New to Sonos or Alexa? How to set up



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Userlevel 7
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I don't think Ryan ac921o1 meant to imply that you can create permanent groups in Sonos, just that you have grouped them in the app first, then tell Alexa to play a song to one of the speakers in the group.

For me, I almost always have my bedroom and bathroom grouped. It doesn't go away often, because I never ungroup them. Therefore "Alexa, play Weird Al in the bedroom" plays it in both plays synced.
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So I have to assume there is some commercial arrangement in place between Sonos and Amazon which currently prevents them offering spotify via this release.
There's no evidence to support that. A more logical understanding would be that Spotify and Sonos already have considerable functionality beyond the "standard" Alexa functions which were delivered in this beta skill. It's more reasonable to assume that they didn't want to deliver a compromised offering, and also not hold off on what's currently available until that enhanced functionality was ready.
I must say that personally I’m really disappointed that this doesn’t allow me to select and play from my own music library. I don’t use streaming or hosted services as music I like isn’t typically available on them. The ability to select music from a known library on a local drive already in the Sonos ecosystem must be possible. It’s interesting that this use case wasn’t prioritised; but I’m perhaps in a minority here....
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I don't think Ryan ac921o1 meant to imply that you can create permanent groups in Sonos, just that you have grouped them in the app first, then tell Alexa to play a song to one of the speakers in the group.

For me, I almost always have my bedroom and bathroom grouped. It doesn't go away often, because I never ungroup them. Therefore "Alexa, play Weird Al in the bedroom" plays it in both plays synced.


Bingo, that's what I do as well, bathroom and bedroom are always linked, so it works perfect for me.
Finally! Good integration and intuitive.... and works with existing speakers. Thank you. When I saw the announcement for the One - with integrated Alexa, I thought that was the totality of the Alexa integration, which would have been disappointing.
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I must say that personally I’m really disappointed that this doesn’t allow me to select and play from my own music library... It’s interesting that this use case wasn’t prioritised; but I’m perhaps in a minority here....
I agree, I wish it was available too. I also wish the ability to change inputs on the Playbase/bar was out there.

I'll make these two points though. I think local play is the minority. Streaming is how most people in the US consume their music. Additionally, from a technical standpoint it will have been easier to deliver the features in this first release than things not inherently part of Alexa.
Thank you melvimbe for explaining. I've grouped the speakers in my Sonos app and will try to leave them that way. The way I'm doing this is I grouped all the speakers together and then told Alexa to play Pandora in the 'kitchen'. Because they are all grouped together it turns on all of the speakers. Now how do I tell Alexa to turn up the volume? If I tell Alexa to turn up the volume in the kitchen will it actually turn up all the speakers because they are grouped?

I agree, I wish it was available too. I also wish the ability to change inputs on the Playbase/bar was out there.

I'll make these two points though. I think local play is the minority. Streaming is how most people in the US consume their music. Additionally, from a technical standpoint it will have been easier to deliver the features in this first release than things not inherently part of Alexa.


A few years back, Sonos released some information they gathered about usage, and online streaming was 93% of the usage on Sonos, with local libraries being the other 7%. It most certainly has risen from that figure by now.
I'm another that would like to be able to play from you library as well. I don't use streaming services (just happen to have amazon prime at the moment) but all my music is stored on a NAS drive that I would much rather use.
That said, so far very impressed with how easy it was to set up and use once i had un grouped speakers.
Best tip so far is to set speaker names to be simple so its easier for Alexa
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Is there a way to test this without having an amazon music account? Currently when I ask it to play to living room the echo listens but does or says nothing. I only have Spotify setup on my echo.
Is there a way to test this without having an amazon music account? Currently when I ask it to play to living room the echo listens but does or says nothing. I only have Spotify setup on my echo.

