Has anyone got an official answer from SONOS about AMAZON ECHO Integration?

Userlevel 3
I see there are 92 articles on Amazon Echo here in the SONOS community. Has anyone from SONOS responded? Does SONOS have any intent to support Amazon Echo integration?

I can't imagine anyone not wanting that. It feels like that is just how SONOS should work. We love our SONOS system but we keep finding ourselves using the lesser quality Echo just because it's easier. I wish I could use my SONOS system as my speaker and my ECHO as the controller (unless of course my SONOS could just do the same thing). I can't imagine how anyone will beat ECHO for speed and quality of response. Not even SIRI can compete with our Amazon Echo experience.

If I have to I will replace my SONOS system with a bunch of ECHO's but I would never want to do that. Not even because of the investment I have already made with SONOS. I would buy a whole new SONOS system if I could have the AMAZON ECHO controller.

Are there any representatives of the SONOS company in this community? Can I even wish for true Integration between the two companies?

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101 replies

Userlevel 2
jgatie said: "Why would Amazon want to integrate their wireless streaming speaker with a competing wireless streaming speaker?"

My Echo sounds fine, as far as it goes. It's similar to my son's Jambox speaker in quality. Of course, Sonos easily surpasses the Echo in terms of volume and sound quality, etc.

But Echo is much more than a wireless speaker... it's a voice control interface. Its 7 microphone array is excellent at picking up voice commands from just about anywhere in a good sized room. And the processing of voice commands is speedy... no noticeable lag at all.

Amazon recently released the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) for public use and have been urging 3rd party developers to create "skills" (think apps). Amazon has also thrown its support behind existing companies that could add the Alexa entity to current hardware/software solutions independent of the actual "Echo" device.

It seems to me that Sonos would benefit significantly by adding voice control.

That could be accomplished by developing their own voice interface, but that looks to be the longest way to this goal.

Sonos could also implement the Alexa Skills Kit to build a voice interface for the existing Sonos controller app. That would require some sort of microphone to be integrated. Perhaps they'd use the the mic on a smart phone or on a tablet.

Or Sonos could enable their controller app to communicate with the actual Echo device. This seems to be a smart choice because the Echo already excels at "hearing" and interpreting spoken commands and already incorporates a robust implementation of Alexa.

What's not to like?
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
We're certainly here Ranjy, though as a general rule we don't speak to future releases or feature enhancements. We don't share a road map or timeline for development, so for specific requests like Amazon Echo integration, there isn't much to share.

We absolutely appreciate feedback and suggestions, and I'll be sure to pass your interest on to our development team. There aren't currently any available plans to share regarding Amazon Echo integration, and as Jgatie suggested, it would certainly require a lot of cooperation from Amazon to accomplish. We'll be sure to let everyone know if there's any news to share as it becomes available.

Thanks for asking and let us know if we can help with any other questions.
Userlevel 1
Hi everyone,

I'm the guy who wrote the echo-sonos code at https://github.com/rgraciano/echo-sonos

This past weekend, I fixed some bugs and made it smarter - features like next, previously, & what's playing now all work reliably. I also added a bunch of features like playlists and favorites, and many new phrasings to make voice control feel more natural.

Hope it helps!
Matt actually works for Sonos now. 😉 Guess they liked all his Sonos mashups.
Userlevel 1
I have 5 Sonos speakers and 1 Echo. As much as I love my Sonos system, the convenience of the Echo is unbeatable. Over the last few months the Echo's become the family's go-to speaker for music. If we could easily integrate the two so that we had Echo's ease of use (voice commands) combined with Sonos sound quality, it would be the best of both worlds and I'd be ecstatic!! I'd also willingly replace my entire Sonos set-up with new Sonos speakers (and probably buy more for the remaining rooms of the house) if they all had voice integration.
SONOS, there is enough technology savvy customers that support the word of mouth about your product that influences others to buy Sonos as a great product. But, I have to say, this holiday brought Echo and PS4 into my home (connected to a projector). Lack of integration is suddenly, in a weekend, rendering my Sonos system obsolete. Yeah, get your CEO to care and it will happen. Your churn, retention, repeat buyer and roadmap products are under pressure now from a customer perception standpoint. My Sonos buying decisions - which had Playbar, Play 1 and others suddenly. Why am I even on this thread? I have never been here as long as I can remember. It breaks my heart to learn in the last 48 hours that I should sell my Sonos. Suffer lower quality sound for convenience. My kid just walked in the house during this sentence and changed the Pandora station to Taio Cruz through Echo. Or just add your own voice control (don't make me by a new sonos speaker though.) Or let Amazon roll out an echo that replace your hub (too hard?). Suggest your CEO talk about voice interaction coming at CES.
Userlevel 1
You've answered why you would like it, but that wasn't the question. Amazon wants to sell Echoes. Why would it waste all the intellectual property it has invested in Echo by allowing it to be used to sell Sonos speakers instead of Echoes?

