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Sonos and Alexa in two houses

  • 14 October 2017
  • 53 replies
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I have Sonos speakers and Echo dots in two houses. I activated the Sonos skill in the first house and all is good for using Alexa to control the Sonos speakers in the first house When I go to the second house and search for devices, the Echo dot does not find the Sonos. Is it not possible without using a second Amazon account?
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Best answer by Keith N 18 October 2017, 20:50

glennsonos & drammelt: Thanks for reaching out about this. Getting Amazon Alexa to work across multiple houses can be tricky with Sonos. You will need to have a separate Sonos ID to keep Alexa from controlling the wrong house. The best way to do this with just one Amazon account would be to create a separate Sonos ID for the vacation home and then:

- disable the Sonos skill in Alexa app
- ensure you are signed into the proper Sonos ID (if you are at the vacation home, sign into that account)
- re-enable the skill and re-discover (at this point you may see your speakers from both locations)

In most cases where people have multiple houses, the best success is found when you treat each house as a different "person". This means a separate Sonos ID and a different Amazon Account. This keeps you from accidentally controlling your main home from your vacation home.
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53 replies

Userlevel 1
Do they plan to address this? Creating two separate account for each is not an answer, you can eliminate confusion by just giving the devices different name in each house. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to do this.
Please fix this.
This is really disappointing. So I would need to logout of one Sonos account and login to another when I reach the weekend home? I know you don’t like giving dates for software enhancements, but can you confirm if this is likely going to be addressed in 2018 or not?
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I agree different houses should be addressed with an easy and elegant solution. Please let us know when it is on the road map

Alexa already supports location information as when I'm at my vacation home and ask about the weather I get the correct forecast for the area. Seems sonos could do the exact same thing?
Userlevel 1
This is clearly a SONOS Skill problem. I have 4 SONOS systems at four different locations and Alexa understands all 23 SONOS devices (which are all named differently). They were all discovered by enabling and disabling and reenabling the SONOS skill at each location. The problem is that the SONO Skill deletes the SONOS devices when you disable. There should either be an option in the Skill to rediscover devices or to Disable without deleting the device from Alexa's memory. All my LP-link smart switches in all four locations are always known and can be used from any other location. Two Accounts is not an option unless you want to have two Amazon Prime accounts. Come on SONOS. Fix the issue.
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
If you were to link the two houses with a VPN would you still need to disable/enable the Sonos skill whenever you change locations?
I have Sonos in two houses and am a big fan. I added an Echo dot in my primary house, and am finding the Alexa integration to Sonos is good and getting better all the time. It has quickly become the primary way I interact with Sonos. Great addition.

However, based on my experience - and the discussion I had with Sonos support - this is not ready for prime time if you want to add the same Alexa account to a second house (which is what most people want to do because you probably have one Prime account for yourself or your family...) I recently purchased a Sonos: One (with Alexa built in) and installed it in our vacation home to add Alexa to that system as well. I quickly realized that there's a big problem with this, as there's no way to differentiate between houses - i.e. there's no "toggle" so Alexa knows which house you're in. As I understand it, EVERY TIME you go from one house to the other, this is what you currently need to do:

> Launch Alexa app on mobile device
> Search for Sonos skill
> Disable Skill
> Enable Sonos Skill
> Login to Sonos again
> Select the Sonos system (house) you want to use
> Allow Alexa to control your Sonos system (which links to Sonos)
> Disover Devices

Once you've gone through all this, then Sonos should work on the system/house you've selected, BUT it will no longer work on the other house. Also, there's a real possibility that if you don't get these steps all correct, you can actually be in one house and turn on zones in the other if you happen to label them these same (e.g. I had Kitchen zones on both houses and scared the heck out of my wife when I turned on the stereo from the other house...)