TuneIn stations are available for free. The following are some TuneIn commands:

To start TuneIn playback
Alexa, play (TuneIn station/radio call sign) in the (room name)
Alexa, put on (TuneIn station/radio call sign) in the (room name)
Alexa, start playing (TuneIn station/radio call sign) in the (room name)
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There's no evidence to support that. A more logical understanding would be that Spotify and Sonos already have considerable functionality beyond the "standard" Alexa functions which were delivered in this beta skill. It's more reasonable to assume that they didn't want to deliver a compromised offering, and also not hold off on what's currently available until that enhanced functionality was ready.


But they have released exactly that, a compromised offering that excludes the largest music streaming service on the planet.

If playing spotify via sonos with voice commands through alexa is possible using a personal amazon app anyone can download from github, then there are only two possible reasons for this functionality being omitted from this release.

1. There is a commercial arrangement in place between amazon and sonos which restricts spotify for at least a period of time.

2. The developers paid no attention to what people were already doing with their own amateur apps or didn't have the skills to deliver spotify working when these amateur solutions have been working for over a year.

Spotify, local library and grouping/ungrouping etc has been available using home published amazon apps for over a year, so im really struggling to see why multi million pound companies cant at least mirror this functionality after a year in development...
Awesome update!
Is there anyway to toggle the ducking feature on/off?

There isn't, I can pass on feedback to the team about it for you. Would you rather it not work at all or just not drop as low? Or something else entirely?


Awesome update!
Is there anyway to toggle the ducking feature on/off?

There isn't, I can pass on feedback to the team about it for you. Would you rather it not work at all or just not drop as low? Or something else entirely?


Ideally it would be cool if it were more granular. If you could set different levels for different speakers or turn it off completely for speakers that would be awesome. It would also be beneficial if you could make it only happen when certain Echo devices are triggered. If I’m listening to my living room Sonos I wouldn’t want it to drop out because my girlfriend asked my Echo in the bedroom what the weather was. Thanks for passing the feedback along!


There needs to be a way to associate 1 or more Sonos zones with each Alexa device for the "ducking" functionality.
We have 11 zones in our house and all 11 zones should not be "paused" anytime you say "Alexa" on any one of the 7 Alexa devices in our house. Or at a minimum be able to disable the feature. Hopefully this is something that can be implemented very soon in the beta as the current "ducking feature" makes this new functionality of controlling with Alexa a nuisance in our configuration. :|
Userlevel 5
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But they have released exactly that, a compromised offering that excludes the largest music streaming service on the planet.
Nonsense. You continue to be able to only view this from your standpoint. Just because it doesn't do everything for you does not mean it's "wrong".

They've delivered the first wave of functionality. To deliver Spotify would require they had a half-baked implementation or they delayed the release of what is available. Either suggestion is asinine. The features that are available are logically the easiest to bring to market.

there are only two possible reasons for this functionality being omitted from this release.
More nonsense. Just because you say this doesn't make these "reasons" accurate or even plausible.

im really struggling to see why multi million pound companies cant at least mirror this functionality after a year in development..
Look, no one outside Sonos can say definitively why more features couldn't make it in this beta release. Here's what an intelligent person can discern though. The offering as it stands takes advantage of what appear to be the easiest to implement Alexa functions. The more complex abilities that aren't native to Alexa are not.

You should also know that it wasn't until last month (September) that Amazon delivered major enhancements to their developer tools. Don't be surprised if you see a flood of these releases from companies that were waiting on Amazon to finish their integration.

It's fair to be disappointed that the beta release doesn't offer as many features as you want. It's pointless and immature to concoct unfounded theories about backroom deals and question developer competency though. Particularly when there's logical connections to be made that explain the situation. Sometimes a beta is just a beta.

We have 11 zones in our house and all 11 zones should not be "paused" anytime you say "Alexa" on any one of the 7 Alexa devices in our house.
That's a really good example. I do enjoy the ducking feature, but we've got a lot less kit around, so it wouldn't come up for us so often.
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So because I hold the opinion that large corporates delivering less functionality than currently available using homebrew is lazy development or commercially driven deliberate omission, i am talking nonsense and cannot be intelligent enough to discern your view.

