Alexa. Alexa. Alexa? Alexa.. ALEXA. ALEXA?!!


Convincing the Sonos One to respond to the wake word is intermittent at best, utterly useless at worst. On some rare occasions, it’ll pick it up first time. Great! But other times I’m stood there repeating Alexa over and over again. I’ve just said Alexa twenty times. Nothing.
My echo dot in the kitchen responds first time, every time.
So, is the One broke? Will it ever function as advertised? Will it be updated to function properly or shall I just give up hope as Sonos have given up making decent products??

23 replies

Userlevel 7
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The good news is that it is getting better but still not on par with an Echo Dot.
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Would argue that it's getting worse rather than better. The Amazon dot is in a different league.
Getting close to giving up on the built-in alexa functionality.

When this was highlighted in the days after launch we were told it was just a software issue, if that's the case why is it taking so long to release a solution?
Userlevel 5
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In my own experience, there has been very substantial improvement in responsiveness on all of my Sonos Ones. As UKMedia said, it's not quite on par with my Echo devices, but it's much closer than it was upon release. I can now speak normally, or even in a low voice and get a response the great majority of the time. Clearly, however, not everyone is having the same experience and more work needs to be done. I suspect device placement, room acoustics, tonal qualities and accents all play a role in this, and it will take more data to get this right.
Userlevel 1
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I think It is down to your voice tone, Alexa responds to my wife every time me though its like I upset her in a previous life, if though I raise the tone of my voice speak like a girly she understands me and wakes up, the echo that is now upstairs understands me in my normal talking voice. I am sure this will get better with time.
The problem is it’s already been time. How long are we supposed to wait for an advertised feature?

“Sonos One is built with a custom six-microphone array to hear you from anywhere in the room, no matter how loud the music is playing. With smart voice capture and noise cancellation, the Sonos One makes sure you’re heard.”

Well that’s a blatant lie right there.
The problem is it’s already been time. How long are we supposed to wait for an advertised feature?

“Sonos One is built with a custom six-microphone array to hear you from anywhere in the room, no matter how loud the music is playing. With smart voice capture and noise cancellation, the Sonos One makes sure you’re heard.”

Well that’s a blatant lie right there.


You have two choices, wait until it is fixed, return/sell your unit. Complaining is not going to make either one of those happen more effectively. Look, it took over two years to get the Echo's microphone to the point they are now, and they were far more horrible in the beginning than Sonos'. I'm not saying Sonos will take the same amount of time, for there is something to be built from Amazon's foundation, but the unit has been in place for a little over 2 months and the Sonos skill isn't even out of beta yet. I know patience is unheard of in an instantaneous gratification society, but if one is going to be an early adopter, you would think it would be understood that it comes with the territory.
Not sure if this helps but you may want to try to train Alexa to your voice. There is an area in the Alexa app to accomplish this. Can’t hurt to try, and may resolve your issue. I did this upon setting up all my echo devices and never had any issues after that.
Userlevel 5
Badge +9
Not sure if this helps but you may want to try to train Alexa to your voice. There is an area in the Alexa app to accomplish this. Can’t hurt to try, and may resolve your issue. I did this upon setting up all my echo devices and never had any issues after that.

Voice training is not available on Alexa-enabled devices like the Sonos One, only Amazon Echo devices.
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
Not sure if this helps but you may want to try to train Alexa to your voice. There is an area in the Alexa app to accomplish this. Can’t hurt to try, and may resolve your issue. I did this upon setting up all my echo devices and never had any issues after that.

Voice training is not available on Alexa-enabled devices like the Sonos One, only Amazon Echo devices.
Voice training isn't available even for Echos or Dots in the UK ?
The problem is it’s already been time. How long are we supposed to wait for an advertised feature?

“Sonos One is built with a custom six-microphone array to hear you from anywhere in the room, no matter how loud the music is playing. With smart voice capture and noise cancellation, the Sonos One makes sure you’re heard.”

Well that’s a blatant lie right there.


I know patience is unheard of in an instantaneous gratification society, but if one is going to be an early adopter, you would think it would be understood that it comes with the territory.


