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Alexa Multiroom music simultaneously on Sonos and Echo devices

  • 15 December 2018
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In September 2018 Amazon released the AVS Device SDK that allows Alexa enabled 3rd party speakers to use Alexa Multiroom Music (MRM). This means Amazon now supports music played from Echo speakers and 3rd party speakers at the same time.

Does Sonos plan to update their Alexa enabled speakers (One, Beam) to allow Alexa multi-room music?
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Best answer by Ryan S 17 December 2018, 18:48

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Hi everyone,

We're constantly working with the Amazon Alexa team to bring more features and to improve the experience, in fact, we're in the middle of launching Alexa Groups with them right now. This does not include grouping Sonos players and Echo devices to play the same music at the same time, but it's a feature we've certainly heard requests asking for the functionality. I don't have any specifics I can share as to if multiroom music with Sonos and Alexa playing together will be available, but I'll make sure to let the team know continues to be requested.

I can't speak specifically to that chat, but if it was from a year ago, the Alexa integration has changed considerably since then (and as already pointed out, there were other mistakes/inaccuracies in it). As development continues, features are added and some may move lower on the list of priorities. We'll continue to bring new features and experiences to Alexa on Sonos and are hard at work to bring voice control to Sonos in many different ways, in order to bring the best possible music listening experience.
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I don't think we are going to see Sonos speakers and echos playing in sync anytime, if ever. If it ever does happen, I imagine this will be an annouced feature, similar to how we saw Sonos annouce airplay 2 compatibility. If you are correct this will be a major miss for Sonos. With more products incorporating Alexa the competition for multi-room music is growing. Once other speakers support Amazon MRM the Sonos products will look antiquated by only supporting their own speakers with a limited list of Alexa commands.

Sonos needs to recognize that wireless multi-room music isn't going to be their competitive advantage moving forward. Instead they can focus on their other strengths while supporting Amazon MRM. Sonos could limit Amazon MRM to only when using an Alexa enabled Sonos speaker (One and Beam). Sonos can also limit the use of TruePlay to only when there is no Echo speaker running in the same room (similar to how TruePlay doesnt work with Connect using third party speakers). Sonos stereo pairs and surround can still only be with other Sonos speakers (Amazon & Sonos currently only allow identical model speakers to be a stereo pair).

I hope someone from Sonos can chime in with an official stance on Amazon MRM support. No Amazon MRM is the deal breaker for me (someone who bought an entire surround set up for the holidays). I have until end of January to return so Sonos has a month to announce support for MRM.
I'm adding my voice to the resounding appeal for Alexa 3rd party MRM integration on Sonos products. My new Ecobee thermostat got me interested in voice control. I started with one echo device, an echo dot driving my B&W MM-1's. That system displaced the Airport/Beosound 3000 configuration in our kitchen/living area, the convenience of streaming and voice control means we listen much more now. Digging out the B&O remote and a streaming device+app to control the system and stream music just had too much friction for everyday use. A second echo was soon added in our TV area to control heating and stream music to the relocated Beosound 3000.

So I decided to dip my toe in the water and try voice control speakers with better sound quality built in. In my ignorance I assumed Alexa enabled meant, just like an Echo, but with better sound quality. So I bought a Sonos One for our den and a Bose Home Speaker 500 for the bedroom. The Bose went back after a couple of weeks even though I loved the device, and it's sound, because of it's crippled Alexa implementation. I want all of the convenience, voice queries and web knowledge, smart home control, music streaming, stereo and mono music, intercom, calling and messaging. Specifically for the bedroom Bose, it let me down by not implementing Music Alarms/Timers (& MRM) and BOSE could give me no info on plans to support them; my $20 clockradio has handled those for over 40 years. I almost swapped it for a pair of Sonos One's but it has the same limitations so instead I chose a pair of the Echo Plus Gen 2's.

I want whole home coverage using devices at a range of price points appropriate to the location, I'm not putting a $500 Bose in every room. I might use a Sonos One everywhere but I don't want to be locked out of ANY voice/smart functionality. In addition, while I'm using Alexa now, I want a path to switch voice platforms in the future if I need to without replacing all my high quality sound and entertainment system components. Maybe the solution is to go with cheaper voice control speakers everywhere and integrating higher quality sound and entertainment devices in entertainment spaces. But I still want whole home and zone MRM and all my devices/stereo pairs/zones/groups need to be compatible with all smart control functions e.g streaming alarms/timers, any available streaming service/program source. I.e. I want no functional limitations because of brand choice.

