Resolving (the majority of) Issues with Alexa on Sonos



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Where should I start? I'm currently on my 3rd Sonos One. Every one has had the same issues. I'm absolutely sick of the thing and wish I'd never bought it.
Firstly, after a few days Alexa stops responding to voice commands. Sonos technical's solution to this is to reboot the Alexa skill. I'm currently doing this 2-3 times a week just to make the product usable. I'd say that makes it unfit for purpose.
If I set an alarm and choose a radio station as the alarm it works for about 2-3 days, then when it comes on the volume is so low it can barely be heard. Any attempt to ask Alexa to change the volume fails. If I attempt to change the volume by using the touch buttons on top of the device, nothing happens. The only way to alter the volume is to open the Sonos app and do it from there.
Some days the radio doesn't launch when I select it as the alarm. In these cases I'm greeted with the standard alarm tone and have to open the Sonos app to turn it off as Alexa doesn't respond to my command to stop the alarm. Whenever this problem arises, the white light on top of the device pulses at a very high speed, much faster than when it flashes during the set up process. What does this mean? Nobody seems to be able to answer this.
As far as I'm concerned the Alexa skill is useless. There is clearly some issue with Sonos & Alexa that nobody is prepared to admit to.
I'll wait for the Google assistant to launch and try that instead. If that fails to work then I'm binning the thing.
BTW, I'm a Sonos retailer and have been for well over a decade. This has completely changed my opinion of the Sonos range of products, which up until the integration of Alexa had been absolutely faultless and superb.
I solved the problem... get rid of the Sonos One and Alexa combo from hell and get a HomePod...wow it actually works!

 

Might be the best suggestion I’ve seen yet! The OP is outdated and to learn this has been ongoing for this long is disheartening. Maybe I’ll just buy another one and keep returning it until I find one that works for more than two days.  


I’m really not sure why this thread is stickied - it’s useless when the solution lands you back at the starting point two days later and each time you’ll waste ½ hour of your time following these procedures.

Reset Alexa on Sonos

Step 1: unplug the speaker. Unplug your speaker from the socket. ...

Step 2: start the reset. Hold down the pause or Join button while plugging the speaker back into the socket. ...

Step 3: wait for the reset to complete. Within 30 seconds, the LED will flash green.

MyCCPay
 

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Reset Alexa on Sonos

Step 1: unplug the speaker. Unplug your speaker from the socket. ...

Step 2: start the reset. Hold down the pause or Join button while plugging the speaker back into the socket. ...

Step 3: wait for the reset to complete. Within 30 seconds, the LED will flash green.

MyCCPay
 

This is not good advice: A factory reset removes all diagnostic information and rarely fixes the problem.  This should only be carried out when recommended by Sonos Tech Support.

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Hi Steven

This is far from my experience with the Sonos One - sorry, I know this statement won't make you feel any better but it is an indication that there is something specific about your set-up that is causing this issue.

Before we start looking specifically at the Alexa integration, can you confirm your set-up: Is your system wired, SonosNet or Wi-Fi connected? Have you reserved IP addresses for your Sonos devices within your Router settings pages?

My initial thinking is that this may be some form of connectivity issue and I think it best if we explore that before moving on to Alexa specific troubleshooting.
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Seeing this, and the myriad of other posts dealing with Alexa & Sonos integration (and lack of real fixes even from the experts), you would think that both organizations would want to correct this ASAP. I'm new to the Alexa ecosystem, and so far I have been happy with just the Alexa devices performance. All seems to work well.

Using just an Echo Dot to get started, I decided I'd add a good speaker for this task. I purchased a Play:1 because of it's ability to integrate with Alexa. The setup went fine, but I'm now having issues when I switch back and forth between using the Sonos app and then the Alexa App. I find that I lose some functionality (volume control of the speaker and navigation control in Amazon Music via Sonos) when just in the Sonos App, but I can't control the speaker volume in just the Alexa App. Thus, I have to hop back and forth. Ridiculous for very basic functions.

Then, what I noticed was that you loose the ability to go back to the Sonos speaker via the Alexa app. It will tell you, Speaker Off line when the darn thing is playing at the time. The only way I could regain control of the Sonos via the Alexa app was to remove the skill, reinstall the skill, and then go through the skill setup process in Alexa app.

