Answered

Joining the Sonos Echo/Alexa beta


How can I join this beta please?
icon

Best answer by Ryan S 4 October 2017, 18:28

Hi everyone, Alexa integration is now live with our beta skill for Amazon Alexa. Check out the announcement here. Also, there's some info on the Sonos One here.

The Alexa skill is a public beta, but you don't need to do anything special to get it, just install it from the Alexa app. Some full steps here for setting it up.
View original

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

42 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
There isn't a Public Beta to join.

When there is there will be an announcement. In the meantime you can join Public Beta in your account and follow the links to Beta
OK thanks. Do we know that once the integration is in place between Sonos & Echo and if like me you have Sonos speakers in nearly every room, do we only require an Echo Dot as all audio response, including the voice of Alex would come though the Sonos speakers?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
No we don't
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
From the original video and the way I have ever seen Alexa work I would assume no alex voice would come through Sonos speakers. Alexa would send a push command to send music selection to specific speaker. Music only to Sonos. I don't see how it would be any other way.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I'll agree with Chris here. Alexa's voice will likely come through whatever Echo device receives the command, not the Sonos device that will be playing the music.
Thanks. Makes sense.
Userlevel 1
Badge
My daughter in Nevada was selected to be part of the Public Beta, she told me she was contacted by Sonos but was not told how she was selected. She said the integration works very well and is super cool.
An interesting thing to test will be the difference in user experience between a Dot connected to a decent pair of powered speakers vs. a Dot controlling a pair of Play1s. We know the Dot controlling the Play1 will likely keep the voice responses on the Dot and not be able to mute music when Alexa is talking and will also be able to control additional Sonos speakers in other rooms from where the Dot and Play1s are located. The powered speaker configuration on the other hand will manage music muting so Alexa can speak since voice and music both will come from the speakers but I wonder if Amazon will add the ability to have one Dot control music on a different Dot in another room? Lots of unkowns on both sides.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Why would the echo be unable to pause the Sonos speakers. Once the Sonos speakers start playing music the echo would go back to listening for next command.
Why would the echo be unable to pause the Sonos speakers. Once the Sonos speakers start playing music the echo would go back to listening for next command.

I meant Alexa can't automatically pause the music playing on the Sonos speaker while speaking the way it does whan playing natively through an Echo device. I'm sure you will be able to tell Alexa to pause or mute the Sonos when you need to hear a voice response or intercom call but it won't do it on its own. Not saying that is good or bad, just noting one way things will be different for people who are used to listening to music via an Echo and decide to move up to a Sonos speaker (as distinct from existing Sonos users who get a Dot to control the Sonos system they already own).
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Ok yes I see where yes it wouldn't pause music without you saying so.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
So far as far as amazon echos go one dot can't control another dot (i.e. Can't tell one dot to play music on another dot or can't tell two dots to play the same thing). That should currently be a big Sonos advantage telling any dot to play any Sonos unit. Of course I would think amazon would at some point get to one echo controlling another echo or grouping echos. It would be short sighted to think that wouldn't be an eventual amazon goal.

Of course no echo unit compares in sound quality to a Sonos unit (and I even have the new echo show which is supposed to have the best sound of all their units).
I am wondering if the ability for one Echo to control another might not be released at the same time as the Sonos integration. it seems like the core code will exist at that point and it just has to be applied to Echo devices as well as Sonos ones. I am less optimistic about Echos playing in sync... I just don't know if they have the processing power to implement that.

As for quality, I think Amazon has side-stepped that whole question by coming out with the Dot. Just like with Sonos and the Connect you can use an Echo Dot with as fancy a receiver or powered speaker as you like. Instead of comparing a Play1 to an Echo Show it is probably fairer to compare a pair of Play1s to a Dot feeding a pair of Audio Engine or KEF powered speakers.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Just from a personal experience. I didn't particularly enjoy my dot hardwired to my play:5 from a usability standpoint overall. Even though that was a better case then a normal system as I could at least group other Sonos speakers to that Play:5 for multiroom.

I haven't heard any rumors yet on amazon doing multiroom itself in the short term.
I doubt it. Echos are basically dumb devices, all their logic and processing power is in the Cloud. Since they were designed as standalone devices, I'm not sure they have the horsepower and special timing necessary to accomplish adequate syncing.
I don't know, they run a pretty solid (although single core) ARM chip at >800mhz. The Sonos by comparison seem to be able to do it with much less processing power.

Bigger question, would Amazon really want to build this into the echo? Seems like a weird use case. I love my echo, but the speaker is nothing to write home about.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Google home uses similar arm chip I believe and does multiroom audio. So being a direct Amazon echo competitor I would surely assume it is on their radar.

Most likely a reason amazon jumped on partnering with Sonos as that gives them a multiroom platform to compete until they develop their own version.
ETA?
ETA?

Sonos doesn't state ETA. They schedule by testing goals accomplished, not calendar says elapsed. They have said that it is on track for release this year, but that does not mean it won't come sooner than Dec. 31, 2017.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
jgatie is correct. If there is a private beta going on now from what leaks here seem to say. Historically betas have lasted in the order of 60 days. So my uninformed opinion would be we wouldn't see general release until the September time frame. With the anxiety behind this release it may be possible they release a more rare public beta in the middle of testing ... that would mean maybe mid-August. Just going by what we have seen in past and assumption they are currently testing.

I wonder how HEOS is doing with their version slated for release 1st Quarter this year --- crickets ---
I would be glad to test german commands🆒
jgatie is correct. If there is a private beta going on now from what leaks here seem to say. Historically betas have lasted in the order of 60 days. So my uninformed opinion would be we wouldn't see general release until the September time frame.

First leak was around May 11th in Billboard or Variety, forget which. So, we could be seeing public beta within days...
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I think initial leaks were about people being recruited for betas. Not sure I would be that hopeful for public beta that quickly. Seems we have just recently been seeing some great NDA breachers asking questions about beta.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Well I have been using Alexa with sonos for a while now. I use Indigo Dominic's smart home software together with IFTTT to control sonos. Basically Alexa triggers IFTTT. IFTTT triggers Indigo, and Indigo triggers sonos. I have created some presets to turn on my commonly used stations in a few different sonos zones. I also created a stop command and volume control. It's a little bit of a pain to set up, but it is doable.
Problem is that when music is blasting, Alexa can't hear you clearly enough to receive a command.

Also, since the novelty wore off, I rarely use Alexa to control Sonos.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Voice is great for playing a quick random song. It's not for listening to multiple songs where the controller is far superior.