I'm starting to look at home cinema sound now, but it needs to fit into a home wide MRM system. So with their recently announced support for Alexa MRM, Polk Audio would be the front runner.

I purchased two Play:1 speakers today.  I’m very disappointed to discover that I can’t group them with my existing Echo devices for multi-room music.  I won’t be buying any more Sonos speakers until this basic capability is added.

Just bought two Sonos Ones and could not believe this.

 

I plan to return them and get the new echo studio. Supposedly a small step down in audio quality, but worth it for the seamless integration into groups for me! 

+1 on adding Echo MRM support. I didn’t realize this shortcoming when I bought the Sonos One about a year ago. Sound quality is excellent for its size but now limited to the patio where I can’t hear my other Echo linked hifi speakers. Probably will pass it on for an Echo Studio.

Just want to add my voice to the calls for MRM.
Beam in the living room, Dot in the Kitchen... It feels like it should just work.

While I get why Sonos might want to force us into buying more Ones, I hope the chat around it prompts them to add it in.

Keep rattling the cage!


I don't think we are going to see Sonos speakers and echos playing in sync anytime, if ever. If it ever does happen, I imagine this will be an annouced feature, similar to how we saw Sonos annouce airplay 2 compatibility.If you are correct this will be a major miss for Sonos. With more products incorporating Alexa the competition for multi-room music is growing. Once other speakers support Amazon MRM the Sonos products will look antiquated by only supporting their own speakers with a limited list of Alexa commands.

Sonos needs to recognize that wireless multi-room music isn't going to be their competitive advantage moving forward. Instead they can focus on their other strengths while supporting Amazon MRM. Sonos could limit Amazon MRM to only when using an Alexa enabled Sonos speaker (One and Beam). Sonos can also limit the use of TruePlay to only when there is no Echo speaker running in the same room (similar to how TruePlay doesnt work with Connect using third party speakers). Sonos stereo pairs and surround can still only be with other Sonos speakers (Amazon & Sonos currently only allow identical model speakers to be a stereo pair).

I hope someone from Sonos can chime in with an official stance on Amazon MRM support. No Amazon MRM is the deal breaker for me (someone who bought an entire surround set up for the holidays). I have until end of January to return so Sonos has a month to announce support for MRM.
Someone from Sonos certainly needs to clarify their stance to this. I've got two echo dots (kitchen and bedroom) and a Sonos One (bedroom). The entire point was to be able to stream music throughout our "apartment" group.

If sounds are not going to offer this, people like me who are just adding support for these devices will simply go somewhere else.

With all due respect, the structures may be complex, but consumers like me simply don't care. We pay a premium for Sonos gear because it's good, so missing a major feature like this isn't acceptable as far as I'm concerned.


You should definitely check out the new Echo Studio wich will be released in november.
Expecting the sound to be much better than the Echo Plus (maybe even on the same level as Sonos?) I'm kinda disappointed that I invested in the 'wrong' multiroom system (don't get me wrong, i still believe the sound is fantastic but the speaker is not as smart as originally advertised).
Since I got into routines and smart home automation the One only being Alexa enabled just isn't quite enough.
Being able to run different Alexa Devices alongside without too much inconvenience would be great.
I am reequiping my home and my holiday house with multiroom in the very near future, and this MRM integration will decide which brand I'm going into.
Love Sonos, but lacks two important things for me now, MRM and handling two locations by saving all data in the cloud, and not only locally in the speakers.
+1 for this feature!

Hi everyone,

We're constantly working with the Amazon Alexa team to bring more features and to improve the experience, in fact, we're in the middle of launching Alexa Groups with them right now. This does not include grouping Sonos players and Echo devices to play the same music at the same time, but it's a feature we've certainly heard requests asking for the functionality. I don't have any specifics I can share as to if multiroom music with Sonos and Alexa playing together will be available, but I'll make sure to let the team know continues to be requested.

