Alexa volume issue since 12.1

  • 1 October 2020
  • 70 replies

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

Well I have an interesting update. I am not sure but the I may have accidentally fixed my Sonos Beam Alexa volume issue. 

I am not sure what exactly fixed the issue but I had made quite a few changes. I started with enabling Trueplay in the Sonos app. Then set the treble/base/midrange volume to maximum values in the Alexa App → devices → [sonos speaker], then changed it back. I also enabled the loudness radio button in the EQ setting in Sonos App. Then I had also changed the speaker in the Alexa App for the Sonos speaker from Built-in to itself, basically the name that Alexa thinks it has. And then changed it back. 

I don’t know how to validate my changes as I think my Sonos Beam is working fine currently. Both my TV volume and Alexa volume seem to be in the same range. 

also, forgot to mention that my TV is really old so I have used the included Fiber Optic output sound to HDMI adapter. 


Hoping this will help someone else or invalidated. 

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70 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.

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.

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

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’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 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.

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.

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

Userlevel 1

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

Beam and surround play one speakers. 
Alexa worked perfectly when first got them. 
now Alexa is unusable if I have a TV on or listening to music. 
Have waited patiently for Sonia to fix this issue. As it is a Sonos issue and not and Alexa problem. The fact they generally won’t even acknowledge it is enough to make me look at alternative options for when I move to a new place. 
Alexa is fine when everything else is off and volume can be adjusted so it operates at a suitable noise level. 
Trueplay does not fix the issue. All other suggestions- disabling and reenabling etc make no difference. 
Certainly prevented me purchasing an ARC !! 

Sort it out Sonos!! 

I am using two Ones and Move. I prefer listening on low volumes and this issue is very annoying. Please add separate Alexa volume slider in the Sonos app.

Userlevel 1

Hi everyone,

Thanks for reaching out and letting us know about what’s happening.

It would be best to reach out to Sonos Support, as we can take a closer look and discuss it with all of you individually in           

real-time. I suggest our phone team, for they have more resources and tools available for advanced troubleshooting.


Please let et us know how it goes and if you have any questions feel free to reach out, we’re always here to help.

Hi everyone,

Thanks for reaching out and letting us know about what’s happening.

It would be best to reach out to Sonos Support, as we can take a closer look and discuss it with all of you individually in           

real-time. I suggest our phone team, for they have more resources and tools available for advanced troubleshooting.


Please let et us know how it goes and if you have any questions feel free to reach out, we’re always here to help.

Please fix the issue

I’ll also report that Alexa’s audio is way too low when using my Sonos Beam. The Beam is connected via HDMI to my television and if I raise the volume to hear Alexa’s replies, the TV volume becomes unbearably loud.

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!

Adding myself to the list. Same issues with a Sonos One.  It is VERY frustrating as our entire house runs on Alexa routines and integrated apps with about 75 devices  and it functions smoothly without any issues, EXCEPT for the soft volume problem discussed.  So needless to say it sticks out like a sore thumb, and is a thorn in my side.  It is also VERY disappointing to read through all these members similar issues and to not have a quick direct action response from customer service.  Other services integrated with Amazon’s Alexa in the past had worked quickly to resolve problems or issues, and I’m not sure why Sonos appears to be dragging their feet. I don’t suspect this is a small issue effecting a limited number of users posting on this string, but indeed is most likely just the tip of the iceberg.  One of the members earlier said it best, Sonos has been the premier in wireless home speaker systems, but multiple other companies are making for serious competition. If Sonos wants to be on top, they have to stay on top off members issues and problems. 

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.


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!

Same here .. surprised Sonos has not addressed issue. Alexa is basically useless, debating now on returning for a Bose or Samsung instead. Disappointing.

Userlevel 1

Issue is still present after Update 12.2 :pensive:

I have the same issue, I tend to listen to music very low around my apartment so it doesn’t bother my neighbors and now I can no longer reasonably hear Alexa’s responses. Makes the use of my 8 Sonos speakers not worth it! The volume issue needs to be fixed and better yet an independent control for Alexa volume vs. music volume is critical. I want music to be low so people can talk comfortably, but Alexa to be loud enough to hear from 5-10 feet away. This is not currently possible and makes my huge investment into Sonos pretty worthless. Not to mention that amount of Spotify syncing issues they’ve had for years and never been resolved. If this isn’t fixed before HomePods play Spotify through voice commands, I’m going to sell my Sonos and move over to Apple’s speaker ecosystem. I already have one HomePod mini to get a feel for using it and the microphones on it are much better than the Sonos One for across the room requests, and the voice vs. music volume isn’t an issue. 

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.…


An update should be done, this is unacceptable. We should be able to set alexa volume independently. Also verry disappointed with the volume...

This is still happening to me on this end. with a sonos beam on 2 different set ups so the issue is not “a few users” if anyone has a fix to this please let me know! very annoying.