Sonos has finally announced its own smart speaker that’s powered by Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant. Called the Sonos One, the upcoming smart speaker will arrive on Oct. 24 for $199.
The Sonos One will work with different voice assistants, but at launch it will be powered by Alexa, the same digital assistant that’s on Amazon’s Echo speakers. The company says that its smart speaker will also work with Google Assistant in 2018, making the Sonos One the very first smart speaker that support multiple voice services.
“We live in a golden age of streaming entertainment,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said. “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.”
The Sonos One can be used a standalone speaker, but users can pair two of them to create stereo setup. The Sonos One can also be paired with the Sonos Playbase or the Playbar to create a makeshift surround sound system for watching TV shows or movies.
The Sonos One smart speaker is also compatible with over 80 music services including Spotify, Apple music, Pandora, Google Play Music and Tidal. However, Spotify won’t actually be controllable using voice commands at launch, according to The Verge. The company says that it will be available soon though. In the meantime, users can still play Spotify songs and playlist using the Sonos app or the Spotify app on their smartphones.
The Sonos One will be available in black and white color options with matte finishes and seems to look a lot like the Sonos Play:1 speaker, as pointed out by Engadget. The current Play:1 already offers better sound quality than the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, so the Sonos One seems to be really aiming for audiophiles and fans of Sonos’ previous speakers.
Sonos says that its new smart speaker can deliver rich sound that’s driven by two Class-D digital amplifiers, one tweeter and one mid-woofer. Users can also fine tune the sound of the Sonos One through the Trueplay settings on the Sonos app.
The Sonos One is equipped with an array of six microphones and features adaptive noise suppression so that voice commands can be heard by the speaker clearly. Sonos says that the speaker also have a voice capture technology that cancels out echo so that the microphones will still be able to hear voice commands while playing music.
The Sonos One smart speaker will support Amazon Alexa at launch and Google Assistant in 2018.
“There are many speakers out there that you can control with your voice, but most of them are just devices that make sounds, not systems designed for delivering great sound easily in any room of your home,” Sonos sound experience leader Giles Martin said.
“We essentially blended three separate ecosystems with the ability to start the music playing with voice, add songs to your playlist from the Sonos app, and play music in a different room from your Spotify app – it’s so simple to use but took quite a bit of work to create.”
In addition to announcing its own standalone Alexa smart speaker, Sonos also announced that owners of existing Sonos speakers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany will also be able to control their speakers using Amazon Alexa. Sonos has rolled out an update today that enables this feature to work. Users will need any Amazon Echo speaker and the Sonos skill for Alexa in order for this to work. Users will then be able to pair their Echo speaker with their current Sonos speaker. Unfortunately, voice controls for music will only work for Amazon Music.
Users will be able to pair two Sonos One smart speakers to create stereo sound.