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Microphone sensitivity for the “Alexa” wake word is low


I still have to use either, but here is the Stuff magazine take on this, from their review:
"Finally, Alexa seems to be less responsive on the Sonos One, at least compared to the Echo, meaning you have to speak a little bit louder for it to hear you. Considering my Echo will sometimes pick up an unintended ‘Alexa’ reference while I’m chatting in another room, this probably isn’t as significant a shortcoming as it sounds.
Read more at https://www.stuff.tv/sonos/one/review#RDh9IciKOQwAQ2K0.99

But something that is a concern that Sonos ought to look at, if what you say is more applicable.
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Best answer by Ryan S 20 December 2017, 23:30

Sonos version 8.2.3 is now available for the Sonos One (other Sonos devices will stay on 8.2.2). This update improves Alexa responsiveness for Sonos One users in US, UK, Germany, and Austria.

You should find that Alexa is getting better at listening, with a decrease in the times Alexa speaks up when not called. Alexa on Sonos One is now more likely to carry out your desired action when requested; especially when it’s noisy, when the speaker is further away, or when speaking quietly.

Update within your Sonos app by going to More > Settings > Online Updates.

We’re continuing to work with Amazon and the Alexa team to improve Sonos One voice control. You can expect to see more developments as we go. Let us know what you think of the changes. We’d love to hear from you.
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I have six Sonos Ones, four of which were purchased upon or shortly after release in October/November of last year. The other two were purchased months later. None have the issue described and, in any event, Sonos has always insisted microphone sensitivity issue is a software issue. Proof of that lies in the fact that when I first purchased mine, they were absolutely terrible. Now, several firmware updates later, they are very nearly equal to all three of my echo devices.

If cycling the mic button on each of the Sonos One doesn't improve sensitivity for you, contact support. You should not have to stand next to your Sonos Ones or yell at them to get their attention unless there is a whole lot of extraneous background noise in the areas where you have them.
Yes mine is pretty also bad...!

And just bought 6 of them for the whole house, and all of the suffer :-(

Using the "Alexa Broadcast" skill also plays at a very low volume and with at lot of white noise, so understand why the wake word fails to do it's job...

I'm afraid it is the hardware it self that are crappy, else a software fix should have happen a long time ago...

All of mine have Hardware Version: 1.21.1.8-2 so maybe it has been fixed in a later batch?

Have a small Google Mini and that is just plain superior, - never have to raise my voice.

Hope there is a fix or my $$$ investment seems to be wasted and never ever coming back to Sonos!

/CU
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The Sonos One is nowhere near capable of doing this..

Yes, it is. Mine does. Call support.
Rskadk,

I was playing the YouTube video link above on my iPad and my Sonos One (Approx 5 metres away) picked up the first question and answered it straight away...I think that’s around 17 feet away... and whilst my iPad is currently set on full volume, it’s not really all that loud. So my Sonos One mic is sensitive, I think, and there is no way I really ever need to shout loudly at all... just speak to it as you would normally. If not, then I would pick up the phone and actually speak to sonos support.
i have pressed that mic button a couple of times and it doesn't help. I have to be max. 2 meter from the One for it to hear me and for this to work i have to speak into the direction where it's plased. I have 2 Ones in 2 different rooms and it's the same problem with both of them. Furthermore if it's playing music (Medium level) I have to raise my voice a lot for it to pick up the magic Alexa word...
As Master T suggests you must have something wrong with your devices. I have an echo Dot and Sonos Ones in several rooms and the Sonos One is far more sensitive and responsive. I only have to speak in a normal voice from across the other side of the room. It sounds like yours are not behaving as they should be. Have you tried calling and speaking to Sonos Support.

As far as I’m aware, any existing Sonos One mic issues have been resolved. I’m most certainly not getting any issue where I have to shout or stand next to the device for it to hear me.


