Sonos as Intercom / PA system

  • 19 November 2012
  • 78 replies

Userlevel 3
Surprised I can not find this idea in here. My house is not exactly small, and I am now running 7 Sonos players. When running the Sonos app on iPhone, it would be great to be able to select a sone (or a sone group), press a button and talk via my phone to that sone. I can not imagine it being a technically complex solution. I would be really excited about being able to use Sonos in this way, and so would quite a few others! (see discussion forum): Is this something that can be considered? If this could be a part of Sonos long term solutions, I would wait for it. Else I would need to start think alternative solutions.

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78 replies

Userlevel 3
There are at least 2 more requests on the same feature:
I was going to purchase a Sonos system, but because it doesn't have intercom support, I'm searching for another system. Cheers, Oz
Userlevel 1
Now that there is software in the iphone app to stream music directly from the phone to the sonos system it shouldn't be too large a leap to program an intercom page that uses the same streaming technology to send your voice from the phone to the system. It could also allow you to select a certain zone. If this would be available, I'd be interested in a few more zones.
I agree, I would put Play3's in every room and have intercom capability with iPhones or iPads.
Yes, please! Being able to use my sonos equipment & connected mobile phone would be a major value-added service.
Userlevel 3
Think this feature has been under consideration for too long!? Vote for this:
I just kept on voting on all this same request.
Userlevel 1
Please add the intercom feature. This would also promote more speaker sales!
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Sonos System as a PA System. Hi,
Is it possible to announce things over the Sonos system. I have a lot of parties coming up, and would love to be able to use my phone to broadcast a message over all the speakers, like 'It's time for cake' etc as people will probably be spread out all over the house.
Userlevel 2
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Tablet/Phone Intercom feature on Sonos software. Intercom feature would be great.
phones & tablets have microphones.
it would be great to be able to talk via your sonos speaker system.
use case scenarios;
1) family is at home and minding their own business in various rooms.
Diner ready. Mom talks in sonos mic feature and tells everyone diner is served in the kitchen.
2) Father is DIY working on the 3rd floor and forgot some tools. He connects to the sonos speaker and asks his son downstars via his tablet if he can bring his tools upstairs.

Im sure there are more. be my guest to describe more scenarios. 🙂
Userlevel 4
Badge +4
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled iOS Microphone as Line-In to Achieve Whole House PA. I'd like to use my iOS device (iPhone) microphone as a line-in to the Sonos system.

This would enable me to group all six of our zones to form a whole house PA system over which I could yell at my wife to make me a sandwich 😉
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
There is a new iphone app called sonos voice that actually does what we are asking here. It's a little buggy.
Userlevel 1
That sonos voice app is very promising! It works on our system fine. It does have a bit of echo, and it hangs sometimes when you hit stop, but it works. Now if sonos comes out with a dedicated doorbell module that you wire in place of the old doorbell unit that overrides all speakers to play a doorbell chime that would be awesome. Also, incorporate the sonos voice app into the real sonos app and put it in the PC app as well. Could also build pager button/microphone units that people could mount in rooms. Another sonos product to sell that I would buy one for each room. Life would be all sunshine and Thanks for the progress! Mark
I would really love to see this app. I would be happy to pay for it I would certainly buy more units to put all over the house for paging purposes alone. do any of SONOS competators do it yet- ??
iPhone or Android too
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
It is a current app - I have only checked on the iTunes app store. I haven't looked to see if an android version.
To be clear - there isn't any android app that I can see, and I'm an Android user. In addition, I would rather it was a feature of the Sonos app, not a third party app - as the support and quality ought to be better.
Userlevel 1
I agree, but it shows it can be done. Sonos needs to buy the rights for it, use it in their controller app, build dedicated pager button/microphone units to mount in each room that will use the same technology and build a similar doorbell unit to be mounted in place of the old chime unit so your normal doorbell button can send a signal to the sonos system. All using .wav files, temporarily pause or stop the current playing song, play the .wav file from the intercom or doorbell unit, and switch back to the current playing song. Come on Sonos, do it.
Get a Panasonic TDA50 phone system. It has room-to-room intercom and a all page
Userlevel 1
Get a Panasonic TDA50 phone system. It has room-to-room intercom and a all page
If I wanted a separate system, I would. I want the music to pause when the intercom is in use or doorbell is rung. I don't want a separate phone system. Thanks for your comment though...
Get a Panasonic TDA50 phone system. It has room-to-room intercom and a all page
Got it... Just a thought. I install them and they are great!
The SonosVoice App on my iPhone5 works pretty well. The voice quality is excellent, and the volume control puts all of the volumes at the same level when you go to adjust (Its a great start). If Sonos is listening, I recommend the following. Be able to preset which zones you want to be part of the paging and set the volume within each zone. Then when done, return all zones back to what they were playing and at the volume they were playing.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Jeff - that is not an app developed by Sonos ... it is a third party app.
Jeff - that is not an app developed by Sonos ... it is a third party app.
You are correct, it is a third party app and is why the developer called the app "SonosVoice". If you search "Sonos Voice" on an apple device, it will show up. Its 99 pennies. For me it is working very well. However when you are done with a page, the music does not return automatically. I am hoping Sonos integrates this into the "Sonos" app and does a little better job.
Badge +1
Jeff - that is not an app developed by Sonos ... it is a third party app.
Another vote for a "priority announce" feature to be enabled on *all* Sonos units... I see that there is an "autoplay" setting on the line-in on the Play:5 and the Dock, neither of which I have, so I don't know if the feature works as I (and it sounds like many others) would prefer... many units already have line-in inputs, so it would be a purely software implementation that sonos would need to add...
i.e. on all units that have line-in, some additional configuration options: Option to configure the input as a page/announce input, which when set monitors the line in for any audio signal, and when incoming audio is present:
a) stores the current source/volume/position of anything currently playing on that zone (or any group that it's currently joined to)
b) pauses the current output (if any) on that zone (and *optionally* also on other zones in the same group)
c) switches the live input on that zone (and optionally on other zones in the same group) to the line-in (some buffering may be required to ensure the first second or two of the audio is not lost)
d) plays the incoming line-in audio for as long as the signal is present. As soon as there has been a configurable period  (say 0.5 seconds) silence on the input, then re-instate the original source/volume/position which was stored in step (a).
this would then allow any line-in equipped unit to become a very capable PA bridge. My use cases would not be served so much by mic in from a mobile device, or the ability to only break-in to the current audio with a limited set of WAV files... I have a fairly complex home automation setup that uses text-to-speech to announce a whole plethora of events, I would love the ability to distribute that TTS audio all over the house right from within the Sonos environment. Currently I can accomplish something akin to the above behaviour, but it relies on a number of 3rd-party software components with all the attendant 'faff' that entails.
Sonos could implement an elegant in-system feature right in the Sonos hardware, and I suspect it wouldn't be all that hard to do...
The transition between the line-in audio and the original audio should be crossfaded, or at least have the option in the software to enable x-fade between the two...
Give me this, and I'm immediately buying a couple more zones!