Saturday, October 15, 2016

Amazon Echo and Sonos

So, integration between Amazon's Echo and Sonos is on the way, and soon (sometime in 2017) you will be able to control your Sonos system using Echo. Amazon Echo Now Lets You Control Your Sonos Speakers informs us that:

"... That'll change soon, though. Today, Sonos announced two new ways to control its system via third-party wares. First, you’ll soon be able to fire up Spotify, select your Sonos in the devices menu, and control the speakers directly from the app. It’s not the same thing as selecting a Bluetooth source; cueing up your songs will allow the speakers to stream them directly via Wi-Fi. The Spotify Connect features also let you hand off tunes from your headphones and car stereo to your home system when you get there. Those features will be launched as a public beta update to the Spotify app in October, with the official launch coming in 2017

And then there’s Echo. Although there won’t be any Alexa ears built right into Sonos’s speaker—which would be an integration worth some genuine excitement—you can now control them via the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap. You can use voice commands to have Alexa tell you what’s playing, navigate tracks, and pause and play. That trick is not quite available yet, but it’s coming as a free Echo device update in 2017..."

That will be nice, although the "2017" doesn't quite jibe with the "Now" in the article's title! I've seen much online discussion about this topic, but no mention that there already is some ability to control your Sonos using Echo, albeit very rudimentary control

If you have SmartThings  in conjunction with your Echo, it will allow you to start/stop your Sonos. The SmartThings hub discovers your Sonos players, and if SmartThings is enabled in Echo then you can start and stop your Sonos by Echo voice command - "Echo, Office Sonos On" will start and "Echo, Office Sonos Off" will stop the Office Sonos.

Granted you can only start and stop the Sonos playing (I did say very rudimentary) and it will only play whatever you had queued up last; you can not control volume, change playlists, skip a song, set alarms, etc. All that will have to wait for the promised integration...

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