Answered

Amazon Echo / Dot and Sonos Integration

  • 14 September 2016
  • 190 replies
  • 110832 views

Badge +2
So with Sonos integrating Amazon Echo within their eco system a couple of questions:

- If I install an Amazon Echo Dot in each room that I have Sonos speakers in will I be able to assign that particular dot to that rooms speakers? For example, I don't want to ask Alexa a question and then have all of the households Sonos speakers respond.

- I assume using the Dots that as well as having full control of Sonos Music system I will also have full use of the usual Amazon Echo services i.e. Alexa, what's the weather forecast, and it will use that particular rooms Sonos speakers to respond?

The potential is quite compelling if it's implemented well but good to get some clarification.
icon

Best answer by Ryan S 4 October 2017, 17:59

We can mark this request/question as answered now! Alexa integration is now live with our beta skill for Amazon Alexa. Check out the announcement here. Also, there's some info on the Sonos One here.
View original

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.

190 replies

At this time, it is not possible to assign a Dot to certain rooms or functions. I have a Dot upstairs and an Echo downstairs. I can't assign the Dot to turn on the bedroom tv by just saying "Turn on tv". I have to make a Harmony skill called Bedroom TV and say "Alexa, turn on bedroom tv." Same with the lights.

Whether this will change in the future? Who knows ( and I imagine Sonos to be its usual tight lipped selves). Though with Amazon now selling 6 packs of Dots, it's obvious they want one in every room, so individual function assignments would be a natural progression.
Badge +2
At this time, it is not possible to assign a Dot to certain rooms or functions. I have a Dot upstairs and an Echo downstairs. I can't assign the Dot to turn on the bedroom tv by just saying "Turn on tv". I have to make a Harmony skill called Bedroom TV and say "Alexa, turn on bedroom tv." Same with the lights.

Whether this will change in the future? Who knows ( and I imagine Sonos to be its usual tight lipped selves). Though with Amazon now selling 6 packs of Dots, it's obvious they want one in every room, so individual function assignments would be a natural progression.


Surely though it would be madness to have all speakers answer a question asked in one specific room. For example, if you had eight rooms with Sonos speakers yet I was in the kitchen and asked Alexis what the weather forecast was the rest of the household may not appreciate being rudely disturbed by all the other rooms Sonos speakers responding to that question - I just want the kitchen Sonos speakers to respond? Maybe I have the wrong end of the stick here?
I have no idea what the Sonos integration will be. I've only described what it does now. We should probably hold off until the beta is launched before we start coming up with nightmare scenarios, eh?
@jgatie i think youre confused. the dots are all individually assigned and always have been. if anything you cant CONNECT echos. if you ask the echo upstairs a question, only the one upstairs will reply. you have to make the harmony skill regardless of how many echos you had. i have multiple dots connected to multiple speakers in each room and theyre all independent of each other. i CANT daisy chain them like the sonos. i think what spcdust is trying to ask is if sonos will be working the software on their end so the entire system isnt connected by default and the speakers themselves can be individually assigned, as if they were bluetooth, for example, without having to go into the app manually every time. not the dots. the dots are all independent of each other. always have been.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
@jgatie i think youre confused. the dots are all individually assigned and always have been. if anything you cant CONNECT echos. if you ask the echo upstairs a question, only the one upstairs will reply. you have to make the harmony skill regardless of how many echos you had. i have multiple dots connected to multiple speakers in each room and theyre all independent of each other. i CANT daisy chain them like the sonos. i think what spcdust is trying to ask is if sonos will be working the software on their end so the entire system isnt connected by default and the speakers themselves can be individually assigned, as if they were bluetooth, for example, without having to go into the app manually every time. not the dots. the dots are all independent of each other. always have been.

Yeah, and what jgatie is saying is we'll know when we know

Are we there yet

Are we there yet

Are we there yet
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Let me give this thow at it.

