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Will Alexa work in a 5.1 Setup with playbar and Ones?

  • 17 September 2018
  • 34 replies
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I have a 5.1 setup with a playbar, 2xPlay1 and subwoofer. Further more some Play Ones in other rooms. Im thinking about replacing the 2xPlay1 with Ones. But will Alexa work in the 5.1 Setup? Or will they have to be "main/primary" for it to work?
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Best answer by Belly M 17 September 2018, 16:44

On the Sonos Amp announcement thread I asked...

Belly M wrote:
What about voice control?
Any plans to enable the mics in Sonos One’s when used as rears?


Ryan replied:
The mics on a pair of Sonos Ones are only disabled when bonded as surrounds with a Beam. They are fully up and running when voice is enabled and they’re being used with a Playbar, Playbase, or Sonos Amp. The Amp also has CEC over HDMI-ARC, the same as the Beam. So you’d be able to use voice control with your TV too, assuming it’s compatible.
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@Ken.....As always thanks for your advise. I added both my Kitchen ONE and Playbar to my Alexa preferred setting in the Kitchen Group. I had also previously turned OFF the ungroup auto play for the playbar in its group or room on sonos app prior (still a bit confused between rooms/groups on alexa vs sonos). When I turned on the TV the Playbar AND my Kitchen ONE both were playing and in sync. When I told Alexa to "stop" she paused the ONE but then resumed playing same audio still as the TV Playbar. When I pressed the play button on the top of ONE audio stopped on the ONE and the led light when green; Playbar unaffected. Later in the evening I asked Alexa the weather with voice and the ONE responded as expected; dont think the TV/Playbar was on at the time however. This is good!
Between my X-1 Xfinity and LG remotes I'd rather not get started with another remote like Harmony. I still have yet to try my Play1/Echo combo in the Den room/group/sonos name. I have a feeling echo works where sonos doesnt based on my experience with the ringdoorbell2 (mentioned b4 that ring says echo skills work but on the drawing board to work similarly with sonos). BTW I also installed the LG "smarthinQ" app in my android samsung phone and registered with amazon & LG where TV does show as a device in alexa app; cant recall if the alexa app sees it as an alexa enabled however FYI.

Regards


Update... While TV output plays on both the Playbar & Kitchen ONE asking Alexa to stop has no affect; telling Alexa to change to some music source successfully outputs the music to both Playbar & Kitchen with the TV still on. Manually hitting the play button atop the ONE turns it green and stops both Playbar & ONE; TV output to Playbar will resume when i use the TV remote to up the volume while Alexa stays silent with the green light on. Alexa will resume appropriate verbal commands without turning off the TV and playbar stays on TV output while Alexa follows my new audio verbal command. ....Works for me though........just a FYI
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@Ken.....As always thanks for your advise. I added both my Kitchen ONE and Playbar to my Alexa preferred setting in the Kitchen Group. I had also previously turned OFF the ungroup auto play for the playbar in its group or room on sonos app prior (still a bit confused between rooms/groups on alexa vs sonos). When I turned on the TV the Playbar AND my Kitchen ONE both were playing and in sync. When I told Alexa to "stop" she paused the ONE but then resumed playing same audio still as the TV Playbar. When I pressed the play button on the top of ONE audio stopped on the ONE and the led light when green; Playbar unaffected. Later in the evening I asked Alexa the weather with voice and the ONE responded as expected; dont think the TV/Playbar was on at the time however. This is good!
Between my X-1 Xfinity and LG remotes I'd rather not get started with another remote like Harmony. I still have yet to try my Play1/Echo combo in the Den room/group/sonos name. I have a feeling echo works where sonos doesnt based on my experience with the ringdoorbell2 (mentioned b4 that ring says echo skills work but on the drawing board to work similarly with sonos). BTW I also installed the LG "smarthinQ" app in my android samsung phone and registered with amazon & LG where TV does show as a device in alexa app; cant recall if the alexa app sees it as an alexa enabled however FYI.

