Sonos Now Playing with Alexa Groups



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In my living room I have been able to set up my echo dot with the preferred speaker as my Play:3. In the kitchen however, where my Sonos One is located I am trying to create a group called "Kitchen" but only my echo dot appears under the Alexa-Enabled Devices section. How do I get my Sonos One to appear as an "Alexa-Enabled Device" on the "Define Group" screen? On the Devices tab, when I click "Echo & Alexa" my Sonos One appears there.
I'm having some difficulty here and I don’t understand this question DarrenLink. Why does a standalone Sonos One Speaker in a room called 'Kitchen' need to be in an Alexa group called 'Kitchen'?

The music output via that speaker will play and duck it’s audio, without the need for 'addressing the room name' (Kitchen) anyway, just by default?

I don’t think that speaker, in those type of circumstances, needs to be placed into an Alexa Group. It’s not necessary, surely?
DarrenLink,

See this suggestion...

You could perhaps create an Alexa Group called something like 'Downstairs', with no 'Alexa Enabled' device (Note: you do not have any echo devices that you can use anyway, as it is one only per set of groups and you have used your echo dot already in the Living Room Group).

In the newly created 'Downstairs' Alexa Group (or whatever you may choose to call it) you could add both your Sonos One Speaker (Kitchen) and your Play 3 Speaker (Living Room) and then set them both as the 'preferred' speakers.

So when you speak to either your echo Dot, or your Sonos One and say ‘Alexa, play some music Downstairs', the two rooms will group together automatically and the music will then play on both your rooms. (Kitchen & Living Room) ... this should work now without the need for any further update from Sonos.
Here's a for instance:

I have a pair of Play:5s in the bedroom, with an Echo Dot. For the "Bedroom" group, I made the Alexa Device the Bedroom Dot, and the Preferred Speaker the Bedroom (pair of Play:5's). Now my music plays over the Play:5s by default.

Now I also group the Bedroom, Bathroom, and Kitchen together a lot. For this I made the "Speaker Group" group. I gave it no Alexa device at all, and made the Bedroom, Bathroom, and Kitchen the preferred speakers. I can now play to that by specifying "Speaker Group" in the command. I'm going to create similar groups for "Upstairs Group" and "Downstairs Group".

This works well for my uses. Hope it gives others a hint on how they can get the results they wish.


Yes these are the use cases I'm looking at as well. One other possibility to consider, in a large room, you could theoretically place multiple echo dots around the room for better coverage of your voice, with each echo dot in it's own alexa group but with the same Sonos speaker as the preffered speaker (placed in the same room). I'm wondering it this might even work well for a backyard scenario.
Danny,

It’s perhaps worth briefly mentioning here, that the Amazon Alexa Groups can have more than one 'Alexa Enabled' device in what has been referred to as 'section one' or the 'first section' of an Alexa Group... its really a case that the Echo devices can only be used once only across all groups. So technically speaking you could put all your Amazon echo devices into one group.. it’s not one per group, as some people seem to be inferring in some posts. See my screenshot where I have added two echo dots, (Echo Dot Lounge & Echo Dot Floater) so that both of them 'Alexa Enable' the one Group.

Hope that makes a little more sense of the sort of things can be achieved with these Alexa Enabled Groups and multiple Sonos devices.

If the group is not 'Alexa Enabled' with an echo device in 'section one' or the 'first part' of the Group, then the Group Name can be used in the Alexa instruction to automatically group together the 'preferred' Sonos devices in such a group.. note they must be 'preferred' to make them automatically group together.

I hope that helps to make things a little clearer for anyone reading this thread.

I'm having some difficulty here and I don’t understand this question DarrenLink. Why does a standalone Sonos One Speaker in a room called 'Kitchen' need to be in an Alexa group called 'Kitchen'?


Because Alexa groups are for smart home control as well as preferred/ducking speakers, but also for smart device control. You can say 'Alexa, turn off the light' instead of 'Alexa, turn off the kitchen light'.

And there some musoc related possibilities. I have a Beam in the bedroom and One in the onsuite Bathroom. I may set them up so they play in both rooms when i request music in one. It's what i typically do anyway.

