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Alexa and the old Sonos Play:1 - what to buy?

  • 15 January 2018
  • 3 replies
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Hello everyone, I’m new. Please go easy on me. I’ve searched and not quite found the right question and answer, so here goes...

I have 3 Play:1 units and a Playbar which I’m very happy with. I’d like to use Alexa and was gutted to find that the Play:1 doesn’t have a mic. I understand I can get an Echo Dot for £50 to overcome this, and will then be able to use Alexa to control the speakers.

But... does this mean that I’ll need to buy a Dot for every room I want to speak in? Then it would be £150... and I might be better off starting to replace the Play:1’s instead?

If I buy a Dot I presume I can connect to my ‘old’ Play:1’s (only bought a year ago or so - sob!) and will have to use the Dot for controlling other smart devices.

But if I upgrade the Play:1’s to Sonos One’s bit by bit, I think I will eventually just be able to talk to the new Sonos One’s and never need to get an Amazon device at all.

Can you tell me if these statements are correct? It will take me a while to afford upgrades but it seems silly to invest more money in retrofitting the old speakers. I also don’t really want another umpteen devices all over my house! I am also assuming here that the Sonos One / Play:1 are far superior to the Amazon Echo speakers?

Thanks,
Sally
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Best answer by melvimbe 15 January 2018, 20:21

Hello everyone, I’m new. Please go easy on me. I’ve searched and not quite found the right question and answer, so here goes...


These are good questions.


I have 3 Play:1 units and a Playbar which I’m very happy with. I’d like to use Alexa and was gutted to find that the Play:1 doesn’t have a mic. I understand I can get an Echo Dot for £50 to overcome this, and will then be able to use Alexa to control the speakers.

But... does this mean that I’ll need to buy a Dot for every room I want to speak in? Then it would be £150... and I might be better off starting to replace the Play:1’s instead?


Yes and no. You can control any of your sonos speakers from any alexa enabled device, which includes the Dot. So you can tell your dot in the family room to play music on your Play:1 in the bedroom, for example. However, if you're in your bedroom and the family room dot can't hear you, then it's no good. To that I say the following:

- You can get a battery pack to go along with your dot. That way, you can move it to a different room without having the dot restart itself every time. I use a battery pack to take to the back yard.

- You can get a remote for your dot. You can take the remote into the bedroom and talk into it and the dot should 'hear' you.

- You can use the Amazon music app to talk to Alexa. However, that's not much more useful than just using the Sonos app.

- Not sure how it is in the UK, but in the US, the Dot goes on sale fairly often, particularly around Christmas. If you can wait, you can get a better deal.

- There is a resale market for play:1s. I would think it would cheaper to just buy new dots, but if you really are set on getting Sonos Ones it's not like you won't be able to recoup some of your costs.

- There are some rooms where you may want to have a speaker but not a mic...like your bathroom for example.

- The Sonos One cannot do everything the echo can do, such as making calls to other dots.


If I buy a Dot I presume I can connect to my ‘old’ Play:1’s (only bought a year ago or so - sob!) and will have to use the Dot for controlling other smart devices.


Yes, if I understand you correctly. I wouldn't feel too bad about having Play:1s instead of Sonos Ones. For some room configurations you may want to have your speaker (sonos) in a separate location than your mic (dot). In my bedroom, I have a pair of play:1s across the room, and the dot is on my nightstand. I don't want to have to talk to Alexa across the room while I'm in bed, nor do I really want music coming from my nightstand.

But if I upgrade the Play:1’s to Sonos One’s bit by bit, I think I will eventually just be able to talk to the new Sonos One’s and never need to get an Amazon device at all.


Can you tell me if these statements are correct? It will take me a while to afford upgrades but it seems silly to invest more money in retrofitting the old speakers. I also don’t really want another umpteen devices all over my house! I am also assuming here that the Sonos One / Play:1 are far superior to the Amazon Echo speakers?

