Is Alexa supposed to be this awful?

  • 19 July 2018
  • 3 replies

We’ve been using Apple home kit for the past year which has been ok but Siri isn’t amazing and in responsive at times. So the release of the beam with AirPlay and Alexa gave us the opportunity to try something else.

However, it seems that Alexa is extremely lacking.

It seems to require very specific instructions “Alexa, turn on all the living room lights” returns an error saying it can’t find a device with that name, where’s “Alexa, turn on living room lights” works.

I would say around 70% of commands are met with an error.

Frustratingly Alexa keeps telling me there are no audio devices and it cannot take audio commands?

Is that the same experience for others
a) with Alexa on any platform
b) with Alexa on Sonos Beam

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3 replies

Hit or miss for me as well. Not sure why. I mostly use Alexa on Sonos for music control. Even that is spotty. My Google Mini and Dot usually handle things much better.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20

Let's separate your two issues:

1/ Alexa Smart Home Control.

I use the naming convention Room Name + Device Type e.g. Kitchen Sonos, Kitchen Echo Dot. For Lights, I use the Main for Ceiling Lights and Background for subtle lighting. e.g. Kitchen Main Lights, Kitchen Background Lights. I then create an Alexa Group for all the Kitchen Lights called Kitchen Lights. This enables me to turn all lights on with the command 'Alexa, Turn Kitchen Lights on' or specific lights with 'Alexa, Turn Kitchen Main Lights On'. I also create an Alexa Group, called 'Downstairs Lights'.

2/ Sonos Control via Alexa

First off, Alexa doesn't support the inclusion of Sonos Players within Alexa Groups as of yet, so all grouping needs to be done via the Sonos App and then asking Alexa to output to any Sonos device in the group plays to all players in that group. After you have asked Alexa to Discover Devices your Sonos players should be listed within the Alexa App>Smart Home>Devices - Can you confirm that these are listed correctly?