Create predefined groups

  • 11 February 2017
  • 21 replies
  • 4982 views

Userlevel 1
Is there a way to create groups prior to using them? And then save them?

I have 8 play:1s scattered through the house. In an ideal world I would have a series of groups (kids room, common areas, downstairs, upstairs, everything, etc.) and I would enable/continue using a group when i started playing. Is this possible? Or do I have to recreate groups each time?

To be clear, what I would like is something like this:
Kids Group - contains Kid 1 and Kid 2 speakers
Common Area Group - contains Living Room, Dining Room, and Office speakers
Upstairs Group - contains Master bedroom and speakers in the Common Area Group
All Group - contains all the speakers

And then when I started playing music in the Common Area and wanted to have the music play in all the upstairs, I would not move the Master Bedroom into the Common Area Group, rather I would just select the Common Area Group and have the Master Bedroom automatically join the playing.

Is this possible?
If so, where do I find the UI on the Controller running on the Windows OS?

Thanks

David

21 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +10
Hi David,

Welcome to the Community!

I'm not a total expert on *all* things Sonos... but I think what you are asking is not available in the app...

You *can* bond two Play 1s together as a stereo pair, under the assumption they are filling a single space and would be TruePlay tuned together (like I hope your "office speakers" are) - they will show up as a single "room" ... but pre-defining groups of "rooms" that the app uses... I don't think this is possible.. (aside from "party mode" that selects all devices....)

(I've been wrong before... any of the deep learned experts wish to contradict me? )
Not possible in the app but easily done using third party integration. I use Homeseer but I'm sure there are several other options to accomplish the same thing.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
It's an oft asked for enhancement of which Sonos are aware.

Ultimately there are fundamental design issues around what to do under the scenario where speakers, stereo pairs or Playbar systems are in 2 or more different pre-defined groups, zones, area etc - How should the functionality work should somebody select 1 group that has one of it's units already playing in another group? Despite assurances by proponents the solution is anything but trivial
Userlevel 1
Thanks all for the replies - I'll look into third party apps.
Userlevel 2
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How should the functionality work should somebody select 1 group that has one of it's units already playing in another group? Despite assurances by proponents the solution is anything but trivial

Today, Sonos lets the last person that uses the app control what's being played and what the grouping is. I think that is probably the most reasonable way to handle something like this using technology and have the people using the system (my family for example) understand that anyone can control anything, and they have to be mindful of what they do. However, I would like the following enhancements:

1. Assign each player to a specific individual or group of individuals. For example, I can be assigned all players and all grouping controls since I'm the "administrator" of the system, my son can only control his player in his room, and my wife can control the master bedroom player, the living room player and the player that drives the outdoor speakers. This would require establishing user profiles which I don't think Sonos does today. On the one hand, the current way Sonos works makes it really easy for anyone to hop onto the network and control the audio system, but it also can cause unexpected results especially when unskilled users start changing things.

2. Allow establishment of groups that group multiple players. Use the scheme described in #1 for access control. If a user (that has permissions) wants to select a player or a group that has a player that is already in another group, allow them to do that, because by virtue of that fact that the administrator has given them that access, they have the trust to make the right decision. So if for example I've got my PlayBar, my Sub and my CONNECT:AMP bound to a single surround sound TV audio groping (not a group in the Sonos group sense), and I have permissions to grab any of those players and repurpose it, I should be able to assign the CONNECT:AMP to play a different audio source or add it to another group.

With that said, adding this layer of access control comes with the price of added complexity and likely added customer calls to Sonos tech support asking why their player is now playing disco instead of classical 😉 Maybe there can be an "expert mode" switch that by default is disabled, so the system works the way it does today, but when enabled, allows access control via individual users and user profiles.

As Stuart writes, it's not a trivial problem to solve.
Not a newbie, been Sonos user for years.... We now have 10 devices of bunch of types, an idea for multi device homes would be allowing the user to define named groups of devices, and save for future use, for example “Party” which I might define as: Front deck, Back Deck, Media Room, Great Room which is 5 devices. Or “at home” defined as: Great Room, Gym, Media Room, Master Bed, Master Bath. This is really an extension of the ability to pair 2 speakers for stereo. It’s a good idea because if someone breaks up a group, gets to be a pain “collecting” devices into a group again. The “everywhere” option is nice but primitive. Be great to hit “Party” and let the house rock. Thanks
I think that would be an awesome idea! I have 27 Pieces of Sonos in my collection over 10 different areas.
Desperate for this functionality to create different zones to simplify selected speakers in 10 rooms across 4 floors!

Please Sonos!!!
Just here to say, how is this not a thing yet??
Any news on this?

