About ducking time


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Ducking seems to be fixed now. I have grouped my echo and Sonos devices in the Alexa app and ducking seems to only affect the Sonos device that is associated with the echo that processes the command.

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41 replies

Userlevel 2
Oh please lord let this be true.

Is this in 8.5.2?

Do you have a Sonos One, or just an Echo with line-out to Sonos?
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I am not at home to verify version but it is the latest. I only have Amazon Echo’s around the house. I did test again by grouping several speakers in rooms with echos and verified that only the Sonos grouped with that echo (as in Alexa app) ducked.

The echo is using the Alexa integration, not the line-out.
If this is the case, I would assume it has nothing to do with the Sonos release. This type of functionality is most certainly on the Amazon side, which would mean an Alexa release was pushed out.
Userlevel 3
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I noticed that the Sonos Skill in the Alexa app was updated yesterday so could be that what has fixed it for you. I can’t seem to get it to work though. I’ve grouped my Sonos speakers and echos in separate rooms and it’s still ducking all the speakers.
Userlevel 2
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I've just replaced an Echo Dot in my main living room 5.1 Sonos setup with a new Sonos One. I also have a Play 5 in the bathroom with another Echo Dot. I'm currently trying to understand how the ducking functionality on the Sonos One works, as it differs from the behaviour I was seeing with the Dots previously.

With the Echo Dots (since AFAIK we're still unable to pair a specific dot to a Sonos room at this time), whenever Alexa wakes, all the rooms duck out briefly. With the new Sonos One, nothing ducks at all, except for the One itself. This is a bit of an annoyance, as I actually liked that the living room 5.1 setup would duck when asking Alexa things. Is there any way to get that working with the Sonos one, since I've essentially incorporated it into my existing living room setup (albeit named as a separate Sonos room "One").

It would seem that the Sonos and Alexa apps on the back-end are ultimately treating the Sonos One as not a standard Echo unit in terms of both behaviour and functionality (no sound toggle options for the One within the Amazon app, as you get with the Dots).
Hello, can you tell me how specifically you did this? What part of the Alexa app? Did you put them in Groups together?
Userlevel 2
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Is ducking actually fixed for anyone? I’ve grouped my bathroom echo dot with Sonos bathroom speakers, but it still ducks the audio on my main living room Sonos surround setup when we activate the bathroom echo. And with the Sonos One (in my living room), unlike echo dots it cannot be grouped in the Alexa app with my Sonos surround setup. When issuing Alexa commands to the One, ducking is extremely inconsistent. Sometimes it doesn’t duck audio at all, even on the One itself. Other times it will duck all my Sonos speakers including the living room surrounds and other rooms like my bathroom speakers. Quite annoying!
Userlevel 2
I am not at home to verify version but it is the latest. I only have Amazon Echo’s around the house. I did test again by grouping several speakers in rooms with echos and verified that only the Sonos grouped with that echo (as in Alexa app) ducked..

It looks like you're the only one for whom this works or I'm missing something obvious. I have several Echo Dots and a Show, and every time anyone invokes "Alexa", all of my Sonos players duck out.

This has become unbelievably annoying. I have a son who checks his math homework by asking Alexa math problems. Meanwhile, we're entertaining guests and our music keeps dropping out every five seconds.

Please, if this is solvable, can SOMEONE tell us what the steps are to pair ONE Echo with ONE Sonos speaker?
Userlevel 7
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When you all say grouped. What do you mean by grouped when you talk Sonos speaker and Alexa device. Where are you grouping at? Maybe people are doing it different ways.
Userlevel 2
When you all say grouped. What do you mean by grouped when you talk Sonos speaker and Alexa device. Where are you grouping at? Maybe people are doing it different ways.

That's a good question. In the Alexa app, the only devices that can be grouped are Echo devices. Separate Sonos devices don't seem to be associated with this in any way.
Userlevel 7
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Their is the ability to create smart groups under smarthome section where you can put all the devices in a room together. I use that to group hue light with specific Alexa so I don’t have to say “turn off light in bedroom” just “turn off light”. So I assume a Sonos could be added into those.
Userlevel 2
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With the Alexa smart home groups, you can definitely “pair” an Alexa echo device with one or more of your Sonos grouped speakers (rooms). Same as you would do with pairing lights etc to an Echo. However, this has no impact on the ducking behavior - as per my previous post, even with my bathroom echo grouped to my bathroom sonos, commands to that echo still cause all my household sonos speakers to duck. Same in reverse with my living room sonos/echo setup causing the bathroom speakers to duck.

