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

  • 5 October 2017
  • 72 replies
  • 15227 views


Show first post
This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

72 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Perhaps Community Manager @Ryan S could amend the 'Best Answer' to include Stephen G's workaround although if @Tangochile is correct and Alexa keeps adding it back then maybe the best thing is to remove the long awaited and keenly anticipated Sonos Skill until it better integrates. :(

The Alexa app recently updated some of the control features for smart home devices and they added an automatic device discovery. I believe every 2 hours, your Alexa devices automatically check for new devices. Which means if you forget the player with the line-in, it'll get re-discovered regularly.

Ducking is being worked on though, so we'll see how this changes in the future.
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
The Alexa app recently updated some of the control features for smart home devices and they added an automatic device discovery. I believe every 2 hours, your Alexa devices automatically check for new devices. Which means if you forget the player with the line-in, it'll get re-discovered regularly.Thanks, that fits with what was happening to my system so I have now disabled the Sonos skill.
Thank you so much! That was driving me nuts!!!
Same problem here. Ok, here is an additional problem. I bought the Sonos One. I used to be very - very happy with my Echo Dot and my Play5. I was about to buy another Echo dot for my other Play5 but I saw the new Sonos One coming and I decided to pre-ordered. I have it...I paid $200 for this speaker and I can't use Spotify and there is a a lot of limitations (not able to near news or sport reports...etc). So, after experiencing the "ducking" problem on the previous setup, now to go back to normal I am learning that I have to disable Sonos skill in Alexa so the Sonos One will work like a regular speaker. Can someone at Sonos explain me why I shouldn't return Sonos One and buy another Echo Dot (I have an extra Play5)?.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
@marcoecheverria, that'll kind of come down to how you want to be using your Sonos with Alexa. With the Sonos skill, you can use voice and the controller app together seamlessly, something that's hard to do with the line-in route. You can't mix groups of Echo speakers and Sonos speakers, so the Sonos One can't group with the Dot, but you can group the PLAY:5 and your Sonos One. However, you could have a group of Sonos players all playing the line-in, you just don't have much control through the Sonos app of what's on.

Ducking is something that's being worked on, so I'd expect to see some changes there which might really improve your experience with the line-in Dot connection. I can't say exactly what that will look like, since it's still in the works, so that's a bit of a grey area. If you want to get all of the audio from your Dot to play on your PLAY:5s, including Alexa's responses, you'll probably want to be disable ducking entirely on the PLAY:5, and I'm not sure if that'll be an option, though we've definitely had the request passed over to the team.

The Sonos One won't duck any of your other players when it's responding, it only ducks the room it's in.

Spotify with voice and the news briefings are also coming too. One great thing with the Alexa integration is it can keep on getting better over time, and we're hard at work on several features with the Amazon teams.

My advice, would be play around with both and see what you're really looking to get out of the integration. What features do you like the most, what are you looking to have access to, and through.
I find the biggest difference between the line-in and the Alexa skill is there is absolutely no track/artist/album/station/etc. metadata displayed with the line-in. It even drives my slightly batty that the track info is missing when playing SiriusXM via Alexa (Hint, Hint! Nudge, Nudge! Sonos team.) So the line-in approach is a deal breaker for me, but maybe not for others.
Thanks Ryan for taking the time to reply my post. Sonos One without Spotify and CNN report news is not what I really need (but I need to be fair saying that I kinda knew about Spotify but now that I have it I am finding that I need Spotify more than what I thought). For now, I will continue testing the Sonos One with just the integration with Alexa and Smartthings to control devices. This seems to work pretty well and the sound is great but w/o Spotify (I am paying the service and several accounts for my family) I need to use the free option from Amazon Music. I will wait some weeks but if I don't see progress on the integration I will return the Sonos One and wait until you fix all the problems.
Hello all. I am having the ducking issue as well, but have a question to clarify. I have 4 echo dots in the house and just added a Playbase, sub and 2 Sonos Ones in a home theater config. Nothing is connected to any of the Dots. When I was just listening to music on the Sonos home theater setup, and my daughter spoke to her Dot upstairs, I got ducking on my home theater setup. So, in one of the earlier posts, I think it was said that Sonos Ones will only duck in the room they are in, but mine ducked with the Playbase and sub. If I disable to Alexa skill for Sonos, does that also disable Alexa on the Sonos Ones, or does the skill only “enable” normal Sonos speakers and Sonos Ones have Alexa built in? If that is the case, if I disable the Sonos skill in the Alexa app, and then still talk to the Sonos Ones, will I be able to control other hom e automation devices using the Sonos Ones like an expensive Echo? Would I be able to turn volume up and down on the Sonos Ones with voice (and therefore also control volume on the home theater config since they are all paired together). That would help me immensely while the larger ducking issue is being worked on. I’d hate to disable the Sonos skill in Alexa and thereby render the new Sonos Ones as just normal Sonos Play1’s. Thanks!
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
sjsvitenko, there are a couple things I'd like to pin down here. First off, the Sonos One is in the same room as the PLAYBAR and SUB if they're all bonded together as a surround sound setup, so if you're in that room and you say "Alexa" it should all duck down with the current design.

Secondly, when the Dot upstairs hears Alexa, the PLAYBAR will duck (and so will the other players bonded in that room), because the PLAYBAR doesn't know that it has a Sonos One in the room.

One big however though, if you're playing the TV audio on the PLAYBAR, it shouldn't duck at all. If it's playing music or any other source, it would.

