middle of night "Sorry, I don't understand"

  • 4 January 2022
  • 28 replies

Userlevel 1

I see a few other posts about “Sorry, I don't understand issue” playing in the middle of the night from the assistant EVEN with the mic off. None of them have a solution!  This is happening to me and is maddening.  Please help

28 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +5

It happens to me with my Sonos Roam as well, Google Assistant says she didn’t understand but  in stead of playing the news in my Good morning routine, I tried it  on Google Assistant running on Android, using my SoundPeats TrueAir2 headphones connected to my    Huawei M5 Light  tablet and the routine works as it should      

If you search for ‘Alexa routines not supported’ in the forum here, I’ve seen it mentioned that they are not fully supported by Sonos, even though some routines may work, so my thoughts are to use or create a playlist of the required sounds and perhaps start them with a Sonos daily Alarm instead and hopefully that will resolve the issue. See this link as an example I found (albeit it’s now quite an old thread)… 


I have a “good morning” routine that plays beach sounds, and exactly 12 hours later, every day, I get “sorry, I don’t understand”

It happens on my Sonos Move.

You can trigger it manually by saying “hey Google, play beach sounds” then note down the time.

Check 12 hours later and I will buy you a beer if it doesn’t say “Sorry, I don’t understand”

It’s been happening consistently for over 2 years

We actually get this on both out Google ‘nest’ display in the Kitchen and on a small Google Hub in our lounge, but fortunately not ever had it during the night (or at least not heard it when in the bedroom at night) - mostly it’s in the evening and rather random, but only about once or twice a month - my response has been to just ignore it… but we have had instances where something unknown has started playing in the kitchen, whilst we’re next door in the lounge.

It is possible, I see, to turn down the ‘Hey Google’ sensitivity on Google devices only, but I’ve not (yet) changed that in the Assistant/Home settings, but perhaps that is what is needed here? I guess that’s down to Google to make that option available to 3rd-party devices, like Sonos. (I’m assuming it isn’t available to them at the moment)?

It’s been happening consistently for over 2 years

Also, the volume of the “sorry, I didn’t understand” is significantly louder than the volume of the sleep sounds.

I’m 99% sure it’s a Sonos issue. I use Google assistant and I use the “goodnight routine” every night to set my alarm and play sleep sounds (crickets chirping).  The speaker will say loudly “sorry, I didn’t understand” about 1 to 2 minutes before the sleep sounds stop. This only happens when I use a Sonos speaker. I’ve tried this on 2 different Sonos One’s and a Sonos Move. The speaker will say this without any indication that it is listening for a specific command (i.e. the beep sound it makes after you say “hey Google” to let you know it’s waiting for a command). When I use my Google Nest mini (I tried 2 different ones) the speaker never says “sorry, I didn’t understand”. I’ve also moved three different times and this issue still happens each time and once again only with Sonos  speakers



This was me theory, exactly 12 hours after I've asked it to play a lullaby it says this. Wondering if any of the other users who're suffering has a similar pattern

It was like 6.30am dude, I just wanted to sleep

What did Sonos say when you submitted a diagnostic within 10 minutes of the occurrence and called Support?

Adding another user affected by this. Sonos One, isn't even being played or used at the time. Between the hours of 5am and about 8am I will just get a random Sorry I don't understand at a loud volume. Only thing I'm seeing here on this thread is a theme or potential pattern around rain music. We don't do that, but the night before we ask Google to play a lullaby..


Been happening for the last few weeks, we have a three month old baby in with us, so we're over the moon when the Sonos wakes her up early.


Alas our only option is to unplug and put away until one of you admits it's their fault and deals with it

@zima_blue & @Murf66,
It appears that perhaps the best thing to try to do here, is take note of the suggestions above and to capture the Voice Assistant History, together with a Sonos diagnostic report (noting the reference) and then contact Sonos Support Staff via this LINK.

