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Beam voice comands to play 1s in the kitchen?

  • 13 August 2018
  • 5 replies
  • 216 views

I’m considering this set up and would like opinions.
A beam in the living room with 2 play1s in the kitchen (kitchen and living room are essentially one big room)

1.
If the beam alone is being used on the tv can I operate the 2 x play1s in the kitchen using the beams Alexa voice commands? Or would I need to put 2 x Sonos Ones in the kitchen instead?

2.
Can I play music in the kitchen on the play1s and use the beam in the living room (same time) and voice control both

Cheers
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Best answer by Ken_Griffiths 13 August 2018, 11:00

Answer to your first question is 'yes' you can play music to the two Play:1’s using the Beams Alexa module to send music to them, but note that only one audio stream is allowed per user account, when using voice control.

That’s not a problem if you have the two Play:1’s grouped together or stereo paired, or you have a family music streaming account or multiple accounts, or you are streaming from two completely different services, Spotify and tunein for example.

Also note, you can send more than one audio stream from the same service at anytime to multiple speakers by using the Sonos App.

The answer to question 2 is also 'yes' for music, you can group the Beam with the two Play:1’s in the Sonos App and play music to them, all in perfect sync, using Alexa or the App
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5 replies

Answer to your first question is 'yes' you can play music to the two Play:1’s using the Beams Alexa module to send music to them, but note that only one audio stream is allowed per user account, when using voice control.

That’s not a problem if you have the two Play:1’s grouped together or stereo paired, or you have a family music streaming account or multiple accounts, or you are streaming from two completely different services, Spotify and tunein for example.

Also note, you can send more than one audio stream from the same service at anytime to multiple speakers by using the Sonos App.

The answer to question 2 is also 'yes' for music, you can group the Beam with the two Play:1’s in the Sonos App and play music to them, all in perfect sync, using Alexa or the App
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Completely agree with Ken on his answers, but I want to caution that the speakers you've chosen may not feel adequate to you for the rooms.

I have a similar open concept setup with the living room and kitchen as one big room, the kitchen effectively behind the living room. I have a playbar with the TV in the front, and 2 play:3s in the kitchen setup as surround sound (with a Sub as well). The sound is more than adequate for the space, but I'm not sure that a beam+play:1s would really be enough. I do have that setup in my bedroom, and it's great there but I wouldn't move it to the living area. You may not have a need to ever play it too loud, so perhaps the Beam is right for you. I'm not saying it's a bad choice, just that the Beam is designed for small/medium size rooms, but it's ultimately up to you.

There is also the matter of voice control. None of the Sonos speakers in my living area are voice control, so I use an Echo Show on the kitchen island near the middle of the room. The only issue there is it doesn't pick voices from the living room to well since it faces the kitchen. 75% of my commands are from the kitchen though, so that's fine. Alexa is really good in the kitchen for timers and such.

If you go with a Beam +play:1 setup, you likely wouldn't get good voice control from within the kitchen, where you'll likely want to use it the most. A playbar + 2 sonos ones, would be better for this I think.

Of course there is also airplay 2 functionality. If that's important to you, then you want to consider that the playbar and play:1s are not airplay 2 compatible/ The Beam and Sonos Ones are, although Sonos Ones are not when setup as surround speakers.

You didn't mention surround sound, so not sure if this is important to you. It's important to know that if you setup a Beam with Sonos Ones as surround speakers, the Sonos One microphones are automatically turned off.

So fortunately/unfortunately, you have a lot of options. The good news is I don't think there is really a bad choice, and if you order directly from Sonos, you can return/exchange with no questions asked till you get the right fit.
Some great points from melvimbe and it’s perhaps worth popping along to your local store (if possible) and have a listen to the different types of Sonos speaker, to see what may best suit your room.

I personally, might well have opted for a Sonos Beam with two bonded older Play:1’s for the main living room area (providing great TV surround sound) and then added a further two standalone (or paired) 'Sonos Ones' for the Kitchen area, which then could all be grouped for playing music, throughout. It provides plenty of AirPlay options and three useful voice controlling Alexa/Google devices, spread across both rooms.
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I personally, might well have opted for a Sonos Beam with two bonded older Play:1’s for the main living room area (providing great TV surround sound) and then added a further two standalone (or paired) 'Sonos Ones' for the Kitchen area, which then could all be grouped for playing music, throughout. It provides plenty of AirPlay options and three useful voice controlling Alexa/Google devices, spread across both rooms.


This is definitely a good option depending on your particular layout, especially if your kitchen is off to the side of the living area instead of behind it. I have even setup my surrounds on the kitchen island near the middle of the space as a bit of a test. I didn't feel like it improved surround sound that much since Sonos has the option of specifying that the speakers are up to 10 feet behind the main seating area. But this is subjective. Music sources were not improved either, and adding a second virtual room to the physical room would cause issues for trueplay tuning. Trueplay isn't absolutely necessary though. I am android user, so airplay isn't an issue.

I use Echo Show, so I don't even really want a Sonos Alexa mic in the room. However, OP situation is probably different, and getting a Sonos Alexa device in the kitchen and covering the living room is important.
Thanks guys, great advice