I believe this issue needs to be resolved through a combination of work between Sonos and Amazon. In fact this may be more to do with the various rights and restrictions Amazon places on Alexa accounts. Nonetheless, until this gets worked out, I wouldn't advise using the same Alexa account with two different Sonos systems/houses - it's a real hassle.
Well its been 8 months since I first inquired about Sonos/Alexa control in two locations and there's been zero progress - which is really disappointing. I have a number of other home automation apps, such as Indigo, Open Sprinkler, etc., that all allow you to choose which "home" you are in, and then easily jcontrol the device/devices in that particular home. I really do not understand based upon all the input in this forum why the same functionality cannot be added to achieve Alexa control of Sonos speakers in the same way.
Same issue. Alexa works with Sonos in my primary home, but cannot find Sonos units in my vacation home. Can Sonos help us?
It won’t work at both places simultaneously, at least not yet. You need to disable the skill, then re-enable and rediscover the devices when you are in the house you want to use Alexa with Sonos in.
Userlevel 7
Badge +19
glennsonos & drammelt: Thanks for reaching out about this. Getting Amazon Alexa to work across multiple houses can be tricky with Sonos. You will need to have a separate Sonos ID to keep Alexa from controlling the wrong house. The best way to do this with just one Amazon account would be to create a separate Sonos ID for the vacation home and then:

- disable the Sonos skill in Alexa app
- ensure you are signed into the proper Sonos ID (if you are at the vacation home, sign into that account)
- re-enable the skill and re-discover (at this point you may see your speakers from both locations)

In most cases where people have multiple houses, the best success is found when you treat each house as a different "person". This means a separate Sonos ID and a different Amazon Account. This keeps you from accidentally controlling your main home from your vacation home.
Userlevel 2
I agree different houses should be addressed with an easy and elegant solution. Please let us know when it is on the road map
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Do they plan to address this? Creating two separate account for each is not an answer, you can eliminate confusion by just giving the devices different name in each house. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to do this.

I completely agree with this. I really don't want two accounts to fix a software limitation, not to mention those accounts end up getting used for other marketing/nefarious purposes so I try to avoid as many accounts as possible.
Userlevel 2
I agree with everyone. Should be an easy fix. I named each SONOS item a different name.
Please fix!
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
You can force both houses onto the same household id within Sonos. Then the same account should work.
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I have SONOS and Echo Dots in two houses. The SONOS systems are on the same household ID. Both of the Dots only see the SONOS system in the first house to which Alexa was linked. I cannot see the second SONOS system on either Dot.

I would like to be able to control both SONOS systems from either Dot.

Also, quite curious to know what would happen if a SONOS ONE (with Alexa built in) was to be added to the second house system. Presumably it could only be used to control the SONOS system in the other house!!
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
At the second house you need to ask Alexa to discover devices.
Userlevel 7
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No actually I beleive all your Alexa’s and the Sonos One will actually control both houses on same house id. In theory you could turn on music at one home from the other.
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At the second house you need to ask Alexa to discover devices.

I've tried that Chris. No succsees so far.
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No actually I beleive all your Alexa’s and the Sonos One will actually control both houses on same house id. In theory you could turn on music at one home from the other.

That (for me) would be good.
Userlevel 7
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Are the Alexa’s in the second house in the same amazon account. They would need to be same account as well.
Userlevel 7
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Mynalexas at both homes are on the same amazon alexa account so to me they don’t know they are even in different houses. If I drop in on a room in one it will to other house. If I issue a command to turn on my lights (via smartthings) in one House it will do it in the other house.
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Are the Alexa’s in the second house in the same amazon account. They would need to be same account as well.

Yes they are.

I can see house 1 from dot in house 2.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
It under smartphones in alexa app it only shows the Sonos units in house 1 and hitting discover doesn’t find them when in house 2. Maybe while in house 2 disable and reenable the Sonos skill in alexa then try discover.
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It under smartphones in alexa app it only shows the Sonos units in house 1 and hitting discover doesn’t find them when in house 2. Maybe while in house 2 disable and reenable the Sonos skill in alexa then try discover.

So, I have just tried that. Whilst re-enabling the skill, having entered SONOS account details, I am then asked which system do I want to control with Alexa - both SONOS systems are shown correctly, It seems to be either / or though. The systems definitely have the same SONOS Household ID.