Fix this please Sonos, it is un-acceptable



Hello. Are there any known fixes for this? I’m experiencing this issue as well when I play rain sounds at night

Someone in this thread above even found a consistent way to reproduce this with specifically sonos + google (though i dont know it would exactly replicate my issue since his involves google routines, and i dont have any google routines)  @MarcJenningsUK


With the mic switched on you can repro this by just saying “Hey Google, play relaxation sounds for 1 minute”.  After 1 minute, you get the announcement and then the sound carries on playing.

Userlevel 1

Thanks for looking into this.  I dont think it makes sense that this is the problem of the assistant in itself because no other google devices i have do this, only this sonos one.  It also cant be a response to ambient noise because the mic is “off” most of the times this happens.

I hate to say it but i only seem to see this complaint with sonos, and not generally with google devices (as far as i can tell). As well it also happens with other voice assistants than google (seen this problem reported for sonos + alexa) so it would be odd to say that both assistants are having the same unique problem when the common denominator is sonos.


Someone in this thread above even found a consistent way to reproduce this with specifically sonos + google (though i dont know it would exactly replicate my issue since his involves google routines, and i dont have any google routines)  @MarcJenningsUK

In the meanwhile i have to do a really unfortunate rigged setup turning off the voice assistant to this specific sonos product (sonos one)  and then putting a separate google device nearby it with the mic on. it barely even works appropriately, and this kind of weird rigging is really the opposite of what i bought my sonos for.


really hope this will finally get solved (seems like this has been reported many times)    but its looking like it will just get punted :-/

Badge +17

Thanks for that.


I’ve been looking into this with one of our engineers, and I have to say that it’s still not completely clear what’s causing this.

We can see that your speaker is definitely reacting to something, possibly whichever sound is being played (though I’m not sure why rain sounds would activate the microphone). 

Since Google isn’t recognizing what was said, the information wasn’t passed through our systems so we can’t see what activated it.

We can see that the Google Assistant service is saying something, but not what or why, and we really don’t have much more insight than that.

I don’t believe that these outbursts are coming from Sonos at all, and are instead triggered by the assistant itself, or another automation/action happening inside GA.

Our support team also won’t be able to see any more than I or our engineer can, and I think the only people who could look into this further would be Google Support.


Userlevel 1


the bottom one “used google assistant”  happened first (history shows most recent at the top)


when i click on the details for it, you can see its initiated by “Google Assistant SDK” which seems a surefire indicator Sonos is triggering the interaction. normal user initiated events do not get triggered from the SDK





then the next item “used assistant”  i have no idea what its referring to, but shows up as the subsequent item in all cases of the history where this problem happens:





Badge +17

Hi @kingdomfreedman,


Unfortunately, we have fairly limited information about your Google Assistant commands through a Sonos diagnostic, since most of the interactions are done through Google’s cloud servers, so I can’t see why or what was triggering it.

It’d be best to check your Google Assistant history through the Home app to find out what caused the unexpected outburst. 

Open Google Home and click on the hamburger icon (the three horizontal lines in the top left). In the drop-down list, click on "My Activity" and you'll soon see a list of all the interactions you've had with Google Assistant.

Userlevel 1

And again.… 🤬



Userlevel 1

Thank you! Definitely planning to contact them.


It happened again. 913338896 is another diagnostic

Just happened again to me... Had been playing a long rain sounds all night then at 7 in the morning yelled at us 


We don't use Google routines (yet) so not sure why this is happening

629429050 diag submitted

The thing to maybe do next is to perhaps contact/chat to Sonos Support with that diagnostic reference and see what they can maybe discover.

Here is their contact LINK.

Hope that assists and that you’re able to get the matter resolved.

Userlevel 1

Just happened again to me... Had been playing a long rain sounds all night then at 7 in the morning yelled at us 


We don't use Google routines (yet) so not sure why this is happening

629429050 diag submitted






I see a similar issue during Goodnight routines, or when I ask Google to “play XXX for 1 hour”  At the end of the routine or when the sound should start to fade out, I get the “Sorry, I don’t understand”  It seems like (in my case) it could be a command to start a fadeout that isn’t understood.  It’s also reproducible with a command to play for 3 minutes…

diag #1609432456 submitted

Userlevel 1

im going to try turning off any and all extraneous google assistant settings and see if it stops