I have submitted a request to sonos. But i know others have the same issue. Try to watch this video from an Echo device

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7ZJQ0H48sw

This behavior is WAY BETTER than my Sonos One. The guy can speak from 10 meters distance and also whisper, and still the Echo recognizes the "Alexa word" and commands. The Sonos One is nowhere near capable of doing this..
i have pressed that mic button a couple of times and it doesn't help. I have to be max. 2 meter from the One for it to hear me and for this to work i have to speak into the direction where it's plased. I have 2 Ones in 2 different rooms and it's the same problem with both of them. Furthermore if it's playing music (Medium level) I have to raise my voice a lot for it to pick up the magic Alexa word...
As Master T suggests you must have something wrong with your devices. I have an echo Dot and Sonos Ones in several rooms and the Sonos One is far more sensitive and responsive. I only have to speak in a normal voice from across the other side of the room. It sounds like yours are not behaving as they should be. Have you tried calling and speaking to Sonos Support.

As far as I’m aware, any existing Sonos One mic issues have been resolved. I’m most certainly not getting any issue where I have to shout or stand next to the device for it to hear me.
If you're yelling at your Sonos One, then something isn't right. While the sensitivity used to be quite poor, it's improved to the point now where I use a low speaking voice, even across the room when music is playing at a nominal volume. One suggestion is to cycle the mic button on top of the unit on and off, as that usually restores any loss of sensitivity that has built up over time with the Sonos One. Sonos is aware of this issue, which is frankly overdue for a fix, as this can be inconvenient for those of us who have mounted our speakers higher in the room. Fortunately, in my experience anyway, the mic button doesn't need to be cycled very often.

Sonos has said that Google Assistant will be released in November or December of this year, in time for the holiday sales season.


i have pressed that mic button a couple of times and it doesn't help. I have to be max. 2 meter from the One for it to hear me and for this to work i have to speak into the direction where it's plased. I have 2 Ones in 2 different rooms and it's the same problem with both of them. Furthermore if it's playing music (Medium level) I have to raise my voice a lot for it to pick up the magic Alexa word...
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If you're yelling at your Sonos One, then something isn't right. While the sensitivity used to be quite poor, it's improved to the point now where I use a low speaking voice, even across the room when music is playing at a nominal volume. One suggestion is to cycle the mic button on top of the unit on and off, as that usually restores any loss of sensitivity that has built up over time with the Sonos One. Sonos is aware of this issue, which is frankly overdue for a fix, as this can be inconvenient for those of us who have mounted our speakers higher in the room. Fortunately, in my experience anyway, the mic button doesn't need to be cycled very often.

Sonos has said that Google Assistant will be released in November or December of this year, in time for the holiday sales season.
Same here. Tired of having to be so close to the speaker for it to wake up. My wife thinks I’m crazy when I practically have to yell at it when I’m a bit away from the speaker. :@:@ Another thing that really frustrates me is when I use the command « flash briefing «  and she answers « here’s your news briefing » and then NOTHING. 😠
Nothing yet. And to be honest, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. It looks like Sonos is really dragging their legs with fixing/improving what’s already been released and instead just releasing new products to keep increasing sales by expanding their product line. It’s almost Q4, and they have yet to release the Google Home interface for the ONE let alone address the horrid mic sensitivity issue. Not a fan of having to constantly yell at my device to the point where I’m sure my neighbors can hear me. (I live in an apt)
Any news regarding the microphone not working properly? I have just bought a couple of sonos ones. Enabled Alexa and updated the firmware. The microphone is really bad. I have to stay next to the speaker for it to hear my voice. Furthermore i have to speake louder than i usually would for it to hear it. Is it supposed to be that bad`?
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There has been much Alexa talk on UK forums about what it will and won’t do and when features will be available.
The UK, and EU, are now under the much stricter privacy law that GDPR has established.
Any developemnts for global release, Sonos being a global company and not wishing to fragment its OS, must be aware of and be compliant with local legislation and proposed future legislation (info of which is reaily available by looking in the right place which legal depts do) of which voice control is a “big thing”. Ensuring that devices only listen when commanded to and then stop is a big “if” at present. Devices continuing recording without command fall foul of EU legislation and can attract a HUGE, and I mean HUGE, fine.(IIRC something like 4.5% of turnover)
I gave up. I just replaced my Sonos One with the Echo Dot. It's an extra hassle to say "play music in the living room" to get music playing on the Sonos One but it's definitely less annoying than having to repeat every command twice because the Sonos one didn't pick it up.

