Sonos Play1 Speakers

Sonos is expected to join Amazon, Google, and Apple in offering a voice controlled smart speaker.

Thanks to FCC filings and rumors, we're pretty certain Sonos is about to announce its entry into the smart speaker market. Sonos sent out press invites to an October 4 event where the company is expected to announce an Amazon Echo-like smart speaker.

Press invites reference UI elements present in the FCC filing that appear to be on-device controls for playing, pausing, navigating, and activating voice control. The invites also feature a prominent Rolling Stones-esque mouth that — as far as we can tell — are a nod to voice control capabilities. Check out TechCrunch's report for a side-by-side look at the invites TechCrunch and The Verge received — they're different styles that, when combined, reveal even more of the UI controls.

Sonos's smart speaker is expected to include far-field voice recognition technology (like the far-field microphones in Amazon Echo devices) and may include support for multiple voice assistants. How that would work, exactly, isn't mentioned in the FCC filing, but it could get confusing shuffling between Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, the Google Assistant, and — if applicable — any smart assistant Sonos brings to the table.

No word yet on when this product will launch or how much it'll cost, but folks are starting to bet that Sonos will try to beat Apple's HomePod to market. The HomePod is supposed to be available in December.