Controlling your Sonos speakers with Alexa provides supreme control and convenience over your music, and will make enjoying your tracks much easier. Sonos still suffers somewhat from its clunky application – although Sonos S2 has made things better, but the power of your voice can transform the way you use it.
While some of the company’s last speakers – like the Sonos One, Sonos Arc, and Sonos Move – come with Alexa built in, many people don’t realize that you can control any Sonos speaker using the Alexa skill.
This means you can add voice control for under £ 30 using an Echo Dot and totally transform your music listening setup.
Read it: The best Alexa commands
So read on for everything you need and a full list of voice commands to get the most out of your Alexa / Sonos setup.
Sonos Alexa skill explained
If you own a Sonos system and an Amazon Echo speaker, you can use the speaker to control your entire Sonos system. This includes playing music from some streaming services and controlling radio and music playback offline.
Manual missing: The essential guide to Sonos
Downloading the Alexa Skill for Sonos is easy. Go to the Alexa app, then search for Sonos from the Skills menu. Once downloaded, you will need to connect your Sonos and Amazon accounts together, which the process will walk you through. Once it’s done, you’re good to go.
What services can you use the Sonos skill for?
When it comes to requesting music through Alexa, you need to be registered and use one of the few services. These services must be linked to your Alexa account. You can choose from:
- Apple Music
- Amazon Music
- Radio TuneIn
Now, if you have an active Amazon Music account, Alexa will prefer to play it. To get it to play any of the other types of services, you’ll need to tell Alexa that you want it to play music from [supported service]a???? at the end of your order.
Unless you use Spotify or Apple Music …
If you’re looking for an Amazon Echo Spotify skill, you’ve probably noticed that there isn’t one. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your Spotify playlists with voice commands enabled by Echo. Spotify has a special status with Alexa, which means you can set music as a permanent source.
You can easily set Spotify as the default audio provider for your Echo. Head to the Alexa app, enter and choose Settings> Music> Default services> Spotify.
Set Apple Music as Default Via Alexa
The Sonos Arc, One, Beam, and Move support Apple Music Skill – which means you can take advantage of it and make Apple’s streaming service your go-to through Alexa.
You will still need the skill downloaded from the Alexa app, but, once it does, and Apple Music is set as default, you will be able to speak commands without having to add, “On Apple Music,” at the end of each request.
To do this, go to the Alexa app and switch from Settings> Music> Default services> Apple Music. And keep scrolling below to check out some essential Sonos / Apple Music controls.
What can’t Sonos and Alexa do?
You can’t play Artist Radio or Spotify Radio, and podcasts aren’t supported with Alexa either; you will need to use your Sonos app as before. Also, if you are using playlists curated by Spotify, you will need to track them and list them in your playlists. Your instruction must then specify that it is a playlist.
You will also not be able to play music to groups. Alexa music groups will not work with third-party speakers, and you also cannot specify groups set up in the Sonos app. Likewise, there is no support for offline, locally stored music, and you cannot add sleep timers to make your music turn off after drifting.
Essential Sonos Controls for Amazon Alexa
Before launching a list of commands, here’s how to create a Sonos command.
1. Say “Alexa” (duh).
2. Say at ???? will play ???? followed by the artist’s name. If you choose a song, you will probably have to say at ???? by [artist name]a????.
3. Now, if you have more than one, you need to specify which Sonos speaker you want to play on. At the end of your order, say at ???? sure [Sonos speaker name]a????.
Remember: if you are using a specific service that is not your default music streaming service, you will need to add at ???? of [service name]a????.
And here’s a full example: – Alexa, play Motorcycle vacuum by Pandora’s Manic Street Preachers in the living room…. A mouthful? Yes it is.
General playback controls
– Alexa, pause / stop / resume (in the room name)a????.
– Alexa, skip / next song (in the room name)a????.
– Alexa, play the next / previous song / track (in the room name)a????.
at ???? Alexa, play my (playlist name) playlist (in the room name)a????.
– Alexa, take the (room name)a????.
AT ???? Alexa, previous / next song / trackâ ????.
– Alexa, what’s playing in (room name)?a????.
General volume controls
“Alexa, go up / down (in the room name)a????.
“Alexa, louder / quieter (in the room name)a????.
“Alexa, set the volume to 4 (40%) (in the room name)a????.
“Alexa, mute (room name)a????
“Alexa, turn the sound back on (room name)a????.
To start Spotify playback
“Alexa, play music in the (room name)a????.
“Alexa, play (artist) in the (room name) “.
“Alexa, play (song name) by (artist) in the (room name)a????.
“Alexa, play the album (album name) by (artist) in the (room name) “.
“Alexa, play (activity) music in the (room name)a????.
To start Apple Music playback
“Alexa, play music in the (room name) “.
“Alexa, play the Beats 1 radio in the (room name) “.
“Alexa, launch New Music Mix on the (name of the speaker) “.
“Alexa, play (playlist name) sure (room name) “.
You can also pair Amazon Echo devices with Sonos speakers through the Alexa app; Create groups in which Sonos speakers are the default music playback for a command heard by your Echo devices.
Before, if you had, say, an Echo Dot in the office with a Sonos Play: 1 and wanted to listen to music, you had to say something like, “Alexa, play Wham, in the kitchen.” You can now let go of that little extra, and just say, “Alexa, play Wham” and the output will come directly from the Sonos speaker.