I'm really dissappointed. I definitely understand that Sonos has other priorities but if you sell a "premium" product, you also need premium features and Sonos is not delivering with its voice recognition on the One.


Now that is an option, but will you then lose your Airplay 2 functionality as this is the sole reason I bought the Sonos One to be able to drive my Sonos Play 1s I have?
I gave up. I just replaced my Sonos One with the Echo Dot. It's an extra hassle to say "play music in the living room" to get music playing on the Sonos One but it's definitely less annoying than having to repeat every command twice because the Sonos one didn't pick it up.

I'm really dissappointed. I definitely understand that Sonos has other priorities but if you sell a "premium" product, you also need premium features and Sonos is not delivering with its voice recognition on the One.
I agree with your frustration, with the entire voice control industry. It's really in it's infancy as a technology goes, and no where near it eventually needs to be in terms of hearing you properly and ease of use. We've really barely touched the surface as to what all we will eventually be able to do. Maybe a decade from now.

Overall, I really glad Sonos has sort of positioned itself in the middle of all this. Not only is it adding more features to my existing system, but I think it's adding more motivation to the other players, particularly in terms of integrating well with others. But again, Sonos hasn't been prefect by any means at this point.
Well put @melvimbe 😃. I'll concede to your rebuttal, it's just that it's a little frustrating is all.
So.... @Sonos, are you ever going to resolve this issue or should we start expecting shoddy/unfinished products to be released by Sonos with no solutions in sight, just barren promises?


Sonos released Alexa integration as a beta product. I'm not saying that there is no reason to expect Alexa integration to work better by now, just that Sonos isn't trying to pass this off as finished production as far as Alexa integration is concerned.


Consumer Reports writes a scathing review about Tesla, and within a very short period of time, they release an update to their vehicles, addressing the issue that was discussed by the Report.

Not to conflate the two scenarios, but the Sonos One has been release for over a year now and the software (Including the uselessness of Alexa) have not changed.


Not over a year. It was release last September/October timeframe.


It's annoying and embarrassing when I have to yell at my Sonos ONE (Alexa) to carry out a command when there is music playing, or even when there is not. Whereas with other products, which I will not mention, the sensitivity to engaging the device is considerably more attuned.


I have a similar issue with echo products. I'm not saying it's as bad, just that it seems to be an issue with Alexa across the board to some extent.


I realize that Sonos has a policy of secrecy and not releasing any information to the public, especially when it comes to timelines-- but there is only so long I am willing to settle before I write a product, or in this case, an entire company off, as being obsolete due to said company turning a willing blind eye to its' more than loyal consumer base and thinking that because we own the product, we are therefore trapped within the ecosystem with no other option but to accept the fact. Software patches these days can be worked on and released within weeks, if not days. The sheer fact that we are forced to pay so much for a product that has yet to meet basic standards is insulting.


Sonos has a lot of features and fixes that customers are waiting on. All of them with a set of customers who are threatening to leave if they don't get attention soon. I wouldn't want to be the guy that has to prioritize development tasks right now. Regardless, I don't think it's accurate to say that Sonos is willing turning a blind eye on customers. It probably feels that way, not denying that.


Hopefully with heavyweight hitters such as Apple entering the market, the added competition will add a fire under Sonos to get with it. Just because some people are invested in the product lines offered by Sonos does not make them unwilling to sell them off and start purchasing in a different ecosystem.......


I can't agree with the thought that Sonos isn't motivated by competition already. It's why they are working on improvements with Amazon integration, why are they are working on Google integration, probably talking to Apple about Siri integration, working on Airplay 2 integration, working on a new product release, working on the 'works with Sonos' program, and who knows what else. I can't see a company doing all this without already being motivated by competition.

