New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on August 16, 2021) follows:

Sonos speakers are equipped with virtual assistant support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. However, things don’t always work as expected when it comes to virtual assistants and smart speakers.

To recall, the Alexa controls were not working with Sonos speakers which caused a lot of inconvenience to users.

Sonos Roam

Now, another issue has been troubling Sonos users, albeit with Google Assistant this time around.

As per multiple reports, Google Assistant is not playing BBC Radio 4 from TuneIn on Sonos speakers but instead plays BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Basically, when the “OK Google, play BBC Radio 4” Google Assistant command is given, Sonos speakers start playing BBC Radio 4 Extra instead.

I used to be able to start radio 4 with the voice command “OK Google, play BBC Radio 4” now this just leads to Sonos playing Radio 4 Extra. Has any one else seen this to know how to fix it?


The issue first came to light in June 2021 and was also acknowledged by a Sonos Staff Member after reproducing it.

To make sure, I just tested it myself and can reproduce this issue. I’ve flagged it again with our engineers, but we don’t have anything else to share at this time. The workaround at the moment is to start playback through the Sonos app.

We appreciate your patience on this, and I’ll update here again if we have anything to share.

This issue has been inconveniencing Sonos users for over two months now and no resolution has arrived so far.

Users have even contacted TuneIn and BBC in order to get this issue resolved and TuneIn has also allegedly shared their reports with their development team.


On the other hand, affected users have not received any response from BBC on the matter which is further adding to their dilemma.

While the issue appears to be with Sonos speakers and may not be at Google’s end, nothing is confirmed until Sonos and TuneIn shed more light on the matter.

Hopefully, Sonos and TuneIn look into this problem and provide a proper fix to affected users so that they can use Google Assistant for playing BBC Radio 4.

Google Assistant

That said, we will report back with more details as and when new information becomes available so stay tuned.

Update 1 (October 12)

04:50 pm (IST): Some users are reporting an issue similar to the above-mentioned where they are unable to play audio from BBC radio station. But this time, it is affecting Google Nest users.

As per reports (1, 2, 3), when users ask Google Assistant for something like ‘Hey Google play BBC radio 3’ it says that it is playing but then no audio comes out.

@BBCRadio3 & @googlenest for some reason, since 4 Oct, none of the BBC radio stations stream on Google Nest devices. Just silence. Per Nest’s support centre, it’s a BBC server issue. Other users have reported the issue starting the same day. Is there fix in the works? Thanks. (Source)

I am having exactly the same issue. RT @Burryshmee: @madebygoogle My Nest Audio is refusing to play any BBC radio station in UK. All other radio works just fine. I say “hey Google, play BBC radio 3”, it says it is playing but no sound comes out. Please help (Source)

Meanwhile, Google support says they’ve seen similar reports and will look deeper into it.


NOTE: There are more such stories in our Smart Speakers and Virtual Assistant sections so be sure to go through them.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Deveshwar Bhardwaj
901 Posts

I'm a techy who is particularly fond of Android smartphones. A writer who usually finds himself on the other side of the spectrum. An artist who likes to sing and play the guitar. Also a photographer when in the mood.

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