I'm having some difficulty here and I don’t understand this question DarrenLink. Why does a standalone Sonos One Speaker in a room called 'Kitchen' need to be in an Alexa group called 'Kitchen'?


Because Alexa groups are for smart home control as well as preferred/ducking speakers, but also for smart device control. You can say 'Alexa, turn off the light' instead of 'Alexa, turn off the kitchen light'.

And there some musoc related possibilities. I have a Beam in the bedroom and One in the onsuite Bathroom. I may set them up so they play in both rooms when i request music in one. It's what i typically do anyway.
Danny,

Sorry, but DarrenLink, made no mention at all that the grouping was for the purpose of lighting control, so that’s why it perhaps made no sense to me, but appreciate now that may have been his intention, otherwise a Group in the situation described, appears unnecessary otherwise.

You do not strictly need the 'Alexa Enabled' Group to automatically group and play to your two Beam rooms/devices, that’s if your happy to address the 'group name' in the Alexa instruction, at least that will work for now, until the Alexa part of a Sonos device gets the ability to 'Alexa Enable' a Group in 'section one'.

Sadly, Sonos have not said/announced anything about that happening 'yet', but perhaps like you, I have been campaigning for many months, for that to happen, at some point, as I have lights (and Sonos Alexa Enabled devices) in a good many of my rooms at home that would benefit from that added feature.

I hope Amazon and Sonos go onto do this work.

I also do not understand why Amazon have also not yet done it with their own Fire tablets and both the Music App and Amazon Alexa App, which now have Alexa built-in, because all those 'things' could be used to 'Alexa Enable' a Group too.
Danny,

Sorry, but DarrenLink, made no mention at all that the grouping was for the purpose of lighting control, so that’s why it perhaps made no sense to me, but appreciate now that may have been his intention, otherwise a Group in the situation described, appears unnecessary otherwise.

You do not strictly need the 'Alexa Enabled' Group to automatically group and play to your two Beam rooms/devices, that’s if your happy to address the 'group name' in the Alexa instruction, at least that will work for now, until the Alexa part of a Sonos device gets the ability to 'Alexa Enable' a Group in 'section one'.

Sadly, Sonos have not said/announced anything about that happening 'yet', but perhaps like you, I have been campaigning for many months, for that to happen, at some point, as I have lights (and Sonos Alexa Enabled devices) in a good many of my rooms at home that would benefit from that added feature.

I hope Amazon and Sonos go onto do this work.

I also do not understand why Amazon have also not yet done it with their own Fire tablets and both the Music App and Amazon Alexa App, which now have Alexa built-in, because all those 'things' could be used to 'Alexa Enable' a Group too.


hhmm that functionality is certainly implied by the documentation - https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3517?language=en_US

"Your Sonos One or Beam can be added to an Alexa Group as both an Alexa-Enabled Device and a Preferred Speaker. The Sonos One or Beam can only act as the Alexa-Enabled Device for one Alexa Group, but they can be added as Preferred Speakers for as many Alexa Groups as you like."
hhmm that functionality is certainly implied by the documentation - https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3517?language=en_US

"Your Sonos One or Beam can be added to an Alexa Group as both an Alexa-Enabled Device and a Preferred Speaker. The Sonos One or Beam can only act as the Alexa-Enabled Device for one Alexa Group, but they can be added as Preferred Speakers for as many Alexa Groups as you like."

Yes martynwendon, I had honestly missed that perhaps new 'remark' in the related support document ('well spotted!') ...and I hope that Amazon and Sonos do go onto implement this useful feature, as it will be helpful, not least for light-control, aswell as the many other things, that have been mentioned here and elsewhere in the community.

Thanks for pointing out that very relevant paragraph, it’s the first indication I have seen so far, that the feature is coming down the line.
Yes martynwendon, I had honestly missed that perhaps new 'remark' in the related support document ('well spotted!') ...and I hope that Amazon and Sonos do go onto implement this useful feature, as it will be helpful, not least for light-control, aswell as the many other things, that have been mentioned here and elsewhere in the community.

Thanks for pointing out that very relevant paragraph, it’s the first indication I have seen so far, that the feature is coming down the line.


