Setting Up Alexa Group with Sonos Five and Amp

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Based on earlier questions I posed to ensure I get things right, I purchased a Sonos Five and a Sonos Amp and have them controlled by Alexa (via Echo).  Thanks to the Community members for their help with my questions both prior to and following my purchases. 

On my equipment, I have all the latest versions of the Apps and firmware up to date. All devices are in my “Family Room”.

I set up the Five first, and during the set up using the Sonos App, I indicated its Room location was Family Room. The Sonos Five ended up being named Family Room and it was in the Family Room. When I set up Sonos Amp, I also said it was in the Family Room and it showed up with the name Family Room 2 (given, I suppose, that it was the second Sonos device in my Family Room).  I subsequently changed the names of the two Sonos devices to Family Room Five and Family Room Amp, respectively.



  1. By renaming the Sonos Five from Family Room to Family Room Five, when I look at the device on the Sonos App, it shows the device in Name Room: Family Room Amp.  It seems that I cannot have a name separate from a Room. What have others done here? What is the right way to name devices/rooms in the Sonos App? (Sonos Developers: It would be best to add the ability to establish a device name and device location as separate parameters during the set up process.)

  2. When I set up the Five initially (first Sonos device), and looked in the Alexa App, it was listed in the Family Room group in the Alexa App, and I selected under Speakers for that group, that the Sonos Five plays music when I ask the associated Amazon Echo to play music. (In just Alexa interactions - e.g., Alexa, What’s the weather? - Alexa responds from the associated Family Room Echo when I ask the question there.)  On the Family Room page in the Alexa App, it listed under the heading Alexa, the Echo, then a space and then a bar with the Sonos Five, then a space and a heading Speakers, and the Sonos Five was listed there. Question: What is the reason that the Sonos Five is listed in the middle area? (It has no heading in that area. It is separated from the Alexa area and before the speaker area. It relates to Question 3 below as well.) (Sonos Developers: This should be made clear and why you have parts of the page being able to be “Changed” and other parts requiring the “Edit” button to be selected should be rationalized to make it more intuitive.)

  3. Then I added the Sonos Amp (also in the Family Room). In the Alexa App, I selected Change, under Speakers in the Family Room group, and selected that Alexa plays music on the Sonos Amp and Sonos Five. But, on the Alexa App Family Room Group page, I had to then select Edit at the top of the screen, and select the Amp under Devices before it would be listed in the space under Alexa and above the Speakers heading. Why did I have to do that? And what does that actually do and mean?  (Before doing that latter step, it seemed to sometimes not play on Amp when I asked Alexa to play something.) [In the end, it looked like the screen print page attached below. If I select Edit (at the top), it brings up the page shown on the second screen print page attached below.] (Sonos Developers: Again this would be best to made more clear during the initial set up process and with more clear labelling on the screen. And in any Help material.)

  4. With this particular set up now, it is working pretty well, except for one thing. If I ask Alexa to play Spotify or say, our news App, it will play on the Sonos Five and Amp and when I say Alexa Stop it will stop playing on the Sonos Five and Amp. But, if I ask Alexa to play a TuneIn station, it will play on the Five and Amp, but when I say Alexa Stop, it will not stop.(The Echo lights acknowledge the interaction, but no response on the devices.) I have to say, “Alexa, Stop Family Room”, and then it will stop.  Why is that? And why only with TuneIn? It seems that it only started behaving this way once I added the Amp (I believe).  It behaved like this with and without me adding the Amp as a Device under the Alexa Group Edit screen. I can stop TuneIn playing on the group by pressing the pause button on the Five directly, but that should not be required. Appreciate your thoughts. (Sonos developers, I would also appreciate if you look at this to address this potential bug if that is what it is.)





11 replies

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Since I do not use Alexa, I can only comment on your first question.
It seems that you did not quite grasp the Sonos concept of a “room”. A “room” in Sonos is a speaker or a defined set od surround or stereo speakers. The name of the (set of) speakers (the “room” in So os speak) is the name of the speaker (or set of speakers). Since a Five and an Amp cannot form a surround or stereo set, they form two rooms. Family Room 1 and Family Room 2 are not two speakers in the same Sonos room, but are set up in two different Sonos rooms. In this way the Sonos concept of a room differs from, say, Google Home.

The reason the Sonos devices are added to the Amazon second (middle) section of a group is for audio-‘ducking’ purposes when speaking to the ‘enabling’ Alexa device(s) controlling the group.

It’s often used/required if the Sonos product does not have the Alexa Assistant onboard (So it’s applicable with your setup using the Amp/Five devices ). I would perhaps choose to add both Amp & Five ‘rooms’ to that part of the group. See example screenshot attached.


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Ken_Griffiths, Thanks for your insights, and I had looked at your attachment (from another post where you helped someone else) and your explanation from one of my earlier questions. That allowed me to keep looking deeper and I have things set up now with both Sonos Five and Amp in both areas. 

