Sonos One Is the Smart Speaker to Rule Them All

Staff Writer
Updated

NEW YORK CITY — At an event this morning, Sonos unveiled the Sonos One ($200, available for pre-order today, arriving on Oct. 24) an Alexa-enabled smart speaker that could be the ideal option for music lovers.

The Sonos One will work with all of the company's other speakers, and support for Google Assistant and Siri is on the way.

You won't need to shout over your music to control the Sonos One, as saying "Alexa" will lower the volume of what you're listening to, so you can ask for a new song or ask Alexa for something else at your normal tone of voice. The Sonos One also features the company's Trueplay technology, which adjusts its output to fit the acoustics of your room.

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The Sonos One (available in black and white) features a play and pause button on its top, as well as volume controls and the controls for swiping forwards and backwards to skip and go back a song. And unlike the wide blue light band on the Echo, the Sonos One's listening light is a bit more subtle, a small line on its top. Pressing on its microphone logo allows you to gain a bit of privacy and disable its microphone.

Amazon's digital assistant is also coming to Sonos' other speakers, launching today in public beta for those in the US. This update includes the ability to control Sonos speakers from Amazon's Alexa-enabled hardware, though a Sonos representative confirmed to Tom's Guide that Alexa speakers can't play music synchronously with its hardware.

Alexa won't be the only assistant on Sonos speakers, as 2018 will see Google Assistant land on the hi-fi soundsystems. The Sonos team also promised an even greater future, claiming that its hardware has "room for every voice assistant and every streaming service."

The announcement was made by Sonos senior director Mieko Kusano, who also noted that in addition to full home music, users can ask their speakers to play specific songs, but only in specific rooms.

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence presented the Sonos One as he put down many other Alexa-enabled speakers shown in a photo behind him, saying that his company's speakers present a much richer experience, unlike the "default devices with default experiences" that fill stores.

Sonos is working to make its speakers work with smart-home hardware, and has partnered with companies such as Logitech and Samsung. It expects to add 50 partners by the end of 2017, and in 2018, the Sonos platform will be open to all developers to make technology that works in tandem.

This year, Sonos speakers will gain increase integration for Pandora, Tidal, iHeart Radio and Audible, as the apps for those services will be gain controls for Sonos speakers, similar to its Direct Control tool for the Spotify app.

And next year, Sonos speakers will get increased compatibility with iOS devices, as AirPlay 2 will land on Sonos hardware in 2018. This means you'll be able to control Sonos speakers via Siri.

Sonos is also rolling out a software update for its app today, which is gaining a new navigation system, including a My Sonos tab for your favorite music.