Sonos One seen as "Smart Home" device, not "Alexa enabled" device

  • 17 February 2018
  • 26 replies
  • 6071 views

Userlevel 1
Hi,
I recently bought a Sonos One to upgrade the sound quality in my living room. It replaces an Amazon Echo (1st Gen), which now sits in one of the bedrooms.

I was obviously disappointed to see that most Alexa skills (the ones involving sound) do not work on Sonos One. I'm looking for a work around until an update is released.

I have another issue. I also use Alexa to control my smart home devices (mostly lightbulbs). I have become quite familiar with the procedure needed to add an use devices on Alexa.

I also use groups, and this is where my question comes from. I noticed that Alexa sees Sonos One as a "Smart Home" device of unknown type. The Alexa app sees my other Amazon speakers as "Alexa enabled devices" when creating groups, where as Sonos One is seen as just another device called "Living room".

Is this normal?

I am sort of happy to accept that I can't use Drop In, but creating Groups is a really important feature when you have a few Alexa and smart home devices lying around.

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

26 replies

Badge
+1 to this.

This limitation means you cannot use the Alexa simplified room lighting/device controls.

For example, if within the Family Room you create an Alexa group consisting of the Alexa Echo physically in that room, along with the lights in that room, say "Couch Lamp", "Ceiling Light", and "Spot Light", then when you are in that particular room and speak to the Alexa in that room, you can say "Alexa, Lights on" instead of "Alexa, Family Room Lights On", or worse, having to ask for each light individually, by name, to be turned on.

This is particularly useful when you have multiple Alexa devices in multiple rooms. With the "smart grouping", you can walk into any room and say "Alexa, lights on" and the appropriate, pre-selected set of lights for that room, turns on without having to remember the unique names of the lights in that particular room.

The problem is that with Sonos ONE not being recognized as an "Alexa-enabled device" you cannot replace an existing Alexa with a Sonos ONE in a particular room and continue having the same capability. That sort of defeats the whole purpose of using a Sonos ONE as a "superset" of a regular Alexa for voice commands but with much better sound. Now you have to give up existing convenience if you want better sound, you can't have both.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Hi both

You are correct, the Sonos One does not support Alexa Groups as yet, this is mainly due to Amazon only releasing the ability to do this with 3rd party speakers in Dec 2017.


The problem is that with Sonos ONE not being recognized as an "Alexa-enabled device" you cannot replace an existing Alexa with a Sonos ONE in a particular room and continue having the same capability. That sort of defeats the whole purpose of using a Sonos ONE as a "superset" of a regular Alexa for voice commands but with much better sound. Now you have to give up existing convenience if you want better sound, you can't have both.


You wrong here: The Sonos One is recognised as an 'Alexa Enabled Device' but it is not recognised as an 'Alexa Device'.

Having said all of that; now that the API has been released, I would be surprised if Sonos didn't support Alexa groups soon but that is just my opinion.
Userlevel 1
Thanks for this. I guess in the meantime, I can try to create a workaround with Routines. Obviously, I need to pick my words very carefully, to avoid triggering a pre-programmed action.
I'm a newbie here. What is the best source of info on software/feature releases, outside of this forum?
I'm also interested in knowing when (if ever), Sonos will support Alexa skills that stream audio (e.g., Rain Sound, the BBC skill, etc).
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Hi

I use the Announcements section of this forum personally: https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985

With regard to your workaround - The Sonos One isn't supported in Routines for the same reason as groups. :(

There are a lot of people asking for support of Audio skills but there has been no commitment from Sonos as yet.
Userlevel 1
Thanks for the link.
Userlevel 7
Badge +19
There are a lot of people asking for support of Audio skills but there has been no commitment from Sonos as yet.
While we do not have any specific dates or timetables to share, I think it's important to know that the team is aware of this and actively working to get these audio skills working. Thanks for your patience on this!
Userlevel 1
That is great news! Thanks for the update.
There are a lot of people asking for support of Audio skills but there has been no commitment from Sonos as yet.
While we do not have any specific dates or timetables to share, I think it's important to know that the team is aware of this and actively working to get these audio skills working. Thanks for your patience on this!


Yes. Thank you very much Keith N - please keep us up to date. The BBC Alexa Skill was by far the most used skill on our Echo in the kitchen, and now we have replaced it with a Sonos One, we miss it very much (as stated frequently elsewhere, Tune-In just not as good for a variety of reasons).
What's Sonos status wrt integrating the new "smart groups" API so that the Sonos One can take advantage of the simplified room lighting/device controls? "Alexa, turn on the lights" is a whole lot more convenient than having to specify the name of the room. 😞
I’ve been waiting for this feature since the announcement about 4 months ago now. I wonder if the hold up is on Sonos or Amazon’s side. The Sonos One still doesn’t get recognized as an “Alexa Enabled Device” under groups, and I’m starting to wonder if it ever will...
Userlevel 2
I’ve been waiting for this feature since the announcement about 4 months ago now. I wonder if the hold up is on Sonos or Amazon’s side. The Sonos One still doesn’t get recognized as an “Alexa Enabled Device” under groups, and I’m starting to wonder if it ever will...

Sonos works very slowly. What would take other apps a week to push out an update takes many months, and there are rarely if ever any status updates. I don't know if they just have very small teams or it's due to having to do a lot of hardware testing, but I've learned to just check the forum when a new software update comes out. Don't check more than once a month. In the end, they usually create a good result, so I am begrudgingly patient.
Badge +2
What's Sonos status wrt integrating the new "smart groups" API so that the Sonos One can take advantage of the simplified room lighting/device controls? "Alexa, turn on the lights" is a whole lot more convenient than having to specify the name of the room. :(

+1 on this, I've resorted to putting dots back in the same rooms as my ones which really defeats the object of why I purchased them.
Badge
+1 on this
Badge
Same issue with the new Beam which is a pity, but I’m guessing when one is fixed, the other will also work.

