Question

Using Echo Dot with Sonos Line In


How well do you think an Amazon Echo Dot would work feeding the line-in on a Sonos Connect?

61 replies

If it's a standard line-out as well as anything else would?
I was asking in terms of user experience rather than technical compatibility. Would this be a practical way to create a voice controlled Sonos system?
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Just ordered one, but see the gaps already. Need to put it near my Play 5 or Connect Amp. (or add in bluetooth receiver). Can then feed it music collected from Echo, which should give start stop and volume. But can't control rooms. Not sure if i will have to manually set Sonos for line-in with the app each time.

Also, If I'm listening to something through Sonos, I'd have to switch to line in to use Echo Dot... Still a lot to sort through....
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I think you could use the automatic start on line-in to a given room, but not sure about a group. After that it would be the Sonos app to control it. or using the unofficial SONOS-Echo interface to help with this. So far that does not have group creation capabilities I don;t think but can use pre-existing groups.
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Can you steer me to the SONOS - Echo interface you mention (even if it is very basic). I found this one https://github.com/rgraciano/echo-sonos but I need to learn about 5 new technologies to implement it. I'm up for the challenge, but my odds of success are very small...
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That's the one I am using..actually was not to bad to get it all running..the instructions there are pretty good but it does take some time to walk through it all. I set it up on a Rasberry Pi to run as a low cost server. With Amazon releasing a remote speaker, I think its a longshot that a real integration is forthcoming since they are officially now heavy competitors. Maybe Amazon will just buy Sonos! If only there was a mic in those speakers we would be all set then.
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If you connect an echo dot to a sonos play 5, or any speaker with an AUX in or bluetooth connection, the best user experience would be to use amazon music. This essentially makes the sonos a dumb speaker, because all of the "smarts" are controlled by Amazon.

It may already be too late for Sonos, their decision not to integrate with Amazon and allow full control through echo is going to make a great case study one day. It reminds me of Jawbone, once the dominant player in wireless bluetooth speakers, and now essentially a fitness tracking company in decline.
moherlihy wrote:

If you connect an echo dot to a sonos play 5, or any speaker with an AUX in or bluetooth connection, the best user experience would be to use amazon music. This essentially makes the sonos a dumb speaker, because all of the "smarts" are controlled by Amazon.

It may already be too late for Sonos, their decision not to integrate with Amazon and allow full control through echo is going to make a great case study one day. It reminds me of Jawbone, once the dominant player in wireless bluetooth speakers, and now essentially a fitness tracking company in decline.



Sonos has decided they will not integrate with Amazon and allow full control through Echo? Funny, I read every press release, blog entry, Tweet, Facebook status and/or forum post by Sonos. I must have missed this one. Could you point to a cite?
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jgatie wrote:

moherlihy wrote:

If you connect an echo dot to a sonos play 5, or any speaker with an AUX in or bluetooth connection, the best user experience would be to use amazon music. This essentially makes the sonos a dumb speaker, because all of the "smarts" are controlled by Amazon.

It may already be too late for Sonos, their decision not to integrate with Amazon and allow full control through echo is going to make a great case study one day. It reminds me of Jawbone, once the dominant player in wireless bluetooth speakers, and now essentially a fitness tracking company in decline.



Sonos has decided they will not integrate with Amazon and allow full control through Echo? Funny, I read every press release, blog entry, Tweet, Facebook status and/or forum post by Sonos. I must have missed this one. Could you point to a cite?



Let me rephrase... Their inability or unwillingness to move quickly to integrate with amazon echo, rather than their decision. I am making my comment based on the actions that I have seen, rather than an explicit comment from them. Echo has been on the market for 16 months, and their response has been to either to not reply to requests, or state that they do not discuss future developments.

Six months ago the comment was, "We don't share a road map or timeline for development, so for specific requests like Amazon Echo integration, there isn't much to share." Nothing has changed since then.

Sonos was an awesome solution two years ago, and still could be. The market has moved on, and now with the latest release from Amazon there are other solutions, that will meet almost all of my requirements, with a better user experience and with a lower cost. Unfortunately I think Sonos has buried their head in the sand.
moherlihy wrote:

Let me rephrase... Their inability or unwillingness to move quickly to integrate with amazon echo, rather than their decision. I am making my comment based on the actions that I have seen, rather than an explicit comment from them. Echo has been on the market for 16 months, and their response has been to either to not reply to requests, or state that they do not discuss future developments.

Six months ago the comment was, "We don't share a road map or timeline for development, so for specific requests like Amazon Echo integration, there isn't much to share." Nothing has changed since then.

Sonos was an awesome solution two years ago, and still could be. The market has moved on, and now with the latest release from Amazon there are other solutions, that will meet almost all of my requirements, with a better user experience and with a lower cost. Unfortunately I think Sonos has buried their head in the sand.



So they haven't refused anything at all? Your post was pure speculation brought on by frustration at Sonos' longstanding, oft-published policy of not speaking about current or future development until ready for public beta testing, rather than any actual statement?

