Set Volume 0-100 (or 0%-100%)

  • 28 May 2019
  • 5 replies

My wife and I used to own the Polk Command Bar w/ Alexa, which could voice-control volume from 0-100, which was very precise and flexible. Unfortunately, my Sonos Beam w/ Alexa only supports 1-10, which is clumsy and feels very 1990, honestly. The first time we used the Sonos Beam my wife said, "Alexa, set volume 10..." and I thought we blew out speakers. (And it scared our dog half to death!)

Please match the competition and use the industry standard 0-100 (or 0% to 100%). I love my Sonos Beam and Sonos One speakers, but this is driving my wife and I nuts -- this is a really poor user experience!

Thank you for your consideration.

5 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +3
Since volume 10 is almost fatal, what you should do is set the max volume of your speakers in the Sonos app. I set all my speakers max to 50%.

Not only will this save your dog's life if you accidently ask for volume 10 again, but it also doubles the resolution of your Alexa controls since Alexa will STILL uses a 1-10 scale. So if you ask for volume 6 you will get what used to be 30% and if you ask for volume 5, you will get what used to be 25%. So now you have 5% increments instead of 10%.

For me personally, 5% is perfect. I've never felt like I need more precise control than that.
Hi Kirk, I really appreciate the feedback.

Your workaround is clever, I'll give that a try. However, I really hope you can eventually update your software to enable 0-100 or 0% to 100% as a range Alexa can convey. Part of the reason is that 2 is too low while 3 is often too high -- and we end up just using the TV remote, which kind of defeats the purpose of having Alexa voice control.

Ironically, the TV remote actually works great w/ the Sonos Beam and allows for 0-100 control of volume... it really is an industry-standard volume range, guys!
Happy Memorial Day
David K.
Userlevel 3
Badge +3
Part of the reason is that 2 is too low while 3 is often too high

Hi David,

Hopefully you understood that my workaround would give you a new setting right between 2 and 3!

All the Alexa commands would double. So if you wanted volume 2, you would now ask for volume 4

If you wanted volume 3, you would now ask for volume 6.

And now, you can also ask for volume 5, which is right between the old 2 and 3. It seems like it would give you what you want
Hey Kirk, I do appreciate the workaround, but you must admit that it's pretty counter intuitive.

Basically, I have to fool the system into doing what I want, even though I still have to issue single-digit integer commands, which is not the experience I want. But yes, this is a decent stop-gap solution... I just hope that someone on your engineering team realizes what kind of odd user experience this creates (and most people aren't going to go the extra yard to do this, if they figure it out at all).

It's frustrating that I upgraded from a Polk Command Bar w/ Alexa, which did exactly what I wanted the exact way I wanted w/o a work around. And the reason I upgraded to a Sonos was due to the reviews of your audio quality and the ability to add multiple Sonos speakers to the Beam. I honestly still think Sonos Beam is the superior product, but if the Alexa functionality continues to lag behind what I can get elsewhere, I'm going to look for other options.

That said, thank you very much for taking the time to interact w/ me!
Userlevel 3
Badge +3
To be clear, I have no affiliation with Sonos at all, nor any influence on future developments (as much as I wish I did).

I don't really see you concern. For me it works perfectly, not only does it prevent me from accidently setting the speakers too loud, but also the new 10 levels are close enough together that I can just barely tell the difference between adjacent levels. I find nothing counter-intuitive or odd about it. I don't consider this a workaround, max volume is an important and helpful feature that is easy to use.

But that's just me. I completely understand that your case is different. I hope that one day soon this gets addressed so that you can use percentages as well.