(Pocket-lint) - Spotify is a popular music streaming service, as you probably know, available on both desktop and mobile, as well as almost any audio product in your home.
You don't need to listen to Spotify through a smartphone app or desktop app, though. Instead, if you use Spotify Connect, you can send your tunes over Wi-Fi to any speaker in your house, as long as it's compatible. Here's how Spotify Connect works and how to set it up.
What is Spotify Connect?
Spotify Connect allows you to play high-quality Spotify music (at 320kbps) through a compatible wireless audio product - including a Wi-Fi-connected speaker, soundbar, AV receiver, television, Chromecast, PC, and much more. And it doesn't require any messy Bluetooth pairing between devices every time you want to play music. It also doesn't directly use the Spotify app on your smartphone or desktop.
Your music will play from Spotify's servers to your connected audio product, allowing you to use your smartphone for other tasks. You can make and receive calls without stopping the music, switch devices without missing a beat, and save your phone's battery.
This is great because it means you can listen to your music in more places and with more devices.
How does Spotify Connect work?
- You’ll need a phone, laptop, or tablet with the latest Spotify app.
- Another device that supports Spotify (like a speaker).
- Connect both devices to the same Wi-Fi network, and log in to Spotify.
Similar to Apple's AirPlay technology, Spotify Connect works over Wi-Fi. It looks for compatible wireless audio products, which need to be on the same Wi-Fi network with it, and then it can hook up to them wirelessly to stream music. To begin using Spotify Connect, you need a smart device, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, with the Spotify app installed.
Compatible audio product
You also need a compatible audio product. Spotify Connect supports over 300 wireless audio products from over 80 brands. These range from little smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo range to big AV amplifiers like the Arcam AVR850. You can find the full list of compatible products here. Just keep in mind Spotify Connect works on one device at a time, unless you're using a multi-room system, such as Sonos.
You'll also need a Spotify Premium account. Spotify Connect doesn't work with a Spotify Free subscription. Spotify comes in two main tiers: Free and Premium. Spotify Premium is currently £9.99 a month, and it includes access to features such as ad-free streaming, unlimited skips, extreme quality streaming, and, of course, Spotify Connect. You can learn more about Spotify Premium here.
How do you set up Spotify Connect?
- Fire up the Spotify app on your mobile device or desktop.
- Play a song and select Devices Available.
- Select your device and start listening.
Spotify mobile device users
Download the latest version of the Spotify app to your smartphone or tablet, and then make sure both your device and your chosen wireless audio product are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. On your mobile device, launch Spotify, log in, and select a song to start playing. Tap the Now Playing bar, and then tap the Devices Available text at the bottom of the screen. You'll then see your audio products/devices listed.
Select a product (the text will go from white to green), and then your music should start playing on that device.
Spotify desktop users
Download the latest version of the Spotify app to your desktop PC or Mac, and then make sure both your computer and your chosen audio product are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. In the Spotify desktop app, click the Connect to a device button in the bottom corner. This will bring up your connected audio products (or Device) menu. From there, select the one you'd like to use, and Spotify Connect will do the rest.
How do you control music playback?
- Use the Spotify mobile app as a remote control.
- You can also connect Spotify to the Alexa or Google Home apps.
- Once you connect the apps, you can issue voice commands.
To control music playback, you can use your phone or desktop application. For example, if you're streaming to speakers in your lounge using your phone, then you can use it as a remote control to adjust the volume, change tracks or create a party playlist while listening. If you have a smart speaker - such as the Amazon Echo Plus, Sonos One, or Google Home - you can use voice commands to play music from Spotify.
To do so, just add your Spotify account to the list of music streaming services (via the Alexa or Google Home app). You need to select Spotify as your default music player, and then simply say "Alexa, play The Beatles" or "OK Google, play The Beatles". That's it!
Want to know more?
Check out Spotify's help hub.