Alexa volume issue since 12.1

Userlevel 3

Hi folks,

I’m experiencing issues related to the volume of Alexa since the Sonos update to 12.1. I’m using a surround setup with one Sonos Beam and two Sonos Play:1 in my living room. Since a few years, the Alexa response volume was just static and not related to the music volume set by Sonos. This was a good thing because you could listen to music in very low volume while you could talk to Alexa and get a normal, relatively loud response.

Since 12.1, the Alexa volume seems to be related to the overall speaker volume. Now when the volume is set maybe between 1-20%, it is just impossible for me to communicate with Alexa because her responses are extremely quiet. I can only start to understand her again when the volume slider is maybe at 25-30% or higher, but then of course the music is also proportional louder, which is not good.

Is there any way to set the Alexa volume independent of the music volume?

Thank you very much in advance.


Best answer by nabheet 28 December 2020, 04:57

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120 replies

Userlevel 3

Sure, the feature request is one thing. But the actual topic is, that the Alexa volume behavior has changed with Sonos 12.1 from a behavior which was working very well for quite some years. And it didn‘t change in a good way, so maybe you can look into it and restore the previous situation.

Just to recall: Previously, Alexa had a „minimum“ volume with Sonos, so even when you turned down the volume of the speaker a lot, Alexa would always speak at a certain volume. If you turned up the speaker, Alexa would get louder as well, but there was always a minimum volume which was pretty decent. Now if you turn down the speaker to a really low, ambient filling volume, Alexa is so quiet that you just can‘t hear her anymore. Hard to believe that this is intended behavior.

Userlevel 1

Hi All, 

Just an update for others who are having this issue. I called support as suggested by Annazel S and the rep I spoke with was not aware of this issue. I told her about this post and when she checked with her superiors they were able to confirm that the engineers are working on a solution for this issue. She said they hope to have a fix available in the next update but was not able to give me a timeline on the release. 

If you call support, expect to go through basic troubleshooting steps with no change to the issue. Looks like we’ll have to wait until the next update.

Userlevel 2

I’ve got the same issue with Alexa and my One.

Volume is so low now that it’s unusable.

Please take care of this issue!

Userlevel 2

Also having the same issue as everyone else.

Alexa volume is incredibly quiet compared to TV audio / music. It seems that the Alexa volume is at the same volume as the lowered device audio that happens when you say the Wake Word.


Sonos REALLY needs to add a separate volume control for Alexa, on ALL of their devices. Although the Arc+One’s 5.1 setup is currently my only prominent issue right now - my single One’s seem fine.


SONOS - Sort your mess out! I’ve spent far too much money on all of this hardware for a barely functioning system!

Sonos needs to fix this ASAP. I don’t get how the news haven’t picked it up yet. 

I’m having the same problem on my Sonos Arc. This Sonos system cost a lot of money, and something this simple should not be an issue. What’s wrong with Sonos engineers, or the product management that would let this through? Major fail.

Userlevel 2

Still nothing from Sonos engineers. How there is no seperate volume for Alexa and Speaker volume is mind boggling. At my current TV listening levels I cannot hear Alexa at all. Its USELESS. CREATE SEPERATE VOLUME PLEASE!

Signed up to say that I’ve having the same issue. I  purchased an Amp a couple days ago and it works great for powering two floor standing klipsch speakers in my bedroom, so I figured I’d get two Ones to get some surround sound easily enough and be able to replace my google home and echo dot. I’ve been running into all sorts of issues… first google assistant only works on the left speaker (supposedly by design, no clue why), second google assistant cannot play Apple Music on Sonos (what? Why not, it works on every other google assistant speaker?), so… I switched to Alexa and I finally get Apple Music (podcasts is another issue) but just this evening when I go to watch TV at a reasonable level and happen to ask Alexa a question I can’t even hear the response. So basically BOTH voice assistants are unusable! I’m well within my return period and unfortunately I’d this is not rectified before that period is up… I’ll be returning these speakers. At such a premium price, basic functionality should be working!

Userlevel 1

I’m experiencing same issues related to the volume of Alexa  after the new update at 14.6.

Over two years later for this original post and several updates later and a old problem rears its ugly head at Ver. 14.6.  Premium prices with poor responses and no fix or solution to a long time problem 👎🤬

I joined this post so that Sonos can hear from one more.