I noticed that when the Five was first set up, it “ducked” automatically without me having to do anything (happened as part of the initial set up without my intervention). It seemed strange that when I added the Amp, and selected it to play along with the Five in the Alexa Family Room group (via the Speakers section), that I did not see it also listed in that middle section. It took a little bit of looking to see the overall Edit selection in the top right of the screen and then it provided a listing of “devices” to select (which you had to select as distinct from the earlier “Speakers” selection).  I remembered your print screen and the ducking you had mentioned and I added the Amp in on the Alexa Family Room Edit screen and it showed up in the middle section (which you called the duck section). It is very odd that this is not explained in the set up area at all. I was primarily digging into this as I sometimes was finding that an Alexa request to play would go only to the Five and not to the Amp, even though I had it set to do so in the “Speakers” section of the Alexa Group. Since adding it to the middle section that doesn’t happen (at least it seems that way). So I wondered if this unnamed area on the Alexa group screen (but called devices when you select them from the Group Edit screen) had some other purpose as well (beyond just ducking). In any case, for all Sonos users who use Alexa, it would be good for an explanation to be provided to guide the users when setting these up Sonos to work with Alexa. And specifically, the Ducking feature is something Ken_Griffiths and other members have explained well in Community posts, but it is not clear in Sonos/Amazon Alexa set up instructions.

106rallye, Thanks also for your note above. It seems Sonos lists my “Family Room Amp” and “Family Room Five” as “Products” when I view “System” on the Sonos App. When I go to the “>” on the line for a given product, it brings up a new page for a given product. For example for the Family Room Amp it displays:

Family Room Amp 



Family Room Amp



I am not sure why it would have a line for Name (with nothing) and then Room (with Family Room Amp). It is not really intuitive that way. Though it does align with what you explained in your note.

When Sonos rooms become viewed in the Alexa App, they show as a Group. For example, I have an Alexa Family Room Group with the Sonos Five and Sonos Amp in it.  I see separately that Sonos has “groups”, but it only allows you to have a group if you have 3 or more rooms (my Sonos Groups Settings item is greyed out and says this when you click on it).  I am totally new to the Sonos community, but I would say that my family has gotten used to just asking Alexa to play something (rather than using an App on a phone) and I wanted to keep that functionality but with a nice whole home sound system (hence Sonos). The developers (Sonos, Amazon, etc) (hope they are listening) will find their customers are in a much better place if they can make their systems interface well and be intuitive. It would be good for a name to be a name, a room to be a room and a group to be a group, and for all the major players to keep their nomenclature similar.



Whilst I do see your point of view - the image atrached shows items underlined in red - these are simply section sub-headings, or titles …and these ‘sub-categories’ or ‘areas’ widely appear throughout the Settings pages within the Sonos App. I think it’s perhaps a case of getting used to the App itself and how it works, combined with its integration into other Apps, like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Spotify/Amazon Music etc.

I’ve used the various mentioned Apps for some years and have perhaps got used to it - but appreciate you may not have had the opportunity to get used to these things - I think too we all tend to see/use things in slightly different ways.

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I have a further question related to playing my Alexa group (“Family Room”: Containing my Sonos Five and Sonos Amp, controlled by an Amazon Echo).

I can ask Alexa via the Echo to play music and it does just fine, playing through both the Sonos devices simultaneously. (I can also select music to play via the Sonos App, selecting the two Sonos devices to play simultaneously (independent of the Alexa Group).)  

However, if I try to invoke play via the Alexa App, it only allows me to select an individual device to play back on from a pick list that includes the two Sonos devices and the Echo. (See screen print below.) (You cannot select more than one device from the pick list.)

Question: Should I not also get the choice of the “Family Room” group in the pick list? Appreciate knowing what others find in their situation. 




As that is the Amazon Alexa App, you would perhaps need to ask Amazon that question as to why their App does not allow you to play to your created Family Room ‘Group’ in their software, but you can play to one individual Sonos device and then group that device with others yourself from within the Sonos App instead.

I will just add that you will find you cannot play to both Amazon & Alexa devices at the same time, so maybe that’s why they do not allow you to multi-select from that list.

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Ken_Griffiths, Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. I actually approached Amazon Alexa support first, and the Amazon Alexa Support rep suggested that I delete my group and try again (which I had already done). They also suggested that I set up an Alexa Multi-Room Group with these instructions:

Create a Multi-Room Music Group in Alexa
Open your Alexa app.
Select Devices.
Tap Add a Device.
Select Add Multi-Room Music Speakers.
Select Continue.
You can then choose a pre-defined name, or make your own. ...
Select the devices to be added to your group.

When following these instructions, the Alexa App brings up a screen to select speakers to connect. For me it only lists my Echo. It does not list my Sonos devices when approaching the set up this way.  

On the Alexa App, it does list the Sonos devices if I select instead (under Devices, Add Devices) the option to set up a “room or device group” (which is what I had done initially, and which aligns with the guidance from the Sonos Community experts (such as Ken) from this forum.)

When establishing the “room or device group”, when selecting speakers to play, the Alexa App, as expected, only allows me select from my Sonos devices (not my Amazon Echo), since devices from the two companies are not able to be played simultaneously together. (At least, not yet.)

