Answered

Alexa Multiroom Music Support

  • 4 January 2021
  • 23 replies
  • 6127 views

Badge

Is there any update on the support for Alexa multiroom music (MRM) support on Sonos? I just purchased a Sonos Beam with the understanding that it supported Alexa groups. I learned after setting it up, that while it can be added to an Alexa group, it can’t be added to a speaker group with Echo devices. I understand that Amazon released the software to implement multiroom music support in 2018 (link below) and that at least the Polk Command Bar supports this functionality. Is there any possibility that Sonos will add this capability to the Beam? If not, I’ll need to return the Beam and find another solution.

https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/a9acaabd-d5a0-4fdf-b74a-c20cfe4d4ef9/deliver-whole-home-audio-with-alexa-multi-room-music-and-device-targeting

icon

Best answer by UKMedia 4 January 2021, 16:16

View original

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

23 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

I'm not aware of any multi room speakers that are compliant. The issue remains that Amazon and Sonos both use their own proprietary multi room buffering technology.

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

Hi @SteveEgg.

Welcome to the Sonos community and thanks for reaching out to us. This is not yet a supported Setup of Sonos. However, I will be more than happy to send this to our engineering team as a feature request. I would suggest keeping your Sonos App and Sonos products up to date for them to receive the latest features, bug fixes and newly released features of Sonos. Just to set your expectation, you will not be contacted or updated for any progress made on your feature request that is why I highly suggest subscribing to this thread and to our announcement topic.

If you have any other questions, concerns, or feature requests, please do not hesitate to reach out or create a topic. We highly appreciate it.

Thanks,

I would suggest subscribing to our announcement topic for any feature release, feature updates, and bug fixes.

 

The annoucement forum has not been used in 7 months, and there have been several note worth changes to Sonos since then.  Not sure why Sonos would point anyone to this topic anymore.

 

As for the question about multiroom support, it as as UKMedia stated.  the Alexa protocol is not compatible with the Sonos protocol.  They do not have same capabilities and features. 

 

So I just bought a Beam and I cant add it to an Alexa speaker Group.  This is getting more disappointing by the minute.  Not too please with my expensive purchase.  Guess that explains why I cant add Beam to a speaker group in Alexa app and get the message NOT COMPATIBLE 

#1star.  The Beam plays tv sound ok.  but struggles to do the things it claims to do.  Wish I would have tried this earlier as it is too late to return.  

So I just bought a Beam and I cant add it to an Alexa speaker Group.  This is getting more disappointing by the minute.  Not too please with my expensive purchase.  Guess that explains why I cant add Beam to a speaker group in Alexa app and get the message NOT COMPATIBLE 

#1star.  The Beam plays tv sound ok.  but struggles to do the things it claims to do.  Wish I would have tried this earlier as it is too late to return.  

Where did Sonos say that you could play Sonos and Echo speakers together in sync?  I can understand why people make this assumption, but I’m not aware that Sonos ever claimed this as a feature.  Or was your statement referring to some other feature?

When they says it has Alexa built in the assumption is it works like an Alexa. Which you can group.  I did not see anything that states Alexa has very limited abilities on the box. You are right it's my bad for thinking that if I can see it in my alexa app that I can make it play the same thing as the other alexa at the same time.

Why would anyone want to have a nice soundbar/speaker play the exact same thing as a what is playing upstairs when you are having a party or other time when you want to play music all over you house. Silly me for thinking this was something everyone would want. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

I agree with you that this is something that most people would like to be able to do. However, fundamentally, Amazon have created two types of device: Alexa and Alexa Enabled devices. Amazon themselves have a mixture of these types of devices within their own product lineup. To my knowledge, currently all non Amazon Alexa devices fall into the classification of Alexa Enabled devices, including those from Sonos. These Enabled devices have a subset of the functionality of that of the Alexa devices.

Now, I agree that this has throw backs to the TV HD and HD Ready confusion but this is an Amazon definition, not one from Sonos.

The other factor to take into account is that Sonos have made its reputation upon high quality, multi-room audio. This was enabled by propriety technology for the buffering and synchronisation of the audio across multiple devices. Sonos are currently suing Google over copyright infringement in this area and have given notice that they consider Amazon may have also infringed upon the same copyrights.

As a result, I personally consider it highly unlikely that this will change any time soon.

Also, think about this . . . Sonos can group on the fly; start something playing and you can then group in another room with no stop in the music.  Alexa devices are incapable of this, you can only initialize music to a group, you cannot group on the fly.  So how is Sonos supposed to operate when you have Sonos and Alexa playing in sync and you want to group in another Sonos room on the fly?

