Phantom "kitchen" Room

  • 25 October 2017
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I recently replaced a Play:1 in my kitchen with a Sonos One. However, I'm having trouble getting it to actually play anything.

I can ask the Sonos One for stuff like weather just fine, but if I ask it to play music, it acts like it's going to but then nothing actually plays. If I ask another alexa device in my home to play music in the kitchen, it acts like it's going to but then no music plays.

If go into my Sonos settings and rename the Kitchen room to something else (e.g., "Hallway"), and then ask music to be played in the hallway, it works. With that room renamed to "Hallway" (and no rooms in the Sonos app named "Kitchen", if I ask any Alexa device to play music in the kitchen, it tells me to enable my Sonos skill in the alexa app and then discover devices. The sonos skill is already enabled and discovering devices doesn't make any difference. Plus, if I ask an Alexa device to play music in a room which I've never had, "Dining Room", it tells me it couldn't find anything called "Dining Room." So it seems there's some phantom "Kitchen" room involved here as it treats truly nonexistant rooms different from "Kitchen". When my Sonos One is assigned to a room named "Kitchen", Alexa seems to be sending play requests to the phantom room rather than my actual device. It's absurd that I can't have my kitchen room actually named "kitchen" for it to work.

Also, it's pretty much actively hostile to your customers to make it so they can't pair a Play:1 with a Sonos One. I ended up replacing the two Play:1 satellites in my living room with Sonos Ones. I only need one Alexa-enabled device per room. And it even acts goofy having them both. As described above, when I'm in my living room and tell Alexa to play in the Kitchen when I don't have a room named kitchen, whichever Sonos One that responds tells me to enable the Sonos skill and "after enabling the skill, just say 'Alexa, discover devies.'" Guess what? The second satellite RESPONDS to the first one and discovers devices. This underscores how unnecessary it is to have two Sonos Ones in the same room and how the added complexity actually makes things worse.

Why isn't it possible to change the wake word? I've been using "Echo" for my devices for a long time mostly because it keeps mischievous parties from getting cute (see https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/16/16318694/south-park-amazon-alexa-google-home). Not being able to change the wake word is a pretty big oversight.

I've spent a lot of money buying into the Sonos ecosystem and was excited to "simplify" things with direct Amazon Echo integration. Unfortunately, the current state of Sonos One is anything but simple.

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