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Changing Sonos "wake word" (Sonos Arc with Sub 3)


Userlevel 2

I have many Amazon Echo devices (made by Amazon and by others) and I can change the wake word on all of them (I prefer Echo and really dislike Alexa in part because we have a young child with that name). When I ask any other device to change the wake word, they do it. When I ask Sonos, it says “you are unable to do that on this device.” SO FRUSTRATING.

I will probably install a Fire TV stick and avoid using Sonos for voice commands.

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Best answer by Paul A 8 October 2020, 16:55

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Userlevel 6
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Hi @jjb2020.

Welcome to the Sonos community and thanks for reaching out to us. I understand your frustration with the situation and would like to help out.

Currently, changing the wake word of Amazon Alexa on Sonos is not yet a supported feature. However, Let me send this up to our engineering team as a feature request. I would suggest subscribing to this thread and our announcement topic for any feature releases, feature updates, and bug fixes.

Please do not hesitate to reach out or create a new topic if you still have further questions or concerns. We are always here to help out.

Thanks,

Userlevel 1

According to amazon the only way this will change is if everyone requests it via the help section in the alexa app

" We always try to improve our Customers experience, please submit your feedback about this in your Alexa app. Go to Settings, Help & Feedback, Provide Feedback and follow the on screen directions."

Hi @jjb2020.

Welcome to the Sonos community and thanks for reaching out to us. I understand your frustration with the situation and would like to help out.

Currently, changing the wake word of Amazon Alexa on Sonos is not yet a supported feature. However, Let me send this up to our engineering team as a feature request. I would suggest subscribing to this thread and our announcement topic for any feature releases, feature updates, and bug ffixes

Hello, could I please put in a request for this fix as well. It's confusing to have different words in the house. I too have an issue with the word Alexa.

Much appreciated.

 

I’d like to request this feature too.

Yep, me too. I’d like to be able to change the wake word from Alexa.

Same here. Allow us to change the wake name. It’s just code and an update. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +13

Isn’t this a restriction on the Amazon side? Not sure I have seen a third party Alexa speaker that can change the wake word.

 

I know you can change it on Echo devices.

 

I suppose you could get use echo dots and change the default speaker for the room to the Sonos.

 

that would get around the issue, but it is a bit of a faff

It would be convenient to have the ability to change Sonos Alexa Wake word

​​​​​​+1 for allowing us to change Alexa Wake word. 

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I named my youngest child “google”, I share your problem.  :grin:

I too, would like to be able to change the wake word. 

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I'd like to change the wake word and also I prefer the  male voice...which I use on my other amazon devices

An additional request to support changing the wake word. I have no option but to disable the Alexa integration until this is fixed due to the name of my youngest daughter.

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I too want to change the wake word.

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I would support being able to change the name/wake word as well, but not for the obvious reason. I believe it’s an equity issue.

By having only “Alexa” be the wake word, it creates by default a female role in a servant/subservient mode. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned before- but not all housekeeper maids are women.

We should all stop perpetuating stereotypes as doing so voids or makes other identities invisible. I would furthermore suggest that a gender-free name and voice should also be an option for those Sonos customers who may not identify themselves as male or female. There really should be a “she”, “he”, and “they” option for not only voice tones, but names/wake words as well.

Sonos, I just read you recently received a very high rating for having a workplace that was inclusive and welcoming for LGBTQ people. Now how about making your software as welcoming and inclusive???

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Alexa on Sonos is lagging behind on the technical changes Amazon has made for their own platform. There the system can have a masculine voice and also answer to Computer, Ziggy, Echo and Amazon. Not sure if this lies with Sonos or Amazon though.

https://www.theverge.com/2021/7/21/22587130/alexa-masculine-voice-gender-ziggy-amazon-smart-assistant

Maybe they can bring this to Sonos too.

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I’m not sure if it’s a tech limitation implementation issue, or an intentional decision on the part of Amazon. I could see where Amazon may not allow fuller implementation of some features in hopes that, to get a fuller Alexa feature set, Sonos owners would just go out and purchase Amazon Echo devices. So, aside from licensing fees and issues, there really can’t be any technological reason why the full Alexa feature set couldn’t be implemented in what is unquestionably a superior product.

Still, I think it’s an equity issue. Lack of diversity in ethnicities and in the gender spectrum for names and voices isn’t very inclusive and welcoming to everyone in this time when many are looking to making places more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist. 
 

I would support being able to change the name/wake word as well, but not for the obvious reason. I believe it’s an equity issue.

By having only “Alexa” be the wake word, it creates by default a female role in a servant/subservient mode. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned before- but not all housekeeper maids are women.

We should all stop perpetuating stereotypes as doing so voids or makes other identities invisible. I would furthermore suggest that a gender-free name and voice should also be an option for those Sonos customers who may not identify themselves as male or female. There really should be a “she”, “he”, and “they” option for not only voice tones, but names/wake words as well.

Sonos, I just read you recently received a very high rating for having a workplace that was inclusive and welcoming for LGBTQ people. Now how about making your software as welcoming and inclusive???

 

Why would you assume that Alexa is female?  Sure, the name is traditional for women, and the voice is generally feminine, but aren’t you just perpetuating stereotypes by assuming gender based on these cues alone?  Did you ever think to ask Alexa what gender he/she/they/it is and what her personal pronouns are?  Perhaps your the problem here, and not Sonos.

