: Pluses and minuses


Connecting a smart speaker– Amazon Echo or Google Nest — to your TV seems like an affordable solution to make it smarter and sound better. However, there are certain things to keep in mind. There are two aspects of attaching a speaker to your TV. The first thing is you want better sound quality. As far sound quality is concerned, you may buy a decent soundbar for the price of a smart speaker that actually sounds better than Amazon Echo or Google Nest speakers. The next most obvious point to get a smart speaker for your TV is to add voice command support. So, there are four things to consider before you connect a smart speaker to your TV.
Soundbars provide better audio than smart speakers: If you buy any mid-range soundbar for your TV, the audio quality will be way better than compared to smart speakers. So, if your sole objective is to improve the audio quality of your TV, it’s better to invest in a sound bar or even home theatre system.
Getting a smart speaker for voice commands: Now, if you already have a soundbar or audio system and wish to add voice commands to your TV, then getting a smart speaker may make sense. But even if you find a compatible smart speaker for your TV, remember it would be difficult for that smart speaker to cancel the loud sound from your TV and listen to other instructions.
For example, if you connect a smart speaker to your TV and also use the same speaker to control lights or AC of the same room, you will have to pause or lower the volume of the TV to give voice commands for other tasks like switching off the AC or turning off the lights. The experience won’t be seamless. And using two different smart speakers in the same room could be a hassle in itself altogether.
Not all TVs are compatible with all smart speakers: If you are getting an Amazon Echo device, ensure that it is compatible with your TV. Remember to check for compatibility before buying a smart speaker to connect to your TV.
Most newer TVs already offer voice support with remote: If you buy a new TV, the chances are you will get a remote that supports voice commands at the press of a button. This solves smart connectivity requirements altogether, so, investing in a good soundbar may make more sense if you want to enhance the sound quality of your TV.
How to connect a Amazon Echo to your TV
If you wish to add your Amazon Echo device to control your TV or for audio output then the first thing to look for is whether you have a smart TV or non-smart. As the process for both is different.
Note it is not possible to add Echo Dot via Bluetooth to your TV. This is because if you use Bluetooth to connect to the Echo device, there will be a latency issue: the audio will be delayed. So, you would need to connect to the Echo device via Fire TV or Fire TV Stick over Wi-Fi for no audio lag. Also, there’s a feature called Time Synchronization which helps to prevent audio lag.
Connecting smart TV to Echo
Smart TV owners need to first check whether the TV model supports Alexa or not. In some models from LG and Sony, there are dedicated Alexa apps available that help connect Echo devices with TV. Users need to use the same Wi-Fi network and follow instructions shown on the app to pair Echo devices with the TV.
Connecting non-smart TV or smart TVs without Alexa support to Echo
On the other hand, if you don’t have a smart TV, then the easiest way to get Alexa support is by purchasing a Fire TV Stick along with Echo Dot device. Just connect the Fire TV Stick to your TV and pair the Fire TV stick with the Echo Dot. You will have to change the settings of the TV to get sound output from it and also support voice commands.
Soundbar vs smart speakers: What you need to know
The biggest concern of using a smart speaker as audio output for your TV is latency or the audio lag, which can ruin the experience. While it may seem that a smart speaker may solve a common purpose of a Bluetooth speaker and voice control for TV, what you need to understand is the cost of a decent soundbar or speaker is lower than owning a Echo device and Fire TV stick. Also, the audio quality of a soundbar is far superior.



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