The Alexa and Sonos pair are one of the popular combinations you will come across in the homes of most music lovers. For such a setup, you will usually find music lovers pairing Alexa devices such as the Amazon Echo with Sonos devices like the Sonos Roam, Sonos Move, and Sonos ARC SL. The Echo and Sonos products can also be grouped as one unit which makes it easier for the users to control the products in that group with voice commands. When Alexa devices and Sonos products are grouped this way, you can link your music services to the group and then use Alexa commands to instruct your Echo to play music on the group’s devices.
By doing so, you may be wondering if Alexa and Sonos can play at the same time. Alexa and Sonos can not play music at the same time if both devices are in a group. In the Alexa group, you will have to select a Sonos speaker or speakers that will play music when you instruct Alexa via the Echo. The Echo will only play music for you when you do not select a Sonos speaker to play music during the group’s setup.
Since the Sonos products produce very high-quality sounds it makes sense to play your music on them while you leave the non-music audio such as the weather or news for the Echo device. I have put together this article to answer all your questions on Alexa and Sonos products, so read on for more information if you want to know how to combine Alexa and Sonos to work together in your home.
How Do Alexa and Sonos Work Together?
Sonos products are compatible with Alexa AI. Some Sonos products such as the Sonos Beam and Sonos One have pre-installed Alexa service in them so you can directly interact with Alexa on them without the need for the Amazon Echo or other Alexa devices.
For Sonos products that do not have this unique feature, you will have to control them through an Alexa device like the Echo.
In either case, you will have to set the Sonos product up for the Alexa service via the Sonos and Alexa apps before you begin to use voice commands on them. You will also be required to set up a Sonos system for Sonos devices so that they can easily be recognized by Alexa.
In most cases, you will have several Sonos speakers in your house which will need to be grouped for easy interaction between you and Alexa. You can group a number of speakers in your living room and name them “Living Room”. Similarly, you can name grouped speakers in your bedroom as “Bedroom” and so on and so forth.
Once the Sonos devices are grouped with your Alexa device, you will then have select your default Sonos speaker music service, which will play music in the group when you instruct Alexa to do so.
How to Set Up Your Sonos Product
You should set any Sonos product that you want to use with Alexa up in a Sonos system first before you use it. You can set it up by using the Sonos app. Here’s how to do it:
- Plug your Sonos product into the power supply.
- Download and install the Sonos app on your smartphone. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
- Launch the Sonos app and go Set Up New System.
- Sign in to your Sonos account. You should create one if you don’t have any.
- The Sonos app on your smartphone will begin to search for Sonos products around you. Once your Sonos product shows up, hit the Add button and then tap Continue.
- Go to Set Up Product and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your Sonos product.
How to Set Up Amazon Echo for Alexa
Follow the steps below if you want to set your Echo or Amazon device for the Alexa service:
- Turn on the Amazon Echo by plugging it into the power source.
- Download the Alexa app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store on your smartphone.
- Log in into your Amazon account or just register for an account if you do not have any.
- Go to More and choose Add Device.
- Choose Amazon Echo and then Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and more.
- Go through the simple in-app instructions in order to successfully set up your Echo device.
- After the Echo has been set up for Alexa, go to More and the bottom of the Alexa app.
- Choose Skills and Games and then select Your Skills.
- Choose Sonos and select Enable Skill. Sign in to your Sonos account with your Sonos credentials when you are prompted to do so.
You can also enable the Sonos Skill via the Sonos app. However, you will be redirected to the Alexa app to complete the process so enabling the Skill directly on Alexa will save you some time. After enabling the Sonos skill, verify from Alexa if the app can discover your Sonos devices. You can do so by going to Devices and Discover and checking to see if all your Sonos devices have been included in the list of discoverable devices by Alexa.
With all your Sonos products discovered on the Alexa app and the Sonos skill enabled, you can begin to control your Sonos devices using Alexa.
However, you can not stream music for your music unless you add them to your devices.
