Echo Dot with Sonos speakers: "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"

  • 24 October 2017
  • 18 replies
  • 87531 views

I have 6 Sonos Play 1 speakers in my house, and purchased an Echo Dot to enable Alexa with my speakers. Here are my initial impressions of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly":

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THE GOOD
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1) Voice commands to Alexa initiate requests to play music from Amazon Prime Music on my Sonos Play 1 speakers. Requests such as artist, album, song, etc. My speakers across my house are set up as a group, and the music plays in all rooms in my house. LIKE!

But see also: #2 in "THE BAD", below.

2) Voice commands to Alexa *control volume* on my Sonos Play 1 speakers, regardless of source of music. If it's playing in my Sonos app (including music I'm playing from "On this iPhone" on my Sonos app), I can control the volume with voice commands to Alexa. LIKE!

3) Voice commands to Alexa *skip tracks* in playlists that I'm playing, regardless of source of music. If it's playing in my Sonos app, (including music I'm playing from "On this iPhone" on my Sonos app) I can skip tracks with voice commands to Alexa. LIKE!

4) Setup was reasonably simple.

5) Coupon from Sonos for $25 off the Echo Dot. Thank you, Sonos!

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THE BAD
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1) Any non-music related commands to Alexa will only play results over the Echo Dot speaker (weather, traffic, flash briefs, etc). I don't want those to play through the crappy Echo Dot speaker. I have awesome Sonos speakers connected. Naturally want Alexa to give me updates through my better Play 1 speakers. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!

(Yes, I know I could purchase Sonos One speakers to make that happen. I already bought 6 Play 1 speakers last year, and don't want to scrap them and spend another $400+ per pair, just to get the sound of Alexa's voice on my Sonos speakers.)

2) Can't use voice commands to Alexa to initiate requests to play music from "On this iPhone", on my Sonos Play 1 speakers. Most of the music I listen to is via "On this iPhone". BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!

(Is there any way to upload my personal music collection to "My Music" storage on Amazon ($24/year to store 250,000 songs, and then have those play through Alexa to my Sonos speakers via Alexa?)

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THE UGLY
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- So far, I don't see anything. How about you?

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18 replies

(Is there any way to upload my personal music collection to "My Music" storage on Amazon ($24/year to store 250,000 songs, and then have those play through Alexa to my Sonos speakers via Alexa?)

If you upload your library to Amazon, you can then play them via Alexa with full support for starting playback, without paying for Amazon Unlimited.
@jgatie, thank you! I uploaded some of my library to Amazon to test it. It shows in my Amazon "My Music" as an album and as a playlist. But so far, I'm unable to use voice commands to Alexa to initiate playing either the album or playlist to my Sonos speakers. Alexa says it can't find the album and can't find the playlist.

Is there an special approach to be able to do this?
You have to enable Amazon Music for both Alexa

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201549700

and Sonos.

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3524/~/amazon-music-and-sonos

Set Alexa to use Amazon Music as your default.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=202056620
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1) Any non-music related commands to Alexa will only play results over the Echo Dot speaker (weather, traffic, flash briefs, etc). I don't want those to play through the crappy Echo Dot speaker. I have awesome Sonos speakers connected. Naturally want Alexa to give me updates through my better Play 1 speakers. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!


Just for a bit of diversity ... I actually don't want this, I prefer the separation of concerns.
Nice summary, though.
@jgatie, yes, had already done both of those steps - am able to use voice commands to Alexa to play music from Amazon Prime Music to my Sonos speakers. But so far, no luck with doing same to play playlist or album that I had uploaded to my Amazon "My Music" storage. If I can get that to work with that playlist or album, then I'll be uploading my entire iTunes library to Amazon. But so far, no luck. 😕
Hi how did you connect your dot to sonos play 1?I can’t seem
To do it
@jgatie, yes, had already done both of those steps - am able to use voice commands to Alexa to play music from Amazon Prime Music to my Sonos speakers. But so far, no luck with doing same to play playlist or album that I had uploaded to my Amazon "My Music" storage. If I can get that to work with that playlist or album, then I'll be uploading my entire iTunes library to Amazon. But so far, no luck. :-/

You specifically have to specifically say the word 'playlist'. For example, if you have a playlist called 'mellow', you would say 'Alexa, play mellow playlist in the family room'. Otherwise, Amazon is going to search for an artist/song/their own playlist first. That's been my experience anyway.
I concur. Denoting "playlist" or "album" in the command helps a lot.

1) Any non-music related commands to Alexa will only play results over the Echo Dot speaker (weather, traffic, flash briefs, etc). I don't want those to play through the crappy Echo Dot speaker. I have awesome Sonos speakers connected. Naturally want Alexa to give me updates through my better Play 1 speakers. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!

Is there not an advantage to this if all players are grouped, where responses aren't piped through out the home, but are heard just through the Echo/Dot that is asked the question?
I am very happy alexa/echo commands do not come through my SONOS play1 speakers.
Alexa voice has a high default gain setting (which could not be independently adjusted on the echo device. Now with the Sonos integration I can independently lower or set the volume of echo dot voice prompts,while setting the speaker volume to the desired level.
How do I play music on my echo devices that is playing on the Sonos?
How do I play music on my echo devices that is playing on the Sonos?

You cannot group Echo devices with third party speakers at this time.
"My speakers across my house are set up as a group, and the music plays in all rooms in my house. LIKE!" Thanks for the information on here. I finally setup the echo dot to use with my Sonos Play:1's and 5. I was able to create a group via the Sonos Skill App. It shows up as All Speakers in the Smart Home "Groups" section of the Alexa app, but when I ask Alexa to play music on the "All Speakers" group she replies that she can not find the group and to go to settings to check. Is there a certain command you are using or a different way to setup the group? Spotify is setup as my default player on the Alexa app. I am able to play each speaker individually, but have to tell Alexa to turn each one on or off individually. Would love to figure out the grouping. Any advice would be great. Cheers.
@jgatie, yes, had already done both of those steps - am able to use voice commands to Alexa to play music from Amazon Prime Music to my Sonos speakers. But so far, no luck with doing same to play playlist or album that I had uploaded to my Amazon "My Music" storage. If I can get that to work with that playlist or album, then I'll be uploading my entire iTunes library to Amazon. But so far, no luck. :-/

Any resolution to this, I'm having almost the same issue. However when I try to use voice commands to Alexa to play music that has been uploaded into my Amazon Music Library, Alexa recognizes the command correctly and acts like she's playing the song, but only a crackling sounds comes through my SONOS One. In order to play any uploaded music, I am forced to initiate playback through the app.
I have 6 Sonos 5s though the house plus a Sonos Connect-amp on 2 other speakers. How do I connect this netwowk to my echo dot please? Been trying to figure this out-- sounds like you folks have the secret. I guess you can do it with Ones (though not sure how) but I have the 5s
Sablestar, see this link:

https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/alexa-now-playing-on-sonos-6791301
Thank you. I got my Sonos network connected to Alexa, but still have some issues. For example, I can have Alexa play music in the living room and she turns on (her) music on my living room speakers. But I have 2 issues. I can't get her to recognize and play my current Sonos playlist and even though I created a "house" group which has all 4 of my zones including the living room in my Alexa app, when I ask her to play music in the "house", she doesn't recognize or do that. Any thoughts?
I have the opposite problem. All questions to Alexa (like "what time is it") only get answered through my Sonos speakers (in another room). How do I get back to using the Echo speaker?