OK, just checking.
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Good discussion everyone, the Echo Dot is adding some interesting options and I'm curious to see where things go from here. You absolutely can connect one to the Line-In on a CONNECT, CONNECT:AMP, or PLAY:5. In the settings you can turn on Autoplay for Sonos, and have that line-in automatically sent to any room you'd like as soon as it starts playing.

Just some things to point out, you might not hear the first second or two of the audio, as the line-in will get triggered when it starts playing, and the audio might skip those first bits. Also, anything that your room was playing will naturally stop as it switches over to the line-in stream.

As said already, we don't have any official news to share right now on a more complete Echo or Alexa integration right now. We've been sure to pass on the interest over to our development teams, but nothing new right now on the topic.
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jgatie wrote:

moherlihy wrote:

Let me rephrase... Their inability or unwillingness to move quickly to integrate with amazon echo, rather than their decision. I am making my comment based on the actions that I have seen, rather than an explicit comment from them. Echo has been on the market for 16 months, and their response has been to either to not reply to requests, or state that they do not discuss future developments.

Six months ago the comment was, "We don't share a road map or timeline for development, so for specific requests like Amazon Echo integration, there isn't much to share." Nothing has changed since then.

Sonos was an awesome solution two years ago, and still could be. The market has moved on, and now with the latest release from Amazon there are other solutions, that will meet almost all of my requirements, with a better user experience and with a lower cost. Unfortunately I think Sonos has buried their head in the sand.



So they haven't refused anything at all? Your post was pure speculation brought on by frustration at Sonos' longstanding, oft-published policy of not speaking about current or future development until ready for public beta testing, rather than any actual statement?

OK, just checking.



You nailed passive aggressive. Well done! I'm just disappointed you didn't call me out on my grammar too.
I am hoping that there will also be some type of integration with Echo Dot and Play:1s. In my set-up, I have Play:1s in bedrooms on different floors of our home and those locations is where I would like to find expand "Alexa" capabilities. My Play:5 is in our living room where our Echo is already located so I don't have a need to connect to Sonos on our main level. So hoping, Sonos will consider Echo integration across their product lines. Thanks for listening.
Why not put an Echo Dot next to the Play5 so you can use the line-in to play through that Play5, your Play1s, or any other Sonos device in your house? The existing Echo can just move to one of the other locations you were planning to expand into.
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upstatemike wrote:

Why not put an Echo Dot next to the Play5 so you can use the line-in to play through that Play5, your Play1s, or any other Sonos device in your house? The existing Echo can just move to one of the other locations you were planning to expand into.



That will work really well. It moves away from using Sonos as a platform, and instead uses Amazon as the platform and sonos as a dumb speaker.
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Let's take a breather guys. We'd prefer not to delete posts here, so let's try to stay friendly.

We understand frustration that can come from our silence about future development, but we believe that unless we know something is going to come out soon, we shouldn't talk about it. On top of that, if we're going to do something, we make sure to do it right and make it the best we can. Those are some pretty strong driving forces within the company and we stick to it. We don't want to promise something is coming without knowing we can deliver within a reasonable time and with the quality we strive to provide.

The Dot is going to add some good ways to get Echo functionality with Sonos, we're excited to see what people come up with.
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An important question for me is: Can I play music through the echo dot that is triggered through the regular echo? My use case is: My echo is in my main room, where we live most of the time. My Play 5/connect (with line in) is in a remote room. Can I ask alexa to play music in my living room via the Echo and it will trigger audio out on the Echo Dot? Or do you have to request music directly from the dot? The connected/integrated nature of Echo vs. Dot is what I'm interested in and can't seem to pin down.
As far as I can see the Dot operates just like another Echo installed in your home. For now this means voice commands to start music would apply only to the Echo or Dot you are speaking to. You can reference a specific Echo from within the Echo app and control them that way but I am not aware of any way to speak to an Echo and have it play something on a different Echo. Amazon could add this option at some point but I don't think it exists yet.
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upstatemike wrote:

As far as I can see the Dot operates just like another Echo installed in your home. For now this means voice commands to start music would apply only to the Echo or Dot you are speaking to. You can reference a specific Echo from within the Echo app and control them that way but I am not aware of any way to speak to an Echo and have it play something on a different Echo. Amazon could add this option at some point but I don't think it exists yet.



