Multiple Echo and Sonos - play everywhere not an option

  • 5 October 2017
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I'm curious if anybody has tried the obvious "brute force" method of combining Echo and Sonos groups?

Plug a Dot into a Play5 or ZP120

Group the Play5 or ZP 120 with some other Sonos players

Create an Echo group including the Dot and some other Echos

Play something on the Echo group.

The music should play on all of the grouped Echos and all of the grouped Sonos players. There would be a little delay between the Sonos and Echo groups but that might not be an issue depending on the length of delay and how much the two areas overlap.

I'll probably try this out for myself but was wondering if somebody already has and has some feedback on how well it worked?
Alexa and Sonos have made a great first step and i'm waiting to be able to say:
Alexa group sonos kitchen and bathroom and lounge
Alexa play xxto the group
Alexa pause kitchen
Alexa resume kitchen

Ie ceate and modify groupings of sonos devices and sync the sounds comming out. Hen pause and resume one room in the group.
Get a Play 5, use line in with an Echo Dot, use Amazon Music Unlimited, voice command your music, group Sonos speakers in the Sonos app and you are set to go.
I will say there is a SLIGHT audio delay doing it this way but it works in my situation really well. A bit cumbersome but it is a work around.
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I'm not following how the inability to mix and match echo and sonos speakers means that people would be better served with a google max. You can't mix and match sonos with google speakers, nor do I think google does mutliroom audio (do they? I don't know).


I had Google Home installed before the Sonos 1 was delivered and experimented with controlling Sonos via Chromecast Audio connected to a Connect. It worked but the sound quality in comparison to the Sonos app was very poor and I stopped using it. Google however do support multi room as each Google Home is a Chrome Cast device and so can be grouped but again the Audio quality is not in the same league.
If you are using the line out into a receiver for your Echo and a Play 5, set that input to have 70 milliseconds delay in your receiver. Some can have the delay different for each input. Some can’t which will ruin any video playback and isn’t worth it. As Amazon develops Amazon Music Unlimited and adds it to the Alexa App, finding the music you want without having to say the right thing to the Echo will be an option. I’ll probably be getting Connects either way but I can’t afford them now and this option connected all of my home theater systems and Sonos together.
Most dissapointing to me is that even if alexa is part of sonos one, we cant still play audible directly. I have several sonos but im frustrated that after almost 3 years they cant fix this issue, specially now with the integration. If the sonos one and my echos could be be together on the "everywhere" group, i wouldnt mind having to add or group my sonos from the app as long as it still played my content
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Have read comments with interest. Have a pair of Play 1's in lounge (great!) and have linked them to Alexa/echo dot in kitchen, which I connect to a decent Vita amp/speaker via aux in. I want to play music through all together, and the previously mentioned problem of a combined Echo/Sonos group doesn't work.

However, you can play the radio through both at the same time - not ideal, but a start! I did try Adam's solution of trying to enable 'all rooms' from the Sonos app, but it doesn't work. Is this workaround coming out early 2018 really going to fix this problem? Any other ideas or solutions?
I'm curious if anybody has tried the obvious "brute force" method of combining Echo and Sonos groups?

Plug a Dot into a Play5 or ZP120

Group the Play5 or ZP 120 with some other Sonos players

Create an Echo group including the Dot and some other Echos

Play something on the Echo group.

The music should play on all of the grouped Echos and all of the grouped Sonos players. There would be a little delay between the Sonos and Echo groups but that might not be an issue depending on the length of delay and how much the two areas overlap.

I'll probably try this out for myself but was wondering if somebody already has and has some feedback on how well it worked?

I have set this up; the delay makes this a deal breaker if used in one open space. But in adjacent rooms where sound does not pass across in a significant, this will work. Line in needs to be uncompressed though.

