Sonos One alternate Alexa "wake word" change

  • 26 December 2017
  • 68 replies
  • 18847 views

Userlevel 3
I was going to buy a pair of Sonos ones when they first came out but the inability to change the "wake word" from Alexa was a deal breaker for me as I already have a multi-room Sonos/Echo/Alexa Home autmation setup in which I use the "wake word" "computer". Therefore any expansion to my existing setup has to also have the abilty to alter the "wake word" to "Computer" as with the Echo/Echo dot. Has this issue now been addressed? If not, can this issue please be addressed in a future update to allow the Alexa Wake word on the Sonos One's to be changed from "Alexa" to "Computer"?

68 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Hi There is still no ability to change the wake word but Sonos are aware of the demand and I personally would be surprised if this wasn't addressed in the near future.
Userlevel 2
Please make Sonos match up with the other smart home products. I can't use the name Alexa. This should be easy - Echo, Computer, Siri, whatever, but please give us control of the wake up word.
Userlevel 2
Please allow grouping of speakers just like Amazon Alexa please!!! Don't do one foot in one foot out on smart home.
Userlevel 1
Dissapointed that I cannot change the wake word on my Sonos One. This should have a function delivered from the get-go for obvious reasons. Let start for the fact that there are people named Alexa, so if you have an Alexa (or an Alexis, as I discovered my Sonos also wakes to Alexis), in your household or for company, you better turn off the microphone on your Sonos because otherwise every time you call the person Sonos is going to get on the middle. Trust me, it is irritating.
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Allow changing the wake word to "Sonos" on the Sonos One.

Its a no brainer solution.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Allow changing the wake word to "Sonos" on the Sonos One.

Its a no brainer solution.


...but without any idea of the complexities of the development required! :?
Userlevel 1
Ability to change the wake word should have been part of the minimum viable product. Really disappointed in Sonos.
This really has to change immediately. In addition to having people with the name Alexa around, our household pet is named Alexo and we frequently give him commands. Alexa constantly get confused. We just got the Sonos Alexa device and it will need to go back to the store if you don't update the software within the next couple weeks. I know the technogeeks/engineers will think this a big ask, but it's just a simple make-or-break update. Please hurry - I don't really want to return the device.
Userlevel 2
I also have this issue, living in a household with two Alexs, adding Alexa doesn't really work out very well. To get around this our other dots all use the wake word Echo. Unfortunately I bring disappointing news for everyone here. It's a limitation of the Amazon Web Service that Sonos use to provide "Alexa" support, and not something Sonos can resolve on their own.

The service is called Alexa Voice Service (AVS), theres a technical post about it on the AWS developer blog: https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/865c3b71-a592-492a-89bb-4e0850e60b25/sonos-one-brings-enhanced-alexa-music-capabilities-to-customers

I've looked through all the API docs relating to the SDK that Sonos use, as well as various chunks of code on GitHub. For local voice based recognition there is no technical reason another word can't be used. However for cloud based verification of the wake word, and as part of the requirements of using AVS the only wake word that can be used is Alexa.

> 2.1. Your product SHALL only use Alexa as the wake word.
https://developer.amazon.com/docs/alexa-voice-service/functional-requirements.html

The Sonos forum doesn't seem to have any way to link threads in a meaningful way, or have any kind of moderators that collate and close threads. So I'll add these links here rather than post on every old thread:

https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/sonos-one-problems-6792649
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/wake-word-change-6797103
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/mic-sensitivity-and-wake-word-6793202
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/sonos-one-alexa-trigger-word-6792663
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/do-we-have-more-wake-words-yet-6794658
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/alexa-chime-alexa-wake-word-alexa-voice-volume-sonos-one-6794355
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/changing-alexa-name-6793042
I need this too. No real reason other than I prefer calling her "Computer" cos it feels like I'm on starship in an 80s SciFi show.... And that, Sonos Dev Team, should be reason enough... 🆒
Userlevel 1
Badge
In over 10 years of Sonos use, with 13 Devices currently in the house, this is the first time I've ever been disappointed with a new product. I've just put a One in a bathroom, and turns out I have no choice just mute the mic until this is sorted - shame on my for assuming the capability would be the same as the Amazon devices.

"Alexa" is totally untenable for me on account of having an Alexa already living in the house. I've been using Echo dots for a while and use "echo" as the wake word.
Total Charlie Foxtrot. Basic functionality. Useless without it. I have an Echo which sounds like, well an echo and I want this thing sitting there in the same room also and it has to use something other than Alexa which others in household already use and are not giving up. This is the second time I've ventured into Sonos land and only because of Echo functionality and just like the first time it miserable to configure and doesn't do the basics. Sayonara Sonos.
Amazon requires third party devices to use only the Alexa wake word. The Ecobee4 thermostat has the same issue and users are unhappy about not being able to change the thermostat's wake word. Ecobee has stated Amazon prevents them from adding the wake word change ability that Amazon devices have. It's a competitive issue with Amazon and is unlikely to change.

