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Alexa mutes speakers

  • 7 October 2017
  • 43 replies
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Userlevel 2
So, I'm upstairs in the shower listening to my morning podcast and it mutes itself every 10 seconds.

Come to find out my wife was in the kitchen using Alexa to make a shopping list.

How do I turn off this muting "feature" for Alexa? Or can I assign the dot to a single room so the whole house doesn't mute everytime someone wants a knock knock joke or the weather.
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Best answer by Ryan S 9 October 2017, 18:35

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43 replies

Just came across this because my system suddenly started dropping audio - realised the birthday gift for my parents has ruined my Sonos! Every time they use their Alexa (tied to my Amazon for Prime music) I lose volume. Sonos should toggle this option as I only use a dot right next to me for voice control - which I hardly use for sonos
I just setup two Sonos One, Playbase (with optical cable) and Sub. I have the same ducking problem (across the whole home theater setup) whenever someone on the TV actually says something, which is really quite annoying because the word "Alexa" is not even said on the TV. Do I need to figure out how the playbase should actually continue to play sound without ducking?
Userlevel 7
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Hit Dot shouldn't mute the Sonos One. You can disable the Alexa skill on the rest of the Sonos speakers in your house and his dot will not effect them.
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I'm experiencing the same problem which is made worse because of multiple users. Previously I had an echo dot sitting next to my play 5 to experiment with Alexa and Sonos. Alexa would mute all speakers but I never really noticed or cared. I purchased a Sonos One and since I didn't have a use for the dot I gave it to my son for his room. Mistake. Whenever he interacts with his Alexa it mutes sound everywhere but when he tries to play music through his dot it has an impact on other Sonos zones and changes what is playing elsewhere (he isn't using any Sonos room name, etc). My solution will be to unplug his dot until the APIs mature and hope this improves with time...price of being on the cutting edge.
Userlevel 1
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My system has stopped dipping the volume when using Alexa. I'm not quite sure when it stopped, maybe a couple of weeks ago. We have a 9 zone Sonos system, with 2 Ones, and 3 Amazon Alexas, so safe to say this problem was driving us nuts. It does mean that if we have a music on loudly, Alexa doesn't hear us, but I'd rather live with that than having all the speakers dip just because someone uses an Alexa in the kitchen.
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I have multiple Sonos and Echo devices in two locations, in different states. Because they utilize the same accounts, a question to Alexa in Arizona will duck my Sonoses in Washington state.
It's SONOS! SonOs!

And yes, the ducking happens on all speakers. That may mean an unenjoyable experience for some, but it most certainly does not mean you cannot use Alexa to control a true multi-room music system.

"Alexa, play smooth jazz in the kitchen."

"Alexa, play The Bridge from SiriusXM in the master bedroom".

^^^See, I just did it. Music, in multiple rooms, via Alexa.
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If it dips the volume on all Sonus systems then it’s not a true multi room system. (If you don’t use the echo skill you don’t get this behaviour) If your happy with the dipping issues then enjoy, but for many of us it’s not a good experience, which is reflected by the amount of people saying they’ve removed the Sonus skill from their Echo systems.
It's Sonos. And it simply isn't true that the system "only supports a single Echo and Sonos". I have two echos and 8 Sonos devices and I can control them all just fine. Sure the ducking happens on all of them when I say the wake work but, knowing it's a Beta skill, I can patiently wait for the new SDK.
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With thirty years developing systems and software, I fully understand that one persons “easy” isn’t always as easy as it appears, but I also know that you need to let people know the limitations of what you’ve released. If a release only supports a single echo and Sonus then it should be in the release notes.
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We have two Sonus systems and four echo dots in the house and this dipping feature is driving us nuts. What can’t a Sonus system be associated to a particular echo system, so that only commands to that echo dot dip the Sonus? It can’t be that difficult to do?

Why? Because Amazon has not finished their SDK for multi-room 3rd party speakers. It is expected in early 2018. And I would hesitate before calling anything easy. "Easy" is an extremely sliding scale in the world of software engineering. You would be surprised at the "easy" things that are actually quite difficult.
Userlevel 7
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Sonos has said they want to do it so when they can they will.
We have two Sonus systems and four echo dots in the house and this dipping feature is driving us nuts. What can’t a Sonus system be associated to a particular echo system, so that only commands to that echo dot dip the Sonus? It can’t be that difficult to do?

