Sonos unveils smart speaker with support for multiple voice services

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At launch, music fans in the US, UK, and Germany can ask Amazon Alexa to control Sonos One out of the box, with full voice support for Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, and TuneIn.  Alexa voice control for Spotify on Sonos One will be coming soon after launch. Voice transport controls like pause, skip, volume up and down, and even asking what’s playing will be available for all other music services Sonos supports.  With Sonos One, owners can use voice to control their entire Sonos home sound systems.

In addition to support for music, Sonos One will allow owners to enjoy all the other great things people love about Alexa – they can hear the weather, set timers, listen to news and traffic reports, and even hear the latest sports scores.  And Sonos One with Amazon Alexa is always getting smarter through cloud updates. 

In 2018, the Google Assistant comes to Sonos One, making it the first and only smart speaker to support multiple major voice services.  With the Google Assistant and Sonos, customers will not only have great sound and a beautiful speaker, but a personal assistant that’s ready to help throughout the day: listen to music, ask questions, keep track of the latest news, dim the lights, or hear about what’s next on the to-do list.

“We live in a golden age of streaming entertainment,” said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence.  “But so much of this great content is being pushed through smart speakers that aren’t designed with sound quality in mind.  With our open approach to collaboration, agnostic approach to voice services, the strength of our many innovative partners, and a sound platform designed for the whole home, we’re helping people listen more and listen better.”

Sonos One Details
Sonos One is part of the Sonos home sound system, so it works seamlessly with other Sonos speakers and gives you access to more than 80 music services.  You can use Sonos One as a standalone speaker, wirelessly pair two of them for stereo sound, or use them with PLAYBASE or PLAYBAR to create home theater surround sound.

  • Designed from the ground up to deliver surprisingly rich sound from a speaker of its size.
  • Driven by two Class-D digital amplifiers, one tweeter, and one mid-woofer.
  • Includes a six-mic array and an adaptive noise suppression algorithm to focus on the right person and ensure the voice service understands everything clearly.
  • Voice capture technology with echo cancelation allows the speaker to still hear you over the music.  The volume also intelligently lowers, or “ducks,” when you speak to it so you don’t have to shout over the music.
  • The light on the speaker will be illuminated if the microphones are active.  The light is hardwired to the same circuit that powers the microphone array, so if the light is off, it means the microphone is off.
  • Owners can use Trueplay to easily tune Sonos One to sound great no matter where it’s placed in the home.
  • Sonos One is available in all-white and all-black matte finishes.

Customers outside of the US, UK, and Germany will enjoy everything you’d expect from a Sonos speaker – great sound, multi-room listening, and access to multiple music services – which makes Sonos One future-ready for when Sonos and a voice service launch together in new regions.

Current Sonos Owners Also Get Voice
Millions of existing Sonos owners in the US, UK, and Germany will also be able to control their entire Sonos systems using Amazon Alexa, thanks to a free software update the company made available today.  All that’s needed is any Alexa-enabled device like an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot and the Sonos skill for Alexa. Play a song, skip forward and back through playlists, target one room or an existing group of rooms, and adjust volume – all using your voice. Sonos owners will be able to access all of the innovative natural language voice controls of Alexa and only available on Amazon Music.  Amazon Music customers can ask for music based on decade, genre, tempo, mood, or even lyrics if they can’t remember the name of a song.

Apple AirPlay 2 Coming in 2018
Sonos also announced that it will begin supporting Apple’s AirPlay 2 in 2018, making it possible to play any sound from an iOS device – including YouTube videos and Netflix movies – on Sonos speakers throughout the house.  Owners will also be able to ask any Siri-enabled device to control music on Sonos speakers.

Additional News
Sonos made a number of other announcements at today’s event in New York:

  • Control Sonos on Your Terms: Since 2016, Sonos owners have been able to control Sonos directly from the Spotify app.  And by the end of this year, Sonos owners will be able to control Sonos directly from additional music service apps, including Pandora and Tidal.  Direct control from the Audible, iHeart Radio, and Kuke Music apps will come in early 2018.
  • Sonos App Gets Even Better: Available immediately, Sonos owners will see a refreshed app experience when they update their software.  The app will continue to play a key role alongside voice and partner apps, all working together and complementing each other.  New updates include simpler navigation, prominently placing the controls that matter most through a navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, making it easier to move music around the home and browse and access favorites from any service quickly. 
  • Developer Platform Expansion and Certification Program: In 2018 Sonos will open its developer program and deliver APIs to any developer who wants to build compelling customer experiences on the Sonos Sound Platform.  Partners and developers will have access to the tools, documentation, and support they need to drive faster innovation.  The company also rolled out a certification program.  Partners will have the ability to earn the “Works with Sonos” badge so Sonos owners will have assurance that companies building and innovating on the platform deliver experiences that meet the Sonos high bar for quality.  Expect to see the first certified partners start rolling out in the coming weeks and months, starting with Wrensilva, TunesMap, Lutron, iPort, Wink, Yumoni, and Enno, from China.
  • New Retail Stores to Open in London and Berlin: Based on the success of its flagship retail store in New York, Sonos announced plans to open another store in London before the holidays, followed by a third location in Berlin in 2018. 

Quotes

Giles Martin, Sonos Sound Experience Leader
“There are many speakers out there that you can control with your voice, but most of them are just devices that make sounds, not systems designed for delivering great sound easily in any room of your home,” said Giles Martin, Sound Experience Leader at Sonos. “We essentially blended three separate ecosystems with the ability to start the music playing with voice, add songs to your playlist from the Sonos app, and play music in a different room from your Spotify app – it’s so simple to use but took quite a bit of work to create.”

Tom Taylor, SVP Amazon Alexa:
“Our vision is that Alexa will be available everywhere customers want to interact with her.  Sonos customers want to play incredible-sounding music in their homes, and Alexa will help customers find and enjoy music in an incredibly natural way,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “Moreover, Sonos One with Alexa will bring customers the rich sound they expect from a Sonos speaker alongside far-field voice technology and Alexa’s 25,000-plus skills.”

About Sonos
Founded in 2002, Sonos® creates the leading whole-home sound system. Once a tech startup populated with nerdy engineers and brilliant designers who love music, Sonos has grown into a global music brand dedicated to transforming the experience of listening out loud to music in the home. Its wireless home sound system makes it easy for everyone to listen to the music they love in every room of their home, and appreciate it all with the highest sound quality.

Sonos is now in more than 60 countries, with dozens of streaming music providers, through thousands of retailers, and in millions of homes. With a constant investment in software and services, Sonos is improving the experience customers have with music in the home for years after they buy it. Sonos is changing the way people listen to music – one home at a time.

Sonos, Inc. is a privately held company, headquartered in Santa Barbara, California with additional offices in Boston and Seattle, as well as in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and China.

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SOURCE Sonos

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