How to Connect the Echo Dot to External Speakers

Updated on January 21, 2018
Ariel Laur profile image

Ariel Laur is a music aficionado, but not quite an audiophile, who specializes in product reviews.

Echo Dot in white.
Echo Dot in white. | Source

The Echo Dot is an amazing invention! It is a smart speaker that enables a voice-controlled personal assistant service known as “Alexa.” Alexa offers a seemingly endless multitude of functions. It can give you the current news, order an Uber taxi, turn lights on and off, play music, and so much more. The software is being updated continuously to add even more features.

The Echo Dot has a basic speaker built in, which offers pretty good sound for its size and it functions well.

However, if you are a music lover like me and want improved sound from the Echo Dot, you have a few options.

One is to upgrade to the Echo, which has a better speaker at a higher price or to the Echo Plus, the most expensive of the three. The Echo will give you improved sound and the Echo Plus will give you the best sound of the three units.

However, another great option is to use external speakers with the Echo Dot. These may be speakers that you already own or that you purchase. This is a great option because it will save you money if you use existing speakers. This option can offer you the best sound option of all.

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Black
Echo Dot (2nd Generation) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Black

I highly recommend the Echo Dot as a wonderful way to listen to music, audio books, control lights, and so much more. It can be used as is or connected be to an external speaker for improved sound quality.

 

Another benefit to the Echo Dot is that it gives you the option of upgrading to improved external speakers in the future. The sky is the limit, so why limit yourself with the Echo or Echo Plus? Stick with the least expensive Echo Dot, save some money now and keep your options open.

Please note that you can also add external speakers to any of the three 2nd Generation Echo units as they all have “line out” ports.

Back of Echo Dot. Port on left is for power. Port on the right allows audio out. This is the port where you can connect a 3.5mm cable to an external speaker.
Back of Echo Dot. Port on left is for power. Port on the right allows audio out. This is the port where you can connect a 3.5mm cable to an external speaker. | Source

How to Connect the Dot to External Speakers

The Echo Dot can be connected to multiple types of speakers. This article will cover the methods of hard-wiring the Echo Dot to an audio system, a Sonos Play:5 (a Wi-Fi speaker), a pair of Logitech computer speakers and a pair of full size stereo speakers. Connecting the Echo Dot to an external speaker will require at least an audio cable if not a few other pieces. These cables are relatively inexpensive and run in the $5.00 range.

3.5 MM Aux Audio Cable will connect your Echo Dot to an exterior speaker.
3.5 MM Aux Audio Cable will connect your Echo Dot to an exterior speaker. | Source

The Echo Dot has a 3.5mm aux port, this is the port which enables you to attach the Echo Dot to external speakers, the port works as a “line out”. This port enables you to send the audio signal from the Dot to another speaker through a wire. If your speakers or audio system has a 3.5mm “line in” or “aux” port then you will need a wire that has a 3.5 size input piece on both sides of the wire. This is the simplest method of attaching speakers to your Echo Dot. I have used this method on a few speakers and sound systems in my home with great success.

Sony Personal Audio System connected to Echo Dot.
Sony Personal Audio System connected to Echo Dot. | Source
Insert the 3.5mm cable end into the line in port.
Insert the 3.5mm cable end into the line in port. | Source

Connecting the Dot to an Audio System

First I hooked up an Echo Dot to my son’s Sony Personal Audio System, he had already been using this audio system as a radio, alarm clock along with a dock for his iPhone. To hook up the Echo Dot, I began by purchasing a 3.5mm Aux Audio Cable. I hooked one of the male connectors into the back of the Echo Dot and then the other male connector into the Audio System aux in port. I then switched the button on the top of the unit to “audio in.”


