Sonos crafting smartspeaker with support for 'multiple' voice assistants

in General Discussion edited August 2017
Sonos is developing a new Wi-Fi-enabled speaker with built-in voice control, which should moreover support "multiple voice platforms," according to a newly-published filing with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

An existing Sonos speaker, the Play:5.
An existing Sonos speaker, the Play:5.

Identified only as model "S13," the device is described as a "high-performance all-in-one wireless smart speaker" that "adds integrated voice control functionality with far field microphones," Zatz Not Funny noted on Monday. It should connect to "multiple voice platforms and music services," Sonos said.

Past rumors have pointed to Sonos integrating Amazon Alexa into its platform. Today's filing, however, may be the first confirmation that hardware designed around that integration is coming.

If the speaker does support multiple voice assistants, Sonos will presumably start with Alexa, Google Assistant, and/or Samsung's Bixby. Siri is highly unlikely, since Apple has so far restricted that technology to its own devices.

The company is preparing to ship its own Siri-equipped speaker, the HomePod, sometime in December. In fact that device may compete more directly with Sonos products than the Amazon Echo, owing to a $349 pricetag and an emphasis on high-end audio.

It's not clear when the new Sonos speaker might arrive. One possibility is an announcement timed to CEDIA 2017, a home technology expo starting Sept. 5 in San Diego.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    Apple has looked favourable towards Sonos products in the last year or two. It would be no surprise that with the release of HomePod (still think it's the wrong name) and Sonos going over to non Apple voice assistance Apple might stop selling Sonos next year.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 579member
    It will arrive after they have time to reverse engineer the HomePod
  • Reply 3 of 5
    NY1822 said:
    It will arrive after they have time to reverse engineer the HomePod
    In case you were actually serious, no reverse engineering necessary. Just firmware to load the Google, Amazon and Samsung software on the SOC, for which all 3 provide SDKs. With Google, Amazon and Samsung the AI features - and everything else - will be done in the cloud. Apple is going to be the only one to bake the AI features into the hardware, which is why Apple's solution will cost 3 times as much as the competition. Also, there are already a bunch of third party speakers that support Alexa, and a couple that support Google Assistant. A speaker from Clarity already supports both Alexa and Google Assistant: So the Sonos speaker will be like one of those. If you are a third party hardware manufacturer, locking yourself into a specific platform makes no sense. It is best to support all available platforms so that the buyer will be able to use it with whatever smartphone (or tablet or PC) they already own. Car manufacturers are taking the same route. With the exception of a single manufacturer - I forget which it is either BMW or Mercedes - who refuses to support Android Auto and only supports CarPlay because they hate the Android UI, all the other car manufacturers support both.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    I wouldn’t count on Sonos doing anything quickly. Anything at all.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,141member
    Seriously considering Bluesound depending on how solid their Airplay2 support is.   I see multi-room speakers as moving  towards the inevitability of multi-protocol  support.  With Bluesound I theoretically could access them via three protocols. BluOS,  Roon and Airplay. 

    edited August 2017
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