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Does Alexa work with Playbar?

  • 20 November 2018
  • 17 replies
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I have a Sonos Playbar and subwoofer connected to my Sony tv. I want to get 2 back speakers, either Sonos One Smart speakers with Alexa or Sonos Play:1 without Alexa. I have been told that Alexa will not work with the Playbar. Is this true? I don’t want to spend the extra money if Alexa won’t work, anyway.
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Best answer by Mr.Red 22 November 2018, 11:16

Hi!

As far as I know, if you ad a couple of Sonos One as back speakers with the playbar and the sub, you can control them with Alexa.

Another option could be installing 2 Play 1 and an Echo dot.



Take a look at this review of the Sonos One, the guy sends music to the PlayBar in other room using a Sonos One.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTNXmq7FvSE&t=629s



Best regards
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17 replies

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Hi!
As far as I know, if you ad a couple of Sonos One as back speakers with the playbar and the sub, you can control them with Alexa.
Another option could be installing 2 Play 1 and an Echo dot.

Take a look at this review of the Sonos One, the guy sends music to the PlayBar in other room using a Sonos One.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTNXmq7FvSE&t=629s

Best regards
Userlevel 7
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Playbar does not have alexa built in. But yes Alexa will control it just like any other Sonos speaker.

If you get Sonos Ones for the rears they have alexa built in and yes you will be able to tell them to make the Playbar system do what you want.

The only current real difference between Sonos units that have Alexa built in and units that do not is having to say the room name.

Example:
If I have a Sonos One in my kitchen (which has Alexa built in)…. I can tell the Sonos One "Alexa play Bruno Mars" and the Sonos One will begin playing.


In your case with a Playbar (no Alexa Built in) as the primary speaker in Living Room. If you have an Alexa device (like an Echo Dot … Or A sonos One as rears) you have to say "Alexa play Bruno Mars in Living Room".


See the difference … the ones with built in alexa know who they are where the ones without alexa built in you have to tell the alexa device which to control. Now this limitation is supposed to be going away in the future where an alexa device can be associated with a specific room and remove the need to say the room name.


Hope this makes sense - but every single Sonos device can be controlled by Alexa.
Userlevel 7
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Note: If you decide to go for a pair of Play:1s for the rears instead of Sonos Ones. Then get a cheap Echo Dot for the room to be the Alexa device for the room (probably only like $20 here black Friday). The Dot will then send the Alexa commands to the playbar/Play:1 pairing.
Thank you so much, Chris and Mr. Red. You were both very helpful! I am so disappointed in Sonos tech support. I waited for 30 minutes on hold and got India. They knew nothing. So, it is good to know you folks are out there for help!
Userlevel 4
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If you get Sonos Ones for the rears they have alexa built in and yes you will be able to tell them to make the Playbar system do what you want.



[Edit]
My bad, my comment only applies to Beam
Userlevel 7
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THAT IS INCORRECT - Sonos Ones paired as surrounds maintain Alexa ability. They will hear all Alexa commands. The only difference is that since the Playbar is the controlling speaker you will have to say the group name to them in order to play to the pairing "Alexa play Bruno Mars in Living Room" vs. if they were stand alone you wouldn't have to say the "in Living Room" party.

It is true they can not be Airplay targets since the Playbar is the controlling speaker. But this doesn't apply to the Alexa functionality.
I am a tech novice. What does Airplay give me? Will Play:1s and an Echo Dot give me both Alexa and Airplay control over my Sonos Playbar and sub?


Sonos Ones as surround speakers can NOT be activated for Alexa, just as they can't be targeted for Airplay. They are just slaves to the Playbar. Your best option is to get two Play:1's for surround and an echo dot, that will work fine.


Sorry, but this just isn't true. Airplay 2, no. Alexa, most certainly yes.
What is Airplay? What does it add for me? So, I am trying to figure out if it is something I need/want my backspeakers to be able to control.
Userlevel 7
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Sonos Ones have the ability to stream direct from Apple devices via Airplay. So you can send your phones sound output direct to a Sonos speaker (not going through Sonos app). However, the Playbar is a little older and doesn't have this ability.

So if you Pair Sonos Ones as rears to a playbar… the playbar is the controlling speaker and you don't have the ability to send music direct from an apple device via their airplay protocol. It doesn't sound like you currently use airplay so it may be of no concern to you.
Userlevel 7
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Yes an Echo Dot will give you voice control of your Playbar/Play:1 combo.

or

Playbar/Sonos Ones combo - which in that case you don't need an Echo Dot as its built into the Sonos Ones.
I currently am able to play music from my iPhone playlists through the Playbar and sub. With the Ones, would I just have to continue to control this as I do now? I wouldn’t lose that ability completely, would I?
If I do get the Ones, and I want the Airplay functionality after all, can I then just add an Echo Dot down the road? The Ones and the Dot won't confuse each other will they?
Userlevel 7
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Ok #1 - You get the ones and then you have Alexa ability. There is no reason for a Dot in that room as you will already have alexa (but if you have multipe alexa devices they automatically determine which hears you better so only one responds).

Now back to Airplay - getting a Dot won't give you airplay (Dot is an Alexa device). The airplay ability is an ability on new Sonos speakers (Beam, Playbase, Sonos One, Play:5gen2, Sonos Amp). By having the Sonos Ones as rears in your surrounds sound their airplay will be turned off. Only way to add Airplay to your system is have one of the above devices as the primary device (in your case the Playbar is primary device so you don't get direct airplay ability to those speakers).

Now if you got a stand alone Sonos One. It will show up as airplay on your apple device. You could then send music to that speaker...which in turn could be grouped to your playbar to make your playbar and associated speakers play the airplay stream.

Hopefully that helps.
I’m getting there, I promise, and you are helping me tremendously. I don’t mind continuing to control my iPhone playlists though the Sonos App, but I do want to hear my music through those back speakers, as well as the Playbar and sub. Regarding the Ones, am I correct in the following:
1) Alexa will work with my Playbar. I know this is a “yes.”
2) I can still play my iPhone playlists, but will have to control my music as I have been doing, through the Sonos App
3) I will hear my music through the Playbar, sub, and Ones.
Userlevel 7
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All yes
Thank you so much!!