Finally, in answer to your question, if you turn off the Alexa Skill for Sonos, the Sonos One will still be able to use skills and basic features, but not control what's playing on Sonos devices. It'd be one of those things where we don't recommend it, and it may have some funny quarks since it's not an intended use. But you're welcome to give it a shot and see what you think.
Thanks Ryan—I appreciate the reply! You are correct on the One’s being bound to the Playbase and Sub all in the same room. I have no issues with all Sonos in the same room ducking—that would be the right behavior. It is the ducking in a downstairs room when anyone talks to Alex upstairs that really needs to change. I know it’s being worked on, so I’ll let that work itself out and stay tuned here for developments. For the last part, using the Sonos Ones without the Alexa is certainly not what I want long term either, but if the Sonos Ones can essentially replace my Echo downstairs for a while, while ducking gets sorted out, I’m okay waiting a bit for that. Thanks again!
Ryan S - To confirm I have a Sonos One (love it so far) and echo dots some with line in. If I disable the alexa skill my line in will work (and no ducking problem) and I can still use Alexa with the Sonos One? With the skill disabled how does the One know its my Alexa account?

I like having the Dot on my Play 5 as I have a big room the One won't cut it but I want the flash briefings etc to come out the Play 5. In another room I have the One.

The ducking thing is driving the family mad as we use Alexa a lot and also have Sonos in most rooms.

Will play around today.


sjsvitenko, there are a couple things I'd like to pin down here. First off, the Sonos One is in the same room as the PLAYBAR and SUB if they're all bonded together as a surround sound setup, so if you're in that room and you say "Alexa" it should all duck down with the current design.

Secondly, when the Dot upstairs hears Alexa, the PLAYBAR will duck (and so will the other players bonded in that room), because the PLAYBAR doesn't know that it has a Sonos One in the room.

One big however though, if you're playing the TV audio on the PLAYBAR, it shouldn't duck at all. If it's playing music or any other source, it would.

Finally, in answer to your question, if you turn off the Alexa Skill for Sonos, the Sonos One will still be able to use skills and basic features, but not control what's playing on Sonos devices. It'd be one of those things where we don't recommend it, and it may have some funny quarks since it's not an intended use. But you're welcome to give it a shot and see what you think.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Ryan S - To confirm I have a Sonos One (love it so far) and echo dots some with line in. If I disable the alexa skill my line in will work (and no ducking problem) and I can still use Alexa with the Sonos One? With the skill disabled how does the One know its my Alexa account?
With the skill disabled, the Sonos One still knows that it's an Alexa device, and therefore should be able to keep on playing music to itself and perform basic functions. I will say that this isn't an intended use so there could be issues performance wise. It may work great for you, but I can't promise that.
So I have my Dots set up with no physical connection to the Sonos. The Sonos skills are active. When anyone talks to the Dot, any Sonos playing will duck.
The ability to turn this off would be appreciated.
To resolve it for now, I’ve had to turn off the skill. Alexa still knows that the Sonos devices are there, but won’t communicate with them.
I just enabled this new skill today and am generally very pleased with the features. The ducking issue is a disappointment. I suggest giving users the ability to disable ducking. My Dots don't really have much trouble hearing me with the music up anyway. I'd be very happy with the ducking feature disabled as a user choice, or just gone if making it optional isn't as easy as I assume it is.

I'd agree -ducking as a user option would be the best thing. I can see why it's implemented, and it's a good feature, but not everyone wants that behaviour - I don't.
It drives me nuts that Sonos engineers refer to the audio jack on the Amazon Echo as a "Line In". It is no such thing. It is a audio line OUT - meaning the Echo is the source of audio and instead of audio playing through it's built-in speaker, it goes OUT to whatever speaker is attached to the LINE OUT!

Could you point to an instance of this? I've only seen the line-in on the Sonos device referred to as a line-in, because that is what it is. Being Sonos representatives, they are Sonos centric, and therefore refer to the method of connecting the line-out on a Dot to the line-in on a Sonos device as "the line-in method".
Badge
Likewise. I have the exact same problem on both my CONNECT:AMPs. Is there a fix for this?
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Likewise. I have the exact same problem on both my CONNECT:AMPs. Is there a fix for this?
There isn't really a fix since it's really performing as intended at the moment. The CONNECT:AMP is supposed to drop its volume and you talk to Alexa so that the microphones can hear you, and you can hear Alexa's reply.

The best workaround would be either to disconnect the line-out on the Dot to your CONNECT:AMP's line-in. Otherwise, you could disable the Alexa skill for Sonos and the ducking would be disabled. However, you wouldn't be able to control Sonos using Alexa anymore.

We're still doing some work on this feature based on feedback, so there will be some changes coming in the future.
I am having the same problem. I tried disabeling the play 5 speaker from my smart home in the alexa app to see if it would prevent the ducking the ducking. But it didnt... has this been resolved??? It is annoying and limits the isability of your echo dot
Just disabled the skill, since it makes the dot hooked to a Sonos unusable... it was also driving me nuts with the music playing on other sonos randomly going quiet for seemingly no reason. Very disappointed with the way this works.
thanks for the work around was driving me nuts when I first tried to hook my dot to my Sonos quick google search found this.
Like others disappointed with the Sonos skill but hard wired and disabled skill does what I want
Adding my vote to allow end users to toggle ducking on/off with the Alexa Sonos Skill. Bought echo dots for the house and enabled the Sonos skill. Every few minutes, Sonos would 'duck' when one of my kids would ask Alexa something in another part of the house. We disabled it and went back to our mobile app to control Sonos. Hopefully this gets resolved soon.
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.

This is by far the best solution for my purposes. I don’t want to disable Alexa skill as that means we can’t use voice capability on Sonos One in another room. No more ducking now. Thanks, Stephen!