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Alexa Multiroom Music Support

  • 4 January 2021
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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

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Best answer by UKMedia 4 January 2021, 16:16

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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