Works With Amazon vs. Amazon Built In - What’s The Difference?

One of our favorite features of the VSSL amps is their relationship with Alexa. VSSL and Alexa are able to work together to bring your music into your home. VSSL allows you to use an Alexa product to control your whole home audio system, whatever that may be. Integration is simple, and using it can make the difference in fully taking advantage of your home audio experience. 

One question we want to resolve and help you incorporate into your home is “why do I need both?”. Knowing the difference between working with Amazon and having Amazon built in will allow you to better use your smart home electronics to their full potential. Keep reading to see how Amazon’s Alexa can be the next upgrade to your whole home sound system using your VSSL amplifier!

Let’s Talk Alexa

If you’re not familiar with Alexa, it is the home assistant specifically made for and by Amazon. You are able to say “Alexa”, or “Hey Alexa” in which the assistant will then be triggered to listen to your request through voice command. Amazon has created this Artificial Intelligence to make your home technology experience a more organic one. Instead of using a smart device to get your home technology to work, you can use Alexa to set up voice command features to control all aspects of your Smart Home.  Focussing on music - you can ask Alexa to play whatever music account you’ve attached to your Alexa (Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora; just to name a few). You set this music up via the Amazon Alexa app as a one-time set up and then it remembers the account you’ve added. Alexa has Amazon’s system integrated into it and is the example of “Amazon Built In”. Alexa can act as its own speaker as well - but the speaker’s ability is minimal and limited in range, volume (how loud it can play), and quality.


Let’s Talk VSSL

VSSL is your smart amplifier that is powering your home speaker setup, and is connected to your phone over your wifi network. VSSL is known as a smart amp because it not only powers your speakers throughout your home, but has smart home abilities to connect to your whole home systems. To make your music experience as streamlined as possible, VSSL is integrated with the music app of your choice (Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, etc.) so no other music app is required to play the music. This is called Native Streaming™. Simply open your music app, find the cast button, pick your speakers/zones and play your music. Here is a video to show you the simplicity of Native Streaming: VSSL Native Streaming™.

VSSL does not have a voice assistant installed inside of the device. This means that all control would be one from a smartphone or other smart device where your music playlist is readily available. This is where using your Alexa with your VSSL becomes extremely valuable. VSSL is able to integrate with home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home. Pairing the Alexa as the voice system, but using your VSSL smart system and speakers as the audio output creates a whole new experience of accessing your music easier and faster than ever. This is an example of “Working with Amazon”. VSSL is able to take full advantage of Artificial Voice Intelligence by utilizing the Amazon Alexa.

How To Use Alexa and VSSL Together

To get the most out of your smart home set up, VSSL and Alexa are partners in streamlining your music. You can connect your VSSL to receive orders from your Alexa’s voice commands! Doing this will allow you to speak to Alexa to play your music over your VSSL amp. You simply need to make sure you link your music subscription of choice to your Alexa account during your initial setup. Then, you can say something like “Alexa, play my music in my bathroom”. You’ll still be communicating with your Alexa device, but your Alexa will then be integrated to your VSSL - which will play your music throughout your home audio set up - specifically to a room, or all at once. However you decide to set it up! The personalization of the system can be finely tuned to whatever your home audio desires are, and the setup is simple through the VSSL app. For a simple setup video/instructions for connecting your VSSL device to your Amazon Alexa voice assistant follow this link to youtube: VSSL: A.1x Amazon Alexa Integration

Additional Features

Once you’re all set up within the Alexa app, your VSSL zones will look just like any other “works with Alexa” certified speaker.  Using your VSSL zone as the audio output for any Echo device is just the beginning of what features are available to you.  Make your VSSL zone(s) the preferred speaker(s) for a specific Echo device.  Set up an alarm to wake you up in the morning with music playing over your speakers.  Set a reminder on the kitchen speakers to start dinner when you get home.  Try creating a routine that includes playing your favorite radio station when you’re getting ready for the day.  All of these features and more come jam-packed with the purchase of your VSSL X Series amplifier.  For more information: visit us at:



“Do I have to have an Alexa to use VSSL?”

  • No. Alexa only makes voice activation and Amazon AI capabilities available for your VSSL to utilize. VSSL can be completely controlled by your phone and will still integrate with your music application of choice.


“Do I need to use the VSSL app to control everything?”

  • The VSSL app is needed for initial setup, but it’s not necessary to use it every time you play music. VSSL can play your music directly from your device! Here is a video that will help whole the simplicity: VSSL - Streaming Made Easy


“What is the best VSSL for my home audio system?”

We’re ready to help you find the best system for you! Contact us here: