Hack of the Week: Alexa Dot + Sonos

A few weeks ago, while giving our daughter Noa a bath, we asked Alexa to play lullabies and she delivered beautifully. Our Alexa sits in the laundry room, which happens to also be the sink we use right now for bath time. After that experience, my wife Emily commented that it would be nice if we could play playlists on our Sonos home system using voice control without needing to pull out and tinker with our phones. I got to thinking and figured out a design for a solution that seemed like it may work. We ordered an Alexa Dot and a 3.5mm male to male cable and connected it to our Sonos Play5, which provides sound to the kids room. This didn't work automagically. I went inside the Sonos app and selected Line-In > Play Now. This got the music playing. Then, in the Sonos App, I selected Settings > Room Settings > Kids Room > Line In and went on to adjust the Source Level and Autoplay Volume to 5 and turned on Autoplay. With these settings in place, the Echo Dot responds perfectly to our voice commands and will play any playlist we have saved in our Spotify or Soundcloud accounts. Playing right now in honor of this halloween weekend is All Hallows' Eve Beats. With this hack, we've turned Sonos into a voice controlled device, adding convenience and solving for an unfortunate lack of collaboration between these two otherwise wonderful companies. This makes me happy and I look forward to playing with it over the weekend and many days to come.

By Josh Guttman

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