amazon logo(l), Man looking frustrated(c), Black Mirror promo image(r)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock @violet.the.ausshole/Tiktok Netflix (Licensed)

‘This is some Black Mirror nonsense’: Smart home thermostat glitches, plays Sublime (updated)

'The sound quality is better than expected.'


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Oct 31, 2023   Updated on Nov 2, 2023, 3:22 pm CDT

If you have a smart home device, you’ve likely had to do some troubleshooting. But sometimes, you ain’t got no crystal ball.

TikToker @violet.the.ausshole posted her own struggle with a new Ecobee thermostat, but it didn’t have anything to do with the temperature.

In the video, which by Tuesday had more than 730,000 views, the thermostat is which is set to 69 degrees and has started playing Sublime’s “Santeria” for no apparent reason.

@violet.the.ausshole This is some black mirror nonsense #amazon #primedaydeals #amazonecho #amazonechodot #technologyfails #firstworldproblems #millenialsbelike #millenialsoftiktok #genzvsmillenial #failsfunny #techfail #hauntedhouse #blackmirrorvibe #sublime ♬ original sound – lizmarieisme

Commenters made jokes about the 69-degree temperature, of course, but more people claimed they owned the same thermostat—and had the same melodic surprise.

“I accidentally did this & that’s how we figured out our thermostat could play music,” one person wrote.

“The sound quality is better than expected (but I never expected?),” said another.

One commenter compared the device to Black Mirror “nonsense,” referring to the dystopian Netflix show that portrays how futuristic technology can go terribly wrong.

While personal assistants like Alexa have been documented suddenly playing songs or streaming music, you can typically unplug those devices as a last-ditch fix. But with thermostats, that’s not realistic.

A post last year on an Ecobee subreddit claimed the thermostat started playing Spotify at 1am even though the poster doesn’t have a Spotify account. Elsewhere, people claimed their thermostats started playing audio from Apple TV.

In a post on an Amazon Echo subreddit, a person claimed one fix for this issue is “Alexa app > Devices > select the room it’s in > scroll down to Speakers to select which play music.”

Ecobee is a Canadian company that specializes in smart home devices like thermostats, doorbell cameras, and security systems. The thermostat has Alexa integrated for voice commands, like changing the temperature, which users have also expressed frustration with.

Using Ecobee’s Alexa to play music has also been documented in other TikToks.

@hawk1s It can play MUSIC and heat my house?! #ecobee #homeimprovement #68degrees ♬ original sound – Ky

Ecobee’s support page includes entries for controlling Spotify and creating “rooms” where users want music to play—but not specifically how to stop random music from playing.

The Daily Dot reached out to @violet.the.ausshole and Ecobee for comment.

Update 3:21pm CT, Nov. 2: In an emailed statement to the Daily Dot, Ecobee said that “this is not a common issue.”

“It can be resolved with Alexa voice commands or controlling the music on Alexa or music apps like Spotify that may be connected on the same network via Alexa, Bluetooth, or AirPlay,” the spokesperson said.

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*First Published: Oct 31, 2023, 4:26 pm CDT