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Alexa + Sonos: How it Works



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Userlevel 7
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Ryan? Also your response to the question of sound quality. Is Sonos One identical to play 1 running on 8.0?
Generally speaking, the Sonos One has just about the same quality as the PLAY:1. I've heard from plenty of people that the Sonos One has a bit more bass to it, but I think that's going to have come down to personal testing. They both sound great.
+1 On the list of people disappointed by the lack of local music support. That's a huge hole that I hope Sonos can plug soon. I already maintain two sets of my music - flac on a NAS for highest quality and a second version for my Apple devices via iTunes match. Now I'd need to upload yet another set to Amazon (or wherever) in order for the Alexa skill to work? ?☹️
Userlevel 2
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Works great for me so far.

Wish list -
1 be able to set a particular dot(etc) to default to a sonos group so you can skip the location command (not sure if possible)
2 be able to play from local library
Ryan? Also your response to the question of sound quality. Is Sonos One identical to play 1 running on 8.0?
Generally speaking, the Sonos One has just about the same quality as the PLAY:1. I've heard from plenty of people that the Sonos One has a bit more bass to it, but I think that's going to have come down to personal testing. They both sound great.

Thanks for that update.
My other question:
Amazon will launch Alexa in India and sell echo etc via the Indian website from October 31.
Thereafter will it directly work with my Sonos kit, or is there some Sonos action also needed? If so, how long will it take Sonos to do what it will take to work with Alexa?
Can sonos play 1 and a Amazon Echo play the same song at the same time? I.e to be both used in one room together?
Userlevel 4
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Can sonos play 1 and a Amazon Echo play the same song at the same time? I.e to be both used in one room together?

No.

You can group either platform together with siblings from the same hardware, but you cannot create a group/pair of two differing types of hardware.

Similar restriction on stereo groups for the new playOne. You cannot make a L/R stereo pair from a current Play:1 and a new style PlayOne.
Userlevel 7
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Can sonos play 1 and a Amazon Echo play the same song at the same time? I.e to be both used in one room together?

No.

You can group either platform together with siblings from the same hardware, but you cannot create a group/pair of two differing types of hardware.

Similar restriction on stereo groups for the new playOne. You cannot make a L/R stereo pair from a current Play:1 and a new style PlayOne.


I think we're mixing terms a bit here. The answer to the question is No (unless you can manage to time it perfectly manually), but there is a difference between 'groups', 'pairs, and 'bonds'.

Sonos allows 2 units of the same time to be paired together to form a stereo pair, one zone. That is NOT a group.

Sonos allows certain bonding scenarios where you can mix units of a different type together in one zone. For example, a stereo pair plus a SUB. Or a playbar, sub, and 2 surrounds.

A group, as defined by Sonos, is temporarily playing 2 or more zones in sync. Amazon does groups similarly, however, their zones are nothing more than an single echo. Also, they predefine and name their groups, while sonos does not. The important point though, is that even though both Sonos and Amazon have groups, you cannot put sonos zones and Amazon echos into the same group.
Userlevel 4
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Yep - all understood, I was advising that there is a distinction between a Play:1 and a PlayOne. It may be seen by some that the way to have a stereo pair and voice control is to have one of each of these, but that is not possible.

To have a voice controlled pair of sonos 1's the options are:

Play:1 + Play:1 + echo dot
or
PlayOne + PlayOne.
Have an Echo Dot and a Sonos:1. First rev of the integration works fine for basic controls. Any idea when Spotify will be supported, and are there plans/schedule to be able to add a song that is playing thru sonos to a specific playlist via amazon echo alexa voice commands? Looking forward to future enhancements of this. I suspect my basic hw may be limiting.
Userlevel 5
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Yep - all understood, I was advising that there is a distinction between a Play:1 and a PlayOne.
To be clearer, it's Play 1 and Sonos One. Still going to be confusing, but it's marginally better.
Userlevel 7
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Ryan? Also your response to the question of sound quality. Is Sonos One identical to play 1 running on 8.0?
Generally speaking, the Sonos One has just about the same quality as the PLAY:1. I've heard from plenty of people that the Sonos One has a bit more bass to it, but I think that's going to have come down to personal testing. They both sound great.

Thanks for that update.
My other question:
Amazon will launch Alexa in India and sell echo etc via the Indian website from October 31.
Thereafter will it directly work with my Sonos kit, or is there some Sonos action also needed? If so, how long will it take Sonos to do what it will take to work with Alexa?

There will need to be some work by both us and Amazon, but I don't know how long or what will need to happen specifically. If I were to venture a guess, which is always dangerous, I'd say it shouldn't take long. But I'm sure there are some things I don't know about licensing and legal concerns beyond the server side things. Sorry I can't offer a better answer, but if I hear anything more I can share I'll be happy to let you in on it.
Userlevel 2
Badge +5
Well, spoke to soon. All working fine then the Playbar won't accept commands. Not sure what I've done wrong.

My other question:
Amazon will launch Alexa in India and sell echo etc via the Indian website from October 31.
Thereafter will it directly work with my Sonos kit, or is there some Sonos action also needed? If so, how long will it take Sonos to do what it will take to work with Alexa?

There will need to be some work by both us and Amazon, but I don't know how long or what will need to happen specifically. If I were to venture a guess, which is always dangerous, I'd say it shouldn't take long. But I'm sure there are some things I don't know about licensing and legal concerns beyond the server side things. Sorry I can't offer a better answer, but if I hear anything more I can share I'll be happy to let you in on it.

