Sonos embraces voice with voice controlled Sonos One smart speaker

Posted October 05, 2017

Users locked into the Apple ecosystem may not care about Alexa or Google Assistant support, but there were a couple Apple-related announcements made today.

Today at an event in New York City, Sonos unveiled a slew of partnerships with its competitors.

Amazon Echo-the Hands-Free, Always On speaker priced at Rs 9,999 allows you to access Alexa from anywhere in the room with far-field voice control. In 2018, an update will be delivered to the Sonos One that will unlock Google Assistant support, and eventually it will also support Apple's AirPlay.

"We live in a golden age of streaming entertainment", said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence in a statement. Combined with a full set of Sonos speakers, it should sound great, but setting that up also costs a pretty penny.

Sonos also revealed its long-awaited partnership with Amazon Echo, enabling users to control their music via Alexa on existing speakers. Foremost of all improvements, the Sonos One comes with Amazon's Alexa built right in.

Teams from both companies are making sure that the experience is seamless, and that starts with grammar and syntax. It can be used to play music, check news, weather, set alarms and more.

Sonos in recent years has opened itself up to third party apps and developers, and integrating voice assistants is the next step.

Existing Sonos owners can also immediately get Alexa voice control after downloading a new software update-that is, if they already have an Alexa-enabled device like Echo or Echo Dot.

Its small size makes it good for less spacious homes, while adding the more powerful Play:3, Play:5 and Playbase speakers provides a more rounded sounded music or movie experience.

The Echo series of smart speakers were launched in the USA last week.

Sonos' shift is a big one, but by opening the gates to outside hardware firms, the company appears to also be giving up a slice of the obsessive perfectionism that it's known for. Sonos explained that the speaker will be capable of supporting multiple voice services, playing music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other "sonic content" from more than 80 streaming services. These are poised to increase beyond the 80 now on the menu as the company will launch a platform that allows any service to get onto Sonos; the company will also launch a certification badge.

The Sonos One goes on sale globally on the 24th of October, 2017, with pre-orders open from the 4th of October on the Sonos website. Then all that's needed is to connect your Sonos to an Alexa-supported device such as the Echo or Echo Dot and install the Sonos skill on them.

Today in New York, Sonos spoke to us in the audience about a handsome replacement to the Play: 1 but also provided an update for those who've invested into the Sonos ecosystem already.