Sonos has been teasing its upcoming Alexa support again. The latest is that the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Tap will give Sonos owners Alexa voice control of their speakers by the end of 2017 and that a Sonos speaker with built-in Alexa is coming in the future.
With the software update for use with Amazon's smart speakers, you will be able to ask your Echo to play music as you normally do without any extra key phrases involved.
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In the latest demos at Sonos HQ in Boston, though, users still have to say "on Sonos" after the name of the track - Sonos is working with Amazon to get rid of this before the full rollout, following an invite-only beta test period.
Other controls include pause, skip, control volume and more. Music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and others - basically what's currently available on Echo already - are all radio stations you can listen to.
According to Patrick Spence, the new CEO of Sonos, Alexa is just the beginning for its plans in the voice control space. Spence says the speaker company will look at using multiple voice assistants in the future, just as it offers users a choice of various music streaming services. "I'd love to be supporting not only Echo and Dot, but also Google Home," he said.
As we mentioned above, it gets more interesting. Back in January, Spence told Variety that Sonos is planning a speaker with its own microphones and built-in Alexa. "I'm very confident that we can deliver multiple voice systems to our customers," he said.
Just this week, Sonos was on the list of partners for the Alexa-powered Brilliant smart home hub which is also looking to explore Google Assistant support and rival voice assistants too.
It's all part of Sonos' latest phase of opening up its multiroom music service. Since last October, Spotify Connect has been available as a free Sonos update. Previously, only the Sonos app could be used with the sound system but now Spotify users - specifically Premium payers - can choose the music streaming app as well.
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