That’s just one way the grouping/synching is incompatible between the two. 

Why would anyone want to have a nice soundbar/speaker play the exact same thing as a what is playing upstairs when you are having a party or other time when you want to play music all over you house. Silly me for thinking this was something everyone would want. 

Errrr - that is precisely why I bought Sonos. That is what Sonos is for.  That is what Sonos invented. What I don’t need is a speaker made by Amazon.  Sonos don’t make speakers; they make whole-home audio systems.

When they says it has Alexa built in the assumption is it works like an Alexa. Which you can group.  I did not see anything that states Alexa has very limited abilities on the box. You are right it's my bad for thinking that if I can see it in my alexa app that I can make it play the same thing as the other alexa at the same time.

Why would anyone want to have a nice soundbar/speaker play the exact same thing as a what is playing upstairs when you are having a party or other time when you want to play music all over you house. Silly me for thinking this was something everyone would want. 

 

As I stated before, I understand the assumption, but Sonos certainly never claimed playing in sync with Echos was a feature.  

As far as the desire for the feature, I get that as well.  Echos are cheaper and the limited audio quality is just fine for many typical locations in a home, or budgets.  You already got some answers as to why the feature doesn’t exist.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3169?language=en_US

On the Sonos website it clearly states it is possible, but it is not. 

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3169?language=en_US

On the Sonos website it clearly states it is possible, but it is not. 

 

You can put Sonos speakers in an Alexa group.  The article is accurate.  What you cannot do is place both Sonos and Amazon speakers as the preferred speakers for an Alexa group.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3169?language=en_US

On the Sonos website it clearly states it is possible, but it is not. 

 

You can put Sonos speakers in an Alexa group.  The article is accurate.  What you cannot do is place both Sonos and Amazon speakers as the preferred speakers for an Alexa group.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3169?language=en_US

On the Sonos website it clearly states it is possible, but it is not. 

 

You can put Sonos speakers in an Alexa group.  The article is accurate.  What you cannot do is place both Sonos and Amazon speakers as the preferred speakers for an Alexa group.

Thank you for your feedback Danny, that wasn’t clear to me until I tested it. So it really doesn’t make sense to have a stand alone Sonos then does it? It seems everyone who likes Sonos has many, all the once that complain have just one?

Just bumping this one. I have a Beam and would have loved to keep it under my TV but it cannot be added to a multiroom group with Amazon speakers. As this thread points out it can be added to a multiroon group that solely consists of Sonos devices and controlled via Alexa.

Just to correct some earlier posts for anyone else that comes across this thread - mixing devices from different manufacturers is entirely possible with the Amazon APIs it’s just that Sonos have chosen/been unable/unwilling to implement them. I have a Polk React soundbar and this works perfectly happily with Amazon devices. I have it in the living room combined in a sound group with an Echo Studio in the kitchen and a stereo pair of echo dots (with clock) in the bedroom.

There are a couple of caveats to get it working - you have to create a multiroom speaker group with the Polk in it and not just select multiple speakers for a room group. Also Apple Music does not work with Polk so for any group containing a Polk Alexa just says “Apple Music is not supported on this device” from whatever speaker you chose to initiate the command (even an Amazon device). Spotify and Amazon Music work perfectly.

@fiftysomethingguy,

So why can’t a Sonos Five (just as an example) be added to the line-out on one of the Amazon echo devices and play the audio to the ‘everywhere’ group that includes the echo device. That will play the audio to every Amazon device in the Group, including the Sonos Five, which can then be grouped with any other Sonos devices via the Sonos App - the only issue I can see perhaps, is a slight audio delay across the line-in, but surely that won’t matter if each of the devices are positioned in different physical rooms.

Also what might help to quickly resolve this issue aswell, is if Amazon devices actually supported AirPlay-2, which might prove to be a much simpler/better solution for all.

Well of course you can take the line out (or digital out from an Echo Link) and pipe it into any other speaker or amp that you desire.  I just think most people don’t want an echo PLUS sonos in a room but just want a single device. 
 

Airplay 2 I have to say is phenomenal. I used to have multi room with a HomePod and a couple of HomePod minis.

I assume it’s perfectly implementable by Amazon as other manufacturers support it (Roku, Sonos, LG etc).

Well of course you can take the line out (or digital out from an Echo Link) and pipe it into any other speaker or amp that you desire.  I just think most people don’t want an echo PLUS sonos in a room but just want a single device. 

I am happy to use an echo dot and line-out to a Sonos Five, as it provides a great speaker in a room and also adds Alexa to that speaker and room too. Also the echo line-out can be to a stereo pair of ‘Fives’ plus a Sonos Sub, which totally beats any audio product that Amazon has at this present moment in time. 

