Sonos One alternate Alexa "wake word" change

  • 26 December 2017
  • 68 replies
  • 19917 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 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
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 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 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
Ability to change the wake word should have been part of the minimum viable product. Really disappointed in Sonos.
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Allow changing the wake word to "Sonos" on the Sonos One.

Its a no brainer solution.
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.
What an incredibly stupid thing to have not implemented! Come on Sonos...get with the program. I just took mine out of the box and got it going. This is the first thing I tried to change. The problem with using "Alexa" as the wake word is every damn Amazon commercial that comes on either the TV or radio will wake a device up. We need a least one other good option. I use "echo" on all my Dots. I'm not sure why Amazon is so restrictive on wake up words to begin with, but to limit us to the one and only default is inexcusable!
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! :?
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.
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... 🆒
Just wanted to register my complaint about the lack of wake words on Sonos One. I *hate* saying "Alexa."
Just started my Sonos collection with a pair of One's but being unable to change the wake word is a big disappointment. We have Echos & dots around the house & intended to change the Sonos wake work to prevent clashes but sadly this does not seem possible yet. Is this something that is planned and if so when?
Hey Sonos, why can't we do this? I have lots of relatives/friends with the name Alex (and variants). Please let me call it "Computer" on my One!
This is the first time, in the 33 years that I have been alive, that I have ever posted a comment on a forum. However after receiving a brand new pair of Sonos One speakers in the post yesterday and setting them up, I cannot believe that it is not yet possible to change the wake word from "Alexa" to something else. My daughter is called Lexie and after only one day it is already getting rather frustrating that the speakers wake up every time I say her name. Sonos please can you sort out this problem, I don't want to have to return my lovely new speakers!
Same situation here, purchased Sonos One for the bedroom thinking would get rid of the dot, since we use key word Echo, this will not work for us. We were going to buy multiple more units to replace all our existing dots and Alex devices. So frustrating that all is needed is a software change, yet this product is a step backward.
Same situation here, purchased Sonos One for the bedroom thinking would get rid of the dot, since we use key word Echo, this will not work for us. We were going to buy multiple more units to replace all our existing dots and Alex devices. So frustrating that all is needed is a software change, yet this product is a step backward.

I agree completely. I bought 2 Sonos One Gen 2 speakers and planned to add more to replace older Alexa units. I really do NOT want to have to rename all existing devices back to "Alexa" when I've used "Echo" for years.

PLEASE Sonos - it sounds like this is technically feasible now based on documentation from Amazon. Allow us to change the wake word to one of the currently accepted names.
Userlevel 2
Please allow grouping of speakers just like Amazon Alexa please!!! Don't do one foot in one foot out on smart home.

> 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.
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?
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.
Was very surprised that this is not supported along with all the other features that are present in Echo devices.
Please add ability to change wake word. My son and his girlfriend Alexa thank you.
Userlevel 1
Badge
As my daughter is named Alexa we had to turn the voice services off. Would really love to change the wake word as I’ve already got around $4k worth of Sonos gear and plan to get more. Having the voice activation working would just be the icing in the cake.

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