Why? Because Amazon has not finished their SDK for multi-room 3rd party speakers. It is expected in early 2018. And I would hesitate before calling anything easy. "Easy" is an extremely sliding scale in the world of software engineering. You would be surprised at the "easy" things that are actually quite difficult.
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We have two Sonus systems and four echo dots in the house and this dipping feature is driving us nuts. What can’t a Sonus system be associated to a particular echo system, so that only commands to that echo dot dip the Sonus? It can’t be that difficult to do?
Userlevel 7
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NO it is no different. If you don't want a speaker to duck you have to disable voice control on that speaker.
Has this ducking issue been addressed? It makes Sonos unusable when someone is using Alexa in another room.
Userlevel 6
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I’ve just deleted the Sonos skill, as the API just isn’t ready. Sonos isn’t really usable if you have Alexa and multi-zones set up. Hopefully it will get fixed soon and then I can re-enable the skill. I’d rather control it the old fashioned way than put up with the ducking feature.

Same here.
I’ve just deleted the Sonos skill, as the API just isn’t ready. Sonos isn’t really usable if you have Alexa and multi-zones set up. Hopefully it will get fixed soon and then I can re-enable the skill. I’d rather control it the old fashioned way than put up with the ducking feature.
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The Playbar does duck when playing a stream from another device (not the optical input). My cable TV box (SKY TV) is in a media room and the sound inputs to a Connect. When I watch broadcasts from that cable box and stream the audio on my 5.1 setup in my living room, the Playbar (and connected Play:1s and Sub) do Duck when an Echo device receives a command. Just pointing this out since there are some posts here that imply the Playbar does not Duck at all. It does (in my installation at least) under certain playback conditions.

Edit: Or perhaps the Connect in my situation is ducking its output that is being streamed on the Playbar, but the result is the same.
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So, I'm upstairs in the shower listening to my morning podcast and it mutes itself every 10 seconds.

Come to find out my wife was in the kitchen using Alexa to make a shopping list.

How do I turn off this muting "feature" for Alexa? Or can I assign the dot to a single room so the whole house doesn't mute everytime someone wants a knock knock joke or the weather.
So, I'm upstairs in the shower listening to my morning podcast and it mutes itself every 10 seconds.

Come to find out my wife was in the kitchen using Alexa to make a shopping list.

How do I turn off this muting "feature" for Alexa? Or can I assign the dot to a single room so the whole house doesn't mute everytime someone wants a knock knock joke or the weather.


We have an Echo on one wifi system in one house and a Dot on a different wifi system in another house. The Echo and Dot are both on the same Amazon account. The Alexa app appears to only allow me to turn on the Sonos Skill for the entire account, not selectively by Amazon device. As a consequence when someone addresses Alexa on the Echo in the house without a Sonos system, the volume on the Sonos system in the other house is decreased! It is certainly annoying, but it seems Amazon will need to allow the Sonos Skill to be selectively deployed to fix this problem. Alternatively the Echo and Dot will have to be able to be associated with a specific Sonos device.
No resolution yet, but annoyingly Sonos are sending out adverts saying that Alexa and Sonos now work with an adapted Play one, or any existing Sonos speaker set-up. They must think a resolution is imminent I guess?
Did this get resolved? Is there a way to disable ducking?
I cannot understand why Alexa Dot works perfectly when plugged into a stand-alone speaker using the 3.5mm line-out socket, but ducks the reply to questions when using a Sonos speaker through the same line-out socket?
@Ryan S thanks for your response.

Frankly, it is difficult to understand how such a negative impact to UX made it through the betas we watched happen. At a minimum, would expect Sonos to list this as a limitation on the Alexa page. Please note that this feature has me considering disconnecting Sonos from Alexa; seriously, it is that disruptive --one Alexa interaction ducks all audio across my house.

Do you have an ETA on a resolution or workaround?
Hmmm. I'm not getting any "ducking" on Sonos in any room, never mind all at once. Music is playing on Sonos, I say "Alexa..." and the music stays constant volume. Alexa on the dot responds normally. Any thoughts?
What is the source of the music on Sonos when this happens, and how was it started? Do you have the same experience when it's started from Alexa vs from the Sonos app or another app entirely?


Good questions, all. I'll do some actual testing to see. But I know I have started music from Alexa and asked her something later and the music did not drop on my Sonos.

One aside, I think there may be some interference between multiple controllers. If I have Alexa driving to start, then launch the Sonos app on my phone and iPad, I have experienced "lock ups" on the Sonos system and no music plays. If I kill all the apps and tell Alexa to "stop" then I can get it going again from an app.