Configuring Sonos & Google Assistant & Google Home

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I have downloaded 10.2 and configured my Sonos system for Google Assistant. I have 4 Sonos Amps and 5 Sonos Beams+Ones+SUBs. I have 9 Home Hubs and 6 Minis.

Some early observations for which I would appreciate feedback/confirmation from Sonos Support:

* Only rooms that have a Sonos Beam or Ones can be directly paired with Google Assistant. My Sonos Amps do not appear to be controlled by GA (e.g. using a Home Hub or Mini as a "microphone" for a Sonos Amp).

* Related, none of my Sonos speakers appear as targets within Google Home to which you could map "default speaker". For example, map a Home Hub to a Sonos room as the default speaker.

* I have configured Google Music (for which I have a premium subscription) as the default service. But every time I ask Google to "Play [artist or song]", the Sonos responds saying "I can't do that here but you can ask me to play it on one of your other devices."

* In Google Home, there is a Sonos TV Control for each Sonos room including the Amps. This must be manually adopted to my home, then assigned a room in the Google Home app. However, it's not clear to me what the TV control does given that it isn't a speaker (e.g. perhaps permit voice control of the Sonos Beam/Amp's HDMI-CEC via Google Assistant?).

* It appears that you cannot cast to a Sonos system (e.g. open YouTube and select Cast or use similar control on Android phone). This may be why I cannot map my Sonos rooms as "default speakers"

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30 replies

I must be reading this wrong then..

You are. You can specify default Sonos speaker(s) for each Echo device and group Sonos speakers using Alexa groups. However, you cannot group Echo devices and Sonos speakers together to play the same source.
You're right, yes.

Maybe I should have leaned towards pointing out Sonos being designed as a stand-alone product rather than playing nice with a Google ecosystem.

What I said holds true to me (and others) but not everyone.

I don't use Spotify, Alexa or any Apple products; so my only way to use Sonos is through its app.

The overall point I was trying to make is that I would very much like it if Sonos allowed people like me to use their speakers as we see fit rather than being forced to use it individually with an app I have no use for other than just for it.

I’m beginning to think that the real reason this took so long is that Google is in the midst of re-architecting its casting infrastructure. Chromecast is getting long in the tooth. Alexa Cast-Alike is, IMO, where Google should be headed, and probably is.

Sonos is the first to feature Google’s new architecture, which will no doubt be greatly expanded to include niceties like default speakers in the (hopefully near) future.

The easiest solution would be to un-restrict the Sonos speaker's functionality in the home network. It is all in all a "sound outlet" connected to a home WiFi network, but only allows certain devices or apps to cast to it.

I get your point, but you're essentially saying that all streaming protocols and multiroom audio protocols are the same. They are not. Streaming comes in many different flavors with advantages and disadvantages to each. The same for multiroom protocols. Sonos is a lot more than a sound outlet, in that it can stream directly from a local source or streaming source without another device, like a Google home, sending it a stream or telling it what to do. How it communicates with other Sonos speakers to play audio in sync is also unique to Sonos. As an example, you can group/ungroup Sonos speakers together midstream. You definitely can't do that with Amazon echos, for example.

Again, it's not that you're point isn't valid as desirable from a customer perspective, but asking Sonos just to give up what makes it unique and play well with everyone isn't exactly realistic or fair to Sonos. It's not really different than asking Google and Amazon to drop their issues over youtube, or allow users to use the other companies music services with their voice assistants. Sonos could make things better for customers if they allowed more apps and devices, the same as Google and Amazon would do the customer an service if they shared more.

Ad of course, we don't know whether Sonos is the roadblock here or if Google didn't want to allow it. It might be that Google is asking for a licensing fee that is impractical for Sonos, or something like that. I have no idea.

One thing I'm surely not gonna do is dump my whole set up and exchange it for all Sonos just to hear the same music through the house. I rather just sell the 1 "difficult child" speaker I have in the house.

Shame because in terms of sound, the Play:1 is in-cre-di-ble

And that's an issue for customers no doubt. Companies do set things up this way intentionally to get you to locked into their ecosystem and buying their products instead of their competitors. Sonos does this for sure as does most of the players in this area. And then there are cases where Sonos supports open features, like airplay 2. The same way Amazon Alexa supports Apple music, but not Google Play.

The bolded is not true. You cannot group Sonos speakers with non-Sonos speakers using Alexa.I must be reading this wrong then..

Yes you are. You can set up an Echo device as a coordinating device in an Alexa group in order to control Sonos speakers but Echo and Sonos are not playing simultaneously the same source.
I was reading all this *came here because I am unable to make my Google Home set my Sonos system as the default music speakers, and I see how you guys seem to be so frustrated, that you are unable to give a command using GH to your Sonos speakers, because you dream with the perfect virtual assistant or something, and even you are willing to give up your speakers because of this idealization... I have my Sonos speakers and the perfection of their sound, makes impossible for me to replace them for Google speakers or some other more "compatible" device with my Google Home, like, one thing is music for environment like for your visits, kids or something, and one other thing is, when you really want to enjoy some music yourself, and for me that's a different space, and I'm not even thinking on the importance of giving a command to an AI or whatever at that moment, for me is the importance of having my speakers delivering perfection for my moment, and that's why also i'm not relying even in my WiFi for my Sonos, i just wired my 4 speakers and I got my own local share to have files with the best quality possible. So, if there is a Sonos developer ever reading this, there is people out here that believes in Sonos because of its outstanding audio quality, and that is more important than the compatibility, so if you ever think in changing the priorities, make sure the first one is always quality and exactness when playing music, love you Sonos!