I can't speak specifically to that chat, but if it was from a year ago, the Alexa integration has changed considerably since then (and as already pointed out, there were other mistakes/inaccuracies in it). As development continues, features are added and some may move lower on the list of priorities. We'll continue to bring new features and experiences to Alexa on Sonos and are hard at work to bring voice control to Sonos in many different ways, in order to bring the best possible music listening experience.

I just bought a Sonos Beam after my research failed me and I interpreted Group capability as MRM. Arrived today and love the sound, but contemplating returning it b/c it cannot connect to my echos.

I bought the Alexa enabled Sonos Play 5, expecting to have the ability to connect with other Alexa enabled speakers for multi room. Please add support for Sonos speakers to be added to Alexa MRM groups.

I just spent an hour trying to put my new Sonos play:1 Speakers in a multiroom group. Thanks to this thread, i discovered i was wasting my time. If i had know this before, i would not have brought the speakers. I have my existing Bose system playing through an Alexa Pair Gadget in parts of the house, as well as echos in Kitchen, etc. I wanted the Sonos to support mh Music Everywhere Group. I add my voice to those who would like to add quality Sonos Speakers to their existing setup. Thanks for this thread.

In the same boat! Just got mine today and really thought I could just add them to my existing echos and go about listening to the same song all throughout the house, with an elevated sound in the kitchen through the shiny new sonos :)  I thought I did my research beforehand but I guess not. This might be a deal breaker forcing me to return both my sonos 1 and beam :/ bummer!!  If i could use them with my existing echo speakers i have in every room of my house, I might be able to slowly phase the sonos in and swap them out one at a time, (since we don’t really use the features like drop in) but to make this work simultaneously like my echos, I would have to buy 10 sonos speakers which is just not happening overnight. All that frustration being said -The posts im reading were from a while ago. Has there been an update in the past year on a projection date? 

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I’d like to +1 this feature request.

Just want a good sound system with AirPlay and Echo MRM support, and Sonos is sooo close :)

Me too
I have just bought a Sonos not realising that this was an issue, seriously considering returning it and getting a refund and hoping someone can develop a speaker that ticks all of the boxes!

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If other vendors can do it most likely because Amazon/Sonos wants to drive their own respective sales… very disappointing from a customer stand point.   It’s right there in plain sight on the Amazon developper page: https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/docs/alexa/mrm/multi-room-music-sdk-overview.html but as the getting started states: 

 

To get started with implementing MRM on your device, contact your Amazon Business Development representative.

 

Who says BS between the 2?

 

There are other features I’m waiting for that Sonos still doesn’t support, such as bilingual Alexa which is extremely convenient on my echo dot around the house except the kitchen/dinning where the Sonos is.

 

Not to say that I can't even leverage my Sonos properly as it cannot be controlled from a different wifi network (still in the same house).  In 2020, where data privacy concerns are at peak, and when everybody recommends to have a dedicated smart home network it is just telling me that Sonos doesn’t consider all security aspect and assume your home is a safe place.

 

Thankfully I only have 1 Sonos speaker… might get it out of the door very soon and replace it with the new Amazon Studio - at least they will all (echo and speakers) act “smart” together.  I haven’t reach an irreversible cost of change yet by buying a ton of Sonos.  I guess the couple bucks I’ll loose reselling it is my cost of being an early adopter.

Since there is no indication that Sonos is going to incorporate music sync into their products anytime soon, I have decided to return my Beam and I'm going to build out my system another way. Music sync is too important to me and I don't want to be hamstrung into only buying sonos ones for the foreseeable future. Especially since Amazon could drop competing products at any point.
Just found that the Polk Command Bar supports multi room. Guess that's the leader until the race finishes between Bose and Sonos and that will dictate which direction I build out my system with.

All this smart stuff is ok and I have made a big investment. But when your internet connection is down it all goes wrong and you can’t play anything. Luckily with Sonos you still have your own music library to listen to.Echos have Aux.



Aux input? I thought the aux was for output.

I think the answer to why there's no MRM between sonos and echo is, basically, down to the Sonos Connect. If you can sync echo audio with sonos, why would anyone shell out 350 bucks for a Connect for their existing hifi when they could just spend 50 on a dot and use the line out? Sonos probably know this and won't be keen on losing the connect sales...I think that is the best answer to this topic and therefore why it will never happen


Well, except that you're forgetting that an echo dot can only output the streaming services that it supports. The Connect (now Port) will output everything available in the Sonos network. That includes a lot more streaming services, content generated through Alexa or Google Assistant, local library, TV, and aux input. While the streaming services an echo dot supports will be good enough for some, it won't be for many others.

