What you need to know
- Sonos is launching its own voice assistant.
- The voice assistant is expected to be included in a software update rolling out on June 1.
- Sonos wants users to have an option that is "fully private, more personal, and more natural."
Sonos just said, "forget getting Siri, we'll do it live!"
As reported by The Verge, the company is planning to introduce its own voice assistant within the next few weeks, according to people familiar with the situation. According to the report, the feature will enable customers to use Sonos' baked-in voice assistant to control music on the company's speakers.
It will be part of a forthcoming software update set to arrive first to customers in the US on June 1st, with an international rollout to follow. Sonos Voice will serve as an alternative to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which Sonos already supports on its smart speakers and voice-enabled soundbars. All Sonos products that run the company's S2 software will support Sonos Voice Control.
Sonos reportedly is building the voice assistant as part of the "Sonos Voice Experience" with the intention of making voice interactions with its products "fully private, more personal, and more natural." Its speakers currently work with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, two voice assistants that are not well known for privacy. Speaking of which, YouTube Music and Spotify will reportedly not work with Sonos' voice assistant at launch.
At launch, Sonos Voice will work with Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, Deezer, and the company's own Sonos Radio. Spotify and Google's YouTube Music aren't yet on board. In keeping with Sonos' interest in privacy, the feature will not record user audio commands or relay them to the cloud for processing. "Hey Sonos" will be the wake word for Sonos Voice Control, and the company's internal tests show it to be quicker than competing assistant services at core music tasks.
Sonos is also working on a "Home Theater OS" which has sparked rumors that the company may release its own television. We'll have to wait to see if "Hey Sonos" shows up on June 1.