The Amazon Echo Dot is a tiny gadget that acts as a digital assistant for your home. What makes it special is that it doesn’t have any screens — it’s controlled entirely with your voice. If you have a Sonos sound system, you can connect the Echo Dot to it, giving you reliable voice control of music, web searches, and a lot more. You get the best of both worlds: Amazon’s excellent voice interface and the great sound quality of Sonos.
UPDATE OCTOBER 4th 2017: Today Sonos officially announced their wireless integration with Amazon Echo products. After you set this up, you can ask Alexa to play music on your Sonos speakers. The integration is limited to sending music and other content to your Sonos speakers — it does not turn Sonos into the speaker that Alexa uses for every interaction. If that is what you’re after, I suggest reading this post and following the instructions I provide below.
If you want to set up the new integration between Sonos and Alexa, I have a dedicated post that explains how to get it running, which you can find here.
Let’s get this out of the way:
If you only have the Sonos PLAY:1 or the Sonos PLAY:3 speakers, there is no easy way to connect them to the Echo with a cable to make them the primary speaker for your Alexa interactions. Neither model features a line input, which is required for this connection. However, if you’re technically inclined, and you have a home server that you’re capable of programming, you can set up this solution from github.
NOTE: The Github solution also works with the original Amazon Echo.
If you only have a PLAY:1 or a PLAY:3, you can make this much easier for yourself by purchasing the new Sonos One speaker. This is a new Sonos product that basically has an Amazon Echo built into it. You just talk to it, and Alexa answers. You can have this speaker act as the master controller for your Sonos system, and use it to send music to other Sonos speakers in your home. I know buying another expensive speaker isn’t ideal, but it’s the cheapest way to go if you can’t get the free Github solution running.
Another option is to buy a used Sonos ZonePlayer 90 from Ebay, and use it to integrate your Echo Dot into your system. Currently, the ZonePlayer sells for around $275 to $300.
Another option for PLAY:1 and PLAY:3 owners is to buy a used Sonos PLAY:5 speaker. It’s easy to connect the Dot to a PLAY:5, and doing so will integrate it with any other Sonos speakers in your home. The first generation of the PLAY:5 works perfectly with the Dot, and they can easily be purchased on eBay for around $340 USD as Buy It Now items, or from $200 to $300 in auctions.
You can easily connect the Amazon Echo Dot to these Sonos products:
- PLAY:5 wireless speaker
- Sonos Connect
- Sonos Connect:Amp
When you have your Amazon Echo Dot connected to a Sonos, you can wirelessly stream the audio from the Dot to any other Sonos speakers in your home.
This is how it’s done…
Using the Echo Dot with the Sonos PLAY:5
The easiest way to integrate the Amazon Echo Dot into a Sonos system is with the PLAY:5 wireless speaker. Why? It features a mini-plug line input (which the PLAY:1 and PLAY:3 sorely lack). Unfortunately, the Dot doesn’t come with the cable you need to connect. But, this cable is inexpensive. This 3.5mm male-to-male cable from AmazonBasics will do the trick. Just get a cable like that, plug them in and you’re done. Well… almost.
After the two devices are connected, you need to launch the Sonos app on your phone or tablet, tap the hamburger menu in the top left corner, and select Line-In from the menu in the app. Now you can start talking to Alexa and hear her respond with full, rich sound.
A better way to go is to turn on the Autoplay feature on your Sonos, so you don’t have to fiddle with your mobile device at all. Clearly written instructions for how to do this can be found in my 5 important tips for using the Amazon Echo Dot with Sonos post. And, as the title implies, there are 4 more great tips in that post.
If you have additional Sonos speakers in other rooms of your home, you likely won’t be able to control the Echo Dot if it cannot hear you clearly. A work-around is to use the Amazon Voice Remote. It was designed to work with the Echo. You speak into a microphone in the remote, and it has additional buttons for volume control and song playback. It connects via Bluetooth, so it could get out-of-range if it gets too far away from your Echo.
Using the Echo Dot with the Sonos Connect
It isn’t terribly complicated to connect the Amazon Echo Dot to the Sonos Connect. If you’re not familiar with the Connect, it’s a device that enables you to use Sonos with powered speakers or an existing sound system (such as a home stereo system). You plug the Sonos Connect into your powered speakers or your stereo system just as you would plug in an external CD player. Then you can open the Sonos app on your phone, and stream music to it.
The Sonos Connect features a dual RCA line input. This is where you need to plug in the Echo Dot. A brand new Sonos Connect is supposed to come with an included stereo mini-plug to dual RCA male cable. This is what you need to connect the output of the Echo Dot to the input of the Sonos. If you don’t have this cable, this is the one you need.
You simply connect the Dot with that kind of cable, then launch the Sonos app on your phone or tablet. Tap the hamburger menu in the top left corner, and select Line-In from the menu in the app. Providing that you have the outputs of the Sonos Connect plugged into a speaker system, you can start talking to Alexa. If you get too far away from the microphones on the Dot, you can control it with the separately available Amazon Voice Remote.
If you have the older Sonos ZonePlayer 90, it works exactly like the Sonos Connect. Follow the same instructions above and you’re good to go.
Using the Echo Dot with the Sonos Connect:Amp
As you can see from the picture above, the Sonos Connect:Amp is extremely similar to the Sonos Connect. What makes them different is that the Connect:Amp has a built in amplifier, so you can connect passive, unpowered speakers to it. Why would you want to do this? It’s a simpler setup. Powered speakers need to plug into AC outlets, unpowered speakers just need to plug into the Connect:Amp.
The way you connect and use the Echo Dot with the Sonos Connect:Amp is the same as is explained above in the section about the Sonos Connect.
If you have the older Sonos ZonePlayer 120, it works exactly like the Sonos Connect:Amp. Go ahead and follow the instructions above for connecting the Echo Dot to the Sonos Connect.
Thanks for checking out this post. If you found it helpful, you can help me by using the purchase links below. Thanks!
Amazon Echo Dot - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, there are some interesting bundles available at B&H Photo
Sonos One - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk
Cable required to connect Dot to PLAY:5 - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr
Amazon Echo (larger model) - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, B&H Photo
Sonos Play:5 - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr
Used Sonos Play:5 - eBay USA
Sonos Connect - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr
Sonos Connect:Amp - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr
ALSO… check out my post about the All-New Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation), listen to this podcast where we review the Amazon Echo Dot, and definitely check out my 5 important tips for using the Amazon Echo Dot with Sonos post!