Multiple Echo and Sonos - play everywhere not an option

  • 5 October 2017
  • 61 replies
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I have 4 echos in my house grouped to the “everywhere” group through Alexa. I added my Sonos Play 1 and it works fine by itself with any simple alexa commands. However, I tried to add my Sonos speaker to my everywhere group but it doesn’t seem like this is an option. Can anybody tell me if I can play my music on ALL of my echo devices AND my Sonos at the same time? If I can’t add Sonos speakers to the everywhere group along with my Echo devices, I’m less likely to purchase an additional Sonos like I planned. Isn’t the whole point to be able to play music in all the speakers at the same time?

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61 replies

I wonder whether Sonos' staff monitor these discussions? Can we have some official words on whether connectivity with Echo will be coming in the near future (if so, when) or not?

I currently have 4 Echos and 2 Sonos One, if these devices will never be able to be grouped, I'm sure at lot of us will have to consider returning one of the system and just stay with one.

Thanks
I just bought a Beam and can’t get it to be part of my Alexa Everywhere group. This is bogus. What did someone else say about Amazon or Google making their own speaker ecosystem?
I was disappointed that I my play base and two sonos play 1s do not interface at all with my amazon devices. I like the wireless features but my home stereo sounded much better and was easier to use to just play music on all 5.1 type speakers. The reason I am here is that I want to do something easy - Just play music on my play base and two play 1s which are a home theater set up. Just can not get it to work.
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There are a lot of advantages to Sonos you don’t seem to need or want. But hay doesn’t diminish the value of Sonos to those of us who have it. I have no desire to play my Sonos speakers in unison with an alexa speaker.

Ps. Yes never listen to guy at the store
Thanks for this. I spoke to the clerk before buying and explicitly asked if I would be able to synch with other speakers and play my existing streams via my "everywhere" group. He obviously didn't understand my question. Amazon can easily upscale the speaker tech and run Sonos out of the biz. Sonos needs Amazon more than Amazon needs Sonos. Very dissapointed in this "skill". Get on with it Sonos!!!
Is there any chance that this update to the ios controller app will allow sonos speakers and echo speakers to play the same media simultaneously?
I only ask because the last line of what's new in the app says "wirelessly connect other sonos speakers to an amazon echo or dot"


No. That is describing being able to control Sonos via an Echo device.
Is there any chance that this update to the ios controller app will allow sonos speakers and echo speakers to play the same media simultaneously?
I only ask because the last line of what's new in the app says "wirelessly connect other sonos speakers to an amazon echo or dot"
I was about to purchase the S1 to compliment my newly purchased Echo Plus which I absolutely love for the value and features btw.., BUT... I will be delaying the S1 purchase and wait to see what the industry comes up with... As we all have recently learned, a company as popular as Apple has so far FAILED with their 'supposedly' superior sounding HomePod even though they own the worlds most successful platform, WHY? 'lack of 3rd party integration'... what can we expect from Sonos? Make it happen people! :?
Ask Amazon, not Sonos. It is their (AVS) Multi-Room Music SDK which is supposed to allow this functionality. It was slated for release in early 2018, but it has apparently been delayed.
I just picked up the new S1 and planned to expand the system... However, the lack of Amazon integration with Echo’s has me pausing. Totally bummed I can’t play music everywhere with all devices! Seriously Sonos:? What’s the purpose of the Amazon Alexa integration if you can’t leverage all devices across both technologies. :? Engineering needs to step up the game - Innovate and Partner!!! :8
I don't have any info, but this is very unlikely to happen.
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
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
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

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.
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?
@ 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.
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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.
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.
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.
@ 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.
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.
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.
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.