If you ask an Amazon Dot a question it will respond using its own internal speaker. If you want a Sonos speaker to answer the question instead you have to hard wire the dot to a play:5 (or whatever else) and set to autoplay to the speaker you want.

I do not believe Sonos integration will add onto those facts above. Future Sonos integration I believe will focus on utilizing Echo to control sonos units. I do not believe future integration will push the Amazon Dot voice to the Sonos speakers wirelessly.

What you should be able to do on any dot in your home is once integration is in place I would hope we get something like - Alexa tell Sonos to play Playlist 1 on Bedroom. Alexa tell Sonos to pause Bedrrom. Alexa tell Sonos to play bedroom.

The big question mark is how do you search songs etc. and will you have full access to searching sonos partner music. Like Alexa tell Sonos bedroom to search for artist, song on Apple Music. Gets complicated we'll have to wait and see.

In short Dots respond independently and via their own internal speaker (and output) but have ability to control other devices across home via skills and home or automation plugins. Sonos integration should be a skill that controls sonos itself - not a replacement for internal Dot speaker.
Badge +2
@jgatie i think youre confused. the dots are all individually assigned and always have been. if anything you cant CONNECT echos. if you ask the echo upstairs a question, only the one upstairs will reply. you have to make the harmony skill regardless of how many echos you had. i have multiple dots connected to multiple speakers in each room and theyre all independent of each other. i CANT daisy chain them like the sonos. i think what spcdust is trying to ask is if sonos will be working the software on their end so the entire system isnt connected by default and the speakers themselves can be individually assigned, as if they were bluetooth, for example, without having to go into the app manually every time. not the dots. the dots are all independent of each other. always have been.

Thanks, you understand the point I am speculating about.

Obviously the Dot is assigned to a specific speaker/s as it is Bluetooth Paired to a 3rd Party speaker OR a direct jack to a 3rd Party speaker. Obviously the Sonos eco system has no Bluetooth and many of the speakers have no jack so I would assume that the Sonos Application could use a speakers specific MAC address "paired" with the Dots MAC address? If however the Echo / Alexa integration is limited solely to controlling Sonos then that's really not that exciting - much better that it's fully integrated so the Sonos speakers act as the voice of Alexa.

Nothing wrong with talking about these things - kind of the point of a discussion forum.
Userlevel 7
Badge +17


Thanks, you understand the point I am speculating about.

Obviously the Dot is assigned to a specific speaker/s as it is Bluetooth Paired to a 3rd Party speaker OR a direct jack to a 3rd Party speaker. Obviously the Sonos eco system has no Bluetooth and many of the speakers have no jack so I would assume that the Sonos Application would use a speakers specific MAC address "paired" with the Dots MAC address? If however the Echo / Alexa integration is limited only to controlling Sonos then that's really not that exciting - much better that it's fully integrated so the Sonos speakers act as the voice of Alexa.

Nothing wrong with talking about these things - kind of the point of a discussion forum.


I was kinda hoping the same. Ive preordered (UK release) an Echo and a Dot and was hoping I could sit the Dot next to my Play 3 in my bedroom and the Play 3 would just work as if it were wired to the dot and not use its (crappy) internal speaker at all.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I don't particularly see the Sonos unit needing to be the "Voice of Alexa". I had my dot hooked to my play:5 as the voice and really found no use for it being the voice of Alexa. The only real reason I had it hooked was so I could use voice control to play music - which I found very limited because I do not have Spotify and Amazon music library is not very vast. So I ended up removing it from my play:5 and let the dot just speak from its own speaker. Once Sonos adds the ability to control music via Sonos then that will cover my desire to be able to ask for music and have it play.

Note: Not only did the play:5 being hooked to the dot not do me a lot of good. The play:5 would take about a second or two to come out of standby and I would miss the first word or 2 Alexa would respond with.
Badge +2


Thanks, you understand the point I am speculating about.