Regards
Thanks Ken...will look @alexa groups closely....also the ungrouping auto function...but just tapping play button to hear playbar ON kitchen ONE is alot easier than using sonos app on phone....but now its become a personal challenge....
Regards
The Logitech Harmony Hub is capable of doing what you are looking for trymph .. you can set an 'Activity’ to group/ungroup your speakers and also control your TV channels and volume on each of the speakers etc. Otherwise the easiest and cheapest method is 'the button press'.
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I use l long press on play all over the house, works very well!.
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Thanks Ken...will look @alexa groups closely....also the ungrouping auto function...but just tapping play button to hear playbar ON kitchen ONE is alot easier than using sonos app on phone....but now its become a personal challenge....
Regards
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trymph,

It’s the Amazon Alexa Groups you will need to research. Perhaps start with this link:

https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/sonos-now-playing-with-alexa-groups-6817588

The only issue is such grouping will auto-group your speaker with the PlayBar and I’m not sure you wish to do that on every occasion, so I still think perhaps pressing and holding the the play/pause button on your Kitchen speaker (when required) might prove to be the best option for your particular given situation.

In any event the grouping options are still worth a read as that may open up lots of options for your Sonos/Alexa setup.
trymph,

It’s the Amazon Alexa Groups you will need to research. Perhaps start with this link:

https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/sonos-now-playing-with-alexa-groups-6817588

The only issue is such grouping will auto-group your speaker with the PlayBar and I’m not sure you wish to do that on every occasion, so I still think perhaps pressing and holding the the play/pause button on your Kitchen speaker (when required) might prove to be the best option for your particular given situation.

In any event the grouping options are still worth a read as that may open up lots of options for your Sonos/Alexa setup.
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Thanks Ryan............will try with groups via sonos but maybe will work on echo (vs Sonos speaker or echo/Play1 combo) anyway I wanted to know what the ungroup on autoplay did so searching found the following: thanks to all community for answers given some research

I’ll try thanks. What is that meant to do though by doing this?
It ensures that any grouping defined in the Sonos app is broken when TV output is detected.
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Hey trymph, the "switch to TV" command will have the Beam or other Sonos home theater device play the TV input, but it won't have any other Sonos players that don't have that input play from a different player. So if you have Sonos Ones with a Playbar, set up as a surround sound setup, you should be able to say "Alexa, switch to TV" and have the Playbar swap over to the TV input. But you won't be able to tell another room to start playing that audio using the voice control.

The button press command is one of the best ways to go other than using the app for this. You may be able to make it work with groups, but make sure you go into the Sonos Settings and under Room Settings > Playbar turn off ungroup on autoplay.
Userlevel 7
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Hey trymph, the "switch to TV" command will have the Beam or other Sonos home theater device play the TV input, but it won't have any other Sonos players that don't have that input play from a different player. So if you have Sonos Ones with a Playbar, set up as a surround sound setup, you should be able to say "Alexa, switch to TV" and have the Playbar swap over to the TV input. But you won't be able to tell another room to start playing that audio using the voice control.

The button press command is one of the best ways to go other than using the app for this. You may be able to make it work with groups, but make sure you go into the Sonos Settings and under Room Settings > Playbar turn off ungroup on autoplay.
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@ Ken_Griffiths......Still no joy with alexa voice command: "alexa play TV on kitchen" Kitchen is my sonos ONE. I did manage to register the LG TV with both LG & Amazon and it shows as a recognized devise "TV" in the alexa world; not sure if it can be named as an audio service/subscription for playing to sonos though. Good news is your suggestion for the play button toggling on the top of my ONE works to push playbar audio to the ONE! I will no longer have to get out the phone and open the sonos app....Thanks for that tip!!
Playing with groups/rooms/named devises to see if i can get ONE to work with voice command for the TV devise and will try an echo/play1 combo next; Ringdoorbell2 will play to echo and Ring confirmed to me they are working to add skill to play to Sonos also so possibly same deal here with the TV output.
Many thanks!!
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@ ken...Thanks for your replies....what i meant is just using alexa voice to activate my kitchen ONE or my den play1/echo to play audio output from my tv playbar concurrently....vs using sonos app to turn either on from list with a check mark adjacent to each....seems its not possibleNo not possible with Alexa, but perhaps try this instead.... turn on the TV and let the TV audio start to play on the Playbar.

Now go over to your Play 1 (or Sonos One) Speaker in the Kitchen and keep the play button pressed... it should auto-Group your speaker with the PlayBar and output the same TV audio.

If you have other audio sources playing on Sonos, elsewhere in the home, if you keep the “play button” pressed, the Kitchen speaker will cycle through the different playing sources. Just let go when you hear the source you wish to listen to.

This at least saves you having to open the Sonos App to play your TV audio on your Kitchen Speaker and it’s a quick way to Group a Speaker with playing audio... it’s not a feature though that is currently supported via voice control.