David
Any update?
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
+1 grrrr Sonos
Badge
still no update on this?
+1; would love to use this feature with my new Beam
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
++1 - just got a beam (my first sonos alexa enabled device) and really disappointed by lack of support for groups so cannot just say ‘alexa turn on the lights’ 😞
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
++1 - just got a beam (my first sonos alexa enabled device) and really disappointed by lack of support for groups so cannot just say ‘alexa turn on the lights’ :-(

Hi

Yes you can now - Alexa update in the last week. Open the Alexa App and press the Home button in the bottom right of the app. If you haven't got a Group for your room name, then please create a Group and Add Devices - Your Beam and Your Alexa light switch for that room. Please Save the Group and allow 5-10 secs for this to be sync'd. Now if you ask your Beam 'Alexa, Turn on the Lights' it will control the associated light switch.

Also note: that if you have Non Alexa Sonos devices and an Echo Dot, then you can do the same as above and group the Sonos Device and the Echo Dot and then set a 'Preferred Speaker'. This will now output music to the Sonos device without the need to include the Sonos device name in the command. i.e. 'Alexa, Play soft Jazz' to the Echo device will output the music to the Sonos device and not the Echo Dot.

Let us know if you have any further questions.
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
++1 - just got a beam (my first sonos alexa enabled device) and really disappointed by lack of support for groups so cannot just say ‘alexa turn on the lights’ :-(

Hi

Yes you can now - Alexa update in the last week. Open the Alexa App and press the Home button in the bottom right of the app. If you haven't got a Group for your room name, then please create a Group and Add Devices - Your Beam and Your Alexa light switch for that room. Please Save the Group and allow 5-10 secs for this to be sync'd. Now if you ask your Beam 'Alexa, Turn on the Lights' it will control the associated light switch.

Also note: that if you have Non Alexa Sonos devices and an Echo Dot, then you can do the same as above and group the Sonos Device and the Echo Dot and then set a 'Preferred Speaker'. This will now output music to the Sonos device without the need to include the Sonos device name in the command. i.e. 'Alexa, Play soft Jazz' to the Echo device will output the music to the Sonos device and not the Echo Dot.

Let us know if you have any further questions.


It’s not working for me. I’m aware of alexa groups and preferred speaker but I cannot select the beam as the ‘alexa enabled device’ in the top section (see pic) - only echo devices are shown. This means that, although the beam can be a part of the group, it doesn’t act like an echo would act. Without an echo as the ‘master’ of the group, I have to specify the correct name of the lights in order for them to be understood by the beam. This is different to other alexa groups with an echo as the ‘master’ where it is no longer necessary to specify the full name.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Ahh, sorry. I don't have the Beam but I have a Group with a Sonos One, a Smart Plug and a LightwaveRF light Switch and can select Sonos Devices for my Preferred Speaker. Sorry for the silly question but what type of Group are you creating?
++1 - just got a beam (my first sonos alexa enabled device) and really disappointed by lack of support for groups so cannot just say ‘alexa turn on the lights’ :-(

Hi

Yes you can now - Alexa update in the last week. Open the Alexa App and press the Home button in the bottom right of the app. If you haven't got a Group for your room name, then please create a Group and Add Devices - Your Beam and Your Alexa light switch for that room. Please Save the Group and allow 5-10 secs for this to be sync'd. Now if you ask your Beam 'Alexa, Turn on the Lights' it will control the associated light switch.

Also note: that if you have Non Alexa Sonos devices and an Echo Dot, then you can do the same as above and group the Sonos Device and the Echo Dot and then set a 'Preferred Speaker'. This will now output music to the Sonos device without the need to include the Sonos device name in the command. i.e. 'Alexa, Play soft Jazz' to the Echo device will output the music to the Sonos device and not the Echo Dot.

Let us know if you have any further questions.


It’s not working for me. I’m aware of alexa groups and preferred speaker but I cannot select the beam as the ‘alexa enabled device’ in the top section (see pic) - only echo devices are shown. This means that, although the beam can be a part of the group, it doesn’t act like an echo would act. Without an echo as the ‘master’ of the group, I have to specify the correct name of the lights in order for them to be understood by the beam. This is different to other alexa groups with an echo as the ‘master’ where it is no longer necessary to specify the full name.


Hi nicka99,

I’ve been watching this post for a week or so after encountering exactly the same limitation. No problem setting up “preferred speakers” - in fact my older Play3, Play5, Play1 and Connect are all non Alexa but can all be nominated. But I couldn’t set my Beam to be the Alexa for a room, meaning I couldn’t say for example “lights on” without also referring to the room I wanted to control (as I can with my Echo Dot).

However, I’m not sure if there’s been an update, but I tried again today and found I could do this (pic attached). The Beam is now working exactly like my other Echo Dot devices! Hopefully it’s now working for you too?



I did some other Amazon housekeeping today - deregistering old devices I no longer use etc via the website, but unsure if this could have changed anything?

Joel.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
This feature has been rolling out for a couple weeks, and yesterday was the final push. Just about everyone now should be able to use Alexa Groups with Sonos as expected. Check out the announcement here.
Amazing! Thank you so much Ryan!