Please fix the freaking problem!

Userlevel 1

This issue makes Alexa inoperable on Sonos One. I called and spent 60mins on the phone with a tech support rep. She insists that this is an Amazon problem. When I showed her that the same issue arises using Google assistant, she insisted that this is a Google problem.  When I mentioned that there is a post in the community discussing this issue, she insisted that it is an isolated issue and only affecting a limited group of users. Needless to say, don’t waste your time trying to troubleshoot the issue because they won’t admit that their software update screwed up the integration with voice services and that it’s causing many users problems.  I guess if I were them, I probably wouldn’t admit it either but it is nonetheless very frustrating. 

Hi Guys,

+1 same issue here.

I’ve just registered here to add my name to the list of people suffering the same problem with Alexa volume too low on their Sonos Beam. This is clearly not an isolated issue. Don’t suffer in silence - add your name here!

Come on Sonos, two months is a long time to fix a simple problem (that didn’t exist before the fatal 12.1 update).

Don’t forget - other products are available - which apparently have better software support helping to increase their life span. If we all give bad reviews, it can be bad news.

When I pay out well over £1,500 and commit to a sound system, I don’t expect to have to replace it every couple of years when the software renders it unusable!

Just hurry up with that fix. Other companies manage to fix problems quickly, why not you?


Userlevel 1

I experience the same issue since the latest update. My Sonos One speakers are usually between 10-15% volume. I can barely hear Alexa at this level.

I'm on 14.3 and it's still an issue.  So beyond frustrated with this.  Get your stuff * together sonos. It's going on 2 years now!!!!!


*Moderator Note: Modified in accordance with the Community Code of Conduct.*

Userlevel 1






Add another name. In my defense, I’ve been saying this for a LONG time. I have had a playbar, 2 One’s, and a sub for about 2 years and mine has always been this way. Submitted feedback multiple times and nothing has ever changed. The only way to be able to hear Alexa on either of my One’s is to crank up the playbar volume (this is what controls the whole system). When Alexa is done, you get blasted by the stupid loud TV or music volume. If you ask Alexa anything on normal TV or music volume, you cannot hear Alexa. Period. End of story. Don’t care what support says anymore. This is the issue and it’s been this way for way, way too long.

Badge +1

Come on SONOS the Alexa volume HAS to be different to the SONOS volume! I’ve just bought and installed a Beam to my system and am amazed that I have to have the volume on the sound system hellish loud to be able to hear Alexa’s responses. This should have been fixed a long time ago - the issue has been brought up in the past!

Still a huge proble on Sonos one in may 2022. Come on SONOS. I know you have jumped on the greed bandwagon and sold your souls but think about your customers or you won’t have any left!

I’m having the exact same issue I can barely hear Alexa since a recent update it’s basically unusable right now. 

Userlevel 2

Huge issue and given that it was introduced by a software upgrade it is shameful that sonos is not taking responsibility and working diligently to resolve it.  Definitely will be recommending that friends and family avoid purchasing sonos if this is the type of support we can expect.…


Userlevel 2
Badge +2

Very disappointed to see that this still hasn’t been resolved - I’ve just set up the pair of Sonos One’s as rear surrounds on my Playbar and found the voice on Alexa to be very quiet when compared to the TV :(

Userlevel 2

Very disappointed to see that this still hasn’t been resolved - I’ve just set up the pair of Sonos One’s as rear surrounds on my Playbar and found the voice on Alexa to be very quiet when compared to the TV :(

100% spot on….it has to be a relatively easy software fix. Im very disappointed.

Absolutely unacceptable! I’m selling all of my 8 speakers.

I have resorted to keeping my Echos and set them for Sonos as speaker output (instead of itself) and then disable Alexa on the Sonos speakers.  The only real fix until they decide to may attention to this serious flaw that renders Alexa integration useless.  I use several Echo 4th gen - glad I didn’t throw them out when I upgraded to Sonos.  

Userlevel 2

Are you kidding me? Marking a “best answer” from 3 months ago?

OK, so a few things here.


First of all, let me begin by saying I’m not Sonos staff… Let me get that extremely clear right from the bat get go, so please don’t put the blaim of this problem directly on me.