See if that helps achieve what you were hoping to do.?


Will try that....
did I read correctly that Beam names the TV audio as "TV" enabling alexa to allow a command like: "alexa play tv on kitchen"? If so or not would be great to be in kitchen with TV playing on my playbar and simply say same while in kitchen. Our house is open concept and i can see the tv while in kitchen or den but not hear too well w/o cranking up vol on playbar.... make it so as capt Pickard would say...thanks
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As I mentioned we have open concept floor plan so can see TV from kitchen and I want to hear FOX news during diner without using Sonos app to activate TV output; kitchen is a ONE. Interestingly the Ring Doorbell2 will play via Echo but not a ONE confirmed by Ring; thanks for confirming TV audio is not available via Echo either. TMI?....Wife hates when i crank up vol on the Playbar; especially for FOX News........lol
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That's only thing I can't do with my Echo Dot Playbar, Play:1's and Sub; "Alexa play TV". Can live with that though!.

My One lives in the Kitchen, ideal for music while cooking/ washing up!.
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That's only thing I can't do with my Echo Dot Playbar, Play:1's and Sub; "Alexa play TV". Can live with that though!.

My One lives in the Kitchen, ideal for music while cooking/ washing up!.
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@ ken...Thanks for your replies....what i meant is just using alexa voice to activate my kitchen ONE or my den play1/echo to play audio output from my tv playbar concurrently....vs using sonos app to turn either on from list with a check mark adjacent to each....seems its not possibleNo not possible with Alexa, but perhaps try this instead.... turn on the TV and let the TV audio start to play on the Playbar.

Now go over to your Play 1 (or Sonos One) Speaker in the Kitchen and keep the play button pressed... it should auto-Group your speaker with the PlayBar and output the same TV audio.

If you have other audio sources playing on Sonos, elsewhere in the home, if you keep the “play button” pressed, the Kitchen speaker will cycle through the different playing sources. Just let go when you hear the source you wish to listen to.

This at least saves you having to open the Sonos App to play your TV audio on your Kitchen Speaker and it’s a quick way to Group a Speaker with playing audio... it’s not a feature though that is currently supported via voice control.

See if that helps achieve what you were hoping to do.?


Will try that....
did I read correctly that Beam names the TV audio as "TV" enabling alexa to allow a command like: "alexa play tv on kitchen"? If so or not would be great to be in kitchen with TV playing on my playbar and simply say same while in kitchen. Our house is open concept and i can see the tv while in kitchen or den but not hear too well w/o cranking up vol on playbar.... make it so as capt Pickard would say...thanks
Badge +2
@ ken...Thanks for your replies....what i meant is just using alexa voice to activate my kitchen ONE or my den play1/echo to play audio output from my tv playbar concurrently....vs using sonos app to turn either on from list with a check mark adjacent to each....seems its not possibleNo not possible with Alexa, but perhaps try this instead.... turn on the TV and let the TV audio start to play on the Playbar.

Now go over to your Play 1 (or Sonos One) Speaker in the Kitchen and keep the play button pressed... it should auto-Group your speaker with the PlayBar and output the same TV audio.

If you have other audio sources playing on Sonos, elsewhere in the home, if you keep the “play button” pressed, the Kitchen speaker will cycle through the different playing sources. Just let go when you hear the source you wish to listen to.

This at least saves you having to open the Sonos App to play your TV audio on your Kitchen Speaker and it’s a quick way to Group a Speaker with playing audio... it’s not a feature though that is currently supported via voice control.

See if that helps achieve what you were hoping to do.?
@ ken...Thanks for your replies....what i meant is just using alexa voice to activate my kitchen ONE or my den play1/echo to play audio output from my tv playbar concurrently....vs using sonos app to turn either on from list with a check mark adjacent to each....seems its not possibleNo not possible with Alexa, but perhaps try this instead.... turn on the TV and let the TV audio start to play on the Playbar.

Now go over to your Play 1 (or Sonos One) Speaker in the Kitchen and keep the play button pressed... it should auto-Group your speaker with the PlayBar and output the same TV audio.

If you have other audio sources playing on Sonos, elsewhere in the home, if you keep the “play button” pressed, the Kitchen speaker will cycle through the different playing sources. Just let go when you hear the source you wish to listen to.

