Sonos has overhauled its speaker line-up with Amazon Alexa support, as voice control becomes a key focus of its smart speaker line-up.
This overhaul includes one new smart speaker – a new Sonos One – which features Alexa built in. The Sonos One boasts a six microphone array to enable users to control their Sonos system. Just like the existing Amazon Echo, sound levels will dip on hearing the "Alexa" command, enabling you to bark commands to the on-board assistant.
And Sonos isn't just backing Alexa. The company confirmed that Google Assistant will be added to the Sonos One in 2018 – although exact timings weren't forthcoming.
The new Sonos One will be available from 24 October costing $199. That price would make it more expensive than the new series of Amazon speakers including the $149.99 Amazon Echo Plus, though cheaper than the upcoming $349 Apple HomePod, due in December.
Alexa support finally lands
Sonos also revealed its long-awaited partnership with Amazon Echo, enabling users to control their music via Alexa on existing speakers. The company is releasing a public beta in the US, UK and Germany from today.
Sonos users can now use voice to select music and play to their speaker. Not only can they choose artists, songs, album or playlist but also play to any Sonos room.
New control experiences
And the smart home seems to be key in Sonos' mind. Along with Alexa control, the company is opening up its own APIs and Works With Sonos certification.
The company is set to partner with iPort, Wink, Alarm.com, Lutron and in addition to existing projects with Logitech and SmartThings to roll out smart home functionality, controlled via the Sonos platform.
Direct Control, the feature within Spotify app that enables you to play directly to your Sonos, is also getting a wider release. Sonos is rolling out the same functionality via Pandora and Tidal. iHeart Radio and Audible are also getting the same treatment in 2018.
Don't worry Apple Music users, you are also getting in on the upgrade action too. AirPlay 2 is coming to the Sonos platform, enabling you to play Netflix and YouTube audio to your Sonos speaker and control them via Siri.
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