Sonos gets Alexa (and soon Google and Siri)

Sonos gets Alexa (and soon Google and Siri)

The new Sonos One speaker has Amazon's Alexa built-in, so users can speak commands directly to the speaker.

The speaker can still be controlled from an app and will be compatible with Amazon's Alexa and Apple's AirPlay 2 which arrives in 2018. The current Play:1 already offers better sound quality than the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, so the Sonos One seems to be really aiming for audiophiles and fans of Sonos' previous speakers.

The Sonos One is equipped with two digital amplifiers, one tweeter, and one mid-woofer. This means you can use your voice not only to control music, but also to do anything that Alexa's capable of - with one known caveat: at launch the Sonos One will only accept voice commands for playing music from Amazon Music, Pandora, and a handful of other providers. Or you can use it as an Amazon Echo substitute and ask it to set timers and alarms, or tell you what the weather's doing tomorrow, or what the latest news headlines are, or what the capital of Burkina Faso is (Ouagadougou, since you ask).

You also get the ability to control your Sonos speakers using an app, Bluetooth connectivity to connect your phone or tablet to the speaker and the ability to have multiple speakers around the house for multi-room playback.

The Sonos One is available in black or white for pre-order (shipping 24 October 2017) for $199. You'll be able to use voice to command your favourite song in any room of the house, control volume and even ask what song is now playing.

Amazon has also announced that it is very soon going to bring Amazon Prime Music in India and the service will be available as an exclusive preview on Echo devices.

Being an audio specialist, Sonos touts that its Sonos One improves where many other AI-powered home devices fail - the sound quality of the speakers and microphones. The Echo and Echo Plus are the new updated models that were launched in the U.S. last month.

During their presentation Sonos made an effort to point out their dedication to the users privacy.

You can either use the device as a standalone speaker or wirelessly paired with other Sonos speakers. Partners and developers will have access to the tools, documentation, and support they need to drive faster innovation. Sonos has created a certification model for customers to know which products support Sonos with a "Works with Sonos" badge for their products.

With a slew of new devices on the way over the next few months featuring voice-activated assistants from Amazon and Google, that race is picking up speed.

At long last, Sonos is ready for small talk.

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