High-end audio company Sonos has been teasing us with the promise of a smart speaker for some time that would work with multiple digital assistants. Today, it officially revealed that speaker, the Sonos One, which will be released with support for Amazon’s Alexa out of the box. Support for the rival Google Assistant will be added to the speaker some time in 2018.
Alexa support will be available for owners in the US, UK, and Germany, and they will be able to use that digital companion to control streaming music services such as Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, and TuneIn, with Spotify to be added some time after the Sonos One launch. Alexa can also be used with the speaker to get news, sports and weather updates, or as a way to set timers and much more. You can also pair two Sonos One speakers for stereo sound.
The hardware inside the Sonos One includes two Class-D digital amplifiers, one tweeter, and one mid-woofer, along with a six-microphone array that is supposed to understand voice commands from the right person, even if music is playing. In 2018, the speaker will also add support for Apple’s AirPlay 2, which will allow iPhone and iPad owners to play audio from those products on the Sonos One. Those same owners will also be able to ask any Siri-enabled device to control music on Sonos speakers.
The Sonos One is priced at $199 and is available for pre-order today, with a global launch planned for October 24. In addition, owners of older Sonos speakers in the UK, US and Germany can download a public beta which will let them control those devices with Alexa. They will need to own an Alexa-based product like Amazon’s Echo or Echo Dot speaker, and enable Alexa’s Sonos skill. Once that’s set up, users can use voice commands to play songs, raise or lower the volume, and more on their Sonos speakers, via the linked Alexa hardware, along with support for Amazon Music.