Yes, would be nice to get a confirmation from Sonos officially if this should work NOW or not …. it doesn't seem to for me at the moment :-(

I only just bought a Sonos One recently and am a little disappointed that it doesn't behave like a "real" Alexa (Echo).

Rightly or wrongly, I was expecting to be able to make it an Alexa device for a room and to use it in a multi-speaker group with my other Echos. Judging by the reviews on Amazon and various forum threads I'm not the only one ….. at this point I'd probably go back to a Yamaha MultiCast (we use iOS and iTunes so Airplay is a requirement) and Echo combo like I have in other rooms. The Sonos One seemed a nicer one-box solution on paper and more family friendly to get consistency throughout the house moving forwards :-)

I can probably live without the mutli-speaker grouping as we've not used that much so far, but the Alexa device thing is a bit of a deal breaker.

Yes, would be nice to get a confirmation from Sonos officially if this should work NOW or not …. it doesn't seem to for me at the moment :-(


Ryan said on the previous page that it is 'rolling out' still. I expect it to be available sometime last night, but I'm still not seeing it as well. I don't think this is on Sonos side to complete the update though. I also have an alexa enabled thermostat that isn't showing up as an 'Alexa Device' (first section) in the alexa groups.


I only just bought a Sonos One recently and am a little disappointed that it doesn't behave like a "real" Alexa (Echo).


I'm doubtful that ever full will. It seems like Amazon wants to hold some features to themselves, or there is specific hardware in echos that are not common in non-amazon Alexa enabled devices. Even Amazon's fire TV's can't do all that an echo can do.
martynwendon,

Yes, I have Philips hue lights about the place and I need the Sonos Alexa part of the product to 'Alexa Enable' the Amazon Groups too... that aside though, I love the newly announced grouping features that have been introduced. It is nice to see my Sonos Rooms grouping and ungrouping themselves automatically, whether I want to play to a single room, group of nearby rooms, upstairs, downstairs etc. I think even though these things can sometime become a little complex, Sonos and Amazon have implemented the feature in a simple-to-use way.

I have even recently discovered too, that when (re)adding the Sonos Skill to the Amazon Alexa App, that it now walks new users through the process of setting up room-groups too, making it even easier for those new users to be up and running with the grouping features straight away.
The multi-speaker / group thing with mixed manufacturer devices could be worked around by allowing non-real Echo devices to be put in the same multi-speaker group and just controlled in parallel - i.e. I wouldn't expect them all to be in synch and controlled as-one given the different technologies in use by each manufacturer.

But just being able to say "Alexa, play radio one downstairs" and having ALL devices in that group (whether they are Echo, Sonos, MusicCast, whatever) start playing would be good enough …. for me anyway! At the moment I have to say the above to get the multi-speaker-grouped Echos to play, then say "Alexa, play radio one on the downstairs Sonos" to get the Sonos player to play.
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DarrenLink,

See this suggestion...

You could perhaps create an Alexa Group called something like 'Downstairs', with no 'Alexa Enabled' device (Note: you do not have any echo devices that you can use anyway, as it is one only per set of groups and you have used your echo dot already in the Living Room Group).

In the newly created 'Downstairs' Alexa Group (or whatever you may choose to call it) you could add both your Sonos One Speaker (Kitchen) and your Play 3 Speaker (Living Room) and then set them both as the 'preferred' speakers.

So when you speak to either your echo Dot, or your Sonos One and say ‘Alexa, play some music Downstairs', the two rooms will group together automatically and the music will then play on both your rooms. (Kitchen & Living Room) ... this should work now without the need for any further update from Sonos.

Exactly what I tried to do. This does not work, unfortunately. Only plays from one Sonos speaker and ignores all the others in the group... Disappointing.
DarrenLink,

See this suggestion...

You could perhaps create an Alexa Group called something like 'Downstairs', with no 'Alexa Enabled' device (Note: you do not have any echo devices that you can use anyway, as it is one only per set of groups and you have used your echo dot already in the Living Room Group).

In the newly created 'Downstairs' Alexa Group (or whatever you may choose to call it) you could add both your Sonos One Speaker (Kitchen) and your Play 3 Speaker (Living Room) and then set them both as the 'preferred' speakers.

