Question

Show currently playing music on Echo Show

  • 22 January 2021
  • 25 replies
  • 250 views

I have a bunch of Sonos speakers (obviously) and just bought an Echo Show.

While I can control the Sonos system in all rooms, there seems to be no way to show what’s playing on the Echo Show.

What I’d expect is, that:

  • if the Echo Show is in the same room as my speakers - it shows what’s playing on these
  • there is a setting, where I can show what’s playing on <any> room on the Echo Show (like it does on the iOS or Android app).

But I can’t seem to find any setting for this… Can this be true? (I somewhat feel like back in the 90s)

Any hint?


25 replies

Unfortunately, that is how it is. The solution if you have Sonos kit with line in jacks is to wire the Show to them and then any music you play on the Show will be heard through Sonos, with album art on the Show.

This works well on the cheaper Show 5, not as well on the Show 8. 

Hi @Kumar 

thanks for the hint, but what’s the sense of a wireless speaker/control setup, if I need wires to get some basic information?? :thinking:

I think the best bet is to replace the Echo Show 8 with an (used) iPad...There it works fine.

 

Wires by themselves aren’t bad if they can be conveniently used - and you use them for getting power anyway.

Advantages of Echo over iPad is the availability of voice control when needed, and one that has all the latest features in it, unlike that offered by Sonos. And of course, it is the only way to get it for places where Sonos has not taken the effort to make it available. It can’t be carried around like an iPad can be, but you knew that when you bought the Echo.

And Echo Show 5 works better than 8, even though it is cheaper. With the 8, artwork keeps disappearing after some time I have found whereas I can set up the 5 such that it is always displayed.

But Echo does need at least one speaker to have line in jacks.

Hi @Kumar 

yes - I use power-cords, but the speakers are nowhere near the Echo → that’s why I chose wireless speakers after all.

I just tried Echo vs. iPad: iPad works as fine and it shows much better information (btw. voice-control over Siri works too). However, voice-control works better on the Echo Show 8, but via the iPad I can stream anything to the Sonos-system and it shows what’s currently playing… as well as it shows that information on my other iOS-devices as well… so I can skip/ffwd/etc… from any device and all other devices show the changes.

Another advantage is - as you already noted - I just can carry the iPad with me.

Unfortunately I can’t compare to Echo Show 5, because I only have the 8.

And honestly, I don’t want so sacrifice my wireless (digital) setup with some analog line-in jacks…

So I think I’ll stick with iPad/iPhone - it’s not perfect, but the overall experience is far better. (This is really unfortunate, because I could have imagined the Echo as a cool desktop ‘hub’… but if even basic functionality is not working properly, I’d rather not think about something more sophisticated :rolling_eyes: )

To each his own. But then why bother with an iPad, the usual phone can serve just as well. My experience is elevated via the Show 5 to an extent that I hardly use the Sonos control app these days. Google would work too, but their devices don’t have a line out.

For others reading this, note that there is no audible loss of signal quality to my ears via the line in jacks - this digital all the way thing is a theoretical benefit only.

I only use the Sonos.app to change settings on the Sonos System. Playing music, podcasts, or whatever is done via the iPad/iPhone or Siri.

And why not use my phone? 

  • Because I don’t want everybody to carry my phone through the house
  • because if I leave, I want everybody else to still be able to control the music 😊 
  • the iPad display is simply bigger/nicer
  • Controlling music is just one aspect - the iPad is also used to see who’s at the door (and open the door), as well as controlling lights, heating, etc…

And while you’re right, the difference from analog line-out vs. digital is not really hearable, the line-out potentially has some additional noise, if there’s an incoming call on some phones...

 

 

 

  • because if I leave, I want everybody else to still be able to control the music 😊 
  •  

And while you’re right, the difference from analog line-out vs. digital is not really hearable, the line-out potentially has some additional noise, if there’s an incoming call on some phones...

 

 

To the first, everyone with a phone that has access to the home WiFi can host the Sonos controller.

To the second, it does not make sense to use line out from a phone being used as a phone. The line out is for only where there is no other way for the two units to communicate fully with each other.

The problem with Echo for you is that between Sonos and Amazon they have not done the work needed for the Alexa integration to display what is being played via Sonos, on the Echo Show. Hence, the line in approach. Unfortunately for you, it is not convenient.

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The solution if you have Sonos kit with line in jacks is to wire the Show to them and then any music you play on the Show will be heard through Sonos, with album art on the Show.

This works well on the cheaper Show 5, not as well on the Show 8. 

This sounds perfect for my needs. But, from what I can tell, the Move does not have a Line In jack. Can anyone confirm? If so, is there any other options to have Show 5 and Move in the same room, with the Move to play audio but using the Alexa and Screen on the Show 5?

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@elee532 Set your Move to Bluetooth and connect your Echo Show to the Move via Bluetooth.

The Move does NOT have a line in port.

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@elee532 Set your Move to Bluetooth and connect your Echo Show to the Move via Bluetooth.

The Move does NOT have a line in port.

Hadn't really considered this. Worried it might be more complicated and/or less reliable though. Would the Show and the Move just always stay connected, or would I need to set the Move to some type of Bluetooth mode manually when I want to use the Alexa vs. playing to the Move normally with the Sonos app? 

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The Move and Echo Show should stay connected as long as the Move is kept in Bluetooth mode. But once you switch the Move to WiFi, they will lose the Bluetooth connection.

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This is what I was afraid of.  Does the same happen with a Sonos speaker that includes Line In? Do I need to manually tell the speaker to switch to Line In, or will it automatically detect?

Bottom line... Is there a way to use the Alexa Show with a Sonos speaker for the output, and not have to use the Sonos app to toggle between Wifi mode and Bluetooth or Line In mode?

