Sonos is partnering with Amazon to add voice control that will allow the users to operate their Sonos devices using Amazon’s Alexa technology instead of controlling everything by thumbing through the Sonos app.
Starting in 2017, users will be able to issue voice controls to any of the Amazon Alexa devices to play music from Sonos speakers. Voice requests such as playing specific songs in the certain locations will be recognized by Amazon’s smart assistant and passed over to Sonos software.
It’s a great pairing for both companies; Sonos speakers sound way better than the Echo, and Alexa is so quickly evolving as the leading smart home voice assistant. And since everything works over Wi-Fi, all existing Sonos devices are supported; and Amazon’s Echo is still handling the microphone / listening part and communicating commands to the Sonos gear.
Sonos also announced compatibility with Spotify Connect, coming in early September, which will allow for the control of the company’s Wi-Fi speakers directly through the Spotify app. Users will be able to select their Sonos speakers from within Spotify app, and Sonos say its app and Spotify will be interoperable: changes to a playlist from within the Spotify will also appear in the Sonos app
The move marks a shift in priorities for Sonos as it attempts to compete with the budding trend of the voice control in the home. Amazon’s Echo, which is powered by its digital assistant Alexa, turned out to be a sleeper hit for company and proved there’s a hunger to control music in the home with voice.