It's as if Amazon did not want to give you full functionality via the Sonos App, but didn't realize you have no volume control via the Alexa app.

Voice control seems to work fine as long as you don't go back and forth on the apps. This is inconvenient though due to the lack of remote volume control.

This integration needs a lot of work. I'm surprised they let this go to market this chopped up. Hopefully some upgrades will help get closer to the seamlessness they market as being here now.

I should have never bought a Sonos One, I was moving into a new house and wanted music without having to fit speakers. I should have bought an Echo Dot, that works and is no trouble. 

 

Sonos One hardly ever does what you want, volume up, volume down, anyone's guess. The music plays at volume 6 by Sonos App control,  Alexa has no idea what volume she is at and so cannot reduce it. No tool to reduce volume in Sonos or Alexa if music not playing, reduce Sonos level and Alexa stays the same. She rarely follows instruction. The box is next to the router but the WiFi signal is not seen as strong enough to stay connected, solved by running a Cat6 cable the 6" from router to box, now alarm plays the radio without issue …

 

It is truly a pile of junk, my Dot upstairs is perfect, plays music well too. Everyone who asks what they should get I say an Echo or an Echo Dot at steer clear of anything Sonos, it's awful. 

 

And Sonos support treat you like a fool, I have an electronics engineering degree and worked for 30 years in IT and more recently IoT hardware and software design, I know what is possible and Sonos is not it. 

 

 

 

Hi

 

I’ll try to work through your issues one by one, if I miss something please reply back:

1/ ‘Sonos One hardly ever does what you want, volume up, volume down, anyone's guess. The music plays at volume 6 by Sonos App control,  Alexa has no idea what volume she is at and so cannot reduce it.’ - What commands are you using?  Please try ‘Alexa, volume 2’ or ‘Alexa, Softer’ - ‘Alexa, Louder’

2/ ‘No tool to reduce volume in Sonos or Alexa if music not playing, reduce Sonos level and Alexa stays the same.’ - You can adjust the volume via the App by selecting the bottom central ‘Rooms’ tab and choosing the required Sonos Room and volume control or by using the commands above.  The volume of Alexa is tied to the volume of your Sonos device, there is no separate volume control although lots of people have requested this.;

3/ ‘The box is next to the router but the WiFi signal is not seen as strong enough to stay connected, solved by running a Cat6 cable the 6" from router to box, now alarm plays the radio without issue …’ - Have you tried the steps in this article?

1) yes, Asking Alexa to go to Volume 2 has no effect when the box is in this state. I have tried 'quieter' .. anyhow, all efforts fail other than pressing volume down on top of the box. 

2) see #1

3) A BT Home Hub latest edition with ability to provide WiFi to a whole heap of home kit without issue and Sonos One reverts to losing connection about once a week and not finding it again without a restart. Cat6 cable, issue resolved, never lost connection since. 

 

I read about the quality of Sonos, hence when I saw one with Alexa integration I thought it would be equal. About a year later Sonos informed me I could switch it to Google ... Frying pan, fire I thought. The integration is appalling, look across this community, yet Sonos have no issue with it or how it is tarnishing their name. If the box had died it would have been replaced with an Echo, unfortunately it keeps going. 

 

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That's not my experience, so it’s a shame you have had a bad experience. 😞 As a first step, can you Disable then Enable the Sonos skill within the Alexa App and see if that resolves issues 1 & 2?

 

Can you please disconnect the ethernet cable, then submit a diagnostic and post the number in this thread.  Sonos staff can then investigate if wi-fi interference is an issue.  (I use Google wifi and sometimes still experience wifi noise causing issues around my home. :smiley:

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This issue has been going on for years and wow… still not fixed?  I can’t get mine to at all play with Alexa. 

I solved the problem... get rid of the Sonos One and Alexa combo from hell and get a HomePod...wow it actually works!

Seeing this, and the myriad of other posts dealing with Alexa & Sonos integration (and lack of real fixes even from the experts), you would think that both organizations would want to correct this ASAP. I'm new to the Alexa ecosystem, and so far I have been happy with just the Alexa devices performance. All seems to work well.

