Sonos unveils ’˜Sonos One’ voice-controlled speaker

Sonos has introduced its first speaker with built-in Alexa voice control at a launch event in New York today.

As well as unveiling the much-anticipated voice-controlled Sonos speaker – incorporating a 6 mic array and echo cancellation – the manufacturer announced a wider software update bringing Alexa voice control to a selection of existing Sonos speakers.

“Sonos One is the smart speaker for music lovers, delivering rich, great sounding music and entertainment in any room of your home,” commented a Sonos spokesperson.

Addressing a criticism of other voice offerings such as the Amazon Alexa, Sonos stressed that its voice control function can easily be turned off from listening (indicated by the light being off) if a user would prefer to have it off. The new Sonos One will be priced at $199/£199 (notably cheaper than the Apple HomePod, to be released in December).

Sonos also revealed that it is bringing Apple AirPlay 2 to the Sonos platform (available via software update in 2018). In total, it has added 50 new partners (including Lutron wink and iPort) to its developer platform, with its platform to be fully open by 2018. A certification platform named “Works with Sonos” will be rolled out by the manufacturer as part of its mission to make the life of a custom installer as easy as possible after past criticism from the pro market.

Music services such as Pandora, Tidal will furthermore be able to be controlled directly on the Sonos platform in the next few months, to be followed by Audible, iHeartRadio, and Kuke Music next year.

The Sonos One is available for preorder from today onwards. A refresh of the Sonos app has also been rolled out by the manufacturer.

Sonos says that Google Assistant will come to Sonos One in 2018. It also announced that new retail stores will be soon be coming to Europe in London and Berlin.