What’s better than one virtual assistant? Two!
The fun of having a Sonos speaker that works with both Alexa and Siri, thanks to AirPlay 2, is that you can ask one virtual assistant to play something and the other to turn it off. Now, I’m not going to say that either of them do a great job, but each one has its pluses and minuses. Here’s how they work.
- Set up Alexa for Sonos
- Set up Siri for Sonos
- Ask for assistance
Which Sonos speakers can Siri play music through?
Only four speakers in the Sonos line natively support AirPlay 2, which is required to set up Sonos to use with Siri.
- Sonos One
- Sonos Beam
- Sonos Playbase
- Second generation Play:5
That being said, if you have one of the above-listed speakers, you can connect it to one of your non-AirPlay 2 supported speakers and it will play music alongside it with the AirPlay 2 one sending the instructions to the others.
Set up Alexa for Sonos
To use Alexa on Sonos, you’ll need the Amazon Alexa app. You don’t need an Echo or any other Alexa-supported speaker. You just need the app.
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Once you’ve signed in to the Alexa app, switch over to your Sonos Controller app and follow the steps below.
- Tap the More tab.
- Tap Voice Services.
Tap Amazon Alexa.
- Tap View Alexa setup.
Tap Add to Sonos.
You’ll be prompted to connect your Amazon account automatically. Once it’s connected, you’ll have access to any music services that you subscribe to in the Alexa app, like Spotify or Pandora. These are music services you can use with Sonos without Alexa, but if you want Alexa to play music, you’ll be asked to connect them through the Alexa app.
Tap Verify music services on Alexa. You’ll be redirected to the Amazon Alexa app where you can verify which music services you have connected to Alexa.
Set up Siri for Sonos
To use Siri on Sonos, you’ll need to set up your Sonos speaker with AirPlay 2 and add it to the Home app. If you haven’t done that yet, here’s our guide.
How to set up your Sonos speaker with AirPlay 2
Ask for assistance
Here’s where the fun begins! It’s time to talk to your personal assistants like you’re the boss.
Siri on a Sonos is very limited. It’s basically able to playback audio and little else. You can ask Siri to play music from Apple Music, podcasts and audiobooks from your iTunes account, and the news. Any personal requests, weather forecasts, and timer triggers are done using Alexas instead.
Here are some things I’ve learned from testing out requests for both Alexa and Siri.
You can’t ask Siri to start playing music from any of your third-party connected services (like Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, etc.). You will, instead, be directed to the mentioned app to play it from your iPhone.
You can’t ask Alexa to start playing music on Apple Music. If you ask Alexa to specifically play music on Apple Music, nothing happens. If you ask Alexa to play a particular song, artist, or album, it will play it through the default music service you have set in the Alexa app.
You can ask Siri to pause, play, skip ahead, and rewind music that you started through Alexa (like Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, etc.).
You can ask Alexa to pause, play, skip ahead, and rewind music that you started with Siri from Apple Music.
If you have a HomePod, it will automatically pick up your music request instead of your phone.
You can combine your Sonos speakers and your HomePod speakers together for surround sound.
How to group HomePod and Sonos Speakers for multi-speaker surround sound
There doesn’t seem to be a way to ask Alexa to play Spotify or any other third-party music service to both your Sonos speaker and a HomePod.
You can ask Siri to play Apple Music on a HomePod and a Sonos speaker if you identify the room/speaker you want to play (after you’ve set up multi-speaker surround sound).
Do you have any questions about how Alexa and Siri work with supported Sonos speakers? Put them in the comments and I’ll help you out.
- Sonos buyers guide
- Sonos for iPhone and ipad
- Sonos news
- Sonos discussion forum
- Reviews: Home theater, Play:5
- More: Sonos One; Play:1, Play:3, Play:5, Connect, Connect:Amp, Playbar, Sub
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