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How to set up Alexa on your Sonos system

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(Pocket-lint) – All Sonos devices are compatible with Alexa voice control, though currently only six – the Sonos One, the Sonos Beam, the Sonos Beam Gen 2), Sonos Move, Sonos Arc and Sonos Roam – have Alexa capabilities built into them. 

To control all other Sonos devices using Alexa, you will need an Alexa-enabled device, such as one of Amazon’s Echo devices, a Fire tablet, or the Sonos One, Sonos Beam, Sonos Arc, Sonos Roam or Sonos Move.

This feature guides you through how to add Alexa support to your Sonos devices.


How to enable Alexa on Sonos

You’ll need to make sure you’re running the latest software on your Sonos app and speakers. To do this, open the Sonos app > Tap on Settings in the bottom right corner > System > System Updates > Check for Updates.

After you’ve installed the latest software, follow the instructions below to enable Alexa on Sonos:

  • Open the Sonos app
  • Tap the Settings in the bottom right corner of the app
  • Tap on ‘Services & Voice’
  • Tap on ‘Add a Voice Assistant’ under the Voice section
  • Click on ‘Amazon Alexa’
  • Click on ‘Add Amazon Alexa’
  • Select the room you want to add Amazon Alexa to
  • Tap on ‘Sign in to Amazon’ and follow the instructions
  • Tap on ‘Add to another room’ to add Alexa to another Sonos speaker

Those instructions will get your Sonos account and Amazon accounts liked up, but you’ll also need to enable the Sonos skill in the Alexa app to get the most out of Alexa on Sonos and play music with your voice.

To enable the Sonos skill in the Alexa app:

  • Open the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet
  • Tap the ‘More’ tab
  • Tap on the ‘Skills & Games’
  • Search for ‘Sonos’ using the Skills search icon in the top right of your screen
  • Tap on the Sonos skill
  • Tap ‘Enable to Use’
  • You’ll then need to link your Sonos and Amazon accounts. You’ll be redirected to Sonos’ homepage in order to sign into your Sonos account.
  • Give permission to allow Alexa to control your Sonos system. Press ‘Okay’ then ‘Continue’
  • A new window will pop up, press ‘Close’
  • You’ll then need to tap ‘Discover Devices’ on the next screen. This will search your home network for all compatible Sonos speakers.
  • All your speakers should now be listed and you can send music, etc to them via an Alexa device. Be sure to say the room name if your asking Alexa to play music on a Sonos device that isn’t the Sonos One, Sonos Arc, Sonos Beam, Sonos Beam (Gen 2), Sonos Roam or Sonos Move.
Pocket-lintSonos Alexa image 2

How Alexa works on Sonos

Alexa support on the Sonos One, Beam, Beam 2, Arc, Roam and Move is similar to the experience on Amazon Echo, but not quite as seamless and there are a few features missing like Alexa calling. You will be able to use your Sonos One, Beam, Beam 2, Arc, Roam and Move to control any smart home devices that are compatible with Amazon Alexa however, as well as ask Alexa to perform various tasks, including delivering a weather update, answering a question or ordering you an Uber, for example.

For many features, you’ll need to make sure you have all the skills enabled in the Alexa app, as you would for Amazon Echo. 

You’ll also be able to use your Sonos One, Beam, Arc, Roam or Move to send music and other audio tracks to your other Sonos speakers that don’t have Amazon Alexa built in.

For example, say “Alexa, play Drake in the living room” and music by Drake will start to play on the Sonos speaker you have previously designated “living room”. Read our Sonos tips and tricks to change a room name. Music will play from your default music service, which you can change in the Alexa app. It’s also possible to play or shuffle Sonos playlists you’ve manually created.

For Sonos speakers without Alexa built-in, so the Sonos One SL, Play:1, Play:3, Play:5, Playbase, Playbar and Ray, you won’t them talking back to you as you would with Amazon Echo or the Sonos Beam, One, Arc, Roam and Move. Instead, Alexa effectively becomes the Sonos controller, the Sonos speaker itself does not become a voice assistant.

Writing by Britta O’Boyle.

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