If you’ve recently bought a Samsung Sound bar to go with something like a new 4K TV, you might have one that says it’s compatible with Alexa. I’ve been trying out the Samsung Harman Kardon Soundbar with Dolby Atmos (model HW-Q70R; read the full review here) alongside an amazing new 8K Samsung TV (the Q900R; that 8K Samsung TV review is here too). But how do you get Alexa to work on your sound bar, and what can it do, exactly? Let’s answer those questions…
How to enable Alexa on Samsung Sound bar
Most of our in home technology is moving to hands-free, and this sound bar is no different. The HW-Q70R has Alexa voice control compatibility. Sadly this is easier said than done.
It’s worth noting that the Alexa voice control is not built into the sound bar: you need a separate Alexa device like the Amazon Echo, Show or Dot in order to control the sound bar. No Echo, no control.
Testing out different connection methods… and getting frustrated
Getting the Alexa feature set up isn’t easy. Initially I tried to simply Add Device in the Alexa app. That didn’t work and the app couldn’t find the speaker.
Next I found some instructions online that said to enable Samsung Audio as a Skill inside the Alexa App.
I went into the Alexa app and chose the hamburger menu on the top left. Click Skills & Games, then search Samsung. Choose Samsung Wireless Audio.
Enter your Samsung account info to complete the link. Alexa app should then ask you to discover nearby devices. Only that didn’t work either.
Next I tried to link Smart Things as a skill and do the Discover Devices thing again. While Alexa found the 8K TV, there was still no dice on the sound bar.
After numerous attempts and a bunch of online reading it looks like lots of folks are having trouble navigating this. It seems you need some kind of odd combination of a Samsung account, the Smart Things app and Alexa. But how you get them to work together is a bit of mystery.
What actually worked for me: Getting Alexa on Samsung Sound Bar
Next up I decided to link the sound bar in the Smart Things app first. To do it, Go to Smart Things, click Add Device then scan for new devices. It was seeing the Sound bar!
Next I went back to the Alexa app and then tried to Add Device. Bingo! The app was finally seeing the sound bar.
Once everything is working, you can say things like, ‘Alexa, turn up the volume on Samsung Sound Bar Q70R’. You’ll probably want to rename your soundbar so it’s not such a mouthful, but you get the idea.
The controls here are somewhat limited; mainly volume is adjustable, not so much things like play/pause, since those functions are controlled either by your smartphone’s music app or Spotify or similar. (And it appears you need a Spotify premium account to get full Alexa functionality, a service I don’t currently have.)
You might go through a lot of these unnecessary steps trying to get things connected but to recap: Set up the sound bar inside the Smart things app first, then add it in the Alexa app.
That’s how you can add Alexa voice control to your newer model Samsung Sound bar. Want o know if your sound bar is Alexa compatible? Samsung’s and Amazon’s websites lists all compatible models.
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