Sonos Now Playing with Alexa Groups

  • 17 December 2018
  • 257 replies
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And ever since, grouping has been a nightmare with groups breaking on a regular basis and I have to waste my time trying to fix it.
It’s only an issue, if you perhaps have device/room names that clash. My grouping here is working just fine with 19 Sonos speakers held in 11 Sonos Rooms, used/preferred together with a variety of different Alexa Enabled Groups.

Ensure you keep your device/room/group names 'unique' and it should all work just fine (hopefully).
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It’s only an issue, if you perhaps have device/room names that clash. My grouping here is working just fine with 19 Sonos speakers held in 11 Sonos Rooms, used/preferred together with a variety of different Alexa Enabled Groups.

Ensure you keep your device/room/group names 'unique' and it should all work just fine (hopefully).


I tried this before and renamed everything including my NEST thermostat but it didn't work. I opened a thread on this separately a week or so ago because of the same problem and I think I'm just going to have to forget all the SONOS devices from Alexa and set it up again (which eventually worked that time although not straight away). But this is about the 4th or 5th time this year and I'm getting really fed up of having to constantly babysit SONOS and Alexa.

But good suggestion nevertheless. Thanks
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Is there a way to utilize this Alexa enabled Group function and have Alexa trigger my harmony hub to run an activity? Specifically, turn on the AVR and set the input to CD so that my "Living Room" Sonos zone which is connected by way of a Connect, can be grouped to the other Sonos zones when I say, "Alexa Play Favorite X Radio Station?" I've tried several times to figure it out with no success.

Currently using Yonomi app and associated Yonomi Alexa Skill as a work-around and while that's working fine, I can't use voice commands to specify which station or playlist from favorites I want it to start. I have to specify one within the Yonomi app and it appears I'm stuck with that single choice with voice commands.

Did you sort this out okay?
In an Alexa group with four Sonos speakers and the same ones selected as preferred, things don't seem to work well if some of the Sonos speakers are not powered on. Is this normal and if so, is there any workaround?
Another question. I have a Alexa group, playing balcony and bar as preferred speakers. Via a balcony spot that is in the group. All good so far with the short play commands, that do not need speaker or group naming at the end.
But when I command: Alexa play xxx in balcony, the music starts playing on just the bar, the exact opposite of what I desire.
And in the Sonos app, I see that the group has the bar as the first named unit, the group coordinator, which is perhaps the reason for this.
What am I doing wrong?
Another question. I have a Alexa group, playing balcony and bar as preferred speakers. Via a balcony spot that is in the group. All good so far with the short play commands, that do not need speaker or group naming at the end.
But when I command: Alexa play xxx in balcony, the music starts playing on just the bar, the exact opposite of what I desire.
And in the Sonos app, I see that the group has the bar as the first named unit, the group coordinator, which is perhaps the reason for this.
What am I doing wrong?

Kumar,

I think i may know the answer to this (not sure?). See below...

I’ve encountered this issue in the past and it’s something to do with the fact you issue the play command to balconly within 15 minutes of playing to the entire Alexa group. I think if you stop the music and wait 15 minutes, or longer, it will play to Balcony speakers fine. Something to do with how Amazon “times-out” its sessions.

Perhaps try the suggestion and see if it works for you.

I have found this a bit of a nuisance too, as sometimes it’s nice to play to the group then break apart the rooms to play to just one room. It’s clear that one room acts as the Alexa group controller and you have to wait for the session to timeout before you can then play to just one of the 'other' rooms. Maybe try ending the session manually, but I would still wait a while for Amazon to get the message.

At least that’s what I think happens ..!!
Ok, Ken, thanks; I will give the waiting time idea a shot. But I wonder why in the Balcony Spot driven group of two Sonos speakers, Bar Sonos is given the group leader role and not the Balcony Sonos. If that was not the case, perhaps this issue would not have arisen. And both are wired to core network units, so they are equal in that respect.

In general though, the Alexa groups feature is what makes the integration truly usable. One can very quickly tire of specifying target Sonos speakers in every voice command. Not to mention situations like when I said Shuffle my playlist Jazz in the Dining Room, Alexa said there is no playlist called Jazz in the Dining Room!

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