Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Sonos gets smarter with Spotify Connect and Amazon Alexa integration

Sonos has been the king of connected speakers for years now, but its devices are about to get a little more useful. At an event in New York City on Tuesday, the speaker company announced two key new features: full Spotify support and full integration with Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot speakers. Both features are coming to existing Sonos owners for free.

In the coming months, Spotify users will finally be able to connect and play music on their Sonos speakers directly from the standard Spotify app, and every Sonos speaker will basically become an Amazon Echo, complete with the Alexa voice assistant.

Spotify support plugs Sonos’ major hole

For years, Sonos has had the best system for stringing together and connecting multiple speakers in different rooms, and playing unique music in each. Instead of relying on Bluetooth, Sonos speakers leverage your home Wi-Fi to form a network that you can control from the Sonos app for iOS, Android, Mac, or PC.

But that app was also its weakness. Though it supports 80-plus music and audio services inside it, the Sonos app just can’t keep up with all the features and usability improvements that each music service makes inside its own app. For instance, on Tuesday morning we tried to listen to the new Release Radar playlist on Spotify using the Sonos app and it failed. You can play music from services like Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, and dozens of other services, but you may often wish you could just use the apps for them, like Google allows on its more open Chromecast network.


The new ability to play Spotify directly from the app using “Spotify Connect” is a great step forward, and we hope more apps will be directly compatible in the future. Sonos says that 50 percent of its speaker owners already use Spotify.

Spotify Connect is coming to Sonos beta users (owners, you can sign up in your Sonos app settings) in October.

Alexa support adds key features

Adding Alexa is another bold move for Sonos, and removes one of the big reasons Sonos owners may have a some jealousy when they see a friend using an Amazon Echo. Beginning in 2017, all Sonos owners will be able to use the Alexa Voice Service on an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot device to talk to their Sonos speaker network. You can ask Alexa to play a song, skip a song, adjust the volume, find a genre, and do other small tasks, like finding out the weather or starting a timer for your casserole in the oven.

Connecting to Alexa also gives Sonos owners the possibility of connecting to other devices that are compatible with Amazon’s service.

Sonos owners who are a part of the beta program will be able to try out Alexa “by the end of the year.”

Promising step forward

We haven’t yet tried out the new Spotify or Alexa services with Sonos, and don’t have a complete list of which older Sonos speakers will be compatible with these new features, but it all sounds like a promising step forward. By continuing to support existing users and upgrade older Sonos speakers with new functionality, the speaker brand is showing dedication that other closed streaming competitors haven’t.

Hopefully, Sonos will continue to move in the direction of openness and connectivity. As soon as we’re able, we will test the new functionality. The services were not on display at the NYC event.

Editors' Recommendations

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
Amazon Echo vs. Apple HomePod: Which has better speakers?
The Amazon Echo 4 on a counter.

If you haven't jumped into the smart speaker pool, it’s probably because it’s a tough decision. Choosing a smart speaker isn't just about picking a model with the best sound quality or the color that matches your living room. Smart speakers also have major smart home control properties and can play nicely with some music services, streaming TV channels (if you opt for a speaker with a screen), or home security systems.

A smart speaker opens the door for expanding your smart home portal. Since most of us won’t buy a smart home speaker to work with a Ring Video Doorbell and another to manage Apple’s HomeKit via your iPhone, you'll want to choose carefully. For a lot of buyers, that comes down to a choice between Apple HomePod or Amazon Echo (and if you're short on space it might just be HomePod Mini versus Echo Dot).

Read more
How to get Alexa to answer a Ring Video Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell Pro with two-way talk

A Ring Video Doorbell is ultra-convenient; it lets you receive packages or respond to deliveries from anywhere in your home -- or anywhere in the world using the built-in camera and the Ring app.

You may also know that you can have Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker devices alert you to a doorbell ring -- and even show you who’s there. But if you want to take this a step further, you can actually have Alexa respond for you if you’re too busy to run to the door from your home office, or if you’re on the phone and can’t respond to the Ring Doorbell notification. Here’s how to get Alexa to answer your Ring Video Doorbell.
Smart Responses include Alexa Greetings
Smart Responses are a feature of Ring Video Doorbells that let you respond in the right way to whoever’s at the door, when you can’t do it yourself. Quick Replies, for example, let you allow visitors to leave a video message on the Ring Video Doorbell that you can view later. Alexa Greetings are a relatively new Smart Response feature where Alexa greets your visitor, takes a message, or provides instructions on what to do with a package.
What to know about Alexa Greetings on Ring Video Doorbell
Alexa Greetings is optional on Ring Video Doorbells and for now is only available to customers in the U.S. with compatible versions of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. You also must be opted in to Ring’s Protect home security and cloud recording plan. They’ve been rolling it out in stages starting earlier on 2021 so it may or may not be available in your area.

Read more
Most common Amazon Echo and Alexa problems and how to solve them
The 2021 Amazon Echo Show 8 in an angled view.

Those of us with smart home equipment can attest to the many glories of web-connected hardware. One of the most popular Internet-of-Things (IoT) families is Amazon's Echo lineup. Comprising smart speakers, displays, and a host of other equipment, Echo products can act as smart hubs for the rest of your home's IoT gear, allowing you to control thermostats, lighting, and streaming devices with voice commands and the Alexa app.

Like all things tech (and especially all things web-connected), you're wont to run into bugs and glitches now and then, even with the best of hardware. The Echo lineup is certainly no exception.

Read more