But there is a little feature here from Amazon that makes this very useful; I have a Dot wired to the Line in on a Connect Amp, with an Echo to provide music for casual listening in an adjacent space. When the Dot and Echo are grouped, the Echo can be comfortably used for music play commands just for the Dot + Connect Amp, without having to shout over the sound of the Connect Amp speakers - the Dot in their vicinity struggles to do this while the Echo is many feet away and does not need to be shouted at. Instead of specifying group name to the Echo in the command, the name of the Dot needs be used to get just that to start. I have to check this out, but there also is none of the irritating ducking and waiting for that to happen before uttering the command to the Echo.
Since my earlier post I have now had a chance to try this as well. I mostly have ZP120s but I also had a fair number of little Blue Play1s that I have since replaced with S5s (Play5 Gen1s) so I have line-in jacks to work with. I have found lots of cheap sources for Dots, some as little as $10 when included in bundles so I have lots of them now too. I also have regular Echos and Echo Shows around because that is what the rest of the family prefers to use. I use Alexa grouping of the Dots rather than grouping through Sonos because that gives me persistent groups with unique names that I can use with voice commands. I can play music on any individual Sonos player or group of players by referencing the name of the corresponding Dot or Alexa group in the voice command. The command does not need to be given through the attached Dot but rather through any convenient Echo device so I avoid issues of the music drowning out the command. Also pleased with the way ducking works in this arrangement (I do not have the Sonos skill enabled). This will work fine for me while I wait for the Sonos skill to get out of beta and the missing Alexa features to get implemented through the new Alexa API.
I have line-in jacks to work with.

I have found lots of cheap sources for Dots

The command does not need to be given through the attached Dot but rather through any convenient Echo device so I avoid issues of the music drowning out the command.

wait for the Sonos skill to get out of beta and the missing Alexa features to get implemented through the new Alexa API.

Key takeaways quoted. Using any Echo device to command a Dot attached speaker works really well to address the "music drowning out the command" issue.

And it isn't just the missing Alexa features; the little I was able to try of Sonos Skills in an admittedly unofficial and distant India leads me to still believe that at this time, the line in but direct comms route for voice commands works better than the Skill enabled one that needs commands to go into the cloud to one server, thence to another where necessary, and thence back down to the home. Feels clunky to me compared to the line in route; but that could be the server distances affecting comms. And the ducking is missing - a good thing.
A glitch has just surfaced - I am not able to command the grouped Echo to play standalone. Even if I do not suffix the group name after the command to it, music play will start in grouped mode and that, for reasons of the line in delay, does not work. If the name for the Dot is suffixed, it works ok, only the Dot will play.

This is a change in behaviour from a few hours ago, and I am in touch with Amazon. Hopefully, the new way of grouped play starting even if not specified to in the command, is a glitch and not an added feature by Amazon. Because I do not want grouped play to start when the voice command does not suffix the name of the group to the command.
This entire setup is ridiculous… It’s obvious that there would be people who have both products and would expect them to play at the same time. They (Amazon/Sonos) should have been more explicit that both speakers would not play together at the same time. I as well as others it seems expected them to both to play together at the same time, nothing gave the impression otherwise. I also don’t want to spend hours fiddling around with this stuff trying to get it to work.
This entire setup is ridiculous… It’s obvious that there would be people who have both products and would expect them to play at the same time. They (Amazon/Sonos) should have been more explicit that both speakers would not play together at the same time. I as well as others it seems expected them to both to play together at the same time, nothing gave the impression otherwise. I also don’t want to spend hours fiddling around with this stuff trying to get it to work.

I never had that impression, and will be surprised if the new SDK can actually make it happen. There are significant technical differences in the way they sync, not to mention it would cut into either side's sales. I'm quite mystified that anyone would think it was possible, but YMMV.
@ Kumar- I don't think it is a new feature as I have seen this quite some time ago. It seems to be connected to the way the Echo tries to anticipate what you want to do. Once you start something in a group it assumes any subsequent commands to a group member are intended to also be applied to the group. I think this "grouped state" times out after some period of time after group playback ends. I have also been able to force a return to individual function either by suffixing the name of the specific dot I am talking to (only have to do this once to break the group state) or use a command that does not support group play. The second method is not as reliable because some commands break the group state while others will speak on the specific Dot but then resume group activity. I don't think there is any documentation on all this so I will be interested to hear what Amazon support has to say about it.
This entire setup is ridiculous… It’s obvious that there would be people who have both products and would expect them to play at the same time. They (Amazon/Sonos) should have been more explicit that both speakers would not play together at the same time. I as well as others it seems expected them to both to play together at the same time, nothing gave the impression otherwise. I also don’t want to spend hours fiddling around with this stuff trying to get it to work.

I never had that impression, and will be surprised if the new SDK can actually make it happen. There are significant technical differences in the way they sync, not to mention it would cut into either side's sales. I'm quite mystified that anyone would think it was possible, but YMMV.


I agree this could be mystifying if you view this with your Sonos googles on. There are several topics in the Sonos community, Amazon and feel free to Google “Sonos and echo play together” … Lots of discussion.
If both companies wanted to hop into bed together they should have considered this as a potential area of confusion for customers that have both products or want to expand on them. First question from my wife “why don’t they all play together…”.
I own several of both products and will continue to be a happy customer. I also don’t think either of them have to worry about profits as long as they continue to deliver quality products. This is just an annoyance.
Or it is a technical impossibility, not an annoyance.