How utterly condescending.

In your own words you state nobody outside sonos can say why features did or did not make it into the beta, but then go on to make your own reasoning and justifications for those omissions and dismiss anyone elses opinion as "nonsense".
Yes, you are talking nonsense. You have no idea of, nor the ability to discern the individual skill levels of their developers by a macro analysis of a beta release. You are taking cheap shots behind the anonymity of the internet, and would probably be rendered giddy at the actual breadth of talent it takes to do these things given the barriers in front of them. Comparing them to a local server driven implementation tells me you know nothing about those barriers, and are simply talking out your nether regions in order to take shots at those who can't fight back.. It is cowardly, and yes, it is nothing but childish nonsense.
Userlevel 5
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i am talking nonsense and cannot be intelligent enough to discern your view.
I can't discern your intelligence online, but your continued peddling of inaccurate or completely unfounded statements is by definition, nonsense.

I have no wish to quash discussion, but it frustrates me when people post misinformation that could cause problems for other people.

In your own words you state nobody outside sonos can say why features did or did not make it into the beta, but then go on to make your own reasoning and justifications for those omissions and dismiss anyone elses opinion as "nonsense".
Unlike you, I've chosen my words carefully for accuracy. I said "definitively". You won't have to look it up, as I'm glad to explain the difference. By using definitively I'm clarifying that no one can say with certainty. I then proceeded to offer a logical theory from the available evidence.
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You are taking cheap shots behind the anonymity of the internet,

This statement in conjunction with the rest of your post making assumptions on my level of experience in bringing applications to market and your opinion that i am "talking out of my nether regions" is somewhat hypocritical dont you think? The anonymity you are being afforded by the internet certainly appears to be facilitating a tone i doubt you would take away from the keyboard.

Fyi I have commissioned apps to be delivered on both android and apple handsets, as well as having had developed bespoke reporting tools used within the uk energy industry.

Whilst not having direct access to amazons own in house developers, i can draw my own conclusions based on my experience in development. I know how much our developers cost, what they are capable of and how much they cost. When i compare our budget to the resources amazon have available, all other things being equal (developer costs and skillset), then the only logical conclusion i can draw is that the functionality omissions are by design.

Maybe im wrong and these functions will arrive. Though whether you choose to accept it or not, there is also the possibility that i am right, and these omissions are down to either commercial design or the fact they just didnt want to bother going to that expense on developers delivering functionality that doesnt provide them (amazon/sonos) with any extra value.
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I'm loving having Alexa around the house and I am madly head over heels with Sonos (cant imagine life without it), but the Alexa integration seems a little broken (is it a beta or is it a general release?). For a start I dont care about music services, I want to play music from my own library. Secondly there's no audible feedback from Alerxa when she cant find a track or my commands dont make sense and thirdly the update has mucked up audio levels between alexa and my sonos. Will being able to play music from my own library be added soon?
Userlevel 5
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the Alexa integration seems a little broken (is it a beta or is it a general release?).
The Alexa skill is in beta, yes.
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ah well all good things take time and Im sure once it is refined and bugs squashed, it'll be up to Sonos's usual level of awesomeness..... I really hope it'll support playback from my own music library though ... fingers crossed
You are taking cheap shots behind the anonymity of the internet,

This statement in conjunction with the rest of your post making assumptions on my level of experience in bringing applications to market and your opinion that i am "talking out of my nether regions" is somewhat hypocritical dont you think? The anonymity you are being afforded by the internet certainly appears to be facilitating a tone i doubt you would take away from the keyboard.

Fyi I have commissioned apps to be delivered on both android and apple handsets, as well as having had developed bespoke reporting tools used within the uk energy industry.

