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Sonos reportedly launching its own voice assistant, because the world doesn’t have enough of them

If you find yourself looking at Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri (Bixby?) and decide another voice assistant is needed, good news! Sonos, famed for its connected audio systems, is coming to the rescue you didn’t know you needed. Or so a new report from The Verge claims, with Sonos preparing to ship Sonos Voice on June 1 this year. The launch will be limited to the United States at first and will appear as part of a software update, while all speakers supporting Sonos S2 should get it.

Sonos already supports both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on its speakers, but apparently, that’s not enough. Sonos Voice is apparently going to make a privacy play to its users. Offer the convenience of voice commands without relaying any of that data to the cloud. These are legitimate concerns with the two dominant forces in the space, no one will deny that, and Sonos thinks it’s worth going its own way.

Initially, it’s set to be a pretty barebones experience, and not even all of the big music services will be included. Support is reported to exclude Spotify and YouTube Music, though Apple Music, Amazon, Pandora, and Deezer should be alongside Sonos Radio. There’s also not much of a smart home push reported in this early incarnation of Sonos Voice, but that’s not totally unexpected. Voice commands are to be focused on music playback and device operation in the early days.

Smart Home enthusiasts may be able to run at least one of the other voice assistants alongside Sonos Voice. Earlier reports about the voice assistant showed signs that Alexa and Sonos Voice can work side-by-side, but not Google Assistant. There have been stories that Google is more restrictive than Amazon over how it allows Google Assistant to be used, which would support these earlier leaks. Google and Sonos have hardly been the best of friends in recent times, either.

It’s a smart play, too, if Sonos owners can take Sonos Voice for a spin without sacrificing what they’re already used to. Especially if it’s extremely basic at first. Is there actually a future for a platform-specific voice assistant? Only time will tell on that one, but it’ll be fun to follow Sonos Voice assuming it does launch as reported next month. Interestingly, the most recently rumored Sonos speaker, the Ray, won’t be able to use this new feature as it’s reported not to have any microphones. Oh well.

Source: The Verge