I think it's kind of interesting that you mention Apple as the motivator for Sonos though. Apple was the first to bring voice interface to the market, yet they have fallen behind Amazon and Google. Amazon and Google have had their home voice control products out for years, and Apple only months, after missing the Christmas season entirely. Apple release the homepod with several promised features missing, to be released later. They just release airplay 2, but it only works with homepod for now, you have to wait for all the other speakers. I'd say that Sonos is aware and motivated by the competition, but looking at Apple's recent history in the space, it's hard to conclude that Apple is motivated to compete.
So.... @Sonos, are you ever going to resolve this issue or should we start expecting shoddy/unfinished products to be released by Sonos with no solutions in sight, just barren promises?

Consumer Reports writes a scathing review about Tesla, and within a very short period of time, they release an update to their vehicles, addressing the issue that was discussed by the Report.

Not to conflate the two scenarios, but the Sonos One has been release for over a year now and the software (Including the uselessness of Alexa) have not changed.

It's annoying and embarrassing when I have to yell at my Sonos ONE (Alexa) to carry out a command when there is music playing, or even when there is not. Whereas with other products, which I will not mention, the sensitivity to engaging the device is considerably more attuned.

I realize that Sonos has a policy of secrecy and not releasing any information to the public, especially when it comes to timelines-- but there is only so long I am willing to settle before I write a product, or in this case, an entire company off, as being obsolete due to said company turning a willing blind eye to its' more than loyal consumer base and thinking that because we own the product, we are therefore trapped within the ecosystem with no other option but to accept the fact. Software patches these days can be worked on and released within weeks, if not days. The sheer fact that we are forced to pay so much for a product that has yet to meet basic standards is insulting.

Hopefully with heavyweight hitters such as Apple entering the market, the added competition will add a fire under Sonos to get with it. Just because some people are invested in the product lines offered by Sonos does not make them unwilling to sell them off and start purchasing in a different ecosystem.......
I'm shouting at Alexa like an annoyed parent to turn the volume down ... given up on it to be honest
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Again, try turning the mic off and then on again by pressing the button on top of the Sonos One. That will usually restore the sensitivity of the device, at least until Sonos releases a permanent fix.
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Same issue here with Sonos one not responding while playing music. I will literally be standing over it and yelling. As far as Dots go, I have them scattered throughout the house as well as other Alexa enabled devices. It is very common for me to be speaking to a dot or Alexa device with a response coming from another device in another room.

My main concern is having to yell at the Sonos One. Hopefully an update is around the corner.
I have also noticed that voice sensitivity has significantly decreased in the past couple of weeks. Any time music is playing I need to shout in order for Alexa to respond, and it often requires several tries. It's embarrassing when guests are over, and unless a fix is available, I'm not likely to use Alexa at all.
Looking forward to any fix that might come out for this. I have the same issues. I used to walk into the room and ask Alexa to turn on the lights with my Echo Dot. It always worked flawlessly. Now with the Sonos One, I have to speak louder or even turn towards the One to make it work.

Seriously considering to disable Alexa on the One and reconnecting my Echo Dot. It's just not convenient enough. The Wife Acceptance Factor of the One doesn't really give me a choice.


Yes I am experiencing the same issue too with my Sonos One in my Kitchen... my nearby echo dot in the nearby hallway is much more sensitive and hears my commands moreso than my Sonos One, even though I am in closer proximity to the Sonos One.

It really does need fixing!... hopefully Sonos are looking into this issue.
Looking forward to any fix that might come out for this. I have the same issues. I used to walk into the room and ask Alexa to turn on the lights with my Echo Dot. It always worked flawlessly. Now with the Sonos One, I have to speak louder or even turn towards the One to make it work.

Seriously considering to disable Alexa on the One and reconnecting my Echo Dot. It's just not convenient enough. The Wife Acceptance Factor of the One doesn't really give me a choice.
I have had the sonos one for a couple of month now, this is my first sonos device.
I thought if I'm to start replacing my echo's this would be a good place.
I'm starting to wish I hadn't. The response to any wake work is abysmal, I can be right next to it, shouting and still nothing.
In fact the dot upstairs gets me before the Sonos will. The kitchen dot will more likely get my voice 80% of the time before the sonos responds.
is there anyway I can justify keeping this, apart from the sound beinng great, it's not really doing whats it's designed to do?
Does Sonos frequent these forums and offer advice or updates?