Oh, that's easy...because Echo doesn't compete with Sonos...Sure, they're both 'speaker systems', but they compliment each others' strengths and weaknesses.

1) already have Sonos? Great...buy Echo and add voice commands to your Sonos, also, link your Amazon Prime music account to your Sonos.

2) Already have Echo? Great....make it sound even better by adding higher quality Sonos speakers. Link rooms together, which Echo can't do. (this is also an incentive to buy more echo's for other rooms)

Now, maybe Amazon has plans to expand their Echo product to include better speakers, but I don't think Amazon wants to be in the wireless speaker business. They want to be in the 'do all your shopping on Amazon' business, and Echo is the trojan horse to do that. (I haven't set it up yet, but will eventually getting around to buying basic stuff through Echo...mission accomplished, Amazon)

My personal example...I thought Echo was cool, but didn't have Prime and already had Sonos so it didn't appeal that much too me. BUT, I DO have INSTEON home automation. When INSTEON announced integration with ECHO, I bought one that day. Control all the lights in my house with my voice? Hell yes.

And it suddenly made sense for me to get an Amazon Prime account. Worked so well I bought the 2nd one a month later. I wouldn't have bought any of it w/o the INSTEON integration.

But that's just me.
Userlevel 1
I actually got it to work with this: https://github.com/rgraciano/echo-sonos

Pretty freakin amazing every time!!!
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
They may want it, but it makes zero commercial sense for a now global company. How long will Echo be around. Still here and still fully supported in 5 years - nothing Amazon have yet produced is.
Trueplay has been explained ad nauseum - Apple microphones are consistent across the range of devices. Android microphones are not.
Which automation system(s) will come out on top? What should you throw lots of money at?

I'm not against progress but the completely unrealistic expectations of a noisy few who are in thrall of the new "look at this gizmo" does not make a company that people will support. I spent lots on Sonos gear simply because they have been around a long time and continue to support and develop their product - it has its compromises, but so does everything.
If people want to get stroppy and abandon a product that fulfills what it says it does and is fully fit for purpose then so be it. In five years time I bet they won't be so chirpy about their stupid decision when it breaks, is no longer supported, no longer produced. Amazon is a global company and can't afford to produce a product soley for the US market - they are in the business of selling you media and not hardware (witness their stand down in the tablet market to media consumption devices) Sonos sell hardware and their hardware must be good and fully supported to sell. A very, very different market.

So far, nothing comes close to what Sonos does in terms of quality product, functionality, support. Sonos's big hurdle is the playbar and optical input and no DTS.
I have actually started replacing my Sonos with Alexa and Dot. Yea, the sound is a bit lacking, but the control and the added features is worth change. If Alexa and Dot start being able to be grouped I no longer see the benefit of Sonos for average person. I was a fan of Sonos too, having 5 Play:1, a Play:3, and Connect. The lack of integration has really disappointing.
Userlevel 4
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Why would Amazon want to integrate their wireless streaming speaker with a competing wireless streaming speaker?

