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Alexa and Sonos ecosystem


I am about to enter the Sonos ecosystem to replace my old wired 5.1 setup.
It is important that I can use Alexa to request music using the same system that will be serving 5.1 sound when watching movies.

In a 5.1 setup, would I need to buy 2 new Alexa enabled One's if I didn't want to use a dot?
I am unsure weather it would be better to use dot's to drive them or have Alexa built into the speaker's themselves.

I will wait for Spotify support regardless so I have some time to mull this over.

Any input would be appreciated.

/Christian
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Best answer by Skelton 4 October 2017, 18:52

You should only need one Alexa-enabled device to control all of your speakers.
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17 replies

Userlevel 5
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You should only need one Alexa-enabled device to control all of your speakers.
I think that I read, that you can not connect an old play:1 to a new play One in a 5.1 setup :-(
So if I would go with an Alexa enabled Sonos speaker, I would have to have 2?

A bit confused on that subject...
Your interpretation is correct. PLAY ONE can only be paired with PLAY ONE, not with a PLAY:1, so if you're buying all new, you'd need a pair of them. Fortunately, the price is the same for both the PLAY:1 and PLAY ONE.
Userlevel 7
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You should only need one Alexa-enabled device to control all of your speakers.
This is correct, one per room you want to be able to talk to, that is.

Personal preference, I'd go with the Sonos One because it can be a bit easier to play music. Sonos One knows that when it hears "Alexa, play ..." you mean for it to be playing music unless a room is specified. This should work for home theater setups too.
I note that Ryan has corrected the naming for me. It's the Sonos One, not the PLAY ONE. Important thing to recognize, and will probably make it easier for phone conversations....do you have the "PLAY:1" or the "Sonos One"? 🙂
So if I went with 2 Sonos One's in a 5.1 setup (in the same room), it would not cause an issue (just have more mic's listening to you :-)

Ryan, If you want a 5.1 setup, you would technically need 2 in a room then?
Price is the same...

I had hoped for Alexa integrated playbar, because that will sit centrally in my livingroom....
Think it's a matter of time?
Userlevel 7
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You would need two of the Sonos Ones, they won't bond individually with PLAY:1s.
Userlevel 3
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Personal preference, I'd go with the Sonos One because it can be a bit easier to play music. Sonos One knows that when it hears "Alexa, play ..." you mean for it to be playing music unless a room is specified.
Ryan, so is there no way to set an Echo Dot to play by default on a specific Sonos speaker? If using Alexa through an Amazon device, do you always have to specify the Sonos speaker you want to use?
Userlevel 7
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You have to specify which one you want to use for the commands when using the Echo Dot, otherwise it'll think you're talking to it.
Looking for setup details... I assume a Sonos speaker and an Echo in the same room must have different names? Right now with the systems not linked I have duplicate names in most rooms such as an Echo called "Living Room" and a pair of Sonos speakers called "Living Room". Will bad things happen if I don't make these all unique before doing the discovery in the Alexa skill?
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You have to specify which one you want to use for the commands when using the Echo Dot, otherwise it'll think you're talking to it.
Is that the planned functionality or just a limitation of this initial release? The original Sonos/Alexa announcement video from way back in 2016 clearly showed a guy issuing commands to an Echo Dot to play music on a Sonos speaker without having to specify that speaker by name, so I think a lot of us were under the impression that the eventual Alexa integration would have that capability. I don't know if Amazon's API allows that yet, but I hope you all can find a way to get that to work eventually.

Thanks for all of your hard work. Overall, I'm super excited about today's announcements!
Userlevel 7
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Looking for setup details... I assume a Sonos speaker and an Echo in the same room must have different names? Right now with the systems not linked I have duplicate names in most rooms such as an Echo called "Living Room" and a pair of Sonos speakers called "Living Room". Will bad things happen if I don't make these all unique before doing the discovery in the Alexa skill?
Worst case, Alexa might not know which device you're targeting and say it doesn't support that command, or start playing on the wrong device. I've seen trouble with lights and speakers named the same thing.

You have to specify which one you want to use for the commands when using the Echo Dot, otherwise it'll think you're talking to it.
Is that the planned functionality or just a limitation of this initial release? The original Sonos/Alexa announcement video from way back in 2016 clearly showed a guy issuing commands to an Echo Dot to play music on a Sonos speaker without having to specify that speaker by name, so I think a lot of us were under the impression that the eventual Alexa integration would have that capability. I don't know if Amazon's API allows that yet, but I hope you all can find a way to get that to work eventually.

Thanks for all of your hard work. Overall, I'm super excited about today's announcements!

We'd love to get the implicit targeting sorted out, it is already for the Sonos One. The integration will get better over time.
I had to change the names of my dots and speakers to be different, so that the voice command would "target" the correct thing.

We'd love to get the implicit targeting sorted out, it is already for the Sonos One. The integration will get better over time.


Hope integration will get better soon, give it now any commands for Mulitroom? I tried to play Music in the Office and command Alexa to play the same Music in the Kitchen but it didn't work.
Grouping needs to be done in the app, for now, apparently. But once they're grouped, a command for one room will affect all grouped rooms.
Grouping needs to be done in the app, for now, apparently. But once they're grouped, a command for one room will affect all grouped rooms.

Tried it with Grouping, but Sonos Play 1 in Office played different Titel than the Play 1 in the Kitchen maybe the last one that was played via Sonos app, not so smoth as i have expected. Looking forward for better solution via Voice Control creating and disabling groupings like Sonos App like do it 🙂
Grouping needs to be done in the app, for now, apparently. But once they're grouped, a command for one room will affect all grouped rooms.

Tried it with Grouping, but Sonos Play 1 in Office played different Titel than the Play 1 in the Kitchen maybe the last one that was played via Sonos app, not so smoth as i have expected. Looking forward for better solution via Voice Control creating and disabling groupings like Sonos App like do it :)


Nejino,

I find if you go into the Sonos App 'Rooms Tab' and group together two or more Sonos rooms, such as kitchen and dining room... then start the music by saying such things like..

Alexa, Play Pink Floyd in the Kitchen' ... the music definitely plays on both rooms.

Or ... there’s a way to do it ALL, without even opening the app. See below:

Start the music using Alexa in one room, like this...
'Alexa, Play Pink Floyd in the Kitchen' ... the music starts just in the kitchen, but then you can go to the Living Room speaker and hold down the PLAY/PAUSE button and that will group the Living room with the speaker(s) currently playing in the Kitchen ... (it groups with the last playing room) ... the music is pulled through from the Kitchen to the Living Room and the two rooms remain grouped until you ungroup them in the App.

Whilst the rooms remain grouped the Alexa streaming music is perfectly in sync across all speakers in the group ... great stuff.

I like the fact you can also raise or lower the volume in each room separately using Alexa aswell, even when they are grouped together.

Love it ! ... and Sonos are saying there is even more stuff to come.

I too would like to see a darker theme option and smaller icons for the iPad controller, but I really do like the potential for the new 'My Sonos' tab... I have created 'shortcut' links to several top song playlists across three different music services...

I notice also that the 'browse tab' remembers its last viewing position as the user navigates around the other App tabs and interface, that is until the controller app is fully closed... that is also much better.