Sonos Speakers To Get Voice Control Thanks To Amazon's Alexa
Sonos has been vocal about bringing voice control to its speakers, and now it's taking a step toward that, announcing that it struck up a deal for a "long-term strategic partnership" with Amazon to integrate Alexa into its devices.
Right off the bat, this looks like a good mix. Sonos speakers sound great, and if nothing else, they are a couple of notches better than Echo. Meanwhile, Alexa is turning out to be one of the most popular voice assistants, invading one home after another everywhere.
Of course, the two parties involved are more than happy about the tie-up, and it's safe to assume that they'll both benefit from it.
"Our Amazon customers love listening to music. With Echo and Alexa, we combined that love of music with the ease of hands-free voice control, and today, music is one of the most-used features on Alexa-enabled devices. We're thrilled to collaborate with Sonos to combine the magic of Alexa with an incredible way to listen to music in every room in the home," Mike George, vice president of Amazon Echo and Alexa, says.
As for when Sonos devices with Alexa capability will be widely available to the public, they are expected to launch sometime in 2017. With that said, the functionality is coming to some users over the air via a software update in private beta, but needless to say, they will need Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap or Amazon Fire TV to use it.
Just to be clear, all current Sonos speakers are compatible with the feature, and that means existing customers of the brand won't require an upgrade to get in on the action.
For those who don't know, having Alexa means that users can just say what they want their audio systems to do. For instance, they can now play, pause, skip a track and increase or decrease volume without having to touch a button or press anything.
This development follows Sonos CEO John MacFarlane's open letter of appreciation of Alexa and Echo back in March. In other words, this arrangement shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
"Alexa/Echo is the first product to really showcase the power of voice control in the home. Its popularity with consumers will accelerate innovation across the entire industry ... Sonos is taking the long view in how best to bring voice-enabled music experiences into the home. Voice is a big change for us, so we'll invest what's required to bring it to market in a wonderful way," the executive said.
Long story short, an ecosystem that consists of Alexa, Echo and Sonos speakers is a great way to get a voice-controlled listening experience with quality sound.
In other related news, Sonos unveiled its first NYC flagship store back in July, and more than just speakers, it also features listening rooms and more.
Now that everything's wrapped up, what do you think about the idea of having Alexa in your Sonos speakers? Hit us up in the comments section below and let us know.