Obviously the Dot is assigned to a specific speaker/s as it is Bluetooth Paired to a 3rd Party speaker OR a direct jack to a 3rd Party speaker. Obviously the Sonos eco system has no Bluetooth and many of the speakers have no jack so I would assume that the Sonos Application would use a speakers specific MAC address "paired" with the Dots MAC address? If however the Echo / Alexa integration is limited only to controlling Sonos then that's really not that exciting - much better that it's fully integrated so the Sonos speakers act as the voice of Alexa.

Nothing wrong with talking about these things - kind of the point of a discussion forum.


I was kinda hoping the same. Ive preordered (UK release) an Echo and a Dot and was hoping I could sit the Dot next to my Play 3 in my bedroom and the Play 3 would just work as if it were wired to the dot and not use its (crappy) internal speaker at all.


That's the sort of integration I'm hoping for, basically placing Dots in rooms with Sonos Speakers, Pairing each Dot up with that rooms speakers and away you go. Now that makes it a compelling proposition and, on the face of it, cannot see technically why that couldn't be achieved as each device has a unique MAC address.
@jgatie i think youre confused. the dots are all individually assigned and always have been. if anything you cant CONNECT echos. if you ask the echo upstairs a question, only the one upstairs will reply. you have to make the harmony skill regardless of how many echos you had. i have multiple dots connected to multiple speakers in each room and theyre all independent of each other. i CANT daisy chain them like the sonos. i think what spcdust is trying to ask is if sonos will be working the software on their end so the entire system isnt connected by default and the speakers themselves can be individually assigned, as if they were bluetooth, for example, without having to go into the app manually every time. not the dots. the dots are all independent of each other. always have been.

You are completely missing the point. The OP wants to say "Alexa, play the Beatles" to his bedroom Alexa and Alexa will know it's in the bedroom and play only to the bedroom. Right now, I can't say "Turn out the lights" in the bedroom and only have the bedroom lights go out. I have to make a group called Bedroom Lights" and say "Alexa, turn off bedroom lights".

None of this has to do with linking the Echos together to play the same music.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I think with Sonos your going to have to say alexa play the beetles in bedroom. What really needs to happen with the alexa integration is the long asked for supergroups. So you can say alexa play the beetles downstairs and it auto group all the downstairs speakers. That is going to be key to successful implementation I think.
no, youre missing the point. if you have a dot connected to a speaker in a room at the moment, right now, right this instant, wether bluetooth or input, all OP has to say IS "alexa play the Beatles" to his bedroom alexa and have it only play in his bedroom. it's not going to play anywhere else BUT his bedroom. given that sonos doesnt do bluetooth and only the play 5 has input, op wants to know if sonos will work on a solution for pairing speakers to echos instead of the main system "hub".
Reading back, I agree with Chris. I don't see Sonos developing voice control to be nothing more than a wireless audio link between an Echo Dot and a single Sonos speaker. I think voice control will be just that, full voice control. So I can be in the bedroom and tell Sonos to turn on music in the kitchen, or turn it off in the bathroom, or group two rooms. Just like I can with my lights, my tv, etc. I think it would be a waste of Sonos' capabilities to just have the Sonos speaker be a higher quality output for a single Echo Dot.
no, youre missing the point. if you have a dot connected to a speaker in a room at the moment, right now, right this instant, wether bluetooth or input, all OP has to say IS "alexa play the Beatles" to his bedroom alexa and have it only play in his bedroom. it's not going to play anywhere else BUT his bedroom. given that sonos doesnt do bluetooth and only the play 5 has input, op wants to know if sonos will work on a solution for pairing speakers to echos instead of the main system "hub".

