Alexa will get the headlines in relation to Sonos’ new speaker, but it surely’s much more assistants and companies are coming — and that is what’s really thrilling.
It is easy to have a look at what Sonos introduced right now in New York Metropolis — a brand new Sonos One speaker, with microphones and Amazon Alexa integration inbuilt, in addition to exterior Alexa assist for its older audio system — and suppose “OK, that is it. That is straightforward.”
Solely, that is not it. And it is not straightforward. There’s much more occurring right here right here only a single speaker and Alexa.
Certain, that is nonetheless core Sonos. Meaning actually good wi-fi music made straightforward. However the place Sonos has proven probably the most development — and it nonetheless has loads of room left on that entrance — is by connecting all of the issues.
Let’s break down what’s new, and what’s nonetheless to return.
Sonos One ($199, Oct. 24)
Sonos ain’t taking part in round anymore. Gone is the “Play” identify from its entry-level speaker. It is simply “Sonos One” from right here on out. (And it would not shock me to see that scheme the subsequent time the Play:three and Play:5 are refreshed.)
Sonos Play One is the one speaker to rule all of them. Or, it will likely be sooner or later.
Sonos One appears loads just like the Play:1, however the firm tells us the 2 audio system share simply two mechanical elements. The grilles could look the identical, however Sonos One is a brand new speaker from the rubber footings to the brand new contact buttons on prime.
It is a very acquainted product to anybody who owns a Play:1, to make sure. It appears related. It sounds related. The contact buttons are a pleasant addition, although. Whereas I would all the time appreciated the simplicity of the Play:1, this simply appears extra subtle than the play/pause and quantity buttons we had earlier than, even when it positively additionally appears extra difficult.
New, after all, is the six-microphone array for speaking to Alexa. That is tucked into the highest of the speaker, and the mics are hardwired right into a small LED on prime of the speaker. When the mics are on and listening, the LED is on. Mild’s off? Mics off. Sonos says that is explicitly for peace of thoughts for those who’re frightened about your issues listening to you all day, and that the LED cannot be turned off if the mic’s on. (Seems like a problem to me.)
And Alexa is … Effectively, she’s nonetheless Alexa. Something you’ll be able to ask her now, you’ll be able to ask her by way of Sonos One. What’s actually cool right here is that Sonos One and Alexa can management another Sonos audio system you’ve hooked into your system. One Sonos One is probably not all you need, however for lots of parents it might be all they want.
In any occasion, Sonos One can nonetheless be arrange with one other as a stereo pair, or grouped with different audio system, after all.
See at Sonos
Alexa, AirPlay 2, Assistant and an open platform
The opposite aspect of the coin right here is companies. Heaps and plenty of companies. Some coming in to Sonos, and a few going out.
Alexa on all of the Sonos issues
Beginning right now, you’ll be able to management any Sonos speaker by way of Alexa. So for those who’ve bought a $50 Amazon Echo Dot, you’ll be able to management your $500 Sonos system. (In the event you’ve handle to spend solely $500, my hat’s off to you.)
Meaning the. Play:5 you purchased years in the past will work by way of Alexa, as long as you’ve got bought one thing that Alexa already ties into.
To set all that up, you may simply want to enter the Sonos Ability for Alexa and join your accounts. Tremendous straightforward.
For these of you on iOS, know this: Sonos will assist AirPlay 2. In 2018. So, yeah. You’ve got bought a short while to attend.
It is nonetheless a giant deal, although, as a result of it means something you an play on an iPhone or iPad you can play by way of Sonos.
That is been a long-requested function, and it is one which bought loads of applause right now. It is also one that also has a number of particulars excellent, so we’ll have to attend and see on that.
Whereas Alexa was the headlined assistant function of the occasion, it under no circumstances was the one one. Sonos introduced that Google Assistant — basically Google’s model of Alexa or Siri — shall be coming to the platform someday in 2018. Meaning something you’ll be able to management with Google in your telephone (or in your automobile, or now in your earbuds, or …) you can do from Sonos.
How quickly? We do not know. However that leads us into …
Open platforms imply higher platforms
Most likely the largest information is that Sonos is transferring to an all-open platform. Meaning a pair issues. First, it means anybody who needs so as to add their service to Sonos can accomplish that. (Meaning it’s going to present up within the Sonos app.)
The flip aspect of that’s that any service may combine Sonos into its personal app. Contemplate: Few music apps allow you to selected Sonos as an output. Google Play Music is without doubt one of the few that may, in my expertise. However largely if you wish to take heed to one thing by way of Sonos, it’s important to use the Sonos app to do it. That’ll change.
This actually is extra of a mirrored image of Sonos itself, although. It needs Sonos One to be the one speaker to rule all of them, and it needs Sonos (the platform) to the be most sturdy of something on the market.
You need Alexa? It’s going to do Alexa. You need Google? It’s going to do Google. You need one thing else? It’s going to do this, too.
Whereas Google’s doing its factor with Google Dwelling Max and Apple’s doing its factor with HomePod and and Amazon’s doing its factor with Echo Professional, Sonos is shortly constructing the one platform that may do all of the issues.
And that, people, is Sonos One.