Another very dissapointed customer - Sonos One / Alexa integration frustrations

  • 17 December 2017
  • 13 replies
  • 1304 views

After hearing the sound quality on Sonos speakers on a friends system, i was impressed. After seeing that the Play 1 was Alexa capable, I bought a pair. Was so excited when they arrived, but quickly came down to earth when I discovered that they don’t link with Alexa in a way that allows her voice to actually play through the speaker. Whether or not this advertising is deceptive isnt even my main beef at this point... I did more reading, and after seeing that the Sonos One does allow Alexa to play through, I forked over another couple hundred and bought one of these. I was aware of the incompatibility issues regarding stereo pairing with my Play 1s, but decided I could live with that. What i cant live with is how poorly the microphone responds to Alexa voice commands. More often than not, i have to face the speaker and raise my voice even though Im only 5 feet away. Meanwhile my Echo Dot in the bedroom, and around the corner is hearing me just fine. I spent most of my day yesterday trying to tweak and find some workaround that would make this bearable, without any success. Along the way, also found out the wake word can not be changed. What is up with that? Sadly, i will be returning all three speakers on Monday. I was planning to buy a pair each for my brother and Mom for Xmas. Needless to say, i will be looking elsewhere as they are less tech savy and would be even more frustrated.

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13 replies

Sadly, i will be returning all three speakers on Monday. I was planning to buy a pair each for my brother and Mom for Xmas. Needless to say, i will be looking elsewhere as they are less tech savy and would be even more frustrated.
At this time a Dot, wired to a speaker of good quality that is also mains powered and does not do or can turn off the auto sleep feature, is a better option for gifting this year. Or, if you find that its sound quality satisfies, as it does my wife, even just an Echo.
Userlevel 7
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After hearing the sound quality on Sonos speakers on a friends system, i was impressed. After seeing that the Play 1 was Alexa capable, I bought a pair. Was so excited when they arrived, but quickly came down to earth when I discovered that they don’t link with Alexa in a way that allows her voice to actually play through the speaker. Whether or not this advertising is deceptive isnt even my main beef at this point... I did more reading, and after seeing that the Sonos One does allow Alexa to play through, I forked over another couple hundred and bought one of these. I was aware of the incompatibility issues regarding stereo pairing with my Play 1s, but decided I could live with that. What i cant live with is how poorly the microphone responds to Alexa voice commands. More often than not, i have to face the speaker and raise my voice even though Im only 5 feet away. Meanwhile my Echo Dot in the bedroom, and around the corner is hearing me just fine. I spent most of my day yesterday trying to tweak and find some workaround that would make this bearable, without any success. Along the way, also found out the wake word can not be changed. What is up with that? Sadly, i will be returning all three speakers on Monday. I was planning to buy a pair each for my brother and Mom for Xmas. Needless to say, i will be looking elsewhere as they are less tech savy and would be even more frustrated.

It is getting better but not yet as good as the Echo Dot. I find the more I anticipate a failed trigger, I change the tone of my voice due to frustration which makes the response % even lower. If I just talk normally, then it triggers a lot better.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Hi Doug, if you still have those Sonos Ones, the recent update to 8.2.3 had a lot of improvements around the responsiveness of the Sonos One's microphones in detecting Alexa requests.
Hi, my Sonos One reports as being up to date on v.8.2.2. How can I force the update to 8.2.3? Alexa is almost impossible to use at the moment. Thanks
Userlevel 5
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Update within your Sonos app by going to More > Settings > Online Updates.

After the update your controller version will be 8.2.2 (build 39448021), but the version number for each of your Sonos One units will be 8.2.3 (build 39448180).
Thank you Master T. If that is the case then Alexa response is still very poor, I have to be right next to the unit. Is there a way to definity check the speaker build? Otherwise I will also be returning my Sonos One I think...
Userlevel 5
Badge +9
In the Sonos app, go to Settings then About My Sonos System to check the software version and build.

If your Sonos One is running 8.2.3, the responsiveness should be better that what you describe—at least based on my experience. I have four units, and since the update they can all hear me from well across the room, even in a relative noisy environment. Their accuracy is now close, but not yet quite equal, to my Echos and Dot,
Userlevel 1
Well I'm a week in with the new Sonos One a great Xmas gift . . . . . Or so I thought. In a fit if what turned out to be stupidity I gave my Echo dot to my son thinking the One was a good upgrade. So I now face a unit that frankly can't hear me unless I'm in too if it ( and yes it's upgraded) I can no longer drop in on my friends as this isn't supported. I can no longer add reminders as this isn't supported I can't pair it to an existing Play1 as this isn't supported. I can no longer control my Hive system guess what this isn't supported by this unit either. So the question can Sonos really advertise this very expensive speaker as an Alexa integrated device for as far as I see it it's just a voice controlled Amazon Music only player that unless you double the cost to £400.00 regardless of how much you have already spent on Sonos gear is just a mono speaker that's sounds ok. . . . . . . .Off to buy my Echo dot back and integrate it with a pair of play 1's that will talk to each other.. Second hand Sonos One for sale here as it's about as useful as a chocolate fire guard to me
Userlevel 3
..... I can no longer control my Hive system guess what this isn't supported by this unit either....

I bought a 3 Ones on release date and suffered many of the issues mentioned so ended up sending all 3 back as they were pretty unusable at that point. But they did control my Hive lights -at least when it heard me. We don’t have hive heating so perhaps this is what you are referring to though.
Userlevel 7
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..... I can no longer control my Hive system guess what this isn't supported by this unit either....

I bought a 3 Ones on release date and suffered many of the issues mentioned so ended up sending all 3 back as they were pretty unusable at that point. But they did control my Hive lights -at least when it heard me. We don’t have hive heating so perhaps this is what you are referring to though.


FYI. There was an update (8.2.3) just before Christmas that substantially improved the Sonos One voice sensitivity
Userlevel 7
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No response from the OP yet?
Userlevel 3

FYI. There was an update (8.2.3) just before Christmas that substantially improved the Sonos One voice sensitivity


Is 8.2.3 only applicable to the Sonos Ones? My system is currently on 8.2.2 ( from More > settings > my Sonos system) and when I search for an update I am told my system is up to date. I do not currently have any Sonos Ones (4 x play1 and a play5)
Userlevel 7
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Yes, only for the Sonos One. All my other devices are on 8.2.2.