This at least saves you having to open the Sonos App to play your TV audio on your Kitchen Speaker and it’s a quick way to Group a Speaker with playing audio... it’s not a feature though that is currently supported via voice control.

See if that helps achieve what you were hoping to do.?
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@ ken
Yes:
Are you saying you want to do something like "Alexa, switch to TV on playbar"? If so, no, not possible...

Thanks for your replies....what i meant is just using alexa voice to activate my kitchen ONE or my den play1/echo to play audio output from my tv playbar concurrently....vs using sonos app to turn either on from list with a check mark adjacent to each....seems its not possible
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Trymph,

I would take a look at the Logitech Harmony Hub device and it’s own Alexa Skill for your TV control.. that coupled with the Sonos Skill may achieve a majority of the things you are 'possibly' looking for... but as Danny mentions, you have not been too specific in your post as to exactly what you hope to achieve.

Sonos 'automatic' Room Grouping is possible with Amazon Alexa Groups, but you may find that grouping your PlayBar with another Sonos Room for playing your TV audio, may result in audio lip-sync delays to the grouped Sonos 'Rooms’, which may create a slight echo-effect in some cases, particularly when playing a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio source.
Trymph,

I would take a look at the Logitech Harmony Hub device and it’s own Alexa Skill for your TV control.. that coupled with the Sonos Skill may achieve a majority of the things you are 'possibly' looking for... but as Danny mentions, you have not been too specific in your post as to exactly what you hope to achieve.

Sonos 'automatic' Room Grouping is possible with Amazon Alexa Groups, but you may find that grouping your PlayBar with another Sonos Room for playing your TV audio, may result in audio lip-sync delays to the grouped Sonos 'Rooms’, which may create a slight echo-effect in some cases, particularly when playing a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio source.
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I take it from this thread that Alexa should be able to control a Playbar output from my LG TV?


You probably need to be more specific than 'control' as you can use Alexa commands to control the playbar in some ways, but not others. You can change the volume, initiate streaming music, pause/resume. You cannot tell the playbar to switch input to TV audio, if that's what you mean by control.


Would you confirm that plz.... as I've not been able to get voice to work for turning on my ONE to output from my TV playbar; would hate continuing banging my head against an impossible brick wall. Should you confirm its possible


Are you saying you want to do something like "Alexa, switch to TV on playbar"? If so, no, not possible.


I'll describe my set up more completely. My goal is to use voice command to turn on my playbar output in either my "DEN" or "KITCHEN" group with the sonos play1(w/echo) & ONE as primaries respectively/separately. I dont need to turn off the output from playbar when playing the sonos separate rooms.
Thanks


Not following exactly what you mean here.
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I take it from this thread that Alexa should be able to control a Playbar output from my LG TV? Would you confirm that plz.... as I've not been able to get voice to work for turning on my ONE to output from my TV playbar; would hate continuing banging my head against an impossible brick wall. Should you confirm its possible I'll describe my set up more completely. My goal is to use voice command to turn on my playbar output in either my "DEN" or "KITCHEN" group with the sonos play1(w/echo) & ONE as primaries respectively/separately. I dont need to turn off the output from playbar when playing the sonos separate rooms.
Thanks
When you connect a TV. I guess you probably plan to set the speakers up by 'bonding' them together for Home Theatre Surround Sound aswell as Full stereo sound. This will combine things into one Sonos Room for example called 'Living Room' ... the Alexa devices should work in this type of setup and presumably you will keep the Alexa part of the device as your chosen Alexa Group 'Enabling' (controlling) devices and the 'Living Room' Speaker as your 'preferred' speaker.

I think however there is possibly a minor bug in the current software, as the Alexa part of a Sonos One and Beam Speaker is currently 'embedded' inside the device name of the main speaker in the Alexa App device list.. this happens when the Sonos Skill is installed, for some reason. I have reported this matter to Sonos and I believe they are currently looking into the issue.?but hopefully, all being well, this will be resolved soon, as the development around this area continues by both Sonos and Amazon.

Anyhow it should all still work for you without the need to use Room Names in your voice instruction, as long as you put the Playbar Living Room as a 'preferred' speaker in your Alexa Group.

You can always post back here later, if you do encounter any problems... either myself, or plenty of others, including Sonos Support Staff, will likely be around to answer any questions you may have..?
Excellent advice, so far. I am wondering in advance if there will be issues when I add a TV to the mix, but I'll take the win for today.

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