How to Play Music Using Alexa and Sonos Together
It is better to group your Sonos and Alexa speakers before you link a music service to them. Creating an Alexa group of this sort is easy and you can do it via the Alexa app.
You should follow the steps below if want to group your Sonos and Alexa devices:
- Launch the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet and navigate to Devices.
- Look out for a plus (+) icon and tap on it.
- Tap on Add group button and choose to Create a Room or Device group. You will be presented with a list of some default names for your group. Choose any of those names want it, otherwise, rename the group to your desired name.
- Tap on the Next button and go through the on-screen instructions. Choose which Alexa devices you want to add to the group and then search for the Sonos devices that you want to add to the group.
- Hit the Save button to save your selection.
After creating the Alexa group, you can decide which speaker should be set as your default so that when you ask Alexa to play music in the group, that speaker will be the one to play. You can do this by using these steps:
- Go back to the main screen of your Alexa app. You will find the name of your newly created group. Tap on it.
- Navigate to Preferred Speaker and choose Setup.
- A list of speakers in your new group will display, scroll through and choose which speaker or speakers you want set as default speakers.
- Tap the Save button to save your selection.
Here’s the deal. If you select the Sonos speakers as your default speakers, Alexa will always play music on those speakers whenever you instruct Alexa via the Amazon Echo.
However, if no speaker is selected as default, Alexa will automatically play music on the Echo device. It is important to note that the music will not be played on both the Echo and Sonos at the same time.
You can use the steps below to add music services such as Spotify to the Alexa group. You can also set your default music service using these steps:
- Open the Alexa app and go to Settings.
- Navigate to Music and select Link New Service.
- A list of music services will be displayed on your screen. Choose your preferred music services to add to Alexa.
- Tap on Default Service to set your preferred music service as the default service from Alexa should play music.
Once, your music service and preferred speakers are set, you can begin to play music from Spotify, Amazon Music, etc on your Sonos speaker, by just issuing voice commands on your Amazon Echo device.
How to Fix Ducking of Sonos Products in Alexa Groups
When you add Sonos speakers to Alexa devices in a group, it is common for the volume of the Sonos speakers to be turned down anytime you interact with Alexa on your Echo or the Alexa device. This is called ducking.
Although this is good for Alexa’s operation since turning down the volume on the other Sonos speakers allows your voice to be heard clearly, it can also disrupt the music experience of other people in your home who are listening to music on the Sonos speakers.
For instance, if the Sonos speaker in your living room is in a group with the Amazon Echo in your bedroom, whenever you interact with Alexa on the Echo in your bedroom, the Sonos speakers in your living room will duck for a while, interrupting the music on your living room for your guests or family.
A quick way to solve ducking in your home is to group all your Sonos speakers in such a way that ducking in one group will not affect the speakers in the other group. Sort out which room’s activities affect the other and try to create separate groups with separate Echos for them.
In that case, the Sonos speakers in the living room, for example, will not duck if they have grouped a different Echo other than what’s in the bedroom.
Alternatively, if you regularly interact with Alexa in your bedroom, you can get multiple Echo devices in there and group each one with a different set of Sonos speakers so that when you instruct Alexa on one Echo, it will not affect the Echo and speakers in that group.
Alexa and Sonos are a combination that has gained some popularity in recent times. The Alexa devices allow you to issue voice commands to get your commands executed while the Sonos provides you with the best audio quality. You can use Alexa and Sonos to play music and watch movies in your smart home.
To get the best out of this setup, you can group a set of Alexa and Sonos devices which will allow you to instruct Alexa to control specific speakers in your home. You can also add a music service to your group and stream to your preferred speaker.
When you set a speaker as a default speaker in your group, Alexa will only instruct the Sonos speaker to play music and will not play music with the Sonos at the same time. However, if you do specify any speaker within the group as your default speaker, Amazon will be selected automatically as the default and will be the one to play the music in the group.