That Amazon will launch Alexa in India on Oct 31 is solid; Amazon has announced it here in the press and on their Indian website and Amazon's record is of not missing such promised dates.

And I am sure Sonos will get a confirmation of this from Amazon if/when the question is asked.

So why does Sonos not start the work - assuming there is any in the first place - now, while the launch date is almost a month away and not be in catch up mode after the event?
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Yep - agreed.

Note that the way I thought grouping would work is that the Sonos speakers would integrate with the Alexa's own multi-room playback grouping.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/29/16219978/amazon-echo-multi-room-music-playback-how-to

Those groups do look like they are intended to be static (e.g., a "Downstairs" group with multiple devices).

Personally, that would be ideal for me. I don't actually need to ability to create custom groups on-the-fly using the voice interface. But I would like the ability to issue commands to start playing music in only a single room (i.e., "play X in the kitchen") or among commonly grouped sets of rooms (i.e., "play X downstairs," "play X everywhere," ...).
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I've always felt that "group" in SONOS should have a fixed component, like grouping several players to be "downstairs", and that this be a permanent option. In an open room setting, where the TV bar and separate SONOS components are inclose proximity, the reality is when you play music on one, you cannot play music (or watch TV). This also is true if you have a surround-sound system and play music through it -- as a practical matter, they are always grouped. So if this type of grouping is available for TV surround sound, why not make it optionally available for grouping SONOS devices into "scenes" -- like "downstairs" or "den"?
Ok, I'll forgo griping about the minimal feature set introduced with this initial release and stick to a glaring issue... In a multi-room/multi Alexa setup ANYONE INVOKING THE ALEXA WAKE WORD IN ANY ROOM MUTES THE PLAYBACK IN EVERY ROOM. Further, the music is muted through Alexa's answer.

So, if I am in the living room listening to music and my son is in his room and says "Alexa, what is the weather today", playback in the living room is muted until Alexa is done answering which can take up to a minute.

This is completely unacceptable, in a home with 7 rooms and 5 Alexa devices someone is alway interacting with Alexa and the music is constantly stopping. I guess I'll be disabling this skill until it is ready for prime time.
Userlevel 2
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Anyone know why alexa won't forget a Sonos zone once it's found it ? I have two areas, living room and dining room. I want the living room to use the integration, and the dining room to use the 3.5mm jack to the play:5 line in (this stops it muting the dining room when issuing commands in the living room) works fine for awhile, then it finds and adds the dining room and it starts muting them all again.
Userlevel 5
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It was full of gremlins when I first used it. Unplug dots. Deregister and delete Alexa app. Download alexa app. Register. Plug dots back in. Discover and I was up and running.
Apologies if this has been posted elsewhere.....

I have play 1's in 4 rooms (including the lounge with the playbar and sub).

I'm thinking of buying the echo dot(s) and i'm not sure whether i need one for each room or would one/two suffice?
It really depends on where you want to control things by voice. i've got three scattered around my house, and two of them tend to hear commands meant for each other(Kitchen and Living room, about 20 feet apart). In the grand scheme of things, you only need one, but if you're in the kitchen, it's probably hard for the bedroom Dot to hear you, unless you're yelling a lot 🙂
Userlevel 2
I have had my Sonos hard wired in to two Alexa Echos for about 12 months. It meant that my music and Alexa's responses/confirmation played through Sonos in that room. Since downloading the wifi enabled software, all i can get through songs is the music (it also doesn't seem to offer hard wiring) - HOW do I get music AND Alexa's responses through my Sonos?
I have had my Sonos hard wired in to two Alexa Echos for about 12 months. It meant that my music and Alexa's responses/confirmation played through Sonos in that room. Since downloading the wifi enabled software, all i can get through songs is the music (it also doesn't seem to offer hard wiring) - HOW do I get music AND Alexa's responses through my Sonos?

It is only for controlling music playback. There is no functionality to have all Alexa audio play through Sonos.
Hello Sonos, long-time customer here. Glad you’ve rolled this out.

One big bugbear - the ducking. I’m listening to Miles Davis on my play:1, but it keeps ducking because my daughter in another room is asking questions of Alexa on her dot. This seems like really poor integration and makes me consider uninstalling the whole alexa/Sonos integration.

Is there a workaround for this, or an update coming that will fix my problem? Thanks
Userlevel 2
Badge +5
I have had my Sonos hard wired in to two Alexa Echos for about 12 months. It meant that my music and Alexa's responses/confirmation played through Sonos in that room. Since downloading the wifi enabled software, all i can get through songs is the music (it also doesn't seem to offer hard wiring) - HOW do I get music AND Alexa's responses through my Sonos?

Remove the device from the alexa app. This then reverts to how you had it before and actually works really well (in someways better than the new update as the dots volume controls work)
OR
Disconnect the hard wire link, then the alexa responses come out of the echo's speaker and the music from the Sonos.

Only problems is with option 1, the system then rediscovers the speakers as devices and it stops working again. I have one dot working over the net with a playbar and that works fine and one directly connected to a play 5. That one keeps on getting discovered and I cant stop it !
The most annoying part is to have to repeat the location over and over every time. Amazon says they will remember the last used location, but if you stop and re-play another song, then the dot defaults on its own speaker. awful. I wish there was a way to disable the dot speaker from music playback completely.

The only way I could think of would be to re-create the hard-wire by sending the output jack audio of the dot to a line-in on a computer, then stream the incoming audio to a web stream and set the play1 to play continuously from that stream....

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