As I posted above, I think this would be selling it short. Why would one buy Sonos for this when you could just get a quality Bluetooth speaker?
Jgatie i agree. like i said, thats the set up i have at the moment. but that's what OP was asking and thats what i was trying to clarify for you guys. i have given no opinion on the matter. wether sonos will or wont offer to individually pair speakers "bluetooth style" i dont know. only they know. but that was his question. it had nothing to do with the echos themselves. echos are already independent by default. youre comparing lights that require a central hub to control to smart speakers that are capable of running independently.
however, some of us owned sonos BEFORE echo dots. not "why woukd one buy sonos for this". could be OPs situation and he's just maybe trying to figure out if he's going to be able to make it work or maybe dump his sonos for something else like the denon heos that DO have bluetooth and line in.
Right. I was not imagining the "pair one Sonos to one Dot" scenario when I made my explanation. I had never considered it, so I immediately went to the control hub scenario (which I still prefer). If I wanted a Bluetooth speaker, I'd buy one. OMMV
Badge +2
The point I was enquiring on is how far the integration will go - Echo only having the capability to control Sonos is rather a dull proposition. If you already have Sonos speakers in rooms then so much better to have them also act as the voice of Alexa - I don't want to populate rooms with additional speakers / Echo units just so I can hear Alexa's voice. Instead link a specific Dot with a specific rooms Speakers so you get the full Echo / Alexa experience enabling the individual user to ask Alexa questions such as "tell me the traffic", "What's the weather" and then taking advantage of their already installed superior Sonos speakers in that particular room.

Like I said, surely under the hood, they could achieve this by using each devices MAC addresses.
well i actually have both. ive the connect amp in my kitchen and play 5 in my room. each connected to an echo dot. i only listen to pandora, pretty much these days so i dont need more. daughters have an echo in their own rooms. when im in the kitchen ill talk to alexa and get my music going. same in my room. when i want to throw it to both I'll just go through the app. best of both worlds as far as im concerned. basically just added voice to my sonos when i bought the dots. but like i, and OP, said before, this set up only works if you have the play 5. anything less and, for the time being at least, youre out of the loop.
Badge +2
How do we get to be part of the SONOS + Alexa BETA? I am a UK customer and have just pre-ordered both an Echo and a DOT and have a full SONOS 5.1 setup. I have taken part in both public and closed BETA's previously.
Badge +2
I've pre-ordered myself an Echo Spot (2nd Gen), I don't really need the capability of the full Echo speaker as have Sonos speakers, which will be superior in audio quality, for the playback of music. The way I'd love for it to work is that when Sonos implement their integration they look beyond just using Echo as a control device and actually allow the Echo to use their speakers for the voice of Alexa - to me that would be kind of cool. If that were the case then I'd just buy Echo Spots for all the rooms that have Sonos Speakers in - however high chance that's a wish to far so will settle on using the Spot to control Sonos and just have the Spots lesser speaker act as Alexa's voice.

Would also be curious about any Beta Sonos do in testing the Echo / Sonos integration.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I imagine the Beta process will be the same as usual.

If you've been involved in the Private Beta's in the past you know the score
Userlevel 1
The Sonos video demonstrate how this will work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFJ7O7N5Yok

At the one minute mark, the home shows two zones: a Play1 in the kitchen (next to a Dot) and a Playbar in the living room. A guy says "Alexa play new music", and music starts to play in the kitchen. He doesn't name a zone, he just tell it to play music and the system knows to play on the Play 1. Then he says "Alexa play in the living room", and the music switches to the living room zone.

So, his kitchen Play1 must be the default zone connected to his Dot, but you can move the music to other zones via voice command.

The video gives hints as to whether Sonos replaces the Dot's speaker.
1. Whenever the Dot "talks", a Sonos speaker is also in the frame
2. The Dot's sound quality is quite good, indicating it's coming from Sonos not the tiny speaker in the Dot.
3. Music pauses when Alexa speaks the name of the song, and resumes again once Alexa stops speaking . If the Dot was merely a Sonos controller and used it's own speaker for Alexa's voice, it would talk at the same time music played from the Sonos.

Based on all this I conclude that you will be able to designate a default zone for each Echo, and that zone will always act as Echo's voice. It would not surprise me if there were also an option on the Echo app that let you choose whether to use the Echo or Sonos as Alexa's voice.
Badge +2
Nicely observed Ed Edwards - especially the part about the music pausing. Hopeful that this will indeed be how they implement it.