Thanks,
Sally


The Sonos speakers are superior to echo speakers. The new echo speakers (not dots) are pretty good, but not as good as play:1 or Sonos One, nor can the be used in stereo pairs or work with your playbar. I'd also add that Sonos speakers hold their value for a long time, and Sonos does it's best to add new features to it's old products whenever possible. Personally, I like having separate dots and sonos players. I get the reduction in clutter argument, but the dots really kinda don't seem to feel like they take up space.
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Userlevel 7
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The Dot will control any sonos speaker in the house via voice. So as long as a Dot is where you want to speak to it then your good.

People have multiple dots because they want to be able to speak and do home control in different rooms (without moving one dot around).
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Hello everyone, I’m new. Please go easy on me. I’ve searched and not quite found the right question and answer, so here goes...


These are good questions.


I have 3 Play:1 units and a Playbar which I’m very happy with. I’d like to use Alexa and was gutted to find that the Play:1 doesn’t have a mic. I understand I can get an Echo Dot for £50 to overcome this, and will then be able to use Alexa to control the speakers.

But... does this mean that I’ll need to buy a Dot for every room I want to speak in? Then it would be £150... and I might be better off starting to replace the Play:1’s instead?


Yes and no. You can control any of your sonos speakers from any alexa enabled device, which includes the Dot. So you can tell your dot in the family room to play music on your Play:1 in the bedroom, for example. However, if you're in your bedroom and the family room dot can't hear you, then it's no good. To that I say the following:

- You can get a battery pack to go along with your dot. That way, you can move it to a different room without having the dot restart itself every time. I use a battery pack to take to the back yard.

- You can get a remote for your dot. You can take the remote into the bedroom and talk into it and the dot should 'hear' you.

- You can use the Amazon music app to talk to Alexa. However, that's not much more useful than just using the Sonos app.

- Not sure how it is in the UK, but in the US, the Dot goes on sale fairly often, particularly around Christmas. If you can wait, you can get a better deal.

- There is a resale market for play:1s. I would think it would cheaper to just buy new dots, but if you really are set on getting Sonos Ones it's not like you won't be able to recoup some of your costs.

- There are some rooms where you may want to have a speaker but not a mic...like your bathroom for example.

- The Sonos One cannot do everything the echo can do, such as making calls to other dots.


If I buy a Dot I presume I can connect to my ‘old’ Play:1’s (only bought a year ago or so - sob!) and will have to use the Dot for controlling other smart devices.


Yes, if I understand you correctly. I wouldn't feel too bad about having Play:1s instead of Sonos Ones. For some room configurations you may want to have your speaker (sonos) in a separate location than your mic (dot). In my bedroom, I have a pair of play:1s across the room, and the dot is on my nightstand. I don't want to have to talk to Alexa across the room while I'm in bed, nor do I really want music coming from my nightstand.

But if I upgrade the Play:1’s to Sonos One’s bit by bit, I think I will eventually just be able to talk to the new Sonos One’s and never need to get an Amazon device at all.


Can you tell me if these statements are correct? It will take me a while to afford upgrades but it seems silly to invest more money in retrofitting the old speakers. I also don’t really want another umpteen devices all over my house! I am also assuming here that the Sonos One / Play:1 are far superior to the Amazon Echo speakers?

Thanks,
Sally


The Sonos speakers are superior to echo speakers. The new echo speakers (not dots) are pretty good, but not as good as play:1 or Sonos One, nor can the be used in stereo pairs or work with your playbar. I'd also add that Sonos speakers hold their value for a long time, and Sonos does it's best to add new features to it's old products whenever possible. Personally, I like having separate dots and sonos players. I get the reduction in clutter argument, but the dots really kinda don't seem to feel like they take up space.
I prefer dots.

They are cheap.
I think the mics pick up your voice better and they can do some stuff the Sonos one can’t like make calls.

The dots fit unobtrusively in places I wouldn’t place a speaker.