Home Entertainment

Sonos users can now control Spotify with Alexa voice

Now you can make Spotify the default music service when asking Alexa for music on Sonos speakers. We go hands-on.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Sonos has enabled voice control of Spotify via its Alexa-powered devices, including the brilliant Sonos One speaker. 

Now Sonos owners can ask Alexa for artists, songs, albums or playlists and have Spotify serve up the music. The Sonos One originally launched with a choice of either Amazon Music or Pandora as the default music service, but Spotify went missing.

The Alexa app, which is used to set up which music service responds to song requests, now offers a choice of Amazon Music, Pandora or Spotify as the default service. That means you don't have to add the name of the service as part of your voice command to make it work. Select Spotify as the default and you can simply say, "Alexa, play Dead Kennedys," for example, and the speaker will play a playlist of the band's most popular tracks on Spotify.

Spotify control requires downloading the latest Sonos update, but I had issues installing it at first. The app told me it wouldn't allow voice features until it had been upgraded, but according to the App Store it was already up to date.

Sonos support suggests that people similarly unable to upgrade should try the following fix:

  1. Go to the App Store
  2. Press on the Updates icon
  3. Pull down on the Updates screen, which causes it to refresh  
  4. Click on the Sonos update, which should appear afterward

After upgrading successfully with the above procedure, and choosing Spotify as my default music service in the Alexa app, it worked as expected, and just like Spotify control on Amazon's own Echo speakers. I was able to request music via the Sonos One, and it played back from Spotify. At the moment, however, requesting "stations" played back from either Pandora or Amazon.