May 26, 2024

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Alexa mutes Sonos speakers… Here’s how you can stop it.

2 min read

Sonos ducking with Amazon Echo

 

You may be frustrated that the volume of your Sonos speaker is lowered when you use your Amazon Echo speakers to ask Alexa for a command.

We have some good news. Sonos fixed the problem a few months ago… but it took a little bit of fiddling to get everything working. Don’t worry – we will tell you how to fix the problem.

This feature, also known as ‘whole home ducking’ or “global ducking”, affects all Sonos speakers other than the Alexa speakers.

Guide: Learn how to use Sonos S2

If you ask Alexa to tell you the weather in your kitchen, the volume of all Sonos speakers, whether they’re in the dining room, living room, bathroom, the office or elsewhere, will be lowered while Amazon’s digital assistance answers the question.

You can still fix the Sonos muting problem, but you will need to use the Alexa App to do it.

Grouping Sonos speakers and Amazon Echo speakers

The Alexa app allows you to associate Echo devices with Sonos Speakers. You can also create groups that use Sonos speakers as the default music player for commands heard on your Echo devices.

You would have thought that grouping your Echos and Sonos in the same room, and having them in a dedicated set up, would have been enough to stop you from ducking into other rooms. You would have been wrong.

All of your Echo devices and Sonos speakers must be attached as a group. Confused? We’re confused too. But here are some things you should know.

Once you pair a Sonos device with an Echo device, such as the kitchen Play 1 with the Echo Dot in the kitchen, Alexa will only know to turn down the volume on the speaker that is grouped with it. All other Sonos devices will continue to play at their current volume.

You’ll get the same ducking effect on all speakers if you issue a command to an Echo device that is not grouped. It’s a big problem if there are Echo devices in a room without Sonos speakers.

Create a group for all Echo devices not already grouped. Call it “Other Echos” or something similar. Create a Sonos group in each room where you have an Alexa-less speaker, or a Sonos group that includes all speakers without Alexa.

Check out our Sonos/Echo grouping guide if you aren’t sure how to do it.

Alexa’s ducking is not the only exception

When you use an Echo device like a Spot, Dot or Show to issue a command, the command will also affect non-Alexa devices. Alexa has been integrated into Sonos and, when you speak to a Sonos One, Move, Beam, or Arc that includes the digital assistant, only this speaker will be ducked.

If you’re watching TV, and the audio is coming from a Playbar or Arc or Playbase, then ducking won’t affect you.

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