Sonos makes some of the finest wireless speakers on the market, but up until fairly recently they had a pretty big drawback – they couldn’t be voice-controlled. Rather than spend a fortune on developing its own solution, Sonos has made the smart move of teaming up with Amazon and enabling Alexa support on all of their current models.
There’s no more need to compromise – now you get to take advantage of Alexa’s versatility while listening to your favorite music or radio stations through a superior speaker. Best of all, both setting Alexa up and using her with your Sonos speaker is a breeze! Here’s how you do it:
Getting Alexa to Work with a Sonos Speaker
If you don’t have a Sonos One or another model that has Alexa built-in, you’ll need to purchase an Amazon Echo, the speaker that serves as Alexa’s hub. The cheapest option you can get at the moment is the 2nd generation Echo Dot, which will set you back around $50 when not on sale. Once you’ve set the Echo up and installed the Alexa app, you need to find & enable the Sonos skill so Alexa can find you devices. When the skill is enabled you can search for the speakers you own manually, or say “Alexa, discover devices.”
The basic command structure for using Alexa with your Sonos speaker consists of saying her name (o Amazon/Computer/Echo if you’ve changed the default) followed by the specific command and ending with the name you’ve given the speaker. For instance, to control playback, say “Alexa, play/pause/resume/stop in the kitchen.” Alexa’s music source of choice is Amazon Music. You can switch to other streaming services like Pandora, TuneIn or Spotify, but you’ll need to tell Alexa which song / artist / album you wish to hear and from where. “Alexa, play ‘In My Feelings’ by Drake / KIIS FM on TuneIn” are good examples of what a play command should look like.
To shuffle through songs, ask Alexa to “Play the next/previous track/song” or “Skip/next song/track in the hallway.” If you’ve moved to another room and want to continue listening from there, say “Alexa, resume on bedroom.”
You control the volume by saying either “Alexa, turn it up/down”& “louder/quieter/softer in the living room”, or by specifying the volume with “Alexa, set the volume to 4 in my room.” To mute/unmute the song, say “Alexa, mute/unmute.”
Alexa can be a great help in identifying artists or songs. The commands that follow aren’t strictly used with Sonos devices, but will definitely enhance your music experience.
To find out some basic info on a song, ask “Alexa, what’s playing in the lounge?” If you’d like to hear a sample of an artist’s music or want to know what tracks of theirs are currently popular, say “Alexa, sample songs from DJ Khaled / what’s popular from 5 Seconds of Summer?” You can also look for general info on artists and bands. Ask Alexa questions like “What year did Metallica release ‘Ride the Lightning’? / Who’s in the band ‘Maroon 5’? / Who sings the song ‘Lucid Dreams’?” to quickly get the info you need.