Feature Request: Group rooms with alarm

  • 8 January 2015
  • 62 replies

Userlevel 3
It would be great to see alarms play on pre-grouped rooms, but not using the "Include in grouped rooms" setting as I am likely to change grouping throughout the day, and so when the alarm goes off it doesn't work for me, that it plays on the my previous days groups.

It is also not ideal to set several alarms playing the same source (in my case TuneIn radio), as it is massively out of sync.

I think this would be a huge benefit as did your engineer when I spoke to them earlier.


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62 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +1
Would be a really useful feature. Actually, I was surprised that I couldn't do this when first setting up an alarm.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
This has been requested on several occasions - no info yet from Sonos if it is planned for implementation.
Userlevel 1
Sonos, this would be a great feature, I hope you'll consider letting us establish custom groups for alarms in a future update. Thanks for the amazing product.
Userlevel 1
I can't believe people aren't up in arms about over this or that I never came across this issue in a review.

I month ago I bought a 3 to test out the Sonos interface and was happy enough. Last week I began expanding with a play bar.
I set the same alarms for breakfast, coming home, dinner and after dinner on both systems. When I got home on day one my poor G.F. had plugged out the 3 at breakfast time as the synch differential nearly drove her crazy. I figured I just needed to spend a bit of time setting the alarms correctly.

I can see now that people have been complaining about this for years.

It looks like I might be able to work around it using Sonos as a virtual device in my Fibaro home automation system.

I have 7 days left where I can return the playbar for my cash and will do so if I don't have a solution for this.

I cant see any reason Sonos cant fix this (and I say fix not upgrade on purpose). Surely an hours work would set up all the code and testing cant take all that long either. Think about the thousands of hours sonos customers have collectively spent looking for there telephone and with their faces in the grouping menu, going through the same procedure day in day out.
I want ease of use, and was willing to sacrifice sound quality for that. This for me is a deal breaker.
Anyone know of a multi room system that has a this sorted? I'll buy shares in the company as they must be geniuses to have overcome this massive technical obstacle.

I'm not sure I can solve your question, but just for my own information, did you set completely seperate alarms on each device, or did you set an 'include-grouped-rooms' alarm from the advanced settings within the alarm settings itself (interface as per attached screenshots). I am presuming that you grouped the Play-3 with your Playbar? (I assume that is possible to do?).

Your question wasn't clear (to me at least) as to how you approached setting the alarm to begin with.

I have seen the alarm issue mentioned by others here before and I was wondering if the 'include-grouped-rooms' alarm toggle button, might have been the Sonos Developers earlier attempt to resolve the issues you are raising in your question?


Ken Griffiths
Userlevel 1
Hi Ken

And thanks for the suggestion. It was more of a rant in support of the topic than a question.

I set separate Alarms for each unit because there is no option to select a group. I tried 'include(ing) grouped rooms' as per your suggestion just now, however this is not satisfactory either as I must remember to manually regroup the units prior to each Alarm. The playbar (automatically) ungroups every time I turn on the TV.

I would like to add more units with time and don't want to have to continuously reconfigure groups.

Ideally I would like to save multiple group configurations, give them custom names and then select them from the group and alarm menus.

I cannot see any challenge in adding this functionality as the grouping framework is there so all the hard work is done. I really had just assumed (as I'm sure others have) that this is how it would work. If I were a developer for Sonos and used the system I would definitely add this for my own sake. There must be a non technical reason for this glaring omission.

I'm at it again with the ranting........

No, I think you are right to rant and raise the issue. Obviously the alarm feature, when created by the Sonos developers, was probably initially designed with something like the Play-1 speaker in mind, sat on a bedside table and simply there to wake people up to the sound of their favourite song/album/playlist etc.

However, things have moved along and people want the alarm to play music in multiple rooms at different times of day and duration etc... A small step towards a touch of automation of audio around the home, I guess... and why not?

Sadly we have all realised that setting the same alarms on more than one speaker/zone/room, often means they each play the same songs/playlists etc. out of sync. It is a damn nuisance!... It's not been fixed so far, so I can only presume it is not an easy fix for the developers or they have things to do that they see as being a higher priority.

The include-grouped-rooms feature is fine, if you have speakers and devices that are virtually permenantly grouped. The alarms and their audio work fine and remain in sync. The main issue is that we often ungroup the devices and then the alarm itself loses the grouping and we go back to square one.

