Alexa timers not working / unreliable

  • 2 September 2019
  • 23 replies

Userlevel 1
I have been using Alexa on our Sono One for months with no real issue but in the past couple of weeks the timers have become unreliable. It's not a consistent problem but it seems that most attempts to set a timer are now failing. There are three scenarios:

  1. say "Alexa, set timer for 10 minutes" > no audible response from Alexa to confirm that it has been set but if then asked "Alexa, how much time left on the timer?", Alexa confirms that timer is set. Timer goes off as expected.
  2. say "Alexa, set timer for 10 minutes" > no audible response from Alexa to confirm that it has been set but if then asked "Alexa, how much time left on the time", confirms that timer is set. Timer DOES NOT go off as expected.
  3. say "Alexa, set timer for 10 minutes" > audible response from Alexa to confirms that it has been set. Timer DOES NOT go off as expected.
I tried turning off and on again but there is no change to the behaviour.

This is one of the most used and useful features for Sonos/Alexa and I am loosing trust in the whole system at this rate. Any ideas why this is happening?

23 replies

We have been experiencing the same thing. Mostly #1. We jokingly say that Alexa seems to be in her teenage years and refusing to respond to our request even though if you ask "how long is left on the timer", Alexa will respond with the correct time. But lately we have been getting #2 with a response but the timer not going off. I will say that more than not we get the correct response or conformation that the timer was set. So I'll be following this to see options to fix it.
I have the same problem with my Sonos One. If you ask Alexa to set a timer, it doesn't respond. But the time is set.
Hello! Having the same problem on my Sonos One for the past few months, experiencing the same 3 outcomes! I’ve tried resetting the speaker, ensures Sonos and Amazon updates are applied, but problem persists...
Userlevel 7
@andyandpage @Richard_W @Barry128 @Rhadfield

Your command... "Alexa, set timer for 10 minutes"

Try saying...Alexa, set a timer for X minutes
I have the same problem. I actually bought an Echo Show for the kitchen so that we would have a visual timer indicator because of the Sonos One's unreliable timers. It made me late this morning. My alarm went off, I stopped it, then told Alexa to set a 10 minute timer, no response so I asked "Do I have any timers" she replied that I had 9 minutes and 50 seconds left on my 10 minute timer, and I never heard from her again.

And seriously, AJTrek1? That's your World-Class Superstar answer????
Userlevel 7

Look...I understand your frustration but handing out insults gets you no where.

In case you haven't read (or heard) voice inflection is a critical part of getting the proper responses from Alexa or any voice assistant. Furthermore, I don't see any other suggestions being offered...only complaints...yours being the most recent.

My suggestion as a "World-Class Superstar" is that you submit a diagnostic within 10 minutes of the next occurence, post the reference ID in this forum and then call Sonos Tech support or contact them via Twitter or Facebook.

If you call that an insult, I'm not sure what to tell you. If you don't have anything to add, and obviously haven't read the posts, you're more than welcome to not suggest anything.
Userlevel 7
If you call that an insult, I'm not sure what to tell you. If you don't have anything to add, and obviously haven't read the posts, you're more than welcome to not suggest anything.


Obviously, all you can do is complain. I gave you another option. If you're too lazy or obstinate to try it ...then continue to wallow in your own frustration.

My second suggestion was not an apology for my first. Sometimes the resolution is found in the initial response and with others it may take a bit of try this then try that.

Respond to this if you like but I won't continue to participate in this childish tirade. BTW, that last statement is intended as an INSULT.

We also have this problem and Alexa has been getting a fair share of insults recently. Is there anyone with Sonos One with Alexa where the timers do work normally?

We tried switching off the features for brief responses but that didn’t help. 

Has anyone a link to report an Alexa bug?

If anyone is interested diagnostic ID 1157090495.  If that contains any Alexa information it will surprise me.

Badge +1

Just wanted to add my voice here, I’ve been getting the same thing with a Sonos One.

Intermittently I get no response when I set a timer, if I ask how long is left usually it says x minutes remaining, and usually the alarm will sound when the timer finishes but sometimes not. Very frustrating, this used to work flawlessly.

Same problem. Same three scenarios. VERY frustrating. Have called Alexa bad words...Following and hoping for a solution.

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

Same problem here with Sonos One. Makes it useless in the kitchen! As usual, I see no useful response from Sonos support. 

+1 on this issue.



Newbie here. Multiple Alexa timers (for cooking) are messed up. All sorts of issues Set 2 or more for extra fun, then ask what’s left on all timers and the response is there are no timers set.


I’ve come from an Echo dot which works perfectly.

This is becoming a real headache for me. Timers should be one of the most basic functions. Can anyone at Sonos shout out regards a fix for this bug?

Any timers or multiples have the problem.


Same for me.  It’s nothing about whether or not I’m understood, so it has nothing to do with “inflection”.  She understands, but is choosing to grudgingly and silently accept my request rather than graciously confirming it.  The maddening thing is it is inconsistent.  Within minutes of various attempts, some may be confirmed, others not, and others not created at all.  

Come on Sonos Support...chime in!!!!

We also have exactly the same issue and actually the  set A timer instead on set timer seems to work consistently. 

Well, this could help a few folks:


If you have Sonos Ones setup as stereo pairs, turn off the Alexa mic on one of the speakers, leaving one operable. Doing so helps quite a bit in reducing the problems.

I have had the same timer problem with a Sonos Beam and a pair of Sonos Ones. I like the suggestion to disable the mic on on of the Ones and will give that a try.

A few months ago Amazon had a sale on Echo Dots and I bought one for the kitchen just to have a reliable timer. It’s kind of funny, but when I really need a timer to work I’ll go tell it to the Dot. Same with turning on lights. This morning I got up and told the Alexa on Sonos “light on” but other than a beep I had no results. The same command on the Dot turned the lights on.

I’ll try shutting of a mic and see if that helps both problems.

I have the same exact problem with my Sonos One (Gen 1) and I’m surprised there has not been an acknowlegement of this from Sonos.

I have to unplug and plug the unit back in to get reliable timer behavior.  I have suspected, but have not confirmed, that the behavior starts after someone plays music (usually from Amazon Music) or a radio station on the speaker. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +11

Hi folks,

Few suggestions I’d like you to try regarding this issue. First, make sure that your Sonos System is currently up to date.

If that’s not the issue, try unplugging the power from your Sonos speakers and plug it back. Wait for few minutes for your Sonos products to come back online.

Lastly, check and make sure your time zone is set under Date & Time within the Sonos app. If that doesn't work, I'd recommend that you submit a system diagnostic within 10 minutes of trying to set an alarm, and post the number here. 


Same issue here. Disappointing this has still not been resolved. I try really hard to convince my wife to use Alexa in the kitchen and this pretty much destroys her confidence in the product. Can’t say I blame her.