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Can I disable all voice commands without using a hardware button?

  • 19 June 2019
  • 2 replies
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I currently have an Amazon Echo, and whenever I have people over, everyone tends to use Alexa to constantly change the music. It's irritating. Firstly, it's my house, so I kind of like a certain musical vibe, so I want to be able to control the music without other people intervening. The hardware button that toggles the mic is useless because people can just walk over and turn it back on.

So I have some questions about Sonos One (I think that's the name of the speaker):
  • Can I disable voice commands in the app that will override the hardware button on the device?
  • Can I search for music easily in the iOS Sonos app?
  • Does the app take voice commands as well? (like a remote control)
  • Can't I link the device to my Spotify account from the Sonos iPhone app? (I think by now you know I don't use Android)
  • Is the app easy to use and straight-forward (unlike the Amazon Alexa app)?
Another thing I hate about the Echo is that it's not very straight-forward on how to use the app as a remote control with voice commands. When I give the Alexa app a command, it will respond on my phone and not my linked Echo device! Ugh!! It even says "You have another Alexa device active at this time, blah blah blah", so it knows I have my Echo playing, but it doesn't push the song to the speaker, it will playback on the phone! Ugh!

So the point I'm trying to make is that for something called a "smart speaker", it's pretty darn dumb! All I want is an app I can load onto my iphone that I can control the darn speaker. That's it. Let me search for a song and play it (whether it be voice or search box). Let me link my Spotify account and select a personal playlist, etc. Does the Sonos iPhone app have these kind of features? I just don't want to be disappointed after purchasing it. Thanks!
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Best answer by melvimbe 19 June 2019, 17:42

So I have some questions about Sonos One (I think that's the name of the speaker):
  • Can I disable voice commands in the app that will override the hardware button on the device?

No, I don't believe you can. Perhaps the easiest thing to do would be to remove the Sonos skill from the Alexa app. However, that would likely be a pain to do and undo every time you have rude guests come over.

  • Can I search for music easily in the iOS Sonos app?

Yes, I have no problem with it.


  • Does the app take voice commands as well? (like a remote control)


The app does not, but since you have iOS, you can use siri and airplay 2 compatibility, you should be able to make voice requests to play on your speaker that way. I'm not terribly with all that myself though.

  • Can't I link the device to my Spotify account from the Sonos iPhone app? (I think by now you know I don't use Android)


Yes. You should then also be able to direct music in your Spotify app to play on your speaker. Again, I don't use Spotify and am not sure if a premium spotify account is required.

  • Is the app easy to use and straight-forward (unlike the Amazon Alexa app)?


That's subjective, but I think it's relatively easy, though it does have room for improvement.

Another thing I hate about the Echo is that it's not very straight-forward on how to use the app as a remote control with voice commands. When I give the Alexa app a command, it will respond on my phone and not my linked Echo device! Ugh!! It even says "You have another Alexa device active at this time, blah blah blah", so it knows I have my Echo playing, but it doesn't push the song to the speaker, it will playback on the phone! Ugh!


Yes, this is a general limitation with Amazon music if you don't have a family account (multiple streams allowed). Even then Amazon doesn't allow speakers to 'join' music currently playing elsewhere. You can do that with the Sonos app though.

So the point I'm trying to make is that for something called a "smart speaker", it's pretty darn dumb! All I want is an app I can load onto my iphone that I can control the darn speaker. That's it. Let me search for a song and play it (whether it be voice or search box). Let me link my Spotify account and select a personal playlist, etc. Does the Sonos iPhone app have these kind of features? I just don't want to be disappointed after purchasing it. Thanks!


The Sonos app allows you to do all that you listed above.
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So I have some questions about Sonos One (I think that's the name of the speaker):
  • Can I disable voice commands in the app that will override the hardware button on the device?

No, I don't believe you can. Perhaps the easiest thing to do would be to remove the Sonos skill from the Alexa app. However, that would likely be a pain to do and undo every time you have rude guests come over.

  • Can I search for music easily in the iOS Sonos app?

Yes, I have no problem with it.


  • Does the app take voice commands as well? (like a remote control)


The app does not, but since you have iOS, you can use siri and airplay 2 compatibility, you should be able to make voice requests to play on your speaker that way. I'm not terribly with all that myself though.

  • Can't I link the device to my Spotify account from the Sonos iPhone app? (I think by now you know I don't use Android)


Yes. You should then also be able to direct music in your Spotify app to play on your speaker. Again, I don't use Spotify and am not sure if a premium spotify account is required.

  • Is the app easy to use and straight-forward (unlike the Amazon Alexa app)?


That's subjective, but I think it's relatively easy, though it does have room for improvement.

Another thing I hate about the Echo is that it's not very straight-forward on how to use the app as a remote control with voice commands. When I give the Alexa app a command, it will respond on my phone and not my linked Echo device! Ugh!! It even says "You have another Alexa device active at this time, blah blah blah", so it knows I have my Echo playing, but it doesn't push the song to the speaker, it will playback on the phone! Ugh!


Yes, this is a general limitation with Amazon music if you don't have a family account (multiple streams allowed). Even then Amazon doesn't allow speakers to 'join' music currently playing elsewhere. You can do that with the Sonos app though.

So the point I'm trying to make is that for something called a "smart speaker", it's pretty darn dumb! All I want is an app I can load onto my iphone that I can control the darn speaker. That's it. Let me search for a song and play it (whether it be voice or search box). Let me link my Spotify account and select a personal playlist, etc. Does the Sonos iPhone app have these kind of features? I just don't want to be disappointed after purchasing it. Thanks!


The Sonos app allows you to do all that you listed above.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. It does sound like I would have a similar frustrating experience with Sonos as I do with my Echo.

I feel like I need to build my own speaker and app just to have basic personal features that are easy to use lol

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