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I would support being able to change the name/wake word as well, but not for the obvious reason. I believe it’s an equity issue.

By having only “Alexa” be the wake word, it creates by default a female role in a servant/subservient mode. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned before- but not all housekeeper maids are women.

We should all stop perpetuating stereotypes as doing so voids or makes other identities invisible. I would furthermore suggest that a gender-free name and voice should also be an option for those Sonos customers who may not identify themselves as male or female. There really should be a “she”, “he”, and “they” option for not only voice tones, but names/wake words as well.

Sonos, I just read you recently received a very high rating for having a workplace that was inclusive and welcoming for LGBTQ people. Now how about making your software as welcoming and inclusive???

 

Why would you assume that Alexa is female?  Sure, the name is traditional for women, and the voice is generally feminine, but aren’t you just perpetuating stereotypes by assuming gender based on these cues alone?  Did you ever think to ask Alexa what gender he/she/they/it is and what her personal pronouns are?  Perhaps your the problem here, and not Sonos.

I think you meant “you’re”.

Why would you object to having more choices for the names or voices? Does it threaten you? Sonos has an excellent 100% score from the HRC for how it relates to the LGBTQ community. I think its products in every way could also be as welcoming and accepting. Why would anyone possibly object to having a broader appeal and including more people???

Also, you might want to review the ground rules for these forums before tossing out ad hominem rudeness and uncivility.

 

I would support being able to change the name/wake word as well, but not for the obvious reason. I believe it’s an equity issue.

By having only “Alexa” be the wake word, it creates by default a female role in a servant/subservient mode. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned before- but not all housekeeper maids are women.

We should all stop perpetuating stereotypes as doing so voids or makes other identities invisible. I would furthermore suggest that a gender-free name and voice should also be an option for those Sonos customers who may not identify themselves as male or female. There really should be a “she”, “he”, and “they” option for not only voice tones, but names/wake words as well.

Sonos, I just read you recently received a very high rating for having a workplace that was inclusive and welcoming for LGBTQ people. Now how about making your software as welcoming and inclusive???

 

Why would you assume that Alexa is female?  Sure, the name is traditional for women, and the voice is generally feminine, but aren’t you just perpetuating stereotypes by assuming gender based on these cues alone?  Did you ever think to ask Alexa what gender he/she/they/it is and what her personal pronouns are?  Perhaps your the problem here, and not Sonos.

I think you meant “you’re”.

Language is fluid.

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I would support being able to change the name/wake word as well, but not for the obvious reason. I believe it’s an equity issue.

By having only “Alexa” be the wake word, it creates by default a female role in a servant/subservient mode. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned before- but not all housekeeper maids are women.

We should all stop perpetuating stereotypes as doing so voids or makes other identities invisible. I would furthermore suggest that a gender-free name and voice should also be an option for those Sonos customers who may not identify themselves as male or female. There really should be a “she”, “he”, and “they” option for not only voice tones, but names/wake words as well.

Sonos, I just read you recently received a very high rating for having a workplace that was inclusive and welcoming for LGBTQ people. Now how about making your software as welcoming and inclusive???

 

Why would you assume that Alexa is female?  Sure, the name is traditional for women, and the voice is generally feminine, but aren’t you just perpetuating stereotypes by assuming gender based on these cues alone?  Did you ever think to ask Alexa what gender he/she/they/it is and what her personal pronouns are?  Perhaps your the problem here, and not Sonos.

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Goodness gracious… can we stop anthropomorphizing this device. It is not a he or she. It’s an “it”. Why not make it so that I can clap my hands to get its attention. Just the the “Clapper” light switch. Would that assuage everyone's sensibilities? 

All I want to do is have separate names for the devices in different rooms so that when I say the wake word the device nearest me is the one that responds. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

@Bighouse @melvimbe does raise a valid point - and I do not read any opposition to giving people more choices in his answer. Why do you not explore his point?

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Goodness gracious… can we stop anthropomorphizing this device. It is not a he or she. It’s an “it”. Why not make it so that I can clap my hands to get its attention. Just the the “Clapper” light switch. Would that assuage everyone's sensibilities? 

All I want to do is have separate names for the devices in different rooms so that when I say the wake word the device nearest me is the one that responds. 

Seems like a reasonable request. I do think, however, it wasn’t “we” who anthropomorphized AI personal assistants. You can thank Apple, Amazon, Google, and a slew of tech manufacturers for that. They opened that door, I’m just asking for it to be open wide enough to allow ALL users to feel like they are included in the AI domain. If you want to use a cisgendered persona who speaks with a good-ol-boy accent and drops bits of dog-whistles and misogyny into the conversation, I’m fine with that. Just so long as there’s a balance and someone who’s maybe gender fluid or trans can have a persona for their environment that works as well for them. It’s about making tech that allows for inclusivity, not exclusion.

i don’t see why people would object to options. Typically that type of thinking is often just a racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, etc. feelings masquerading as invented offense at a reasonable request.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Now you’re just trolling. None of the people reacting to your post is against adding more options - for whatever reason. To suggest they are and then also to suggest (not even saying it outright) they are doing that for all the things you mention is nearing foul play in a discussion. And when an argument is made you don’t react to it, even when pointed towards it.

The combination of these two points makes that I wil not be continuing this conversation. 

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