HomeHome AutomationAlexa Routines: Setting volume on all Echos at once

Alexa Routines: Setting volume on all Echos at once

Alexa app makes this incredibly tiresome

Have you ever tried to set the volume setting on all Amazon Echo devices at once? It’s not a big issue if you only have one Alexa enabled speaker. I have five, and to lower the volume at night, then restore defaults in the morning, I would need 10 individual Routines as volume settings cannot be applied to all devices at once. If you add DND (Do Not Disturb) or Monday to Friday schedules to focus while you work from home, you might be looking into 20+ Routines just to control the volume settings across your devices.

Imposed Routine limits

Routines come with some silly design choices. You can control DND settings for all devices at once, but not volume. The volume can be set per group or per device. Unfortunately, each Amazon Echo device can be assigned to a single group. I tried to group all my speakers in “All Alexas” group to control it, but my smart speakers are already in groups named after the rooms they are in and I cannot create another one for my speakers.

In case you wonder why I don’t want to take the shortcut and apply DND settings instead of volume changes, DND disables notifications & Drop In calls – something we use often at home. Plus there is nothing more annoying asking Alexa a random query at 3 am just to get the response blasting back at the “day volume”.

Edit 12/01/2022

In light of the latest court ruling against Google infringing on Sonos patent, the ability to control volume over a group is being suspended on Google Home devices. It’s possible that Alexa would face a similar future as well.

Should it happen, this NodeRED flow will combat that as well, allowing you to send multiple commands at the same time (which is not going to go away). I feel extra cheeky now, especially, the first time I shared this, I was told I’m re-creating already existing functionality locally. It turns out that you can’t take these functions for granted and I will end this paragraph with the proverbial:

I told you so

AlexaRemote2 to the rescue

This is how easy it is to manage all 5 Echo devices. I created a custom polices for all my Echo devices in less than 2 minutes. Currently, these are set to:

  • Volume 4 on all devices at 7 am
  • Volume 1 on all devices at 11 pm
  • DND on all devices at 1 am
  • DND off all devices at 7 am
  • 9-5 Mon-Fri quiet times on Echo in the study
  • 9-5 Mon-Fri less quiet times on Echo in the office
  • voice triggers for DND and quiet times for all devices

Recreating these in Alexa app would take you ages if you have several devices. In addition to that, I could trigger the Echo in the study with a calendar entry instead of the set time. This way, Alexa would lower the volume only for specific calendar events.

In addition to this, I can set voice triggers to set Volume and DND settings on all devices. I can simply say “Alexa, silence all echoes” to set the volume on all devices to 1, or “Alexa, don’t disturb me” to apply DND across the rooms.

To make it happen, create a speaker group for all Echo devices. Unlike the regular groups, speaker groups let you include Amazon Echo speakers in multiple groups. AlexaRemote2 can take advantage of this list, to apply desired settings for you at once. Since AlexaRemote2 piggybacks on your Alexa account to make changes, I don’t understand why the app doesn’t give you these options.

Note: DND settings don’t work this way, but I suspect this is a bug. For now, you can use the Alexa app or trigger nodes for the individual devices. I have reported this on GitHub, Let’s hope this will get resolved quickly for the sake of the pretty looking flow.

If you want more information on how AlexaRemote2 works, I have a full guide here. Custom voice triggers are possible thanks to AlexaRemote2 as well – just take a look at this article to understand how it works in detail.