And I don't wear googles, Sonos or otherwise. I understand why a layperson would think it is possible or probable, I also understand enough of the technical and financial side to know it may not be either possible, nor probable. I also know that as Amazon had just recently announced the SDK required for grouping would not be here until early next year, the probability of this feature being available upon launch was slim and none, and slim wasn't making the party. No googles needed for that analysis.
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Or it is a technical impossibility, not an annoyance.

And I don't wear googles, Sonos or otherwise. I understand why a layperson would think it is possible or probable, I also understand enough of the technical and financial side to know it may not be either possible, nor probable. I also know that as Amazon had just recently announced the SDK required for grouping would not be here until early next year, the probability of this feature being available upon launch was slim and none, and slim wasn't making the party. No googles needed for that analysis.


As jgatie says and as someone who has spent the last 30+years in IT system integration, I can assure you that the real complexity comes in the Integration phase! My last IT change programme had 22 3rd parties and the work to keep everyone aligned is amazing compared to the technical challenge in a specific technical ecosystem.
@ Kumar- I don't think it is a new feature as I have seen this quite some time ago. It seems to be connected to the way the Echo tries to anticipate what you want to do. Once you start something in a group it assumes any subsequent commands to a group member are intended to also be applied to the group. I think this "grouped state" times out after some period of time after group playback ends.
Mike, thanks, that is useful to know. I am trying to defeat this by resetting the groups, and then making sure that the group name is not ever used as a suffix. Commands to use either no suffix for addressed to single unit play and use the name of the Dot+Connect Amp suffix for play directed to just that zone. I could still be defeated by a no suffix command getting Dot+Connect to play due to the "smart" thing; time will tell. The first tries were flawless. The group name is so awkward that no one but I would ever utter it in a voice command, so Amazon will never hear it voiced, so at least the mode with a distracting delay isn't ever initiated. So goes my logic that is to be tested!
If Amazon has something useful to comment/advise, I shall post here.
Amazon has asked for a phone consult, which I have to find time for - but as of now, the above described attempt is working out as intended, with both the Dot+Connect Amp and the Echo playing as standalone zones as desired, based on appropriate voice commands to just the Echo.

Deleting the group, making one afresh, and then making sure that the group name is never uttered seems to be working till now.

If Sonos were conferred the smarts to enforce the sync delay only when the line in fed Sonos unit is part of a Sonos group, even grouped play via Echo groups would work in addition, but that may be a stretched ask.

As an aside, when the Amazon units are grouped, what WiFi do they use? The existing home WiFi or a peer to peer dedicated to grouped devices network?

As an aside, when the Amazon units are grouped, what WiFi do they use? The existing home WiFi or a peer to peer dedicated to grouped devices network?


Existing home Wi-Fi.
I'm curious if anybody has tried the obvious "brute force" method of combining Echo and Sonos groups?

Plug a Dot into a Play5 or ZP120

Group the Play5 or ZP 120 with some other Sonos players

Create an Echo group including the Dot and some other Echos

Play something on the Echo group.

The music should play on all of the grouped Echos and all of the grouped Sonos players. There would be a little delay between the Sonos and Echo groups but that might not be an issue depending on the length of delay and how much the two areas overlap.

I'll probably try this out for myself but was wondering if somebody already has and has some feedback on how well it worked?



I understand the only way of doing this is to plug an Echo dot via 3.5mm jack into a Sonos - (is this an inferior quality of sound issue? i.e. less than ideal). What chance is there of Sonos /Amazon sorting this issue with the new API being released.

I am pretty certain I will return Sonos Play 1 and Sonos 3 unopened, other family members were given Echos 2nd gen for christmas and we grouped them immediately ('everywhere' group). I then had the thought . .. will the new Sonos also group with these Echos? Then googled, came here. Feeling the workaround with 3.5mm jack socket is not optimal compared to wifi connection. As I said I haven't opened the Sonos boxes, so please correct me if I am wrong as I haven't actually tried it via software/wifi pairing. thanks
not difficult, just group the speakers together, doesnt diminish the sound quality, it just wont be in stereo, but that should not matter if in different rooms
Has there been any movement on this subject?

I've read on a couple of posts that amazon was updating their SDK early this year but it's difficult to pin down if this has or will happen
I don't have any info, but this is very unlikely to happen.