Also the Sonos One’s Alexa unit cannot be grouped under the Alexa app like echo devices can. Which (once room-specific ducking finally works) will be a huge PITA if Sonos doesn’t get that resolved!
Userlevel 7
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I would think when they release their updates that smartgroups would be the way to go with limiting ducking and also the hope of not having to say "in the kitchen" etc. when playing a song.
Userlevel 7
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Well the Sonos one already limits ducking and not having to say the room name. But yes that would seem to limit it with things like I'm doing with my other echos (ie. have lights in room and not have to say room name).
Userlevel 7
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Well the Sonos one already limits ducking and not having to say the room name. But yes that would seem to limit it with things like I'm doing with my other echos (ie. have lights in room and not have to say room name).

I was really disappointed with how Amazon implemented that feature. Since many of my rooms have a light switch and switch for the fan, I can do the 'short' command unless I want to turn both on/off. I assume it won't be an issue if/when they implement speakers into the group, since they can't really put speakers into the same object type as anything else.
Userlevel 7
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hopefully down the road that gets corrected. Hasn't effected me yet since my Sonos One is in my bathroom and I don't have any other smarthome devices in there.
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Selective ducking is working for me! I have created alexa enabled smart device groups and added an alexa device and a sonos speaker and only the Sonos speakers in the same group as the Alexa device that hears the command ducks 🙂
Selective ducking is working for me! I have created alexa enabled smart device groups and added an alexa device and a sonos speaker and only the Sonos speakers in the same group as the Alexa device that hears the command ducks :-)

I'm surprised this long awaited feature was not more prominently announced.
Userlevel 2
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Selective ducking is working for me! I have created alexa enabled smart device groups and added an alexa device and a sonos speaker and only the Sonos speakers in the same group as the Alexa device that hears the command ducks :-)

I'm surprised this long awaited feature was not more prominently announced.


I agree - I was just conversing with Sonos support a few days ago and they didn't indicate it was fixed. I was about to decouple Sonos and Amazon b/c it was making my sonos playback non-usable if the rest of the family was around. I'd be listening to music outside and the dang things would keep ducking out b/c a kid was inside asking for songs in that room.
Userlevel 2
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I don't think it's fixed. I haven't been home to check but just today I had a support ticket response saying "We cannot inform on any work being doing in this regard, but I can setup your feedback as a feature request."

So like others, I too am disabling the Alexa skill.

I have also posted reviews on several sites disclosing this. I think the only way we'll see movement here is if the community starts to reflect this in the reviews. Clearly after 9 months it's not a priority for Sonos and Amazon.
Doesn't seem to work for me. I set up groups for my son's room, living room, office, kitchen, bedroom... and accessing Alexa in my son's room still kills the music in other rooms.

I was just playing a podcast using Airplay to the One in my living room, paired with my office :1, and went into my son's room to test it. Podcast not only ducked, but simply stopped playing entirely.

Edit: Tried it again with Spotify playing directly to the :1 (not Airplay) and the same thing happened. The music not only ducked but stopped entirely. This is even worse.
Userlevel 7
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They have probably been putting a fix in and out of different versions. As we haven't seen any announcement - the fix must not be ready for prime time yet. That would seem to explain it working sometimes for people.

Hopefully we see a bunch of new alexa changes soon. And google.
Userlevel 4
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I read a bit of this thread a while ago and thought there was a ducking solution. Also to confirm it doesn't work for me yet - I have my two echo dots in a smart group thingy with the Sonos devices in those rooms but all rooms duck when talking to the dot.
Userlevel 7
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I would hope they will have some kind of update by November
Userlevel 4
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I would hope they will have some kind of update by NovemberWhich year?

It's already at least 12 months after it should have been sorted.