Sample NodeRED flow
[{"id":"132b0b01.4b64b5","type":"tab","label":"Alexa handler","disabled":false,"info":""},{"id":"3066dfd4.3b019","type":"group","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","name":"Voice Triggers","style":{"stroke":"#999999","fill":"none","label":true,"label-position":"nw","color":"#a4a4a4"},"nodes":["143008dd.0d5a47","95117d62.fa5f","901a36f4.848b88","3d563bc1.a86b34"],"x":334,"y":379,"w":872,"h":142},{"id":"474a423e.58f42c","type":"group","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","name":"Volume","style":{"stroke":"#0070c0","fill":"#3f93cf","label":true,"label-position":"n","color":"#000000"},"nodes":["f29a3230.1819e","7ba46fba.d64dd","ed98430.bc28ac","fcf67ca.e28508"],"x":74,"y":79,"w":372,"h":142},{"id":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","type":"group","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","name":"DND Control","style":{"stroke":"#ff0000","fill":"#ffdf7f","label":true,"label-position":"n","color":"#000000"},"nodes":["3b5adb4c.807494","a7392c63.dfb42","e9c8830d.dbb0d","b61e663f.8100f8","49c2082c.dfc3a8","d129665e.19c5f8","53667797.c744c8","eea5813c.5b3b9","b9f99fc5.c2985","6ab20a4.e7808f4","8be12a69.dbb418","1945a529.068d1b","8c9bd58d.eb7248"],"x":434,"y":1159,"w":512,"h":462},{"id":"e0363d0a.007ab","type":"group","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","name":"Echo: OFFICE","style":{"stroke":"#0070c0","fill":"#e3f3d3","label":true,"label-position":"n","color":"#a4a4a4"},"nodes":["88a5e286.41ed5","be607fae.28c81","bb02cd1b.d3942","6af97863.dcf6e8"],"x":514,"y":799,"w":432,"h":122},{"id":"fe2145e3.98e328","type":"group","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","name":"Echo: STUDY","style":{"stroke":"#0070c0","fill":"#dbcbe7","label":true,"label-position":"n","color":"#a4a4a4"},"nodes":["9b399c4.52c7b6","3888ff15.cca2a","c267fd7f.e187a","19869bdd.816a54"],"x":54,"y":799,"w":432,"h":122},{"id":"f29a3230.1819e","type":"alexa-remote-routine","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"474a423e.58f42c","name":"ALL Volume 4","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","routineNode":{"type":"volume","payload":{"value":{"type":"num","value":"40"},"mode":{"type":"str","value":"set"},"devices":["b73399d7a2a94f859a7d1cd269ac4338"]}},"x":340,"y":120,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"7ba46fba.d64dd","type":"inject","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"474a423e.58f42c","name":"7am","props":[{"p":"payload"}],"repeat":"","crontab":"00 07 * * *","once":false,"onceDelay":0.1,"topic":"","payload":"","payloadType":"date","x":170,"y":120,"wires":[["f29a3230.1819e"]]},{"id":"ed98430.bc28ac","type":"alexa-remote-routine","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"474a423e.58f42c","name":"ALL Volume 1","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","routineNode":{"type":"volume","payload":{"value":{"type":"num","value":"10"},"mode":{"type":"str","value":"set"},"devices":["b73399d7a2a94f859a7d1cd269ac4338"]}},"x":340,"y":180,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"fcf67ca.e28508","type":"inject","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"474a423e.58f42c","name":"11pm","props":[{"p":"payload"}],"repeat":"","crontab":"00 23 * * *","once":false,"onceDelay":0.1,"topic":"","payload":"","payloadType":"date","x":170,"y":180,"wires":[["ed98430.bc28ac"]]},{"id":"3b5adb4c.807494","type":"inject","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"1am","props":[{"p":"payload"}],"repeat":"","crontab":"00 01 * * *","once":false,"onceDelay":0.1,"topic":"","payload":"","payloadType":"date","x":530,"y":1280,"wires":[["e9c8830d.dbb0d","b61e663f.8100f8","49c2082c.dfc3a8","d129665e.19c5f8","53667797.c744c8"]]},{"id":"a7392c63.dfb42","type":"inject","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"7am","props":[{"p":"payload"}],"repeat":"","crontab":"00 07 * * *","once":false,"onceDelay":0.1,"topic":"","payload":"","payloadType":"str","x":530,"y":1500,"wires":[["eea5813c.5b3b9","b9f99fc5.c2985","6ab20a4.e7808f4","8be12a69.dbb418","1945a529.068d1b"]]},{"id":"eeec6934.235828","type":"comment","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","name":"Group Policies","info":"","x":140,"y":40,"wires":[]},{"id":"143008dd.0d5a47","type":"alexa-remote-event","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"3066dfd4.3b019","name":"Listen to Routines","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","event":"ws-device-activity","x":450,"y":440,"wires":[["95117d62.fa5f"]]},{"id":"95117d62.fa5f","type":"switch","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"3066dfd4.3b019","name":"Routine Name","property":"payload.description.summary","propertyType":"msg","rules":[{"t":"regex","v":"silence all echoes","vt":"str","case":true},{"t":"regex","v":"don't disturb me","vt":"str","case":true}],"checkall":"true","repair":false,"outputs":2,"x":680,"y":440,"wires":[["901a36f4.848b88"],["3d563bc1.a86b34"]]},{"id":"901a36f4.848b88","type":"alexa-remote-routine","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"3066dfd4.3b019","name":"All Volume 1","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","routineNode":{"type":"volume","payload":{"value":{"type":"num","value":"10"},"mode":{"type":"str","value":"set"},"devices":["b73399d7a2a94f859a7d1cd269ac4338"]}},"x":1110,"y":420,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"88a5e286.41ed5","type":"inject","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"e0363d0a.007ab","name":"9am Mon-Fri","props":[{"p":"payload"}],"repeat":"","crontab":"00 09 * * 1,2,3,4,5","once":false,"onceDelay":0.1,"payload":"","payloadType":"date","x":640,"y":840,"wires":[["bb02cd1b.d3942"]]},{"id":"be607fae.28c81","type":"inject","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"e0363d0a.007ab","name":"5pm Mon-Fri","props":[{"p":"payload"}],"repeat":"","crontab":"00 17 * * 1,2,3,4,5","once":false,"onceDelay":0.1,"payload":"","payloadType":"date","x":640,"y":880,"wires":[["6af97863.dcf6e8"]]},{"id":"bb02cd1b.d3942","type":"alexa-remote-routine","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"e0363d0a.007ab","name":"Office Volume 2","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","routineNode":{"type":"volume","payload":{"value":{"type":"num","value":"20"},"mode":{"type":"str","value":"set"},"devices":["G0916D10012701AR"]}},"x":840,"y":840,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"9b399c4.52c7b6","type":"inject","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"fe2145e3.98e328","name":"9am