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:
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 3
Think this feature has been under consideration for too long!? Vote for this:
Userlevel 1
Please add the intercom feature. This would also promote more speaker sales!
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.
I just kept on voting on all this same request.
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 😉
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Speaker functions. Is there a sonos app that allows you to talk through the speakers? I currently have 2 sonos speakers in my gym for music and it works wonderfully. I was wondering if I could hook up a wireless mic to be able to speak through the speakers?
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.
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 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.
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!
There is a new iphone app called sonos voice that actually does what we are asking here. It's a little buggy.
Is your app available for Android?  I am not finding it in the Play Store.
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Sonos to utility as the Intercom System. Can Sonos integrate or create new app so we can use your system as the Intercom system? This is going to attract more customer? I can development this app if Sonos agree on the contract?
Drew, i bought your app.  I have to say I like it.  Ditto on the android version.  Any thoughts on developing something for that platform?

Also, I tried connecting through a VPN, and while I see the Sonos players using the app, I can't actually connect to it.  I realize this is a limitation of Sonos and multicasting through a VPN (I spent hours trying figure out how to make it work).  I was hoping to use the app to talk to would be burglars in case of a break in, but I guess no dice. You might want to put a VPN disclaimer for people like me don't complain 😉
I totally agree and am glad there are others requesting this feature. We just finished custom installing 7 zones of Sonos equipment in a large home when the client asked if it was possible to use the Sonos to call the kids down for dinner. We thought it was a great idea and realized it could be a feature implemented in all of our large installations. This would tap into a whole other market that we currently have to use a separate system for.

That being said, it has to be made simple. The feature would need to be accessed from directly in the Sonos app and within just a few clicks. For example Click on Sonos > Intercom > Pick the rooms > Talk into the phone.

Coming from a custom AV integration company, this would be a great selling feature for some of our large venue clients.
I also strongly support this feature.  I have four zones in my home and would love to be able make announcements to my family summoning them to dinner or making announcement to guests who are outside.
Have you tried the Sonos Voice ios App?

Drew please continue work on the SonosVoice Android app. I have been waiting for that sway my decision to purchase Sonos apeakers.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Honestly - even the iPhone app is good for calling the kids - but the noticeable delay makes it hard to do a lot of talking in.

You would be better off with a Sonos with input (like Play:5) attached to a mic.
Hello. I just released a complete rewrite of Sonos Voice which works and looks much much better than the old version. It also offers real time intercom ability (which Sonos Intercom doesn't so) and it's significantly cheaper as well. I would love to hear feedback!
A great third-party solution doing voice-message broadcast, now in preview on Android: Sonofy.
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
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- ??