Patience? There’s zero mention of voice detection being in beta on the product page. Did you read my quote? That’s directly from the product page. I’ve run Sonos Betas. Even simple new features have strict NDA. This Alexa Support on the Sonos One has the opposite of an NDA.
Private betas have NDAs, open public betas do not. The Sonos skill for Alexa is an open beta. In the announcement of the new Alexa/Sonos integration:

A beta Sonos skill for Alexa is available to use today. For step by step instructions, take a look here.
https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/alexa-now-playing-on-sonos-6791301

And on the Amazon Sonos skill product page:

Now in Open Beta, wirelessly connect all of your Sonos speakers to any Amazon Alexa enabled device, like the Echo or Echo Dot, then just ask for the music you love.
https://www.amazon.com/Sonos-Inc/dp/B072ML3N6K

Any more questions?
Userlevel 3
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Private betas have NDAs, open public betas do not. The Sonos skill for Alexa is an open beta. I don't think anyone disputes that the Sonos skill for Alexa is in open beta. What isn't so clear from the marketing hype is that the Sonos One depends fundamentally on the Sonos skill for Alexa and that, therefore, the Alexa capabilities of the Sonos One that you are purchasing are in open beta, ie, do not work properly.
Uhhhh, the post right above mine disputed the Sonos Alexa skill is in open beta. To quote:

There’s zero mention of voice detection being in beta on the product page. Did you read my quote? That’s directly from the product page. I’ve run Sonos Betas. Even simple new features have strict NDA. This Alexa Support on the Sonos One has the opposite of an NDA.
Userlevel 3
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Uhhhh, the post right above mine disputed the Sonos Alexa skill is in open beta. To quote:

There’s zero mention of voice detection being in beta on the product page. Did you read my quote? That’s directly from the product page. I’ve run Sonos Betas. Even simple new features have strict NDA. This Alexa Support on the Sonos One has the opposite of an NDA.
I took the post to mean that it was disputing voice detection on the Sonos One being in beta, not that the Sonos skill for Alexa was in open beta, but I didn't mean to argue with you. I was just making the point that a lot of people, me included, wouldn't realise when they purchased the Sonos One that they were accepting that its voice recognition - that is, its main additional functionality over the Play 1 - was in open beta.
I took the post to mean that it was disputing voice detection on the Sonos One being in beta, not that the Sonos skill for Alexa was in open beta, but I didn't mean to argue with you. I was just making the point that a lot of people, me included, wouldn't realise when they purchased the Sonos One that they were accepting that its voice recognition - that is, its main additional functionality over the Play 1 - was in open beta.

I'm sorry, but this type of semantics is silly. Without the Sonos skill, there is no voice detection on the Sonos One. Try it. Disable the skill and talk to the Sonos One. So disputing that voice detection is in open beta is disputing that the skill is in open beta.

I can see your point that it is not stated right up front that it is in open beta. However, the product page at Amazon, the app itself, the Sonos announcement of voice control via Alexa, and the blog post announcing the skill all plainly state that it is a beta. They may not be putting it on the product page, but it's not like Sonos or Amazon are hiding the information in the fine print.
Userlevel 7
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Hi everyone, we just released Sonos version 8.2.3 for the Sonos One. This update improves Alexa responsiveness for Sonos One users in US, UK, Germany, and Austria.

You should find that Alexa is getting better at listening, with a decrease in the times Alexa speaks up when not called. Alexa on Sonos One is now more likely to carry out your desired action when requested; especially when it’s noisy, when the speaker is further away, or when speaking quietly.

Update within your Sonos app by going to More > Settings > Online Updates.

We’re continuing to work with Amazon and the Alexa team to improve Sonos One voice control. You can expect to see more developments as we go. Let us know what you think of the changes. We’d love to hear from you.
Userlevel 5
Badge +9
Wow, the difference in sensitivity, especially in a noisy room, is dramatic. Obviously very early yet, but this looks to be a significant improvement. Nice! I'll anxious to see if the decrease in false activations is equally as significant.
Is Alexa on Sonos still said to be in beta even now?
Yes. The skill is still listed as beta on the Amazon product page.
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Definitely an improvement. Before I had to make an effort and call "Alexa" in quite a demanding voice. Now, I can say "Alexa" in a normal conversational tone and I get a reaction - thank you for the update.
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My Sonos One just received an update to 8.2.3 - what a revelation - no need to shout anymore.
First impressions are that it's pretty much as responsive as a dot.

Thanks Sonos. 🙂
Userlevel 3
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Anyone know if this update has addressed the "ducking" issue?
Userlevel 1
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Update works really well, very happy!

Now all we need is to be able to group speakers verbally, search our own music libraries and set sonos alarms verbally and it will be perfect

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