Using just an Echo Dot to get started, I decided I'd add a good speaker for this task. I purchased a Play:1 because of it's ability to integrate with Alexa. The setup went fine, but I'm now having issues when I switch back and forth between using the Sonos app and then the Alexa App. I find that I lose some functionality (volume control of the speaker and navigation control in Amazon Music via Sonos) when just in the Sonos App, but I can't control the speaker volume in just the Alexa App. Thus, I have to hop back and forth. Ridiculous for very basic functions.

Then, what I noticed was that you loose the ability to go back to the Sonos speaker via the Alexa app. It will tell you, Speaker Off line when the darn thing is playing at the time. The only way I could regain control of the Sonos via the Alexa app was to remove the skill, reinstall the skill, and then go through the skill setup process in Alexa app.

It's as if Amazon did not want to give you full functionality via the Sonos App, but didn't realize you have no volume control via the Alexa app.

Voice control seems to work fine as long as you don't go back and forth on the apps. This is inconvenient though due to the lack of remote volume control.

This integration needs a lot of work. I'm surprised they let this go to market this chopped up. Hopefully some upgrades will help get closer to the seamlessness they market as being here now.

I should have never bought a Sonos One, I was moving into a new house and wanted music without having to fit speakers. I should have bought an Echo Dot, that works and is no trouble. 

 

Sonos One hardly ever does what you want, volume up, volume down, anyone's guess. The music plays at volume 6 by Sonos App control,  Alexa has no idea what volume she is at and so cannot reduce it. No tool to reduce volume in Sonos or Alexa if music not playing, reduce Sonos level and Alexa stays the same. She rarely follows instruction. The box is next to the router but the WiFi signal is not seen as strong enough to stay connected, solved by running a Cat6 cable the 6" from router to box, now alarm plays the radio without issue …

 

It is truly a pile of junk, my Dot upstairs is perfect, plays music well too. Everyone who asks what they should get I say an Echo or an Echo Dot at steer clear of anything Sonos, it's awful. 

 

And Sonos support treat you like a fool, I have an electronics engineering degree and worked for 30 years in IT and more recently IoT hardware and software design, I know what is possible and Sonos is not it. 

 

 

 

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Amazingly, I have the Alexia connection, working in Canada, using Alexia devices bought in Canada and a Sonos speaker also bought here. The Sonos skill is not published directly, but indirectly I found that if I set up Yonomi on Alexa, enable Smart Home on the Alexa device and the allow Alexia/Yanomi to search for devices, then miraculously, it finds the Sonos device. I then attached the Sonos account to my US Amazon account (I had one already, but easy to set up anyway) and behold, the Sonos responds just like an Alexa. Not sure if this is a hack or just using available resources and common sense. It works, I can play my Amazon Prime Music on the My Canadian Snos Play. Now, if only I could figure out how to get Audible just as directly...
BtrWrld,

You haven’t really said what is wrong with the Sonos Ones? Are they paired, grouped, standalone? ... Do they play from within the Sonos App? Are you using the Alexa voice control features or not..? ...Exactly what isn’t working here?

Are they cabled and running on SonosNet, or are they working on your own routers WiFi ? Have you checked the microphones are on... did you try simply powering each one off and back on again?

I think more information is needed to assist you.

This is getting a little silly.

I've now found out that the issue I am facing is a known bug - so there is a help page asking you to basically to re-set up everything from scratch after a hard re-boot when the issue has nothing to do with accounts, duplicate items or authentication. It's simply a bug - Amazon and Sonos have both acknowledged it.


grumpysausage,

Can you kindly point me towards the help page you refer to in your post please that acknowledges the problem both by Sonos and Amazon and asks us to reset everything ... thanks very much.
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I have just spent nearly £2k on a second Sonos system for a different property precisely because my first was so simple to set up. I now feel sick that it is so complicated and I cannot, however much I try, get Alexa to play a well known UK radio station.
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I have just spent nearly £2k on a second Sonos system for a different property precisely because my first was so simple to set up. I now feel sick that it is so complicated and I cannot, however much I try, get Alexa to play a well known UK radio station.