[When I contacted Sonos Tech Support about an earlier integration question, they said they only support the Sonos equipment and Sonos App. When I recommended that given the trend of integration with voice assistants, it would be good to expand their support to include such areas, they thought it would be “cool”. So maybe this kind of integration support from Sonos Technical Support will come in future.]

So, I am humbly requesting the continued guidance from Sonos Community experts such as you Ken. For Sonos equipment integrating with Alexa voice assistant via the Alexa App. 

Question 1: When in the Alexa App, if selecting (under Devices, Add Devices), the option: “combine speakers” , and then sub-option: “multi-room music”, do Sonos users see their Sonos devices among the speakers to connect or just the Amazon devices?  (I see only my Amazon Echo, and therefore cannot use this method. I instead used the “Add Group” option instead which worked fine.)

Question 2: If, having established in the Alexa App, an Alexa Group which has multiple Sonos devices (under Devices, Add Devices, Option: “Add Group”, Sub-Option: “Create a room or device group”, Selecting a room/group name and selecting Sonos devices (listed on the screen: Add devices to (group name) / Other Devices).       Then on the Alexa App, going to the Play menu and selecting, say an album or playlist or radio station, do Sonos users see their Alexa Group as an option to select for playing on? (I see my Amazon Echo and my two individual Sonos devices (Amp/Five) listed and I can only select one of them. I do not see the Group as a selection.)

I have other ways to get things to play properly (not least of which is to ask Alexa via the Echo to play on my Group), but as I am just learning and getting familiar with the new Sonos equipment, I thought this should work via the Alexa App too. I wonder what other Sonos users are finding in their set ups that use some Amazon Alexa smart assistant integration with their Sonos equipment.




It perhaps may help you, if I mention there are two types of Groups in the Alexa App.. the ones that Sonos use are often referred to by many as ‘Alexa Enabled Groups’ or ‘Alexa Controlled Groups’ - these are used by Alexa to control third party speakers and other smarthome products like lights, smart-plugs etc. Note Amazon Echo devices can use these groups too, but you can’t mix and match speakers from different manufacturers - you can only playback on the same brand of speaker. 

Alexa also has its own ‘speaker groups’ used by echo devices only for putting the Amazon speakers into groups like ‘Everywhere’, Upstairs, Downstairs etc. you cannot add Sonos products to these type of groups - it’s for Amazon product use only.

I hope that additional info. assists? - What you are seeing in your Sonos App in relation to your questions, sounds correct to me.

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Ken_Griffiths.  Thanks again. That is likely why the Alexa Multi-Room Music Speakers only shows the option of the Amazon Echo with no Sonos devices listed. And that addresses my first question above. (It also confirms the reason why, with one Amazon device only, that I do not see the default “Everywhere” play option.)

It is only the ‘Alexa Enabled Groups’ or ‘Alexa Controlled Groups’ (as you referred to them above), (selected in the Alexa App under Devices, Add Device “+”, then “Add Group” and then “Create a room or device group”), that allow us to utilize our Sonos devices for speakers/music playback.

But, may I ask, if you have established an ‘Alexa Enabled Group’ / ‘Alexa Controlled Group’, do you see that group as one of the play back options that comes on screen if you use your Alexa App, going to the Play menu and selecting, say an album or playlist or radio station to play? (Or do you just see your individual devices (Amazon, Sonos, etc) (and possibly your Alexa Speaker Groups)?) (I just see my three devices: Amazon Echo, Sonos Five and Sonos Amp, as separate selections, not the Alexa Controlled Group (which is the only group I have).)


But, may I ask, if you have established an ‘Alexa Enabled Group’ / ‘Alexa Controlled Group’, do you see that group as one of the play back options that comes on screen if you use your Alexa App, going to the Play menu and selecting, say an album or playlist or radio station to play? (Or do you just see your individual devices (Amazon, Sonos, etc) (and possibly your Alexa Speaker Groups)?) (I just see my three devices: Amazon Echo, Sonos Five and Sonos Amp, as separate selections, not the Alexa Controlled Group (which is the only group I have).)


Like you, I just see individual devices from both Amazon and Sonos - no groups are listed. It’s something Amazon would need to change of course. As mentioned though, you can group your two rooms in the Sonos App.

Also notable is, if you actually had more than two Sonos ‘rooms’ you could go onto create ‘Groups’ in the Sonos App too, which ‘perhaps’ mirror your Amazon Groups, but that only applies when you have three, or more, Sonos rooms.

Anyhow the introduction of ‘Alexa Enabled Groups’ in the playback area of the Amazon App is perhaps a ‘feature request’ for Amazon to consider.

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Ken_Griffiths - Thank you so very much for all your help on this. The expertise of you and fellow Sonos Community members is second to none. You have provided help and clarity and understanding on the elements of integration that is not (yet) available through Sonos Tech Support or Amazon Tech Support.  Hopefully others starting out in their integration of Amazon Alexa and Sonos equipment will also find some helpful information with the kind details that you have provided to me here. Your help is much appreciated.

Many Thanks Again.