So when you speak to either your echo Dot, or your Sonos One and say ‘Alexa, play some music Downstairs', the two rooms will group together automatically and the music will then play on both your rooms. (Kitchen & Living Room) ... this should work now without the need for any further update from Sonos.

Exactly what I tried to do. This does not work, unfortunately. Only plays from one Sonos speaker and ignores all the others in the group... Disappointing.


There seems to be a delay after setting up the group before it will actually work. I noticed this while playing around last night. The group with 2 preferred speakers only sent audio to one speaker at first. About 10 minutes later, audio would go to two speakers.

As well, it could be that if the Sonos speakers in the group are busy doing something else, such as playing TV audio, or playing music as part of different group, there might be some sort of prioritization in place preventing the action from happening. I am guessing on this, and could be 100% wrong. So take it for what it's worth.
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DarrenLink,

See this suggestion...

You could perhaps create an Alexa Group called something like 'Downstairs', with no 'Alexa Enabled' device (Note: you do not have any echo devices that you can use anyway, as it is one only per set of groups and you have used your echo dot already in the Living Room Group).

In the newly created 'Downstairs' Alexa Group (or whatever you may choose to call it) you could add both your Sonos One Speaker (Kitchen) and your Play 3 Speaker (Living Room) and then set them both as the 'preferred' speakers.

So when you speak to either your echo Dot, or your Sonos One and say ‘Alexa, play some music Downstairs', the two rooms will group together automatically and the music will then play on both your rooms. (Kitchen & Living Room) ... this should work now without the need for any further update from Sonos.

Exactly what I tried to do. This does not work, unfortunately. Only plays from one Sonos speaker and ignores all the others in the group... Disappointing.


There seems to be a delay after setting up the group before it will actually work. I noticed this while playing around last night. The group with 2 preferred speakers only sent audio to one speaker at first. About 10 minutes later, audio would go to two speakers.

As well, it could be that if the Sonos speakers in the group are busy doing something else, such as playing TV audio, or playing music as part of different group, there might be some sort of prioritization in place preventing the action from happening. I am guessing on this, and could be 100% wrong. So take it for what it's worth.


Yeah, I've been a Sonos user for a decade so I'm used to the little quirks. I set up the groups 24 hours ago and still no joy. I created a "zone" (or whatever they are called in the Alexa app) called "downstairs" and added multiple speakers to it. I also used to have a Echo Dot named "downstairs" but renamed it "Echo 2". When I try to play something "downstairs" it says that "downstairs is offline" probably referring to the Echo Dot that is no longer named that. Sigh. If I just tell the Echo Spot in the room to play music, it plays out of its own speaker and ignores my preferred speakers.

What's annoying as hell is that before this release you could just tell Alexa to play something in a specific (Sonos) room and, if they were grouped in Sonos, Alexa would respect that grouping and keep it in tact (i.e. playing in the entire house or in the downstairs area). Now that's broken and it ignores the Sonos groups and only plays out of the single speaker. Guess I'll just sit around for a few weeks while all this gets sorted/bugfixed/unbroken.

Maybe the mythical Google Home Sonos integration will save me.
DarrenLink,

See this suggestion...

You could perhaps create an Alexa Group called something like 'Downstairs', with no 'Alexa Enabled' device (Note: you do not have any echo devices that you can use anyway, as it is one only per set of groups and you have used your echo dot already in the Living Room Group).

In the newly created 'Downstairs' Alexa Group (or whatever you may choose to call it) you could add both your Sonos One Speaker (Kitchen) and your Play 3 Speaker (Living Room) and then set them both as the 'preferred' speakers.

So when you speak to either your echo Dot, or your Sonos One and say ‘Alexa, play some music Downstairs', the two rooms will group together automatically and the music will then play on both your rooms. (Kitchen & Living Room) ... this should work now without the need for any further update from Sonos.

Exactly what I tried to do. This does not work, unfortunately. Only plays from one Sonos speaker and ignores all the others in the group... Disappointing.
There are a couple of things to say about this...

Firstly and perhaps importantly, the rollout of functionality is still taking place, or so I believe.
Second, A screenshot from your group might help me to see why you are possibly having a problem.
Finally, I can definitely say it works at home for me. It works too on my Son's Sonos system and is working in our holiday home too.