Hi Spekesmill

A couple of things to check:

1/ What command syntax are you using? Can you try 'Alexa, Play Radio 2' - please include the room name at the end of the command if not a Sonos One, 'Alexa, Play Radio 2 on Kitchen'
2/ If the command fails, does Alexa reply with a message?
3/ What Sonos devices do you have? If they are Sonos Ones, can you check that the small round white light is displayed on the top. If not then the mic has been switched off, just touch the mic symbol to toggle back on.
4/ If you open the Alexa App>Settings>History did Alexa properly hear you?
5/ If still not working please look at the Answer to this post which lists the three most common issues:

https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/alexa-says-she-is-playing-on-kitchen-but-no-sound-comes-out-6800126/index1.html

Let us know how you get on.
Is the problem arising because spekesmill is (perhaps) using the same amazon and Sonos Accounts and mobile controllers at his second home location perhaps?

Don’t they need to be different for a second home location ?
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Is the problem arising because spekesmill is (perhaps) using the same amazon and Sonos Accounts and mobile controllers at his second home location perhaps?

Don’t they need to be different for a second home location ?


Yep, they need to be location specific or the radio will play in property one. Well spotted Ken. 🙂
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Thanks all for your helpful comments I appreciate your time. As I mentioned this is my second system so I am familiar with the lights and other basic controls. Alexa hears me ok but keeps saying I need to enable the skill to use the radio even though I have done this in the same way as I did with my first system. She does a sort of "humph" sound then proceeds to tell me to enable the skill. Can't give you the exact wording as I am in property 1 at present. I will try your suggestions asap.
Regards my commands going to the wrong system I thought I needed to be on the same network / WiFi to operate the respective systems?
I think my issue revolves around the 2 accounts as suggested by Ken but I might be wrong, I am no expert.
Thanks again.
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Regards my commands going to the wrong system I thought I needed to be on the same network / WiFi to operate the respective systems?


Not for voice command but yes for the App.

I think my issue revolves around the 2 accounts as suggested by Ken but I might be wrong, I am no expert.
Thanks again.


Yes, I expect so. To run multiple Sonos locations you need two Sonos accounts and the relationship between your Sonos Account and your Amazon account must be a 1:1, so you'll need two Amazon accounts.
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I refer back to my original post.
Please can you point me in the direction of how I creat two Alexa accounts and two Sonos accounts. At present I am seriously regretting my second system purchase and I wish I had done more research.
Specksmill,

If you were allowed to use the same Amazon/Sonos account credentials at different locations, it would mean that some unscrupulous users could get together and use those accounts at numerous houses and yet only buy one monthly music subscription.... so for example me and everyone in the street where I live, could all share the same account. So that’s obviously not going to be allowed.

So when you set things up at a different location it’s best to keep things separate... otherwise if we take your Sonos Account (just as an example) it may end up with two speakers at different locations with identical names like 'lounge', 'dining room' or kitchen etc. So it’s best to use a new Sonos Account for your other premises to keep those speakers separate from each other.

Same with Amazon, because you have to link the Sonos Account to the Amazon Account and only one Sonos Account can be linked at any one time.

So you need two new accounts (one Amazon and one Sonos)... you set them up in exactly the same way you that setup the earlier accounts, but use different email addresses.. some folk create an email address specifically for this purpose, l presume others use their partners email address.

I hope that now helps and gives you a slightly better understanding.
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Thanks for that, I will try the wife's device route and let you know how I get on.
Cheers.
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Thanks for that, I will try the wife's device route and let you know how I get on.
Cheers.


The best way to do this is when you open the Sonos App in your new home make sure you select New System and not Connect to Existing. (If you've already connected, just uninstall and then install the Sonos App again.)The Sonos app will then ask you to enter your email and password and if you enter a different email to your first home account then a new account will be created. When you add voice services for this new account, it will ask you to enter your Amazon account details, at this point you need to enter your wife's Amazon account details. (Make sure that you are not still logged into your Amazon account on the same device when setting up as otherwise it will default to this account.) Let us know how you get on, once this set-up is done, there will be no complication switching between addresses.
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Thanks again, just a thought I was thinking my other option would be to wait for Google home to be supported apparently some time this year..?

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