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How to activate Alexa mics on Sonos One surrounds?


I have a Beam with two Sonos One surrounds, and it's my understanding that the mics on the Sonos Ones are by default OFF, and that the Beam is the only one with mic input for Alexa. Is there a way to turn on the mics on the Ones? I ask because I'm usually closer to the Ones than the Beam when using Alexa, and Alexa on the Beam usually has trouble hearing me (I usually have to yell). Thanks!
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Best answer by Ryan S 21 July 2018, 00:48

As soon as you Enable the Sonos skill within Alexa then all Sonos Alexa devices have the capability to take voice commands. Can you please open the Sonos App>Settings>Room Settings>{Your Sonos One} and ensure that Voice Services are Enabled? If not please click Enabled and follow the prompts.
This would work for everything but with the Beam and Sonos Ones.

When bonded with a Beam, Sonos Ones will have Alexa disabled on them. We found during testing that the best experience was when the Sonos Ones microphones were turned off. CEC based Alexa commands don't work through the Sonos One, so if those were hearing your commands instead of the Beam, it wouldn't pass them to the TV. I'll pass the word along to the team that you'd like to be able to turn the microphones back on, and more importantly, that the Beam is having trouble hearing you. That shouldn't be the case.

You might want to give us a call on our support line and see if they can help get the setup cleaned up a bit and improve the Beam's listening.
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Has there been any progress on this? Any forward looking statements from Sonos? I wouldn’t have purchased One’s as my surrounds had I known about this limitation.

At the very least I’d like to be able to choose which mic is in use on a 5.1 setup. My rear right one is in a much better place to hear me. I may end up installing another dot, which is insane.
What should we do to get an answer from Sonos?
Nothing is clear, please Sonos, provide an answer! Either this is technically not feasible and explain why, or please add this features that everybody having one Beam and 2 Ones as surround want to see implemented!

Thank's!



Your answer is on the very first page, marked as the best answer.
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What should we do to get an answer from Sonos?
Nothing is clear, please Sonos, provide an answer! Either this is technically not feasible and explain why, or please add this features that everybody having one Beam and 2 Ones as surround want to see implemented!

Thank's!
I live in a big studio apartment and the beam mic doesn’t always pick up my voice bc it’s over by the tv. There’s a Sonos one right next to my bed that I wish I could use to control Alexa instead of yelling across the room. Pls give this control back to the user! Thanks.
This still seems to be blocked even with the roll out of Google Assistant. Please give us the option to enable the mic on our one surrounds when paired with the beam. It's the reason I got the setup, and in already tired of yelling at it across the room.
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I turned off the mic on my beam as it was more trouble than worth, not hearing commands and mishearing non-commands and dipping music momentarily whilst it was 'thinking'.
I've come to realise of the many reasons to buy Sonos, Alexa integration is most definitely not one of them.


I can see where you are coming from and I don't have the Beam so can't really comment on the specific product but I find Voice Control of the Sonos system overall to be great and something I wouldn't want to lose.


I think if viewed as an added bonus feature I'd agree though if Alexa integration is an important factor I feel there are technically (though may be not aesthetically) better ways of achieving voice controlled audio systems.

For me it was a significant part of my decision making process when getting my Beam and Ones surround system so my non-technical other half could access streaming music playback easily.

The frustrations I mentioned above combined with the quite frankly stupid inability to set a static Alexa Voice volume instead of it raising with the general volume (don't even mention the awful relentless confirmation 'BONG'), are quite literally a turn off for me and my family I'm afraid.
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I turned off the mic on my beam as it was more trouble than worth, not hearing commands and mishearing non-commands and dipping music momentarily whilst it was 'thinking'.
I've come to realise of the many reasons to buy Sonos, Alexa integration is most definitely not one of them.


I can see where you are coming from and I don't have the Beam so can't really comment on the specific product but I find Voice Control of the Sonos system overall to be great and something I wouldn't want to lose.
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I turned off the mic on my beam as it was more trouble than worth, not hearing commands and mishearing non-commands and dipping music momentarily whilst it was 'thinking'.
I've come to realise of the many reasons to buy Sonos, Alexa integration is most definitely not one of them.
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Not sure I was clear. Somebody here said that the surround mic is deactivated because a request to Alexa through the surround about CEC feature wouldn’t work. But I’m not sure this is true because I can ask Alexa on my iPad to switch on the TV and it works. No reason that it doesn’t work with the surround.
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I’m not sure about the cec functions since I can ask everything to Alexa through my iPad and it works !

CEC functions would be turn on/off TV, switching inputs, and volume control. It should be noted though that CEC functions are not the only way to control these features, and not all TVs support these features, so it does makes sense that some/many users would give up CEC functions to get the mics turned on surround speakers.
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I’m not sure about the cec functions since I can ask everything to Alexa through my iPad and it works !
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Someone from Sonos should actually try this in their home. Since getting the 5.1 setup my wife and I are always shouting across the room to get Alexa to hear. In short, if you want to art getting frustrated with Alexa, buy the beam/one 5.1 combo.


I find that the Beam is just fine for listening, and understand why Sonos wouldn't want to complicate things by making CEC functions only work if the Beam happened to listen to you. However, I completely get why users would want the option of deciding which mics are on and off.