I simply would like everyone however though extremely unacceptable and terrible as this is, to just calm down for a minute, and hear me out on this. Just humor me here. I’m not gonna say you all are wrong, Sonos is right, I promise, so please just listen to what I’ve gotta say.


I read literally through all the responses on this thread, as I’m having just the oppisit issue. My problem with both a Beam, and also with a Roam is that Alexa’s volume is way way way too loud in perportion to the other audio volume such as Apple music etc.


First off, am I understanding all of you correctly that this is only happening when connected to a TV audio source either via HDMI arc or via optycal?


Here are some things which would be helpful rather than just saying damn it Sonos, fix it! First, what version of HDMI are you using? Like, version 2? version 3? etc. Also, are you using a cable that supports that version of HDMI? I know you’d not think the cable would matter. Neither did I at first, so fair assumption, but actually, yeah, it does, believe it or not.


Also, is this happening for anyone of you with things aside from TV audio output regardless the method of connectivity?


Also, I assume you all have power cycled the speakers. I know, that’s not going to probably solve it, as clearly, this is not isolated to just a few people. I get it, but seriously, you’d be amazed at how many times just something that simple will fix things. Sounds crazy, I know, but trust me, you’d be surprised… really you would!


Now as for the two voice assistants, keep in mind, if I can be so blunt to say this, with all due respect to all of you, actually, no. It’s not as easy to fix as you all make it sound. Here’s the thing, and I think one of you said you were a coder, so you should know this if that truly authenbticly is the case…


Amazon through their S3 AAS cloud services offers all these companies who integrate Alexa into their devices what is known as an SDK. In other words, a “software developer’s kit.” Essentially, within that kit, you have various different API’s. For the less tech savvy, all an API is is a go between, if you will, that allows a product to call back to and communicate/talk to the Amazon servers to send and receive things from Alexa. So, let’s say you was to say, What is the weather for Chicago IL? Using the API specific to weather queries, Sonos, in this case, goes out through means of that API, contacts Amazon’s servers, says, hey, Joe Blow wants to get the weather for X location. Where X is whatever, fill in the blank as you see fit.


So, there are other API’s as well, like for instance volume. So, when you say, set the volume to 4, we’ll just say, an API call request is made, the Server is contacted, then an API string, or key, rather, is then incrypted and sent back to be decoded/descrambled by Sonos. Sonos then says, ok, command received, command initiated. Then an API response is made. This could be in the form of Alexa verbally responding, or maybe just her/him reacting to your command. I say him, as you may have it set to Ziggy instead of Alexa. The point is, a response in one form or another is made.


Now, take Amazon, and let’s take Sonos completely out of the picture entirely. They also have their own API’s that they internally use, which aren’t released to the public. They’re most likely if I had to guess things that allow the A.I part of the assistant to work.


So here’s the problem with this whole volume issue that Sonos probably is up against. It’s a bit difficult to totally trouble shoot this, as we don’t really totally know where the problem is breaking exactly. I mean we know the end result, true. But what we don’t know is is it breaking before it hits the Amazon server, is it happening between receiving the command, then sending back the response to Amazon, or to Sonos, is it coding in the action itself response result that’s botched up, or is it indeed within the Sonos firmware.


I truly agree with all of you all. It’s probably in the Sonos firmware, but, let’s be really fair. Even for Sonos engineers, this would be like tracking down a needle in a haystack. I didn’t by any means say it’s impossible… let me be very clear… and further, almost a year out still having no sollution is, I agree, totally unacceptable in most cases.


Realize though the tree you’re barking up against. If we could pinpoint down exactly where down the chain of things the problem starts to break, then you’re right… it would be super super easy then to fix.


The issue isn’t that it’s not easy to fix. The issue is more finding exactly where things start to break, and then once we know that, then figuring out exactly why. I mean, it coudl be a number of things. It might even be something as easy as a setting which you’d never in your rightest mind think would effect this nor be even remotely rellavent, but it wind up being the nail dead on the head that fixes it.


It’s really just tricky to say.


I hope this is taken the way it’s meant. Again, I’m no staff member, though I’d love to be, LOL! But I just want you all to maybe look at this a bit from another angle. K?