How to associate Sonos and Echo speakers and create groups

It is now possible to have your Echo play music through Sonos by default

How to group Sonos and Echo speakers
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Sick of hearing your favourite song being played through your Echo Dot's tinny little speaker, when you actually wanted Alexa to beam it over to your Sonos?

Then we've got some great news: you can associate Amazon Echo devices with Sonos speakers – even the old, non-Alexa, ones – through the Alexa app; creating groups where the Sonos speakers are the default music playback for a command heard by your Echo devices.

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Previously, if you had, say, an Echo Dot in the kitchen along with a Sonos Five and you wanted to start the party you'd have to say something like, "Alexa, play Death Cab For Cutie, in the kitchen." You can now ditch that extra bit, and simply say, "Alexa, play Death Cab For Cutie," with the output coming directly from the Sonos speaker.

Be aware; this is not using Sonos speakers as part of a multi-room Alexa system. That's not possible at the moment.

How to associate Sonos and Echo speakers and create groups

But first you need to create some Echo/Sonos groups – here's how…

– Click on the Devices button and then the + sign in the top right corner.

– Select Add Group and give it a name. We went for the moniker 'Music: room name'.

– Then choose the Echo device you want to drive a Sonos speaker (pro-tip: you can choose more than one Echo – handy if you've got a couple in close proximity to the Sonos speaker you have in mind).

– Scroll down and find the Sonos speaker(s) you want included in the group. We say 'speaker(s)' but we'd recommend only having one and using the Sonos app to group additional ones together.

– Tap Save.

– On the main Devices screen you should now see your newly created group. Tap that group's panel and click Setup in the Preferred speaker section and then select the Sonos speaker you want as the default for music playback.

– Tap Save and you're all done.

Things to be aware of

We mentioned groups of Sonos speakers already. To avoid any possibility of lag or latency, stick to grouping the Sonos speakers together within the Sonos ecosystem - although do give it a try if you often have a pair of speakers in sync.

For all the above we're assuming you've already had Alexa discover your Sonos speakers and they are all listed as smart home devices within the app.

A little tip though – if you're finding that you've got too many things called the same name (eg lights, speakers and Echos all called 'Living room') then it's a good idea to rename the Sonos speakers in the Alexa app.

You might have the odd issue if there is a particular skill that clashes with a command. For example, "Alexa, play KEXP," worked perfectly – the indie radio station came straight through our Play:5.

However, "Alexa, play BBC Radio 6 Music," got Amazon's digital assistant in all sorts of bother – with it trying to get us to download the BBC Sp skill and the radio station coming out via the Echo Show the command was made to.

Alexa ducking Sonos speakers

The good news is that creating these groups also prevents the annoying situation of your Sonos speakers are muted in the whole house, when an Alexa command is made in another room.

When a Sonos speaker is associated with an Echo device, or a collection of Echo devices, within a group in the Alexa app, then commands made to that specific Echo device will only cause the music on the Sonos in that group to 'duck'.

TAGGED    amazon alexa    smart speakers    sonos

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