Mon-Fri","props":[{"p":"payload"}],"repeat":"","crontab":"00 09 * * 1,2,3,4,5","once":false,"onceDelay":0.1,"topic":"","payload":"","payloadType":"date","x":180,"y":840,"wires":[["c267fd7f.e187a"]]},{"id":"3888ff15.cca2a","type":"inject","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"fe2145e3.98e328","name":"5pm Mon-Fri","props":[{"p":"payload"}],"repeat":"","crontab":"00 17 * * 1,2,3,4,5","once":false,"onceDelay":0.1,"payload":"","payloadType":"date","x":180,"y":880,"wires":[["19869bdd.816a54"]]},{"id":"c267fd7f.e187a","type":"alexa-remote-routine","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"fe2145e3.98e328","name":"Study Volume 1","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","routineNode":{"type":"volume","payload":{"value":{"type":"num","value":"10"},"mode":{"type":"str","value":"set"},"devices":["G091B00401920QCH"]}},"x":380,"y":840,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"770c3b3d.64f334","type":"comment","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","name":"Individual Policies","info":"","x":130,"y":760,"wires":[]},{"id":"19869bdd.816a54","type":"alexa-remote-routine","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"fe2145e3.98e328","name":"Study Volume 3","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","routineNode":{"type":"volume","payload":{"value":{"type":"num","value":"30"},"mode":{"type":"str","value":"set"},"devices":["G091B00401920QCH"]}},"x":380,"y":880,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"6af97863.dcf6e8","type":"alexa-remote-routine","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"e0363d0a.007ab","name":"Office Volume 3","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","routineNode":{"type":"volume","payload":{"value":{"type":"num","value":"30"},"mode":{"type":"str","value":"set"},"devices":["G0916D10012701AR"]}},"x":840,"y":880,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"e9c8830d.dbb0d","type":"alexa-remote-echo","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"DND on Bedroom","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","config":{"option":"doNotDisturb","value":{"device":{"type":"str","value":"G090VC0783930SDH"},"enabled":{"type":"bool","value":"true"}}},"x":830,"y":1200,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"b61e663f.8100f8","type":"alexa-remote-echo","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"DND on Office","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","config":{"option":"doNotDisturb","value":{"device":{"type":"str","value":"G0916D10012701AR"},"enabled":{"type":"bool","value":"true"}}},"x":820,"y":1240,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"49c2082c.dfc3a8","type":"alexa-remote-echo","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"DND on Kitchen","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","config":{"option":"doNotDisturb","value":{"device":{"type":"str","value":"G090L91072050H78"},"enabled":{"type":"bool","value":"true"}}},"x":820,"y":1280,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"d129665e.19c5f8","type":"alexa-remote-echo","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"DND on Study","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","config":{"option":"doNotDisturb","value":{"device":{"type":"str","value":"G091B00401920QCH"},"enabled":{"type":"bool","value":"true"}}},"x":820,"y":1320,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"53667797.c744c8","type":"alexa-remote-echo","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"DND on Livingroom","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","config":{"option":"doNotDisturb","value":{"device":{"type":"str","value":"G0911M07940327DJ"},"enabled":{"type":"bool","value":"true"}}},"x":830,"y":1360,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"eea5813c.5b3b9","type":"alexa-remote-echo","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"DND on Bedroom","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","config":{"option":"doNotDisturb","value":{"device":{"type":"str","value":"G090VC0783930SDH"},"enabled":{"type":"bool","value":"false"}}},"x":830,"y":1420,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"b9f99fc5.c2985","type":"alexa-remote-echo","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"DND on Office","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","config":{"option":"doNotDisturb","value":{"device":{"type":"str","value":"G0916D10012701AR"},"enabled":{"type":"bool","value":"false"}}},"x":820,"y":1460,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"6ab20a4.e7808f4","type":"alexa-remote-echo","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"DND on Kitchen","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","config":{"option":"doNotDisturb","value":{"device":{"type":"str","value":"G090L91072050H78"},"enabled":{"type":"bool","value":"false"}}},"x":820,"y":1500,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"8be12a69.dbb418","type":"alexa-remote-echo","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"DND on Study","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","config":{"option":"doNotDisturb","value":{"device":{"type":"str","value":"G091B00401920QCH"},"enabled":{"type":"bool","value":"false"}}},"x":820,"y":1540,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"1945a529.068d1b","type":"alexa-remote-echo","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"DND on Livingroom","account":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","config":{"option":"doNotDisturb","value":{"device":{"type":"str","value":"G0911M07940327DJ"},"enabled":{"type":"bool","value":"false"}}},"x":830,"y":1580,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"3d563bc1.a86b34","type":"link out","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"3066dfd4.3b019","name":"DND on","links":["8c9bd58d.eb7248"],"x":1055,"y":480,"wires":[]},{"id":"8c9bd58d.eb7248","type":"link in","z":"132b0b01.4b64b5","g":"b2f634d0.0f57c8","name":"","links":["3d563bc1.a86b34"],"x":495,"y":1200,"wires":[["e9c8830d.dbb0d","b61e663f.8100f8","49c2082c.dfc3a8","d129665e.19c5f8","53667797.c744c8"]]},{"id":"9d26c7ce.162eb8","type":"alexa-remote-account","z":"","name":"","authMethod":"proxy","proxyOwnIp":"192.168.1.107","proxyPort":"3456","cookieFile":"","refreshInterval":"3","alexaServiceHost":"alexa.amazon.co.uk","amazonPage":"amazon.co.uk","acceptLanguage":"en-UK","userAgent":"","useWsMqtt":"on","autoInit":"off"}]