So I just purchased 2 Sonos Moves for our back patio since they were “Alexa compatible.” Unfortunately, they will be going back since they can’t be added to multi-room music on Alexa.  What a disappointment.  I wonder if the Bose Outdoor wireless speaker will work with multi-room music? Needless to say, Alexa is likely just as much at fault. They still can’t connect to their own echo speakers through their PC application. 

So I just purchased 2 Sonos Moves for our back patio since they were “Alexa compatible.” Unfortunately, they will be going back since they can’t be added to multi-room music on Alexa.  What a disappointment.  I wonder if the Bose Outdoor wireless speaker will work with multi-room music? Needless to say, Alexa is likely just as much at fault. They still can’t connect to their own echo speakers through their PC application. 

I guess the two Moves could be added to an Alexa ‘enabled’ Group instead, or used as a stereo pair, or doesn’t your WiFi extend to the patio?.. If no WiFi, then you could perhaps have used a rechargeable ‘dual’ Bluetooth transmitter anyway to play in sync to both.

I just bought Beam 2 and already had several Echo devices at home. Beam 2 works good with my TV, but I wanted to be able to connect it to multi-room setup I have with Echo devices (to play music at the same time on sound bar and other echo devices around my home). It seems like that is not possible and that’s a shame. It supports Airplay 2, so if I had several HomePods around my house it would work, but not with Amazon Echo, that’s unfortunate and seems like there is no easy solution to that from user side.

I just bought Beam 2 and already had several Echo devices at home. Beam 2 works good with my TV, but I wanted to be able to connect it to multi-room setup I have with Echo devices (to play music at the same time on sound bar and other echo devices around my home). It seems like that is not possible and that’s a shame. It supports Airplay 2, so if I had several HomePods around my house it would work, but not with Amazon Echo, that’s unfortunate and seems like there is no easy solution to that from user side.

The only two solutions to this that I’m aware of, is to either use an Amazon Echo devices line-out to a Sonos product that has a line-in, or maybe Bluetooth pair an echo-dot to a Sonos Roam/Era-100 etc. and play on the Amazon Everywhere Group in the Alexa App… All echo devices then play and the line out, or Bluetooth audio, goes to the Sonos speaker, which in turn, using the Sonos App, can itself be grouped with all other Sonos speakers within the same System/Household. The problem of course is there isn’t anything to keep things in sync between the two brands and so if devices are ‘mixed & matched’ in the same physical room, you would likely end up with an echo (pardon the pun) in that room. 😁

I just bought Beam 2 and already had several Echo devices at home. Beam 2 works good with my TV, but I wanted to be able to connect it to multi-room setup I have with Echo devices (to play music at the same time on sound bar and other echo devices around my home). It seems like that is not possible and that’s a shame. It supports Airplay 2, so if I had several HomePods around my house it would work, but not with Amazon Echo, that’s unfortunate and seems like there is no easy solution to that from user side.

The only two solutions to this that I’m aware of, is to either use an Amazon Echo devices line-out to a Sonos product that has a line-in, or maybe Bluetooth pair an echo-dot to a Sonos Roam/Era-100 etc. and play on the Amazon Everywhere Group in the Alexa App… All echo devices then play and the line out or Bluetooth audio goes to the Sonos speaker, which in turn, using the Sonos App, can itself be grouped with all other Sonos speakers within the same System/Household. The problem of course is their isn’t anything to keep things in sync between the two brands and so if devices are ‘mixed & matched’ in the same physical room, you would likely end up with an echo (pardon the pun) in that room. 😁

That’s a thing which I did not consider and it feels that this setup will be too “fragile”, not even talking about buying yet another device :) (Era or Roam).

As far as I got from some posts/threads/forums it may be possible to buy Amazon Fire TV stick and then group it with other Echo devices. That solution also has problems like: you need to have your TV being on for that to work :(

That’s a thing which I did not consider and it feels that this setup will be too “fragile”, not even talking about buying yet another device :) (Era or Roam).

As far as I got from some posts/threads/forums it may be possible to buy Amazon Fire TV stick and then group it with other Echo devices. That solution also has problems like: you need to have your TV being on for that to work :(

Yes a Fire-TV Stick is another option, but as you say it needs the TV powered on (but that’s okay as it can display the lyrics on screen during playback), but in my personal experience the different brands of speaker do not play nicely in sync. The Sonos products are far more stable when grouped in large numbers and of course sound far superior… so I just stick to grouping Sonos devices only around the Home.