Whilst not having direct access to amazons own in house developers, i can draw my own conclusions based on my experience in development. I know how much our developers cost, what they are capable of and how much they cost. When i compare our budget to the resources amazon have available, all other things being equal (developer costs and skillset), then the only logical conclusion i can draw is that the functionality omissions are by design.

Maybe im wrong and these functions will arrive. Though whether you choose to accept it or not, there is also the possibility that i am right, and these omissions are down to either commercial design or the fact they just didnt want to bother going to that expense on developers delivering functionality that doesnt provide them (amazon/sonos) with any extra value.


Whether you are right or wrong, your cheap shots at the Sonos developers were cowardly and pure vitriol. Dial it back a bit and maybe people will take you seriously. This is a middle to high priced music system, a leisure activity toy of the upper classes. To be insulting the talent level of people you dont know over not getting your pet features is juvenile nonsense, the stuff of game console and comic book forums. Sorry to be so blunt, but if you actually do have the experience you claim (not that it is even close to qualifying one to comment on this implementation), you would do well to act your frigging age.

And the difference between you attacking them and me attacking you is enormous. You can fight back, Sonos employees have to eat your crap and smile.
Userlevel 4
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I then proceeded to offer a logical theory from the available evidence.

As am I.

evidence available to myself being:

that the functionality is already available in home brew format.

Experience in deploying that home brew to one stage from public submission/publication via amazon marketplace

Experience of bringing apps to market on multiple platforms and the costs/skillset of developers required.


My logical conclusion is that Amazon and Sonos have access to development teams at least as skillful as those ive employed before, and have access to infinitely higher budgets. It would therefore, in my opinion, be well within their capability of delivering the homwbrew functionalities in a native format of they wanted to within the 9 months or so they have been working on it. I can also logically conclude that they chose not to for commercial reasons, be those a will to drive consumers to amazon services, or a cost vs benefit of delivering the extra functionalities.
Userlevel 4
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You are taking cheap shots behind the anonymity of the internet,

This statement in conjunction with the rest of your post making assumptions on my level of experience in bringing applications to market and your opinion that i am "talking out of my nether regions" is somewhat hypocritical dont you think? The anonymity you are being afforded by the internet certainly appears to be facilitating a tone i doubt you would take away from the keyboard.

Fyi I have commissioned apps to be delivered on both android and apple handsets, as well as having had developed bespoke reporting tools used within the uk energy industry.

Whilst not having direct access to amazons own in house developers, i can draw my own conclusions based on my experience in development. I know how much our developers cost, what they are capable of and how much they cost. When i compare our budget to the resources amazon have available, all other things being equal (developer costs and skillset), then the only logical conclusion i can draw is that the functionality omissions are by design.

Maybe im wrong and these functions will arrive. Though whether you choose to accept it or not, there is also the possibility that i am right, and these omissions are down to either commercial design or the fact they just didnt want to bother going to that expense on developers delivering functionality that doesnt provide them (amazon/sonos) with any extra value.


Whether you are right or wrong, your cheap shots at the Sonos developers were cowardly and pure vitriol. Dial it back a bit and maybe people will take you seriously. This is a middle to high priced music system, a leisure activity toy of the upper classes. To be insulting the talent level of people you dont know over not getting your pet features is juvenile nonsense, the stuff of game console and comic book forums. Sorry to be so blunt, but if you actually do have the experience you claim (not that it is even close to qualifying one to comment on this implementation), you would do well to act your frigging age.


I think you misinterpret my posts.

Far from belittling the developers at sonos/amazon, my conclusion is that they are easily capable of delivering the "missing" functionality, and my personal opinion is that they were never instructed to deliver it in the first place.

In short, the highly skilled developers have delivered exactly what the accountants wanted them to. And those same highly skilled developers will deliver the missing features when the accountants tell them they can.
So calling something "lazy development" or saying they "didn't have the skills" isn't belittling a developer? Gee, who knew? :8

But hey, glad to see my belittling of you got you to back off on them. Baby steps.