A white Amazon Echo Dot and a white Sonos PLAY:1 wireless speaker

How to control Sonos with an Amazon Echo

The long-awaited ability to control Sonos with an Amazon Echo is finally here! I’ve written about how to connect these devices using cables, but this new skill lets you do it wirelessly. This post explains how to get it running…

Before we get started, there is one major caveat: major music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal are not currently supported by this feature. Sonos said that Spotify will be added in the near future, though. I will update this post when it’s been included.

Here are the music services currently supported:

  • Amazon Music
  • Pandora
  • iHeartRadio
  • TuneIn Radio
  • SiriusXM

Something else you should understand: this integration is just about telling Alexa to play music or podcasts on your Sonos speakers, and then controlling the playback with your voice (stop, pause, skipping songs, controlling volume, etc.).

What this integration does not do is make Sonos the primary speaker for all of your interactions with Alexa. If you want Alexa to use your Sonos speakers every time she speaks, you need to follow my instructions for connecting Sonos to the Echo Dot, or if you have a newer Echo device, read my instructions for connecting Sonos to the Echo (2nd Gen), Echo Plus, and Echo Spot.

How to get the new integration working

Sonos made the video below to explain the set up process. I followed it closely, but unfortunately I ran into some problems:

The main issue was that I couldn’t get it to work until I updated the operating system on my smartphone. After that, it was smooth sailing.

The first thing to do is to make sure your Sonos and Amazon Echo are up-to-date with the latest software. This is how you do it…

Make sure your Sonos is up-to-date

  1. Open the Sonos app on your mobile device. If you have the old version of this app, you need to tap the “hamburger icon” (the three short horizontal lines) in the top left corner. This is what the old app looked like: old-sonos-app-iPhone
    If you have the new version of the Sonos app, tap “More” in the lower right corner, then tap “Settings,” then tap “Online Updates.”
  2. From the menu, tap “Update now.” If your software needs updating, the next screen will tell you this, and give you an “Update” button to push.

Make sure your Amazon Echo is up-to-date

  1. Open your mobile device and check to see if the Amazon Alexa app has been updated.
  2. On an iPhone, open the App Store and check in the “Updates” section, which is found on the right side of the bottom navigation menu.

This is what the Amazon Alexa app icon looks like on an iPhone:

The Amazon Alexa app icon as it appears on Apple devices

Add the “Sonos Skill” to your Alexa App

  1. Open the Alexa App on your mobile device, and tap the “hamburger icon” (the three short horizontal lines) in the top left corner.
  2. From the menu, tap “Skills.”
  3. In the search bar at the top of the next screen, type in “Sonos” and tap the Search button.
  4. Scroll until you see the Sonos skill, tap it, and then tap the “Enable” button.

sonos-skill-in-amazon-alexa-app

Next, you need your Sonos log-in information. If you don’t remember it, you can find it by opening the in the Sonos mobile app. Here is how…

How to find you Sonos login information

  1. Open the Sonos app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap the “hamburger icon” (the three short horizontal lines) in the top left corner.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the menu and tap “Settings.”
  4. Tap on “My Sonos Account.”

The next screen only shows you what email you used to create your account. You still need to guess your password if you can’t remember it. If you can’t figure it out, use the “Password reset” option when you try to log-in at Sonos.com.

This is where I ran into the problem

If you have any trouble at this point, you may want to check to see if your mobile device has the latest operating system update installed. The Amazon Alexa app told me that I needed to update the software on my Sonos speaker. When I would tap on the button to update it, and I would be sent to the App Store, where I was told that I already had the latest update.

I needed to update my iPhone from iOS 11.0.1 to 11.0.2. When I did this, it finally let me update the app called “Sonos Controller.” After that, I was finally able to update the firmware on my Sonos hardware using that app (I have a Sonos PLAY:5 speaker).

Back to the how-to…

The next step is to allow Alexa to control your Sonos. This is done in the Amazon Alexa app. Select “Okay.” After that, you are asked to sign into your Amazon account, go ahead and do that.

The next screen tells you “To continue, close this window to discover devices you can control with Alexa.” Tap the “X” in the upper right of the screen. You will then be brought to the “Discover Device” screen. Tap the “Discover Devices” button.

The Amazon Alexa app will find your Sonos devices (and any other smart home stuff you may have), and they will be listed. The name you gave your Sonos device will be in the list, such as “Living Room.”


You can now start speaking to Alexa. Say exact commands like “Play indie rock in the Living Room.” With any luck, this music should come out of your Sonos speaker. You can skip songs, control volume, etc. Just be sure to say the name of the Sonos speaker or group you want to control when you speak to Alexa.

Thanks for checking out this post! I hope it was helpful. You can help me out by using the links below before you buy something on Amazon, even if you’re just buying a boring sack of dog food. Thanks!

Purchase links:

All-New Echo (2nd Generation) - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de
Echo Plus - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de
Echo Spot - Amazon USA
Amazon Echo Dot - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, there are some interesting bundles available at 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

 

 

 

Published by

Sam

Writer, musician, photo taker and video maker. When not writing somewhat longish articles for this blog, I write incredibly short things on Twitter: @SamMallery

4 thoughts on “How to control Sonos with an Amazon Echo”

  1. I am looking to get a Dot for controlling lights in one room (I will call it Guest Room). The room already has a Play5 (Gen1) so I was thinking that I would connect the Play5 to the Dot… but now that Alexa can play music via Sonos without a wired connection, I am wondering whether I can have the Play5 be the main Alexa Dot speaker and then say “Alexa, play XYZ in Guest Room”…. will Alexa then say “okay” through the Sonos using the wire, then switch over and send music to the speaker wirelessly? My main reason would be that I would want the better audio quality for music that the Sonos would offer than I would get using the little wire connecting the two. I am so close to buying a Dot for this purpose, but just wanted to see if this makes sense.

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