Other devices/rooms with same name as a Sonos speaker

  • 5 October 2017
  • 9 replies

Hi there,

There's a problem with Alexa+Sonos when the Sonos speaker shares the same name as the room that it's in that includes other devices. Here's where the problem starts:

Philips Hue groups bulbs into rooms. I have Bathroom, Kitchen, Living Room, and Bedroom.
Unsurprisingly, my Sonos speakers in those rooms are also called Bathroom, Kitchen, Living Room, and Bedroom.

Before adding Sonos speakers to my list of Alexa devices, I could say "Alexa, turn off/on the bedroom," and the lights in my bedroom would react to the command.

However, now that the Sonos speakers share the same name as the Hue Rooms, Alexa responds with, "Sorry, Bedroom is not responding," and I suspect it's because Sonos speakers don't have an on/off state.

So what I'm looking for is some way for Alexa to know what device you're talking about based on the action you're requesting. Since Sonos speakers don't have on/off states, Alexa should know you meant the LIGHTS in a room, and not the speaker. it gets a little fuzzy when you start making requests for things like brightness and volume, because "Alexa, turn up the living room" could refer to the brightness in the living room or the volume.

I don't think it's reasonable to change the Sonos speaker name to something else. What would I change Bedroom to, anyway?

Thanks for reading!

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9 replies


I had to change all 3 of my Echo device's names to avoid this issue. I think the kitchen became "food", the bedroom became "sleep" and the den became "computer". I chose to change those, as I would be much more likely to be using verbal commands for the Sonos speakers, and the nice thing about the Echo devices is that they react to a wake word, so I don't really have to worry about what they're named.

But then again, I don't use them for much else, i.e. I don't listen to other streams on them, they're purely control devices, and timers for me. I could see an issue if I listened to radio on one, for instance, as then I'd get the names confused. But in the whole home internet world, I'm finding that everything needs its own name, and one that I can pronounce and sounds differently. Took a little bit to get used to, but as I say, I don't use the names of those specific Echos much, and I've changed my lights and Sonos devices to be different names.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I changed all my alexa devices to “room” then name. So my Sonos is Kitchen and my alexa is Room Kitchen. Since I use the intercom feature with alexa I can then just say drop in room kitchen. It resolved the confusion in names. Another way would be rename Sonos zones as Sonos kitchen. I didn’t like that though. Hue I could put Light Kitchen to distinguish it.
I'm tearing my hair out here with a similar problem. I have an echo dot and Sonos in the bedroom. Both were called bedroom, so "play Radio 1 in the bedroom" activated TuneIn on the echo rather than the Sonos. No problem, changed the echo name to "Sleep" as suggested above. The damn thing still responds with "playing Radio 1 on Sleep Echo Dot". It's now called "Echo Dot 2" and it still seems to know it's in the bedroom, and refuses to play on the bedroom Sonos player.

Any ideas?
I changed the names of the Hue rooms (in the Hue app) to to include "My", eg. "My Living Room", "My Bedroom", etc. In the Alexa app you have to rediscover those devices. Then everything works as it should.
I had the same issue and just removed the Sonos skill from my Alexa app until I found a solution. Lofondo, I like your solution and will try it out when I get home, Thanks!
I haven't really had an issue, though mostly through dumb luck I guess. I've always followed the naming convention of 'room name' + 'type of device'. So therefore it's:

Kitchen Light
Kitchen Echo
Kitchen Sonos (although I've actually dropped Sonos since integration)
Family Room Light
Family Room Lamps.

It's not difficult to remember since when giving a command, you obviously know what room and device you want to control. The day I add some new smart device in the kitchen, maybe be the oven, it shouldn't cause any naming confusion.

'Alexa, set the kitchen oven to 350 degrees'.
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
I have hue and append Light/Lights/Lamp to the room/bulb, it seems more natural to say...
Turn on the living room light
Turn on the living room
Similar problem here... I have had my Sonos players called by room names; "study", "kitchen" etc. for years.

All was working well, then I linked Sonos to Alexa,(which was already linked to my HA system running Homeseer). That was fine, too, with Sonos working perfectly by voice control... but then I asked Alexa to turn on the lights by saying the usual "Turn on the lights in the study", to be told "That command doesn't work on device study". Same in kitchen and bedroom, of course.

I'm only glad I haven't heard Alexa say "I'm sorry Dave... I'm afraid I can't do that..." (yet!)

Some careful renaming to do, I suppose. I'll probably rename the Sonos players, as there are only half a dozen, and I don't mind saying something like "play jazz on the study sonos".

Like melvimbe I already have to use multiple names in various rooms to control other devices via Alexa & Homeseer, so it's not a completely new problem.

But... if there's another clever fix out there, I'd be glad to hear about it.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
I like Melvinbe just named all my smart devices after the room name and device type. Did that from the start as it's not just Sonos that has issues it can be other devices such as Lightwave switches. The Sonos speakers sort fo follow this as they can be address by [room name] Sonos. So play "Dan Reed Network on Cabin Sonos" works everytime. As does "Cabin Lights 50%"