This definitely looks like the current setup. Although given Amazons approach of releasing new features every week I think this is a feature that will be available soon, possibly even at launch. #FingersCrossed
I agree that the rate of development on the Echo has been pretty amazing. A few weeks ago I was wishing there was a way to natively control a thermostat with my Echo and now there is. Yesterday there was no supported way to play an Echo through a Sonos system and this morning a new interface is announced. I feel pretty confident that the platform will continue its rapid evolution to provide a lot of the features people are looking for.
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Sound quality and versatility are still big issues to keep in mind, along with music variety of course. Sonos can drive my outdoor speakers, the entertainment system in my living room, integrate TV sound (the big game!) through my whole house, and keep it all synced. There is still a big gap there in terms of what Amazon is offering. That said, the ease of voice control to fire up some music is hard to beat...just ask my wife who finally starting embracing using music in the house with Alexa even though Sonos has been there for years. I think the combination is powerful and like the potential for the two companies to see this and work together. Basic music users may just choose the Amazon stack, but that has never been the market Sonos was after anyway...purists who want a complete user experience will wind-up with the Sonos suite, but voice control is a key addition, and in my view Sonos is better to partner on this than try to engineer it...there is not enough upside to do voice automation right for only music automation.
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Alexa itself is still pretty limited in what it does. However, I have my echo setup with Smartthing so I can trigger home automation as needed (which also then allows me to trigger Logitech Harmony Remote automation).

The Alexa in our kitchen I do use at times to turn on/off Sonos (current basic feature).

I'm going to add the Dot in my bedroom to trigger further home automation but I'm then going to hook it to the connect in the bedroom so I can do some music voice control as well.
I have 4 Sonos speakers/zones in my home. Ever since the Echo has come out, I have resisted buying it for fear that we would use it for playing music instead of the Sonos we have invested in. Though Echo has made me really yearn for some kind of voice control integration with my Sonos. Like REALLY yearn. And no communication from Sonos about this integration.

Currently, every time I want to play a song on the Sonos or turn the volume up or down, I have to pull the phone out of my pocket (or find the phone), unlock it, open the Sonos app, then make the change, usually with an infant in the other arm. It's a running joke with my wife that while we are doing this 30 second process, we both blurt out, "Alexa, play the Beatles on Spotify", even though we (sadly) still have no Alexa.

This will probably change today. I'm going to break down and order Amazon Dot. This will turn my Sonos into a "dumb" system of speakers, which I really didn't want to do, but convenience trumps.

To all of the points mentioned by others... if Sonos would break the silence and let us know SOMETHING (it's been 16 months since Echo was released), it may prevent my purchase of the Dot (i.e. I've waited this long, I would wait even longer if I knew for sure that Sonos was working on integration). But en lieu of this communication/business direction, I cannot sit and wait for news any longer.

Sonos really is shooting themselves in the foot, as I do like their all-in-one user interface/app. They only need the Alexa voice command integration (the API has been out since August). Without this, my family is willing to ditch it and use Amazon's platform, not only for voice control (Alexa), but also as the smarts and streaming agent to my now-dumb Sonos system.
Ryan S wrote:

Good discussion everyone, the Echo Dot is adding some interesting options and I'm curious to see where things go from here. You absolutely can connect one to the Line-In on a CONNECT, CONNECT:AMP, or PLAY:5. In the settings you can turn on Autoplay for Sonos, and have that line-in automatically sent to any room you'd like as soon as it starts playing.

Just some things to point out, you might not hear the first second or two of the audio, as the line-in will get triggered when it starts playing, and the audio might skip those first bits. Also, anything that your room was playing will naturally stop as it switches over to the line-in stream.

As said already, we don't have any official news to share right now on a more complete Echo or Alexa integration right now. We've been sure to pass on the interest over to our development teams, but nothing new right now on the topic.



Let's take a look at what we know. Amazon is clearly cutting into the Sonos market with an innovative product that lacks the magic sauce of music synchronization that Sonos brings to the table. Have no doubt Sonos execs are aware that people are buying Echo's over Play x's in many cases. In my opinion, based on what we know, Sonos would want to stop the flow of dollars going to Amazon rather than to their own business. So how could they (Sonos) do this? They could announce that they will be adding Echo support in a future release -- that alone would would halt much of the Echo migration, and encourage expanding the Sonos fabric enabled household. But they haven't done that. So maybe they're making the integration in secret, waiting for it to be perfect, as the above quote implies, but that makes no sense for a company that is currently losing revenue to a disruptive technology. So that leaves the likelihood that Sonos is working on their own voice integration or have decided that this could kill their niche market and simply run with it. My guess is there are lawyers and contracts involved. Sonos probably has a contract over distributed synchronization of audio across WIFI that's preventing Amazon from doing the same. Anyone else notice Sirius XM isn't on Amazon? There could be an exclusive contract there as well. While Amazon may be the aggressor here, I don't think so, simply due to the sales of Sonos on their site. Why canabolize your own market?
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Iim sure we will eventually see more creative solutions for using echo with Sonos. However I believe it will always require something like the echo dot receiving and issuing commands. I can play and pause Sonos music now and it wouldn't be a stretch to get playlists working. echo is also limited itself in what it plays and does. I think it's too early to be demanding support in a half done product like echo is currently. We are all echo beta testers really.

As far as voice activation (no echo) we don't know what Sonos plans are. We do know the new Play:5 has microphones built in which opens up a lot of future possibilities.

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