Don't forget that the Port will output in Coax too, while the Dot is a headphone jack.

And again, the MRM protocol that Amazon and Sonos support are not identical, and have several key differences, probably more that we can't see from the surface. With Alexa, you must specifiy the group you want to play before initiating a stream. It cannot be adjusted afterwards. With Sonos, you can.

I do think there's some business/competitive reasons for this too. Sonos surely would prefer you use a Sonos One, ikea speakers, and their other comparatively lower dollar speakers to fill out your home over echos and echos and echo dots.

And I definitely think going with all Echo/alexa products is the right move for a lot of people. If you aren't going to use a feature, then it's of no value to you. And filling out your home with echos and echo dots is a lot cheaper than using Sonos.

There are clearly two distinct groups of people here.  Sonos is perfect for one group and not suitable for the other.  I shall call them the ‘Sonos adopters’ and the ‘voice control adopters’.

Sonos adopters have decided that they want their whole-home audio system to be Sonos.  I am in this group.  I like the quality of the sound above all, and the choice of sources, the HT option, and much else besides.  It wouldn’t cross my mind to buy a Google or Amazon speaker.  I am pleased to have voice control as one of my control options, but could live without it.  I don’t give a hoot that Sonos Alexa-enabled devices don’t do everything an Amazon Echo device will do.  I wouldn’t use them anyway.

Then there are the ‘voice control adopters’.  They come from a different perspective.  Not an inferior or superior perspective, just different.  The voice control features are important, and Sonos speakers are just one of a range of speakers that they want to mix and match.  But Sonos just doesn’t fit that mould at the moment.  It is designed as a complete, integrated, audio synced multiroom system.  In fact, Sonos own all the key patents for synching music and are currently suing Google for patent infringement.

It just has to be admitted that for the voice control adopters, Sonos isn’t a good option as currently designed and conceived.  You need to be ‘all-in’ with Sonos or you are better off not buying Sonos at all.

Especially given the patent infringement lawsuit, I think it is unrealistic to expect Sonos and other speakers to sync any time soon.  If ever.

I just spent an hour trying to put my new Sonos play:1 Speakers in a multiroom group. Thanks to this thread, i discovered i was wasting my time. If i had know this before, i would not have brought the speakers. I have my existing Bose system playing through an Alexa Pair Gadget in parts of the house, as well as echos in Kitchen, etc. I wanted the Sonos to support mh Music Everywhere Group. I add my voice to those who would like to add quality Sonos Speakers to their existing setup. Thanks for this thread.
Agreed. I’m going to return my Sonos Beam and Subwoofer and get Bose if Bose already has this.

Hello,

Love the sound quality of my Sonos One but I will definitively not buy additional units as long as Sonos does not support Alexa multiroom music mixed with other Amazon devices.

Customer has always the last word, if Sonos does not want to go this way, customer will anyway find a workaround.

I am now considering the Amazon Echo Studio as a serious alternative.

Come on Sonos, just do It

Just purchased 4 Sonos ones and a beam from the Prime day sale. I also upgraded to 2 echo pluses and a dot. I just want to add my vote to hopefully encourage Sonos's dev team to make this feature a priority.
Copying my reply from another thread in case others find it useful:

I have my Sonos speakers (a Playbar and two Ones working as rear satellites in a surround configuration) working in an Alexa multi-room music configuration. Mind you, the music streaming source is not the Sonos player. Here's what I have set up: Fire TV Cube connected to TV via HDMI, TV connected to Playbar via digital optical. Multi-room music group ("Downstairs"): Echo, Echo dot connected via an aux cable to a stereo receiver, Echo Show and Fire TV Cube / Sonos. I can ask any of the Echo devices to play music on the group. I had to tweak the audio sync setting on the Fire TV Cube to get the music playing through the Sonos speakers in sync, but other than that it works great - 4 downstairs rooms, playing the same music, all in sync. So, while the Sonos isn't actually playing the music, the music is coming through the Sonos speakers and I get my music throughout my "Downstairs" as desired. 🙂