How To Set the Amazon Echo Alarm to Wake You with Music
Smart home devices are popular tech gadgets and for a good reason. The Amazon Echo lineup is like a personal assistant ready to help you complete daily tasks, save time, and much more!
You can set reminders, add items to your grocery list, listen to news updates, and, with Alexa’s skills, there is something new to discover every day. At one time, alarm clocks were the necessary gadget to get us out the door on time every morning. These were quickly replaced by smartphones and now Amazon Echo devices.
But can you tell Alexa to wake you up every morning with your favorite song? What about a great sound bite? The answer is, of course! There isn’t much left that Alexa can’t do for you. In this article, we’ll walk you through customizing your Alexa alarm with music. We’ll also show you some other really neat features of this function.
Understanding Alarms on Alexa
There are a few different ways to set alarms on your Echo devices, and thankfully, it’s easy to do with or without your smartphone or tablet. This section will teach you how to set a basic alarm on your Alexa device.
By far, the simplest way to set an alarm is just to ask Alexa to do it for you. Asking Alexa to wake you up at 7 am sets an alarm with your default alarm sound, something that can be changed easily in the settings of your Alexa app (we’ll get to that in a moment).
It’s not just asking Alexa to set an alarm; that’s easy—you can also ask Alexa to set up a recurring alarm on your devices just by asking Alexa to set an alarm for every weekday or making an exemption from alarms on the weekend.
Set Up an Alarm
First, we’ll walk you through setting up your first alarm. There are some music and sounds already available to you, so let’s review this first.
Using the Alexa App on your smartphone, follow these instructions to create your alarm:
- Open the Alexa App and tap on ‘More‘ in the lower right-hand corner.
- Tap on ‘Alarms & Timers.’
- Tap on the ‘+‘ symbol next to ‘Add Alarm.’
- Select your device, set the frequency and dates, then tap on ‘Sound.’
- Lastly, Tap ‘Save.’
You can also edit existing alarms (and their sounds) by tapping on the alarm rather than the plus symbol.
Add Music to an Alarm
Now that you know how to set an alarm, let’s get your music set up! If you have already linked your music service, you can skip this step. But for those of you who have yet to do this, follow these steps before proceeding:
- Tap on the ‘More‘ option in the lower right-hand corner just like we did above.
- Tap on ‘Settings.’
- Tap on ‘Music & Podcasts.’
- Tap on ‘Link New Service‘ or tap on one of the options available.
- Follow the onscreen prompts to set up your music service.
After you’ve linked your music to your Alexa, it’s really simple to begin setting alarms.
How to Set Up an Alarm with Music on Alexa
In this section, we won’t need the Alexa application. You’ll only need to be within earshot of your Alexa device.
To set up an alarm with music, simply say, “Alexa, wake me up at 5 am to Bohemian Rhapsody” or whichever song you’d like to be serenaded with upon waking.
Admittedly, setting an alarm this way can be annoying. If Alexa misses the song, you can easily fix it by saying, “Alexa, set my 5 am alarm to play Bohemian Rhapsody.” She’ll confirm your choice, and you can verify it in the app, as shown in the screenshot above.
Of course, you can ask Alexa to set you up with a playlist or a radio station. Simply say, ‘Alexa, set my 5 am alarm to play [My Playlist].” Again, she will confirm, and you’re ready to go!
What Music Services Are Supported Through Alexa?
Most music lovers have left their local libraries behind in exchange for paying a monthly subscription to listen to music streaming.
Not everyone has made the move to these streaming services, but unfortunately, it’s going to be the primary way to set a music alarm on your Alexa device. In this quick guide, we’re going to take a look at how to use the platform.
Using Amazon Music
By default, Amazon’s own music service is the default streaming choice, especially if you’re a Prime member. This means you likely won’t have to do anything to set up Amazon Music on your Echo device—it should be running already. Some basic commands to try using to wake up:
- Alexa, wake me up to Carly Rae Jepsen at 7 am.
- Alexa, wake me up at 7 am with my “wake up” playlist.
- Alexa, wake me up to “Thank U Next” by Ariana Grande every weekday at 7 am.”
Just by asking Alexa to set the alarm for you, commands like these should allow you to wake up to streaming music, either shuffled from an artist, specific songs, or playlists you’ve already created.
If you dive into the alarms section of your Alexa app, you’ll notice that these alarms have been added to your list of set alarms, complete with your choice of music. However, when you click on the alarm, you will not be able to change the music selection.
Once your alarm is playing, you’ll find all your controls still work here, and you can freely skip songs, ask to snooze your alarm (for 9 minutes), stop playback, and more. It’s also important to note that Alexa will remember your alarm preferences, so if you want to wake up to Beyoncé every morning, you can absolutely do that. Canceling your alarms also works with your voice, and you can snooze, stop, and shut down alarms just by verbalizing those commands. It makes waking up in the morning much easier than it otherwise could be.
There is good news for those who pay for Spotify’s $9.99 premium plan: your Amazon Echo just became your go-to alarm clock for all the music stations, artists, albums, and singles that you love. The app works basically the same as Amazon’s Music service, but it pulls content from your Spotify account instead of pulling media from Amazon. Theoretically, you could even use Spotify to wake up to podcasts supported on the platform.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest selling points for Spotify is the free tier on both desktop and mobile, and you cannot access this account level on the Echo. If you try to plug in your free account information, you’ll be alerted that your account doesn’t support the device and that switching to Spotify is a no-go.
Amazon added support for Apple Music at the tail end of 2018, making it easier than ever to listen to your favorite songs through Apple’s music service. If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, this is a great addition to your Alexa device.
Based on our tests, most other music options worked well for setting alarms as well. Amazon supports more music services than any other smart device out there today, with iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Deezer, Gimme, Pandora, Sirius XM, Tidal, and Vevo all supported on your Alexa device, in addition to Amazon, Apple, and Spotify.
This helps to make your Alexa speaker one of the best ways to wake up in the morning, from the personal collections of Spotify and Apple Music to the free streaming library collected through Prime, to the internet radio stations of Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Not all of these need specific logins either; some, like iHeartRadio, can work even without an account, making it easy to get up in the morning.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re just getting to know Alexa or want to learn more, we’ve included this section to answer some of your more frequently asked questions.
Can I add custom sounds to my Alarm?
Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be a feature just yet. For example, if you have an MP3 file you’d like to set up, Alexa doesn’t give users the option.
Can I change the timer sounds on my Alexa?
Yes. If you’ve chosen to set a timer rather than an alarm, you can change the timer tone. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Open the Alexa app on your smartphone and tap on the More icon in the lower left corner.
2. Tap on Alarms & Timers.
3. Tap on Timers. Then, select Settings.
4. Select the Alexa device you’re working with from the list.
5. To the right of Default Timer Tone tap Simple Timer (or whichever sound is listed).
6. Select your new sound.
Unfortunately, anyone looking to wake up to their local music will likely be disappointed to learn that it simply doesn’t work on their Alexa devices, thanks to the requirement to have streaming music platforms as opposed to anything playing back locally.
Thankfully, there are some streaming options to help. Prime users can still rely on the basic Amazon Prime Music plan to play most popular songs from a limited collection while playing on an Alexa every morning to wake up.
Whether you’re looking to find a specific song or artist or just need a genre, there are enough options on Prime Music to set an alarm each morning to wake you up. With support for free options like Pandora and iHeartRadio, your Alexa can become a pretty decent replacement for the clock radio you used to have by your bedside.
What’s your favorite song to wake up to with Alexa in the morning? Let us know in the comments below!