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Alexa + Sonos: How it Works



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If I buy a Sonos One, will the Alexa integration enable me to control things like thermostats, lights and smart locks that I have around the house?
I have a current gen Play 5 and an Echo Dot. Can someone please explain the differences in performance and functionality of each component depending on whether I have connected the two via line-in vs. the new wireless integration.
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If I buy a Sonos One, will the Alexa integration enable me to control things like thermostats, lights and smart locks that I have around the house?
The Sonos One can use Alexa skills to control most devices. The Sonos One doesn't have a smart things hub though, so you do need another device if the things in your home need them.

I have a current gen Play 5 and an Echo Dot. Can someone please explain the differences in performance and functionality of each component depending on whether I have connected the two via line-in vs. the new wireless integration.
The way you're using it now, the PLAY:5 is being used as a dumb speaker connected to your Dot. All audio that would play from the Dot instead plays through the PLAY:5.

With the Sonos skill, you'd issue commands to your PLAY:5, through your Dot. So Alexa would respond out of the Dot's speakers, but commands like "Play Unleash The Archers on PLAY:5 (whatever it's call)" would have that playing on the PLAY:5, and you could control what's on from your Sonos app and your Alexa app.
I have a current gen Play 5 and an Echo Dot. Can someone please explain the differences in performance and functionality of each component depending on whether I have connected the two via line-in vs. the new wireless integration.
The way you're using it now, the PLAY:5 is being used as a dumb speaker connected to your Dot. All audio that would play from the Dot instead plays through the PLAY:5.

With the Sonos skill, you'd issue commands to your PLAY:5, through your Dot. So Alexa would respond out of the Dot's speakers, but commands like "Play Unleash The Archers on PLAY:5 (whatever it's call)" would have that playing on the PLAY:5, and you could control what's on from your Sonos app and your Alexa app.


Thank you.
This has happened enough for me to wonder if it's not a coincidence. If I request music through my Echo, Like 'Alexa, play music, in the kitchen', within a day or two i get the message in the Sonos app that i have lost my connection to wifi. I have to reboot my router. IT's happened 3 or 4 times since i started using Echo with Sonos. Has anyone else reported this?
Question #2. Sometimes I get that message from Alexa, 'There is already music playing in Kitchen, would you still like me to play there?' I am assuming that has something to do with a stopped playlist that originated from Sonos, or Spotify...Can you direct me to a source to explain how this works?
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This has happened enough for me to wonder if it's not a coincidence. If I request music through my Echo, Like 'Alexa, play music, in the kitchen', within a day or two i get the message in the Sonos app that i have lost my connection to wifi. I have to reboot my router. IT's happened 3 or 4 times since i started using Echo with Sonos. Has anyone else reported this?
It's almost certainly a coincidence. If this is happening regularly though we'd be happy to take a look at the system with you. You're welcome to give us a call next time and we'll help sort out what's happening.

Question #2. Sometimes I get that message from Alexa, 'There is already music playing in Kitchen, would you still like me to play there?' I am assuming that has something to do with a stopped playlist that originated from Sonos, or Spotify...Can you direct me to a source to explain how this works?
Most music services have a limit to the amount of active streams you can have playing at one time. Amazon Music only allows one stream at a time, so you need to stop playing music from one device before starting up on another.
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I was hoping you'd put something like this:

https://github.com/rgraciano/echo-sonos

On the devices themselves.


Interesting project - looks cool. I notice you added the ability to control line-in. Is this managed dynamically? (ie switch to dot for audio output, then back to original source?)
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I'm confused. I have the newer play5s. Both grouped as Living Room. I updated my app. I updated my Sonos system. I even scanned devices in Alexa app (but not sure if Sonos should show up there or not (it does not). I say things like "Alexa, play jazz in the living room" and she says things like "I cannot do that in the living room" and other versions of "no".

I have Hue bulbs that are grouped as Living Room too. Any ideas what I should be saying? How I should be saying it? Or why I am having problems?


I have both, sonos and Hue lights named as living room and so issues with Alexa, strange!

"Alexa, turn living room lights on" or "... turn lights on in the living room"
"Alexa, play music in the living room"

It should understand
Your devices should have unique names, or some commands will not work.
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Your devices should have unique names, or some commands will not work.

can you please give me an example of what commands should not work? I have not found any right now.
Your devices should have unique names, or some commands will not work.

can you please give me an example of what commands should not work? I have not found any right now.


If you have lights named Living Room and a Sonos named Living Room, saying "Alexa, turn off Living Room" will give odd results. Also, volume controls like "Turn up Living Room" will not work, whereas "Turn up volume in Living Room" will. I found the skill to be far more effective when I made unique names for reasons like these.
I find my echo dot either claims to have played amazon music or tunein on my sonos speaker, but hasn't, by which i mean no sounds come out and sonos controller app reports no activity OR
a track starts, I can not pause it, stop it, or have any control over it from ALEXA, sometimes it is reported by the SONOS controller app and can be controlled and sometimes even that can't see it and I have to turn off my sonos speaker altogether.
The same happens with Spotify since the newly announced integration.
I have raised a support ticket, but it's all quite disappointing.
Hey Ryan

I just got my sonos one yesterday. Overall i am satisfied with the product but I do have two questions for you

1) Is there any plan to increases the sensitivity of the microphones through an update ? I always have to raise my voice a bit over normal conversation tone for it to register

2) Is the sonos one eventually going to have feature parity with echo devices ( music alarm, calling, notifications etc )? Is this part of an official roadmap or decided on a case by case basis? Also i can see a lot of people have simillar questions so would really help if you released the roadmap on a post or blog some where so we can know what to expect . Thanks

3) Also if its decided on a case by case basis, can the community vote on features for prioritization? Amazon just released the music alarm feature and i am sure that would be high on the list

Arun
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So you’ve read all about Amazon Alexa working with Sonos and you want to know more. Here’s a rundown of how the integration works.

