Sonos unveils voice-enabled speaker, Sonos One

Sonos today confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in consumer technology, announcing a smart speaker with support for voice services including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant — the Sonos One.

The $299 speaker, coming to Australia October 24, will let users control their music with their voice and ask for music based on decade, genre, tempo, mood, or lyrics if they can’t remember the name of a song.

“It’s awesome, it’s the first speaker we’ve launched that has microphones embedded,” Wouter Boender, Product Marketing Manager told The Australian in an interview. “You simply ask and the speaker will start to play. It also unlocks voice control for your whole home, so if you have a Sonos one in your kitchen you can ask it to play music in other area of your home.”

Amazon’s Alexa isn’t available in Australia yet but it’s expected to be in the near future, and Sonos says the Sonos One will support it as soon as the service launches. Google Assistant support is coming next year.

Sonos also announced it would be rolling out software updates to enable existing Sonos speakers to work with Amazon’s Echo and Dot devices.

“I think the Sonos One is amazing value,” Sonos Australia boss Rennie Addabbo said. “It’s voice-ready and built for the future. “The folks who really get into their music are going to love it.”

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.

“We live in a golden age of streaming entertainment,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said.

“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.”

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