As a potential work around, you can add echos in the same room and setup Alexa groups so that the music plays on the 5.1 setup by default.
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Please fix this! Please enable alexa mics on Play Ones surrounds

Just curious. As the only time the mics on the Sonos One's are disabled is when they are set-up as surround speakers with a Beam, why is this an issue? Is the mic on the Beam not sufficient?
correct. The mic on the beam is not sufficient. It’s preferable to have the mic’s on the “ones” enabled so you don’t have to shout. This could be for regular functionality and not CEC in the short term if it made some fix happen. At least make it an option for the consumer.


Someone from Sonos should actually try this in their home. Since getting the 5.1 setup my wife and I are always shouting across the room to get Alexa to hear. In short, if you want to art getting frustrated with Alexa, buy the beam/one 5.1 combo.
Userlevel 1
As soon as you Enable the Sonos skill within Alexa then all Sonos Alexa devices have the capability to take voice commands. Can you please open the Sonos App>Settings>Room Settings>{Your Sonos One} and ensure that Voice Services are Enabled? If not please click Enabled and follow the prompts.
This would work for everything but with the Beam and Sonos Ones.

When bonded with a Beam, Sonos Ones will have Alexa disabled on them. We found during testing that the best experience was when the Sonos Ones microphones were turned off. CEC based Alexa commands don't work through the Sonos One, so if those were hearing your commands instead of the Beam, it wouldn't pass them to the TV. I'll pass the word along to the team that you'd like to be able to turn the microphones back on, and more importantly, that the Beam is having trouble hearing you. That shouldn't be the case.

You might want to give us a call on our support line and see if they can help get the setup cleaned up a bit and improve the Beam's listening.


I would like to second this, please pass on feedback that consumers would like to reactivate Sonos Ones microphones when used as surround speakers. I purchased these over Play:1’s for Alexa functionally. As it sounds with many on this thread, dissapointed to be mislead.
An update in software it seems will remove many customers frustrations.
Userlevel 1
Please fix this! Please enable alexa mics on Play Ones surrounds

Just curious. As the only time the mics on the Sonos One's are disabled is when they are set-up as surround speakers with a Beam, why is this an issue? Is the mic on the Beam not sufficient?
correct. The mic on the beam is not sufficient. It’s preferable to have the mic’s on the “ones” enabled so you don’t have to shout. This could be for regular functionality and not CEC in the short term if it made some fix happen. At least make it an option for the consumer.
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I was truly disappointed when, after spending nearly $1000 on Sonos gear, I found my Sonos Ones crippled once I added the Beam. I bought the Sonos Ones and a Beam specifically for full room coverage with Alexa. The One's are marketed as one of the best Alexa speakers on the market. There is no mention that Sonos would disable Alexa if you used them in a surround setup.

Sonos seemed to offer such a great, versatile system: you could use the Beam and Ones as a brilliant sounding 5.x surround setup; you could switch over to music and they would work together to fill your room; you would have three top-of-the-line smart speakers with sensitive microphones to pick up Alexa commands around your room. Except for the last part. We have to yell across the room to have the Beam pick up our voice when the One's are sitting 6" behind our head.

Please Sonos, at least give us the option to turn Alexa on/off on the Ones in a surround setup. If the choice is to enable Alexa on the surrounds without the ability turn on/off my TV, or remove Alexa from the surrounds completely, I'll gladly choose the former. I use Alexa far, far more than I use Sonos to turn on/off my TV.

I hope you can fix this and bring out the full value in our Sonos systems.

Thanks!
i also have to agree. I am very disappointed to find out that the microphone is turned off on the sonos ones. Sonos, are you planning on making a change to this?
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Even if you let us choose only one of the One’s for the Alexa mic and disabled the beam mic that’d be better the clunky Alexa setup now.
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Bought Sonos beam and 2x sonos One with subwoofer combo. Alexa situation super disappointing. It is nonsensical to disable the one’s mics. Surround speakers are always closer to people. So not turning on the ones mics basically means yelling at the beam from all the way across the room next to your TV - any time you want to use Alexa - especially when music is coming out of the beam. Ones mics would have been an excellent solution. Figure it out Sonos. It’s just software.
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The Sonos One microphones work just fine when used as surrounds. I'm not sure what the other posters are talking about. Nothing is disabled in the Sonos Ones when they are surrounds paired with Beam.

Hi Chris. This has been confirmed by Ryan, unless it has changed.
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News to me - but appears Ryan said they did disable with the Beam. Shouldn't be a big deal though with the Beam as the Alexa.
Hello, i have beam and i planed to buy two ones, not only for better soun but mainly because alexa has very hard time to hear me once music is playing. Now i read here, that its not possible to talk to ones microphone. Can you please sonos respond, if you plan to add this feature soon? If not, iam not buying another 2 speakers. But cmon, its pretty stupid not allow just pass voice from smaller ones to beam.
I have exactly the same problem. Bought 2 Sonos Ones rather than the cheaper Play for my Beam thinking that I can have an easier time talking to Alexa but was disappointed.
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The Ones will work as Alexa mics when bonded with the playbar, playbase, or Sonos Amp.

Thanks for your answer. Been thinking about this for a while as I want surrounds and Alexa in the living room
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The Ones will work as Alexa mics when bonded with the playbar, playbase, or Sonos Amp.
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Im looking inte this too but with a Play bar. Is the Ones mics off using Ones as surrounds with a Play bar too? Or does Alexa work when paired with a Play bar since the Play bar doesn’t have Alexa?

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