Because Echo is more of an interface than a wireless music system and integrating them makes both products more useful. People will buy Echo to use with Sonos and they'll buy Sonos because it works with Echo.
I've created a new GitHub repo that expands on the previous work done by rgraciano at https://github.com/rgraciano/echo-sonos
The repo I created allows for most Sonos functions to be controlled via the Echo. Check it out here: https://github.com/jeffchampagne/echo-sonos
Userlevel 6
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As Echo not available outside of the US why would any company waste a large sum of money trying to integrate with anything that is not a global seller?

I suspect that there are a lot of Sonos customers in America who would like Echo integration. I also suspect there are more Sonos owners who use Android instead of iPhone and Sonos has made TruePlay to only work with iPhone...
Just my two cents from an infrequent forum user with a house full of Sonos players and now, four Echo devices. I've had an automated home for over a decade, with voice control for much of that system. The Echo is one of the most useful devices I've ever owned, replacing our previous method of interacting with the home via voice and, to a large degree, other devices. We now find ourselves using the Echo to stream music INSTEAD OF our Sonos players, which often sit inches away from the Echo. Why? Because it's 10x more convenient than picking up a phone or tablet or computer! Now, that said, the Sonos players sound dramatically better than anything except perhaps the entry level Sonos player, which I don't own. So for those who think the two systems compete, I disagree. Sonos makes a player / speaker that will satisfy all but the most hardcore audiophile, while Amazon is offering a device that sounds similar to, as someone noted earlier in this thread, a "boombox". It's not terrible, but it's hardly a Sonos and most Sonos users would not view the two as interchangeable IF - and this is the key - they could control the Sonos with their Echo. But as noted, for just background music, news or a podcast the Echo works very well. In that scenario, the system getting less use (Sonos) would be well served by getting their users to control their better sounding speaker with the more convenient but inferior sounding control device. Don't let us get too accustomed to the sound of that convenient little cylinder, Sonos, or you will find yourself selling far fewer of your better sounding units. Or, sure, just do what you're doing now - ignore us, and watch the dust collect on your equipment. Let's see if that convinces me to buy more...

I will download and play with the code from github (thank you, Ryan), but I'm hardly a programmer, so like others I will likely struggle. Some hobbyist users of our home automation platform have also released some code that attempts to integrate Echo and Sonos, so I'll likely mess with that, as well, after attempting my own clunky method of cobbling together the Echo with Sonos during some precious little free time earlier this week (I really do resent that, Sonos, as you're forcing me to do what I view as YOUR job). The bottom line is that this lack of even a glimmer of interest by Sonos reflects what I view as the ongoing lack of care Sonos has for its users. The company seems to think it's the hottest thing on the market. Well, it's a very good wireless speaker / player but its not the be all / end all of my world, or that of many others. So when we have guests over and they ask us whether we like our Sonos system (in multiple rooms) we say, "It's a great wireless system, but it would be much better if they played nice with others". I then tell them about the problems we've had with simple things like getting the IR repeater to work when the Playbar is hung on a wall (another "feature" from the Sonos engineers that makes no sense, and could be easily controlled with a user-selectable setting IF that team cared more about its ends users). I like the sound of Sonos, but I just find their development teams live in their own, little bubble. Frustrating.

Many other suppliers have already integrated with Echo, including Nest and Ecobee as thermostats, many home automation platforms, and a wide variety of services. Sonos, true to form, continues to lag. The result is an otherwise great product that continues to become increasingly less useful to users who have purchased it in the past, but are not convinced they will continue to do so, largely because of the Sonos "attitude" toward anything except adding yet another streaming service with a limited user base. These two products simply don't compete, and the lack of integration makes one much less useful. If there is a "battle" here, Sonos is creating it. And losing.
Userlevel 6
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Not sure I get your point about US only... Sonos already supports services that are restricted by region so how is this any different?

It's not and the US market is large enough that it makes sense to have US-only services.

Also not sure what choice of different systems you are referring to that compete with Echo. If you are looking for a voice operated digital assistant and control interface for your home (as opposed to one operating on a smartphone or tablet) what other options are out there right now?

