Answered

Amazon Dot and Play 5 line in going quiet when replying from Alexa


Badge
I have an Amazon Dot connected to my play5 using the line in option.

Until today Alexa speech volume and the music volume were fine. I have now updated my speakers, but now I can hardly hear Alexa speaking. (Weather reports etc)

If I ask her to play music the volume is fine. I have set the line in volume to 10 for the speaker in the options, but this makes no difference. Anyone else having this issue.?

Thanks
Marc
icon

Best answer by Ryan S 5 October 2017, 19:33

Hi guys, I can speak to what you're experiencing. It's part of a feature that's called "ducking". What this means is that when you say Alexa, the audio playing on all Sonos and Alexa devices "ducks" down, or lowers, so that the microphones can properly hear you. If you have the Alexa skill enabled for Sonos, the players will all do this when you issue a command.

The problem you're running into is that the line-in on the player is ducking too. So Alexa is responding appropriately, out to the line-in, to a player that has the audio "ducked", so you can barely hear it.

This is an interesting situation since everything is technically working exactly as it's supposed to.

There isn't a way to prevent the "ducking" at the moment, but we've heard this from others and I'm making sure to spread the feedback on to the team for you.

For now, there are 2 ways to go:
1. Disable the Alexa skill for Sonos, your player will be working the way it was before the update.
2. Disconnect the line in from the Dot, and you'll have the responses for your Alexa commands playing out of the Dot itself, and not over the line in.

View original

64 replies

I have the same issue and have submitted a query and am awaiting a response
Userlevel 1
Yes, same here. I have Dot hooked up via line-in to Sonos Connect. I thought playing music sets the the Connect to receive stream from Sonos and away from line in: audio component - but when I ask it a question, it returns to audio component but still no sound. So a bit more complicated...
I have exactly the same issue and pretty much rendered my Echo dot useless as I simply can't hear it anymore. I can't understand why this even changed with the latest Sonos update. I really have an issue if this isn't fixed soon especially as there is no way to downgrade Sonos to the previous version from what I understand.

I have been looking at hooking a pre-amp between the Echo dot line out and the Sonos Connect but I'm not sure if this would solve the issue...
Same problem here
Can someone from the Sonos support please confirm that this is a recognised issue that is being worked on? Thanks!
I had same issue and I removed the Play 5 from the list of Alexa SMART HOME devices (found in the Alexa app). This restored the Alexa voice to its normal volume. Obviously, it means that I can't ask Alexa to play music in the Kitchen (the Sonos name for the room where the Play 5 is located) but Alexa accepts requests to play music in the other Sonos rooms. It is still possible to ask Alexa to play music etc on the Echo Dot which is connected to the Play 5 speaker as I could before this latest update from Sonos/Amazon.
There's no need to use the analog connection anymore for Dot.
Userlevel 1
Badge
chicks wrote:

There's no need to use the analog connection anymore for Dot.


I don’t get home till tomorrow so have not tried this out but not sure this is correct. What if you want to play Audible for instance?
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
I can see where there would be confusion, technically speaking, if you had the P:5 (or whatever) setup with a Dot as a line source, and your P:5 was setup as a speaker in Alexa. It would make sense to chose one method or the other.

I suppose if you really want Alexa to speak through your P:5 and only use the music sources Amazon likes, then the direction connection is the way to go. If you only want the P:5 to play music and use the music sources Sonos likes, then use the new integration.
Badge
The Dot speaker is not very good, so having it play via the play5 is a great improvement for weather, new flashes, etc.
So just to be clear if I was to remove the line out/in connection I currently have setup with my Sonos Connect will all voice commands still be played via Sonos? I understand it's fine for playing music but what about any question I throw at Alexa? Will it then still be delivered through Sonos or the tiny internal Echo dot speakers (which is something I don't want)? As I have my Echo Dot build into the kitchen wall it's not something I can easily try out :)
Badge +1
Same problems. In fact, my volume was going up and down a lot, and seemingly randomly. My use case for the line in is that Alexa doesn’t use the Sonos as an external speaker without the line in. We play Jeopardy on the dot, for example, and I’ve enjoyed using the sonos speaker for that. After all, the dot can use external speakers and Bluetooth speakers. But this was just weird.
Badge
As Stephen G says, by removing my P5 from the Alexa skill I have regained the volume of the dot through the P5 and also regained control over my Spotify account through the Dot . I can once again play Spotify through Sonos controlled by the dot , if I could control my music collection stored on my NAS then that would be perfect !
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
Hi guys, I can speak to what you're experiencing. It's part of a feature that's called "ducking". What this means is that when you say Alexa, the audio playing on all Sonos and Alexa devices "ducks" down, or lowers, so that the microphones can properly hear you. If you have the Alexa skill enabled for Sonos, the players will all do this when you issue a command.