Sonos Play:5 connected to Echo Dot using 3.5mm Aux Audio Cable.
Sonos Play:5 connected to Echo Dot using 3.5mm Aux Audio Cable. | Source

Connecting the Dot to a Sonos Play:5

I have also connected the Echo Dot to my Sonos Play:5 speaker using the same 3.5mm Aux Audio Cable. This time I purchased a white 3.5mm Aux Audio Cable to match my white Sonos speaker and white Echo Dot. I attached one male end of the audio cable into the aux out on the Echo Dot and the other end went into the back of the Sonos Play:5 using the line in port. To make this connection work you will need to use the Sonos app to activate the “line in” function. This setting can be found by choosing Browse on the main page of the Sonos app and then choosing the speaker name. I also noticed that when I used the Sonos music app to play music the “line-in” function will shut off, so I just don't use the app and never have to change anything. There is also a way to make 'line in' function stay on even if using the Sonos app without have to reset it.

3.5mm cable is shown here connecting the Echo Dot to the Sonos Play:5
3.5mm cable is shown here connecting the Echo Dot to the Sonos Play:5 | Source
AmazonBasics 3.5mm Male to Male Stereo Audio Aux Cable - 4 Feet (1.2 Meters)
AmazonBasics 3.5mm Male to Male Stereo Audio Aux Cable - 4 Feet (1.2 Meters)

I prefer to use the AmazonBasics 3.5mm cables when connecting the Echo Dot to external speakers because they have gold plated plugs which offer excellent conductivity.

 

Connecting the Dot to Logitech Computer Speakers

For my other son we decided to use a spare set of Logitech computer speakers. Since these speakers have RCA connectors, this connection would require different cables and plugs. To use these speakers with the Echo Dot I purchased Stereo “Y” Adapter Cable along with A/V Couplers. These two items are available at stores like Walmart or at Amazon.com.

Logitech computer speaker has a RCA cable.
Logitech computer speaker has a RCA cable. | Source
Stereo "Y" Adapter Cable
Stereo "Y" Adapter Cable | Source
The Stereo "Y" Adapter Cable is connected to the Echo Dot using the 3.5mm side of the cable.
The Stereo "Y" Adapter Cable is connected to the Echo Dot using the 3.5mm side of the cable. | Source

I first connected the 3.5mm end of the Y adapter to the Dot; I then attached the two A/V couplers to the other ends and then attached the RCA connector to the coupler. What I love about this connection is that there is no audio unit that needs to be switched to “Line in” or “Aux in.”

Coupler (shown in the midde) is used to link the speaker cable to the Stereo "Y" Adapter Cable.
Coupler (shown in the midde) is used to link the speaker cable to the Stereo "Y" Adapter Cable. | Source
Echo Dot is connected to Logitech speakers.
Echo Dot is connected to Logitech speakers. | Source

Connecting Echo to Speakers with Audio Wires

This time I chose to connect an Echo using a spare set of stereo speakers for use in my family room. This connection will require:

  • Stereo speakers with wires
  • 3.5 male to screw terminal connector which is available on Amazon
  • A mini screwdriver
  • A second generation Echo Dot, Echo or Echo Plus

3.5 to screw terminal connector
3.5 to screw terminal connector | Source
Speaker wires, There are two wires for each speaker.
Speaker wires, There are two wires for each speaker. | Source
Using this mini screwdriver I connected the wires with black coloring to the left and right hole and the wires with red coloring together in the right hole.
Using this mini screwdriver I connected the wires with black coloring to the left and right hole and the wires with red coloring together in the right hole. | Source
Here is the terminal connector inserted into the echo.
Here is the terminal connector inserted into the echo. | Source
Here is the echo connected to the speakers. Please note that while this setup shows an Echo Plus, the connection method is exactly the same for an Echo Dot or a Echo.
Here is the echo connected to the speakers. Please note that while this setup shows an Echo Plus, the connection method is exactly the same for an Echo Dot or a Echo. | Source

Conclusion

All of these connections have been working well, the speakers sound fantastic especially the Sonos Play:5 which is the highest quality speaker of the four. This method offers a great way to use existing speakers, save some money and still take advantage of all that Alexa has to offer via the Echo Dot.

Happy Listening!


Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Ariel Laur

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        Brian Mitchell 2 months ago

        Unfortunately the speaker output on the external speaker port is mono only, not stereo. If you output via blue tooth, to stereo headphones, for example you will achieve stereo sound.

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