Thanks!!

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If you use a Sonos speaker with a Line In port, it will automatically detect.

The Move is the only Sonos speaker that uses Bluetooth.

What specifically are you trying to achieve with the Echo Show and Sonos products? Give me a real life scenario how you would like to use these devices together.

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Hi @GuitarSuperstar, thanks for your help. I am trying to accomplish something similar to what @Kumar alluded to at the top of this thread… have an Amazon Show 5 use a Sonos speaker for its music output. 

The Alexa implementation on the Sonos One that I have is not cutting it. It’s mic seems buggy and the lack of support for Drop In and for our Ring doorbell are deal-breakers for the rest of my family. So, I’m looking for a seamless approach where I can speak to the Show 5, but have the audio come out of a Sonos speaker. It would be a bonus (but not essential) to have the Show display artwork for the music as @Kumar mentioned above. I want to be able to still play to the Sonos speaker via WiFi, and I don’t want to have to use the Sonos app to switch back and forth between WiFi and Bluetooth. 

My first choice would be to actually use a Move so I can take it out to my deck as needed, but I’d be open to other models if they can accomplish the above. 

As an aside, it’s surprising to me that Line In isn’t standard on all of the new Sonos speakers. 

I hope this makes sense, and thanks for helping me figure out a solution. 

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@elee532 The only benefit to having an Echo device wired to a Sonos speaker through a line in port would be you could hear Alexa’s voice playing out of the Sonos speaker rather than the Echo device. If hearing Alexa’s voice from the Sonos speaker isn’t important to you, you don’t need to worry about wiring anything to a Sonos speaker.

I suggest turning off the microphone on your Sonos One and just using your Echo Show to play music out of your Sonos speakers. If the Echo Show is in another room, you could easily add another Echo device so you have Alexa in that room too. The Echo Flex and Echo Dot are inexpensive and very reliable options with a small footprint.

I have a Sonos speaker and an Echo device in almost every room in my house (including a Move in my dining room). None of my Echo devices are wired to a Sonos speaker, yet I can use Alexa to play music to any Sonos speaker in the house. Just follow these steps: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3439?language=en_US

@elee532 The only benefit to having an Echo device wired to a Sonos speaker through a line in port would be you could hear Alexa’s voice playing out of the Sonos speaker rather than the Echo device.

You also then get album art for what is playing, something that nothing in the Sonos universe can accomplish at this time. And of course, there are still large parts of the world where Sonos has not released Alexa voice control for its speakers.

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Thank you both! My Show 5 and Sonos speaker would be located right next to each other. 

The album art would be nice perk. From I understand, this only works if the Show is connected to a Sonos speaker via Line In though. Correct?

I understand the option to control the Sonos as described in that article. What I was hoping to avoid is having to give the extra commands about location. I want to say “Alexa, turn the volume down.” Not “Alexa, turn the volume down in the kitchen.” If I'm standing there in the kitchen those extra words just feel unnecessary and unnatural. But, maybe I’ll try and find myself quickly used to it.

Is the Sonos Five the only speaker with Line In.

Anyway, appreciate you both sticking with me on this. :-)

 

The album art would be nice perk. From I understand, this only works if the Show is connected to a Sonos speaker via Line In though. Correct?

 

Is the Sonos Five the only speaker with Line In.

 

I find the album art to be very useful; with so much music that is available now via streaming services, much of it unfamiliar, the album art is a big help. Yes, the best way to get this is via Line In.

Unfortunately, Sonos has not equipped its most popular speakers, derived from the play 1, with line in jacks. Only the 5 has them.

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Thanks @Kumar. The Five is probably overkill for my kitchen. Guess I’ll see if I can get comfortable with commanding the Show to play to the One.  

Thanks @Kumar. The Five is probably overkill for my kitchen. Guess I’ll see if I can get comfortable with commanding the Show to play to the One.  

Why not a command direct to the One? Then you do not have to specify the location with every command?

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Thanks @Kumar. The Five is probably overkill for my kitchen. Guess I’ll see if I can get comfortable with commanding the Show to play to the One.  

Why not a command direct to the One? Then you do not have to specify the location with every command?

Is there a way to set that up?

I don’t have a One, and in any case Alexa on Sonos isn’t available in India, but this link should guide you:

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3517?language=en_US

And for anyone interested, here is something perhaps more interesting that Echo can do that Sonos still cannot - play music from a local NAS via full voice control that then includes starting music play. The NAS can be as simple/cheap as a USB stick plugged into a Raspberry PI that runs a My Media for Alexa application, that has a USD 5 per year license fee. And of course, play this music with album art as well where the Echo is a Show version.

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I briefly read this thread, and even though Alexa (and Google Assistant) on Sonos are subpar, even with an Echo device instead of a Sonos One, the Echo Show does not display what’s currently playing on any other devices, whether that’s a Sonos speaker or an Amazon Echo.

When I first found out about this, I couldn’t believe it, it’s so darn stupid.

Turns out, song information can only be displayed when the Echo Show is grouped with another Echo device. This doesn’t work with Sonos, as their speakers cannot be grouped with Echoes.

The entire thing is extremely dumb, since I found the Echo Show to be pretty much pointless due to the screen being unter utilized and the UI not being optimized for such a device. But not being able to display song info from other devices is even more pathetic, but there you go.

Not so dumb; I use the Echo Show 5 as a line in interface for Sonos far more than I do the Sonos app, and it works very well on all counts for me. And if I group Sonos speakers with the one that the 5 is wired to, music plays on all with album art to be seen on the 5.

And of course, I can also voice command owned music on the NAS with album art. Try doing either of that with Sonos.

Anyone that does not possess at least one Sonos line in jack is denied this use.

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