Buy NEW Echo Dot 4th Gen

Buy it using these links to support NotEnoughTech.

Final thoughts

I realise, that I spent more time writing this article than it would have taken me to create all routines in the Alexa app, but moving forward, managing all this and introducing more sophisticated behaviour will be quicker! Plus, now you can take the advantage of this yourself too! If you use Alexa, you should also take a look at Alexa in NodeRED for device control and Alexa Notifications. Let me know what other policies you would like to see. Use this Reddit thread to leave me a comment.

PayPal

Nothing says "Thank you" better than keeping my coffee jar topped up!

Patreon

Support me on Patreon and get an early access to tutorial files and videos.

image/svg+xml

Bitcoin (BTC)

Use this QR to keep me caffeinated with BTC: 1FwFqqh71mUTENcRe9q4s9AWFgoc8BA9ZU

Smart Ideas with

Automate your space in with these ecosystems and integrate it with other automation services

client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image

Learn NodeRED

NodeRED for beginners: 1. Why do you need a NodeRED server?

0
To server or not to server? That's a very silly question!

Best Automation Projects

Tuya SDK for beginners: Intro to Tuya Cloud API

0
Working with Tuya Cloud API. A guide to Cloud automation for beginners, get started with REST!

NEST your old thermostat under $5

0
Nest-ing up your older thermostat under $5

DIY Smart Washing Machine – for about 15 bucks!

0
Learn how to add washing machine notifications to your Google Home on the cheap

Nora – Google Assistant in NodeRED

0
Integrate Google Assistant with NodeRED thanks to Nora - NodeRED home automation

Things they don’t tell you about IKEA Trådfri

0
There are things you should know about IKEA Tradfri before you make your purchase

Smart Home

SwitchBot Lock: Smart security in seconds

0
Smart lock that takes 15 min to install and 2 years to enjoy on a single charge: SwitchBot Lock

“Secret” Zigbee2MQTT Dashboard

Zigbee2MQTT Dashboard
0
I can't believe no one told me about this sooner. After 2 years, I'm making sure you are not left in the same as me, cave - use Zigbee2MQTT Dashboard.

Smart Socket – IFREEQ [Tuya Expo edition]

0
Thanks to Tuya Expo, you can browse 100s of products that won't break your home automation budget - let's start with IFREEQ Smart Plug

Never mind Evvr Smart Switch, look at that panel!

0
Evvr Smart Switch brings 2 part module to enable no-neutral ZigBee and Z-Wave connections to your wall switches turning them smart without compromise!

Aqara TRV will support Matter!

0
Aqara just released Aqara TRV - their ZigBee 3.0 thermostatic radiator valve to control your heating - with... Matter support