It is useful (in some instances) to have a different group name to the Sonos 'Room Name' but I doubt a Group called 'Downstairs' will play any part in this matter.

If you can very kindly post a screenshot of your Alexa 'group' I’ll be happy to try recommend things, to try to get it working for you.
We've been having serious problems with our Sonos One stereo pair since this update. We can start music playing using our voice, but we can no longer stop the music, we have to do it via the app, voice control no longer works to stop the music. Have I missed some setup instruction?

Also, is the Sonos Alexa skill required now for Sonos Ones?
I’m not sure if Sonos will, or can, confirm this either, at the moment, but ...

I think as the Sonos devices are actually set as 'preferred' speakers for music (services), that content specific to some Alexa Skills may only play on the echo input device and cannot be played to other players at the moment, I’m thinking that is possibly the case for the BBC Alexa Skill, for example, here in the UK.

I can’t definitely say that it is the situation, because the 'rollout' of these new cloud services may not have completed yet, but it may remain the case for the near future, at least.
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@Ken, you're correct about the skills. The Alexa music skills that you can use for your preferred music sources will play using the new logic for the preferred speakers in an Alexa Group. But other skills which aren't in that category will play out of the Alexa device itself. The BBC skill plays music, but it isn't one of the music skills that you can use as an Alexa source for preferred speakers, at least at this time. TuneIn, however, is one of those sources.

@amaccuish, the Sonos skill for Alexa is what the Sonos One uses for voice control, if you don't have that enabled, you get a very limited functionality out of the voice capabilities, so if you have disconnected that skill, you'd be best with it back on.
@ryan-s thanks for that. I had removed it for diagnosing. I think the problem was that my wife and I are in an "amazon household", and whilst so some alexas are registered to her, and the sonoses to me, which I guess was then confusing, so I've signed everything in to her account now and it all works. Thanks!
@Ken, you're correct about the skills. The Alexa music skills that you can use for your preferred music sources will play using the new logic for the preferred speakers in an Alexa Group. But other skills which aren't in that category will play out of the Alexa device itself. The BBC skill plays music, but it isn't one of the music skills that you can use as an Alexa source for preferred speakers, at least at this time. TuneIn, however, is one of those sources.Ryan,

Appreciate the quick reply. I thought that was the case, but wasn’t quite sure. That now clarifies things for me and just to say that everything is working well here and as expected. Thanks very much.?
I'm still not see any Sonos Ones or Beams listed in the "Alexa Devices" section for Alexa groups. Still rolling out I guess. I'm not in a big hurry for this, just informing in case anyone else is looking for this.
I'm still not see any Sonos Ones or Beams listed in the "Alexa Devices" section for Alexa groups. Still rolling out I guess. I'm not in a big hurry for this, just informing in case anyone else is looking for this.No, nor me, but then again it wasn’t a matter mentioned in the opening post here, I guess, reading carefully between the lines.

The only evidence I’ve seen for that feature coming down the line is the info/link from martynwendon, but no timeline is given. So it may not be in this tranch of work, perhaps. We shall have to see.
No, nor me, but then again it wasn’t a matter mentioned in the opening post here, I guess, reading carefully between the lines.

The only evidence I’ve seen for that feature coming down the line is the info/link from martynwendon, but no timeline is given. So it may not be in this tranch of work, perhaps. We shall have to see.


Hoping @ryan-s can confirm that either way ….. on a purely selfish note I have a small return window to send back the Sonos One if it's not going to work the way I need it to imminently 😞

Unfortunately I've fallen into the trap before of waiting for stuff that's supposedly happening "real soon" and then getting burned by not being able to return the product when "real soon" becomes many, many months!
I can't exactly give a clear quote due to the exchange between myself and Ryan, but this post and the one before is what I see as Ryan stating that this feature is coming.

https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/sonos-now-playing-with-alexa-groups-6817588/index1.html#post16295119


But perhaps I am misreading it.
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Hey guys, yes, you will be able to use the Sonos One and the Sonos Beam as the Alexa enabled device to control a group. It's not available for everyone at this time, currently rolling out to users, so you might not see it as available just yet.