Question

Sonos One is Buggy and Beta - not a good experience

  • 24 October 2017
  • 11 replies
  • 758 views

This looks and sounds OK, but it simply does NOT work like a polished, finished product.

My Sonos One arrived today, and it reacts like it is several versions behind the Amazon devices I have. Room recognition is buggy; then I started to come across issues like Flash Briefings do not play; I cannot rename it from Alexa (all my other Alexa devices respond to "Computer"), some announcements cut out halfway through, I cannot make/receive calls or Drop Ins - it says "calling with Alexa is..." (and cuts out), cannot play Apple Music, etc. It seems half finished.

The I read this (https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/alexa-and-flash-briefing-6792528) - -
"There are some features that are only going to be on Amazon Echo devices for now" :@

My Playbar, Sub, Play 1s, 3 and 5s work seamlessly, and did out of the box. This is the standard I expect - Sonos products are premium devices. As it stands, a Dot attached to a Play:5 works better than a One, which is a REALLY bad look for Sonos (considering Amazon audio solutions are getting better and better, and now do a "version" of whole home audio).

What is going on to make it easier to control Sonos from an Amazon device, than Sonos's own integrated version?

Will these issues be resolved, or should I send it back?

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11 replies

This looks and sounds OK, but it simply does NOT work like a polished, finished product.


That's because the Alexa skill is not a polished, finished product.


As announced here on 10/4/2017:

https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/alexa-now-playing-on-sonos-6791301

A beta Sonos skill for Alexa is available to use today. For step by step instructions, take a look here.


Also, Flash Briefings are being worked on and are a priority. Calling and Drop In are Echo only functions. They are not available on other Alexa enabled devices (including Amazon's own Fire devices). Apple music is not supported by Alexa and at this time and the skill is only for Alexa supported music services.
Thanks jgatie; appreciate the response.

At the same time, unless I am mistaken (entirely possible) Alexa is integrated into the Sonos One device I have just purchased - it is not Beta. The Alexa Sonos skill enables the control of my wider Sonos system; that's Beta and I sppose it is understandable that there will be issues to iron out (room grouping, being able to command Sonos to play the various music services etc.)

But the unit itself should function, out of the box, as "an Alexa" and it doesn't (at least, not properly)...nowhere in the adverts did it say that some functions are "Echo Only" - in fact, if you look on the Sonos site for the One, it says in big letters "Everything that Alexa does"...
I'm not going to argue semantics with you. It is what it is.

But I will argue that although all Echoes are Alexa devices, all Alexa devices are not Echoes. A fine line that has been debated here before and explained in this way by a Sonos tech (after consulting with a corporate lawyer, I'm sure). As I said, it is what it is.
I agree with the author Simon_H. I just recieved my first ever sonos product, a sonos one. All my devices are from apple and i expected a more seamless experience with the sonos one. All the ads were showcasing a super simple, apple-like product. I really like how this little speaker sounds and Alexa has a kind voice 🙂 still, i also feel that i purchased a BETA device. Airplay 2 should be supported already. With that and google assistant, and a lot of polishing work together with amazon, this product has a lot of potential. Just hurry guys at sonos, because homepod is coming very soon and we all know that apple ships a working final product usually.
I'm not going to argue semantics with you. It is what it is.

I certainly don't want to argue with you (or anyone, for that matter). I'm just a rather confused customer at this point.

I'm not sure that "it is what it is" is an acceptable standard, especially given that it is promoted as doing all that Alexa does.

I would prefer an answer from a Sonos rep. to see if they say anything encouraging that would indicate that they're aiming to match Alexa functionality (particularly with issues like making calls) - I guess a public forum isn't the best place to ask this; I will take offline to support.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Hey Simon, there are some features that are only available on Echo devices, like the Dot, and aren't available on all Alexa-enabled devices, like the Sonos One. They may come to the wider audience or devices one day, but we don't have any specific details on a timeline or if it'll happen. Mostly, that includes the Calling, Messaging, and Drop-in features.

Flash Briefing is coming to the Sonos One soon, we were hoping to have it ready already, but it's not quite there yet. You'll probably see it very soon. The integration with Alexa means we can keep on updating features constantly as they become available.
I have also found that the Sonos and Alexa integration is buggy as hell. It was not obvious at all from the advertisement emails that it is still in Beta. Only if you click more into the depths of the Sonos website does the word Beta appear. And Beta testing is, well, testing, and so (a) it should be evident that you are in fact a beta tester and (b) there should be a dedicated process by which the beta tester can record issues. But there isn't. Sonos itself has been a bit buggy from my experience but the Sonos + Alexa combo is nowhere near ready for prime time - absolutely full of bugs and error messages that appear and Alexa frequently fails to do what it's asked to do.
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
Sonos are in a massive tech development race, they needed something out there before xmas, they have never moved this fast letting beta stuff out to the public, they have said that google assistant is next on list next year....have faith and cut them some slack.
I will wait for google assistant support to see if sonos joins other cast devices, but a sonos one is now on my potential list, whereas it was only a google mini.
I just want them to be honest.
This isn’t even beta level software more like Alpha.
I knew about the limitations but bought anyway. But even the things they say work don’t work consistently.
They are pretty deceptive on their website. Anything Alexa does!
I don’t care about Spotify but hopefully when that is released it will be along with a lot of bug fixes.
Sonos may have wanted this to sell before Christmas but they didn’t need it to. A few more months of development work would have been wise.
I wonder about the quality of their developers. Are they outsourced?
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
The integration with Alexa means we can keep on updating features constantly as they become available.
What does this mean? A Dot glued to the top of a Play 1 now would be better than a Sonos One. OK you'd have to add '... on {room}' to play commands but it would hear the wake word reliably, let you change the wake word, know that you weren't in Seattle, play flash briefings now, play radio without a delay of at least 30 seconds, hear your commands when it's playing music, let you use drop in, allow you to use new Alexa features as soon as they become available.

The Sonos One is never going to be as good as a Dot and a Play 1, 3 or 5, is it?