There are only three companies that really have the processing power to make voice controlled SONOS work. Apple, Google and Amazon. Apple and Google will still require a smart phone and so don't gain a lot over the SONOS controller already on those platforms. The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, does not need to be in hand to work. And, this audio from SONOS is so much better than the audio from Echo. So, SONOS should work with Echo.
I have an Amazon Echo and like it - and the Dot is an interesting addition that I plan on getting.

How would I use the Dot? One use case is to use it in my Bedroom - and in the ideal world connect it to a Play 1

Unfortunately - the Play 1 doesn't have an input connector - NOR - does it have Bluetooth capabilities - which pretty much kills the overall idea ..

Hopefully, Sonos is working with Amazon on some type of integration to make my use case possible ..

If you have a Play 1 why would you need/want an Amazon Dot? Isn't it just a speaker? As a speaker it will be nowhere near as good as the Play 1 either.

No - the Dot is the Voice Command piece only. It has a very small speaker (which I guess allows Alexa to answer) - but it is designed to connect to a real speaker

So the idea - you talk to the Dot - the response is sent out to the Sonos Speaker .
Userlevel 2
Unfortunately, today's announcements are typical of a company caught napping. Seen this kind of PR many times before - lofty tone, few specifics, layoffs. They were the first, they did it best but now they have to compete face to face with Google, Amazon and others. Are they a closed wireless music ecosystem or are they an integrator of their core competency...which is?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I'm interested, what is Sonos' core competency going forward?

They make superb speakers with an excellent interface allowing it's millions of users to listen to all the music they could possibly want.

They are also pretty good at ignoring noise from negative posters or allowing themselves to be tempted by the "magic" ideas thrown their way at an alarming rate.
I think the poster was asking you what YOU thought the answer was

I have no idea what their core competency is or should be. I'm neither a venture capital investor nor a long term business planner. I'm a software engineer and a customer. As a customer, I bought Sonos for what it is, and it is still what I bought it and then some. It they improve upon that with some whizbang thing like voice? Yay for me! If they partner up with someone like Amazon? Again, yay for me! If they don't and something comes along that better suits my (and the industry's) changing expectations? I'll ditch Sonos and buy the something else. Not as much "Yay for me!", but that is life, and I've got too much to do and not enough time to fret over something I bought over 8 years. Besides, new stuff is great!

Anyway, all three of those outcomes I find far better and more fulfilling than whinging on a company website about their core competency and how it affects my purchase, a purchase which is about .00005% of their income for a year, never mind the 8 years I've owned it. Maybe when I get up to .0001%, I'll start to think I'm owed their inside info. Then again, maybe not. :)

As always, YMMV.

Because Echo is more of an interface than a wireless music system and integrating them makes both products more useful. People will buy Echo to use with Sonos and they'll buy Sonos because it works with Echo.

That was 6 months ago. My feelings have changed since then. As a matter of fact, I put forth basically the same view as yours in another thread just yesterday.
I ordered an echo dot for the sole purpose of plugging it into my play5 for Amazon content. Internet of things or the soundtrack of my life, for me it's Sonos. The echo and iPhone/iPad are just the remote control.

Can't wait for echo integration. If and when it comes.
Why would Amazon want to integrate their wireless streaming speaker with a competing wireless streaming speaker?

Because Echo is more of an interface than a wireless music system and integrating them makes both products more useful. People will buy Echo to use with Sonos and they'll buy Sonos because it works with Echo.

I can well imagine Sonos may use Amazon's voice control technology but I'd be astonished if Sonos allowed an echo to become a Sonos player.
There's also now an Amazon Dot available, which is like a tiny Echo, and is geared more towards being a voice command interface (though it does also have a small speaker for use as an alarm, for replies to voice prompts, etc.):

I really wish Sonos supported control-via-Echo (or Dot) out of the box.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
The dot connected to play5 then allows input of all echo into Sonos. Been discussed a lot. There are a good dozen threads in (I know search system is hard to find topics)
One work around: I don't have an Echo but have a Fire TV. I also have the Sonos surround system. I use Alexa through the Fire TV remote or the iOS app. For Amazon Prime music I then group the other Sonos components to the PlayBar. Not ideal because the TV has to stay on, but it's great for parties.