Sonos Introduces Voice-Controlled Speaker with Alexa Support

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Sonos-One.jpgSonos has introduced the new Sonos One voice-controlled speaker, priced at $199. At launch, the speaker will support Alexa voice control, with Google Assistant support coming in 2018. The Sonos One features one tweeter and one mid-woofer, driven by two Class D amplifiers, as well as a six-microphone array with adaptive noise suppression and echo cancelation. You can use the Sonos One as a standalone speaker, wirelessly pair two of them for stereo sound, mate it with the Sonos PLAYBASE or PLAYBAR as a surround speaker, or integrate it into a complete Sonos multi-room system. The Sonos One will be available on October 24.  

From Sonos
Sonos has unveiled the Sonos One, an all-new, voice-controlled smart speaker capable of supporting multiple voice services and playing music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other sonic content from more than 80 streaming services. With surprisingly rich sound and thoughtful design that fades into the background, the Sonos One is priced at $199 USD and will be available globally on October 24. Pre-orders can be made now at www.sonos.com.

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 that 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 an 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, Yonomi, 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.

Additional Resources
• Visit the Sonos website for more product information.
Sonos Introduces the PLAYBASE Soundbase at HomeTheaterReview.com.


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