Assign Amazon Echo (Alexa) devices to Sonos zone(s)

  • 5 October 2017
  • 5 replies
  • 1505 views

Userlevel 1
I'm excited about the release of the Sonos/Alexa integration. Thank you to the Sonos team for getting this out the door! Setting up the skill was a breeze and it seems to be working very well for me so far. Naturally, I already have some ideas for improvement... :-)

I have an Echo device in each room where I also have one or more Sonos zones. For example:

- Echo Dot bedroom
- Sonos ZP80 bedroom (with a dedicated amp and speakers)

- Echo Show kitchen (covers kitchen, dining area, and living area)
- Sonos Play:5 kitchen
- Sonos Play:1 pair dining area
- Sonos Playbar (with sub and surrounds) living area

- Echo Dot office
- Sonos ZP80 office (with a dedicated amp and speakers)

I think it would be great to be able to associate a given Echo device with one or more Sonos zones, so that Echo device would control those zones by default. I would still want the ability to control other Sonos zones by naming them explicitly.

For example, if I am talking to my Echo Show in the kitchen, "Alexa, play some music" would start music on the kitchen, dining area, and living area Sonos zones. "Alexa, play music in the bedroom" said to that same Echo Show, would control the Sonos in the bedroom. If I then walked into the bedroom and said to the Echo Dot in the bedroom, "Alexa, mute" it would mute the Sonos zone in the bedroom and the zones in the kitchen, dining area, and living room would continue playing.

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5 replies

This is exactly how I was hoping it would work so am a bit disappointed it doesn’t.

I have an echo dot in the kitchen and would like to associate that with the sonos speakers in the kitchen. If it doesn’t receive a room location I would want it to playback by default in the same room as the dot.

I will remember to say ‘Alexa play music in kitchen’ but my family will just say ‘Alexa play music’ and it expect it to come out of the nearest speaker.

I know the sonos one would achieve this, but that means replacing al of my current sonos speakers for something that could be achieved in software.
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can I also add that the ...'playing in the ...sonos name... can be dropped by alexa. its clear as you are listening to it in the room.
can I also add that the ...'playing in the ...sonos name... can be dropped by alexa. its clear as you are listening to it in the room.

I think the reason the room name is there in the instruction, is because otherwise Alexa would play out the local in-built echo speaker instead. Think how the echo device works now, before the Sonos Skill is added to it ... I can’t see Amazon wanting to give up and hand over control of their own in-built speaker (and existing commands) to a Sonos device.
I also agree with other people’s comments above and think, in time, as the Sonos/Amazon integration continues to develop further, we will probably see some kind of association of an Alexa device to its 'nearby' Sonos speakers, but how the developers will eventually choose to do that 'linking', is yet to be seen.

It would be nice to be able to associate a Sonos Room or several Sonos Rooms to each Alexa product... but I would also like one additional thing and that is to see the echo devices 'line-out' port capable of being altered by a user setting, so that a user can set its volume level to not 'duck' ... that would then mean we could attach a Sonos device to the port if we wanted to. At the moment that’s not technically possible, because of the way the volume 'ducking' has been implemented as it prevents Alexa replies from being heard... it would be good to allow a user to cable their echo dot to say a Sonos Play-5.
Userlevel 2
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In the Alexa skill description they have stated 'This is temporary, and will improve throughout the beta.' in regard to the requirement of naming the device so I assume that we'll see a more natural integration or association between Echoes and Sonos speakers.