In my first post above, I was right when I said I don't think I can solve your question, as at the moment there doesn't seem to be an answer to this problem, but I would hate to think you would return your otherwise excellent PlayBar or Play-3 to the shop because of this issue, which hopefully in the not too distant future might be resolved by Sonos.

All we can do is keep banging at the door and hope that Sonos solves it soon.

Kind regards...

Ken Griffiths
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I do have some alarms now set using Smartthings and Smartthings will play alarm to set group of speakers.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Example. My Smartthings in morning to several speakers plays the weather forecast, turns my alarm off, and plays selected songs.
Userlevel 2
Please Sonos, make group alarms possible, also for more than two hours please
Sonos, please consider implementing the option to group rooms specifically for an alarm. Now I end up setting several alarms and the music simply is not synchronized
Userlevel 1
I'm mind boggled you can't have symbolic groups of rooms, especially for alarms. I simply wanted to allow alarms to play in different room groupings and I'm unable to do that. This feature honestly seems trivial and the price point alone should justify it.
Not added a post here before but was recommended to do so by tech support who I have to say were very helpful. Most of the time I play all my zones grouped. However, I have just started using a Play one in the bedroom as a morning alarm, which is fine apart from the fact that once the alarm has done its job, the bedroom is now ungrouped from the rest of the zones. I don't want to group the alarm and have the whole house waking up so that is not an option. I know its relatively trivial and honestly pretty easy to regroup the bedroom back in, but its an irritation. I would think it an easy update so that once the alarm has functioned, the zone does goes back to its last setting, in my situation that being grouped with the rest of the zones.
Userlevel 5
Badge +9
Me too! My dog likes to listen to Radio 4 (he's a very discerning listener) in the kitchen where he sleeps at night. However, along with the rest of the household he does like to wake up to Chris Evans Radio 2 show but this isn't possible at the moment without manual intervention in the morning. Current choice is to set a separate alarm for him which would put his speaker out of sync with the other two that are grouped. Not the end of the world but would be great to set groups for alarms.
Agree with comments..... Would also like to be able to pick specific zones for a variety of alarms.
It's something that I need and I don't understand why it's not already present. I would like to be able chose the alarm group without be worried by the last group that I made. In my opinion also the current function could remain available. Please Sonos add the possibility to make the group in the alarm settings.
Userlevel 2
Groups change !
Alarms in fix grouped rooms are needed !
Please Sonos, this should not be to hard to put in the next update.
Or create named groups that could be used in alarms or add the technical functionality to an alarm that first the group is formed and then the music is started please.
Lots of people would love this.
Given that groups change, the actual 'solution' is worthless (to much manual action required, comfort would be much higher if automated).
"The next update"? :D

Someone needs a lesson in software development cycles.
Userlevel 2
Do you know for how long people already ask for it ? There has been iT time enough Meanwhile:-) We should all keep on knocking at the door untill it opens
Hopefully the Apple Homepods will push Sonos to add this feature. So dumb how they can't add this
+1 on adding the group room alarm feature. Not sure why Sonos overlooked it, whether technically difficult or low in their priority list. If the latter, well sounds like quite a few of their customer rather disappointed about lack of action! If the former, it doesn't inspire confidence when a company can't address a change that many users require, and provide no justification.
Come on Sonos, make it right....any work around now pretty rubbish and defies the Sonos otherwise good system.
Userlevel 4
Badge +3
+1 for this... Can't believe I am unable to do this, such a basic thing surly?
+1 As said by soooo many setting with grouped Alarms doesn't work unless you re group constantly. I want an alarm to come on in the bedroom and when I get up (leaving my wife listening) I want to walk around the house listening to the same IN SYNCH music/station/stream. and that shouldn't be dependent on listening in the same way just before I go to bed!
Dear Sonos,

Please allow for an alarm to be able to set a pre-defined group of speakers. It seems very lacking for a premium multi-room synchronised audio experience with alarm feature, to not be able to synchronise music from an 'alarm'.

People have evolved from "look OMG there is a product called Sonos which can synchronise audio between rooms!", to "lots of products on the market for multi-room audio, which one lends itself to seamless automation functionality without copious layers of add-ons and 3rd party scripts and hacks?"

From your next 'Gen 2' customers and loyal 'Gen 1' customer base
Sonos Devs

Your grouping is broken. Like I suggested in a post a long time ago, group should have user chosen names and be persistent.
Playing on one set of speakers or one group or sending the alarm to a set of speakers or to a group should be seamless