More important now sonos-one uses Alexa, defeats the object if to play music using Alexa to more than 1 speaker you have to open the app and group them first.
Any news on this?

More important now sonos-one uses Alexa, defeats the object if to play music using Alexa to more than 1 speaker you have to open the app and group them first.


This is the one feature that seems like a no brainer. I am just floored that we can't even get a reply from the Sonos folks on it. If you google "sonos persistent groups" you will find multiple threads requesting the feature. It seems to be a basic use case needed by many, many users.
I agree, the integration and functionality of Alexa would surely be greatly improved by having the ability to predefine groups in order to say play "group name" rather than have to reply on the app to define groups each time?

For example I only have one Play One in the kitchen and a soundbar in the family room, yet I can't ask Alexa to play both, it has to be adjusted in the app? Unless I'm missing something!
They’ve indicated from the initial release (as I recall) that they are trying to get this done.
This has been asked for since 2005 (13 years now...)

https://en.community.sonos.com/music-services-and-sources-228994/virtual-zones-and-zone-grouping-14604

Maybe Sonos will eventually start to respond to their existing users desires rather than constantly adding features to entice new users once the competition starts to really begin to eat into their market share... Sadly so many companies get into a mindset of pursuing growth that they start to treat their existing customers as "locked in".

To be fair Sonos' business model of only making money from new hardware sales gives them little incentive to take care of existing customers, although features like this appeal to both new and future users, and can even incentivise existing users to buy more speakers if they make improvements to multi-speaker configurations.

Ironically their recent S1 IPO filing revealed 27% of their customers had 4+ speakers so maybe they think they need to instead focus on the "larger" 73% but it's likely the 27% multi-room users has more total speakers than the remaining 73%... Just say'in...
I just discovered Alexa App allows groups of speakers to be named I was getting so annoyed asking Alexa to play music and finding it only coming from 1 of my Sonos speakers Now I have a named group Sorry if this has already been covered
I just discovered Alexa App allows groups of speakers to be named I was getting so annoyed asking Alexa to play music and finding it only coming from 1 of my Sonos speakers Now I have a named group Sorry if this has already been covered

This helped. I created a speaker group within the devices section of Alexa with a mix of 1's, 3's, and a 5 and called it Sonos 1 group, and now I can say "Alexa play Van Halen on Sonos 1" and BAM!, It plays on those speakers I've chosen. Thanks for the help.🆒
Why is it so hard to create pre-defined groups of speakers? Sometimes I like to use all speakers on a single floor in the house.

Under the current app, you have to select each area in order to create a temporary group. That's a task which can be made much easier by creating your own favorites, or pre-defined groups.

And while you're at it, you should also be able to create a pre-defined volume level for said groups. When I currently combine my kitchen with the living room, the volume level is inherited from the last session, which can be quite loud if you've used the living room for watching TV through your soundbar/sub/surround speakers.

Of course I can imagine possible conflicts, whenever different music is already playing on any of the selected speakers, but Sonos should assume a conscious decision by the user and possibly help by creating warning messages like: "You have selected room X, but other music is being played in that room. Would you like to override?"

Sonos, please - just make our lives easier...
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Why is it so hard to create pre-defined groups of speakers?
While Sonos is pondering this enhancement request: if you use iOS devices, you can use SonoSequencr [1]. Or, if you're modestly technical, you can cook up your own automation procedures with something like [2] (or many other open source tools).

[1] https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sonosequencr/id967043604
[2] https://github.com/jishi/node-sonos-http-api
Thanks, but I really don't want to bother with other apps. It should be a basic feature of the existing Sonos app.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Thanks, but I really don't want to bother with other apps. It should be a basic feature of the existing Sonos app.
I don't disagree. However, when I find a good workaround solution to an inconvenience, I tend to embrace it rather than sit on my hands grumbling 🙂
This has been asked for since 2005 (13 years now...)

https://en.community.sonos.com/music-services-and-sources-228994/virtual-zones-and-zone-grouping-14604

Maybe Sonos will eventually start to respond to their existing users desires rather than constantly adding features to entice new users once the competition starts to really begin to eat into their market share... Sadly so many companies get into a mindset of pursuing growth that they start to treat their existing customers as "locked in".

To be fair Sonos' business model of only making money from new hardware sales gives them little incentive to take care of existing customers, although features like this appeal to both new and future users, and can even incentivise existing users to buy more speakers if they make improvements to multi-speaker configurations.

Ironically their recent S1 IPO filing revealed 27% of their customers had 4+ speakers so maybe they think they need to instead focus on the "larger" 73% but it's likely the 27% multi-room users has more total speakers than the remaining 73%... Just say'in...


Hehe, why would Sonos care if their sale is still growing? They only listen if people stop buying Sonos.

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