Your Amazon Alexa devices are listening for you to say the wake word, “Alexa”. When they hear that word, the microphones record what you say and send the audio to the Amazon Alexa cloud to be translated.

That voice line turns into a string of text. The Amazon protocols determine if it’s meant for Amazon Alexa or for a Sonos player. If it’s for Sonos, that text is then sent directly, and securely, over to the Sonos cloud to be turned into a command using our own codes.

Finally, the Sonos intended command goes down to the system.

Want to try it out?

Here are some fun commands to try. I like starting with:

“Alexa, play some salsa in the kitchen.”
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I just tried that. My Echo Dot replied saying that I was about to get a salsa channel in the kitchen. In the real world the music I’d had streaming from Tidal just carried on playing. Unimpressive.
I just tried that. My Echo Dot replied saying that I was about to get a salsa channel in the kitchen. In the real world the music I’d had streaming from Tidal just carried on playing. Unimpressive.

Did you read the rest of the post? If you had, you would realize there are some prerequisites to the command like:

"You can use Alexa to start playing from Amazon Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio, and we’re working to bring Spotify controls in the future too. " *(Note: Spotify is now working)

So one, you need one of the above services configured on both Sonos and Alexa.

"Also, any Alexa device on your account can use basic controls, such as play, pause, volume, and skip, on your Sonos players. This works for all services and music on Sonos, started through the Sonos app. "

Now two, you can use basic voice controls on non-Alexa supported services, like Tidal. So try saying "Alexa, skip in kitchen" and it may surprise you. Now try "Alexa, what's playing in the kitchen" and you just may think it is magic.

"Alexa will use your default music app, but you can change which one that is in the Alexa app. You can tell Alexa to play using a different music service on Sonos just by asking. There are steps here to set or change your default music service in Alexa."

Ahhhh, a third revelation. You need to set a default music service in the Alexa app before it knows where to find a generic term like "salsa music", otherwise you need to specify the service. .
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Would someone mind explaining the pros/cons of adding Sonos One vs an Echo product to an existing home Sonos setup in order to add voice control functionality?

Currently my setup is as follows:
- “Living Room”: Playbar, Sub, 2x Play:1 surrounds, Amazon Echo Dot
- “Bathroom”: Play:5, Amazon Echo Dot

I have voice control and Spotify integration working (mostly) without issues. However I am unclear on what advantages/differences the Sonos One would provide, if implemented into my existing setup to potentially replace one of the Echo dots.

So far from my readings it seems like the Sonos One would provide the following changes:
1) No need to specify to Alexa which room to play music to? (Does it play from the Sonos One, or from the room the One is grouped with?) But it seems like Alexa/Sonos are currently working to add this functionality via grouping an Echo to a specific room grouping of Sonos speakers?
2) Alexa responses would be played via the Sonos One rather than an Echo
3) Sonos One would also allow use of other services like Google Assistant

So as it stands, it seems like adding a Sonos One to my setup wouldn’t change much functionality-wise, particularly if the default room grouping feature is added to Alexa.
Any idea when we will be able to do multi room audio with other Echo devices?

I feel like this should have been explicitly stated as a limitation. I was thinking I could play music everywhere with my other Echo devices but have the best quality speaker (Sonos) in the living room. I'm considering returning the One in lieu of the less expensive Echo to have the convenience of everything working together seamlessly.
I set up a Sonos One and now i have an EchoPlus to act as th bridge for Philips Hue. Sonos One works and Philips Hue work from EchoPlus, but Sonos One doesn’t recognize any devices except my Sonos speakers. The Alexa app has al devices listed.

Whole purpose of Sonos One was to have a single device in the kitchen. How do I make it work with Philips Hue through EchoPlus?
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Got a Sonos One to add to my Play:1 and love it so far.

Wish list:
- Google Play Music Alexa Integration
- Google Keep List Integration
can I add ALL of my Sonos speakers through the Sonos One and/or Alexa app? If so - how? I want that beautiful sound throughout my house on all additional FOUR speakers!!!! Thanks!
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can I add ALL of my Sonos speakers through the Sonos One and/or Alexa app? If so - how? I want that beautiful sound throughout my house on all additional FOUR speakers!!!! Thanks!

There isn't an Alexa voice command to group speakers together, but if you use the Sonos app, you can group rooms together and then use Alexa to play to any of those rooms. The Alexa command will play to all rooms grouped with the speaker that you target.

Whole purpose of Sonos One was to have a single device in the kitchen. How do I make it work with Philips Hue through EchoPlus?
The Sonos One should be able to find your Philips devices the same way any Echo device does, though you do need a Smart Hub device, which I believe that EchoPlus does. The same commands given to the Echo Plus should work for the Sonos One to target those lights. Make sure you don't use the same names for your smart home devices. A lightbulb named Kitchen will clash with a speaker named Kitchen and the commands might get confused. Kitchen Lights would be fine though.
Hi Ryan - that’s what I expected as well. Unfortunately, Sonos One only says “I don’t have a device named Cabinet” when it does exist in the Alexa app and I can turn off the under cabinet lights from the EchoPlus in the other room.

I tried removing Alexa from Sonos One and adding back. Didn’t help.

Any other ideas on how I can get Sonos One to control my Alexa devices?
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If you go into your Alexa app, do you see "Cabinet" under Smart Home? In that same section, you should see the Sonos One listed by room name.

Are you able to control your Sonos One via voice, to have it play music and the like? If you ask other Alexa options, do those work too?