The problem you're running into is that the line-in on the player is ducking too. So Alexa is responding appropriately, out to the line-in, to a player that has the audio "ducked", so you can barely hear it.

This is an interesting situation since everything is technically working exactly as it's supposed to.

There isn't a way to prevent the "ducking" at the moment, but we've heard this from others and I'm making sure to spread the feedback on to the team for you.

For now, there are 2 ways to go:
1. Disable the Alexa skill for Sonos, your player will be working the way it was before the update.
2. Disconnect the line in from the Dot, and you'll have the responses for your Alexa commands playing out of the Dot itself, and not over the line in.
Hi Ryan,

many thanks for your reply. Unfortunately for now I had to disable the Sonos skill and I can confirm it is indeed working as before. I really do hope this is something the team will address though.
Badge
Ryan thank you for the explanation this seems to be something that Sonos/Amazon could ,and should have sorted out from the start? Is it unreasonable to assume that at some point the technicians must have hooked a speaker and an echo or a dot up like this and got the same results ? And yet they didn't think it a problem ?
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
I can't speak to the testing specifically, but there's definitely a lot that would have gone into the decision. For instance, if the line-in on your PLAY:5 was any other device, like a record player, you'd probably want this volume drop to happen so that the Alexa in the room can hear your command properly, and you the response.

From the PLAY:5's perspective, since it doesn't know what's connected to the line-in, something is connected to the line-in and playing.

The skill and integration is going to improve. It's still in beta right now, and we'll continue to work on it even after it's no longer in beta.
Badge
Ryan I understand that improvement will happen and skills will be refined and updated ,it just seems that a basic problem that affects users expectations of the new system has been overlooked . By reverting back to my original set up and taking out the Alexa skill, I now get a better user experience with Sonos and an Amazon dot than the new update gives me, that's hardly a step forward .
Badge
Oh wow! I just spent over 20 minutes with Sonos support (who claimed no knowledge of the problem and told me to call Amazon) and 45 minutes with Amazon support (who had me switch echo dots and audio cables and then credited me for $5 and had me buy an Amazon branded audio cable (arriving Sunday) and they will call me back on Monday to continue troubleshooting!

Both Sonos and Amazon Alexa support need to update their support staff with this info pronto.
Badge
BTW, thank you Stephen G! That's a great workaround!
Badge
Wait -- so if someone in an upstairs bedroom asks their local echo device for the time, then the sonos surround sound setup playing a movie for someone else in the living room will 'duck' for a bit?

Really?
Badge
Yep. My solution was to disconnect the hard-line between the DOT and the Play:5. Everything is working beautifully now that I have done this. I don't mind non-music requests being answered on the Echo's internal speaker, but the DOT speaker is pretty poor. I previously had switched out an original Echo with a DOT so that I could use the line-out to the Play:5. I'll probably switch that back to the standard Echo now that I don't need the line-out and because the built-in speaker is so much better.
Userlevel 1
Hmmm...well my echo dot (hard-line in to P:connect) ducked and stayed ducked, even after I rebooted it. I have now disabled Alexa skill and everything back to normal. Once Spotify is added, I'll re-enable and disconnect the dot so it can be Alexa voice. Though it would be good if all Alexa sound could go through sonos, I get that it's not that simple...

Good luck with development, Sonos, this could be great.
Userlevel 3
Badge +1
Wow! I have a Dot connected to one of my Play:5s and two dots connected to two Connects. I am not happy about them ducking.
Badge
Something else I'm noticing. My DOT sits only 2 feet away from a Play:5 because they were physically connected to each other by the audio cable. Even so the DOT didn't have too much trouble hearing me when music was playing. When I used the wake word the blue ring would light up and the music would duck.I could then make my request and Alexa wouod respond.

Now that I have removed the audio cable tethering the DOT to the Play:5 the DOT seems to have trouble hearing the wake word. It's blue ring doesn't light and the music doesn't duck. If I speak quiet loudly then some other Echo device in another room usually responds instead. I guess I'll try moving the DOT further away from the speakers tomorrow to see if that helps.

Reply

    • :D
    • :?
    • :cool:
    • :S
    • :(
    • :@
    • :$
    • :8
    • :)
    • :P
    • ;)