> 2.1. Your product SHALL only use Alexa as the wake word.
https://developer.amazon.com/docs/alexa-voice-service/functional-requirements.html


One can only assume that the Functional Requirements Document has been changed recently, as that link now reads:

2.1. Your product SHALL only use approved Amazon Alexa wake words, such as “Alexa”.

Obviously the approved alexa wake words are the same as the ones that are used by the Echo system so far, which are Alexa, Echo, Amazon and Computer.

Seems like there is nothing in that document that prevents Sonos from using any of the wake words I have mentioned, although it would prevent them from using 'Sonos' as a wake word.
Userlevel 1
In for updates. Alexa wake word is a non starter for us. So until Amazon and Sonos figure this out we will disable Alexa AI and have a dumb speaker. Disappointing.
Userlevel 1
Badge
+1 on everything said above

Not sure building in Alexa in a compromised way is the right step for Sonos users, when including a headphone jack would provide full dot functionality
I also have this issue, living in a household with two Alexs, adding Alexa doesn't really work out very well. To get around this our other dots all use the wake word Echo. Unfortunately I bring disappointing news for everyone here. It's a limitation of the Amazon Web Service that Sonos use to provide "Alexa" support, and not something Sonos can resolve on their own.

The service is called Alexa Voice Service (AVS), theres a technical post about it on the AWS developer blog: https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/865c3b71-a592-492a-89bb-4e0850e60b25/sonos-one-brings-enhanced-alexa-music-capabilities-to-customers

I've looked through all the API docs relating to the SDK that Sonos use, as well as various chunks of code on GitHub. For local voice based recognition there is no technical reason another word can't be used. However for cloud based verification of the wake word, and as part of the requirements of using AVS the only wake word that can be used is Alexa.

> 2.1. Your product SHALL only use Alexa as the wake word.
https://developer.amazon.com/docs/alexa-voice-service/functional-requirements.html

The Sonos forum doesn't seem to have any way to link threads in a meaningful way, or have any kind of moderators that collate and close threads. So I'll add these links here rather than post on every old thread:

https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/sonos-one-problems-6792649
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/wake-word-change-6797103
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/mic-sensitivity-and-wake-word-6793202
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/sonos-one-alexa-trigger-word-6792663
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/do-we-have-more-wake-words-yet-6794658
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/alexa-chime-alexa-wake-word-alexa-voice-volume-sonos-one-6794355
https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/changing-alexa-name-6793042



In a promising development, the requirement now says this:

“2.1. Your product SHALL only use approved Amazon Alexa wake words, such as "Alexa".”

So it sounds like any of the standard wake words should work now! Sonos..... your move?
Userlevel 1
Badge
That looks like it could be a step in the right direction...

We'll have to see if Sonos puts it to use
Userlevel 5
Badge +9
Pleased but not terribly surprised to see that change. Sonos is not the only company with Alexa-enabled devices getting hit with complaints about this. I do expect will see changes down the road, but then I'm an optimist. 😃
Hi just bought the Sonos One bundle to add to my existing Sonos system. I didn't realize when I ordered it that you couldn't change the trigger word from Alexa, which is a non-starter for our household (Alexa in the family). I contacted Sonos support after I received the devices to check as to whether they expected to address this anytime soon so I could decide whether I wanted to return the two devices or not. Here was their response, as of yesterday -

"It is something we would like to add, but we don't have an ETA on it at this point. As such, we can't 100% guarantee it will happen."

They then suggested that I check back before my return period expires to see if there are any additional updates. I'll let you know if I hear anything more.
Userlevel 1
"It is something we would like to add, but we don't have an ETA on it at this point. As such, we can't 100% guarantee it will happen."

That is a standard scripted non-answer. You’ll get that same answer when communicating with many other product and service providers that have nothing to offer (at this time) and are just trying to placate you. Remember, the customer service people are as removed from the product decision making as you or I. As much as we would all like the ability to change the wake word, I wouldn’t hold your breath. If I was you I’d return them now and get some Play1s and add Echo Dots where needed so you can more fully integrate them into your existing network and family. You can always buy Sonos One again later if/when they offer the alternative wake name feature.
Badge +1
Arggghhhhhh. Just bought a Sonos 1 to go with my other 7 Sonos players and I have just found this out. My daughter is called Alexa. Will have to put it back in the box until this is fixed. How ridiculous.
Arggghhhhhh. Just bought a Sonos 1 to go with my other 7 Sonos players and I have just found this out. My daughter is called Alexa. Will have to put it back in the box until this is fixed. How ridiculous.

My suggestion is that you contact Sonos customer service and tell them that you need to have the full set of trigger words added, and that you will probably return what you just bought if it is not.

It seems pretty clear from the last few entries on this thread that Sonos now has the ability to do this (given the Amazon policy change), so now it becomes a matter of prioritizing this change along with the other things that they are working on. The more people that complain about the issue, the higher on the priority list it is likely to go.

Hopefully they listen and make the change soon .....
Was very surprised that this is not supported along with all the other features that are present in Echo devices.
I’m with all of you. Desperate for a change here. But I really think this is more on Amazon than it is on Sonos. I’m confident they are doing the best they can and like someone else said, this is a power move on the part of Amazon. Soon enough, I believe change is gonna come. Meantime, it’s a sorry state of smart-home problems for anyone with an Al, Alex, Alexis, or God forbid a living Alexa in their household.

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