Sonos to host Oct. 4 event for smartspeaker with multiple voice assistants

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Sonos on Tuesday sent out a media invitation to an Oct. 4 press event in New York City, where the company is expected to reveal its all-but-announced smartspeaker with support for voice commands.




The invitation includes an open mouth, as well as part of a previously-seen controller image with a microphone icon, TechCrunch noted. It otherwise offers no product details.

In documents published on Monday by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, however, Sonos detailed a "high-performance all-in-one wireless smart speaker" that "adds integrated voice control functionality with far field microphones," including support for "multiple voice platforms and music services." It's expected the device will at least include Amazon Alexa, but could also support Google Assistant, Microsoft's Cortana, and/or Samsung's Bixby.

Siri will almost certainly be excluded, since Apple has so far limited that assistant to its own hardware. It's also preparing to ship its own smartspeaker, the HomePod, in December for $349.

Sonos's product could pose a direct challenge to the HomePod, since both companies are aiming at a high-cost Wi-Fi audio market. The firms have been close partners in the past, in fact giving Sonos speakers a prominent place in some Apple stores.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,128member
    Wow Sonos is actually moving quickly on this. 


  • Reply 2 of 6
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 893member
    I'd give Sonos a pass on voice control if they would just allow me to "love" Apple Music tracks in the Sonos app. 

    I'm a big supporter of Sonos. I have a house full of them, but without better Apple Music integration, I'm going to strongly consider jumping to HomePod and whatever other products round out their home audio system. 

    Apple has a big task ahead of it to beat Sonos' full product range: Sonos has 3 speaker-only designs. They have a Connect (like an airport express) and an amp (just add your own speakers) and two configurations of sound bar with available subwoofer. 

    Obviously Apple tends to go with simplified product arrays, but to replace my Sonos system, if want at least the PlayBar/Sub and the powered Amp equivalents to be available from Apple in addition to the simple HomePod speaker we've seen already. And…keep the airport express in the product mix for un-amplified audio…you might think it goes without saying that the AP Express will stick around, but this is Apple…
    edited August 2017 monstrosity
  • Reply 3 of 6
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,998member
    polymnia said:

    Apple has a big task ahead of it to beat Sonos' full product range: Sonos has 3 speaker-only designs. They have a Connect (like an airport express) and an amp (just add your own speakers) and two configurations of sound bar with available subwoofer. 

    Obviously Apple tends to go with simplified product arrays, but to replace my Sonos system, if want at least the PlayBar/Sub and the powered Amp equivalents to be available from Apple in addition to the simple HomePod speaker we've seen already. And…keep the airport express in the product mix for un-amplified audio…you might think it goes without saying that the AP Express will stick around, but this is Apple…
    Apple is mostly definitely not going to release all that audio gear. It's akin to asking them to support external HDs as wireless Time Machine storage on the Airport again, which they dropped years ago. Sure it would be useful, but it's more complication than what they're offerings are.
    longpath
  • Reply 4 of 6
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,128member
    I think key strategy for Apple will be when we figure out what current vendor products are upgradable to Airplay 2 and thus can be 
    unified. 

    I'm hoping this event isn't just for one speaker.   If you look at Sonos lineup they would do well to deliver refreshed 
    Connect and Connect Amp product at lower pricing or more power in the Connect Amp.

    Even more powerful would be to have a new voice enabled Sonos speaker that supports Airplay2 and offers Bluetooth as well.   What would make
    this powerful would be if Sonos made this product a bridge of sorts where it would rebroadcast the Bluetooth or Airplay2 signals to legacy product.

     


  • Reply 5 of 6
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 893member
    polymnia said:

    Apple has a big task ahead of it to beat Sonos' full product range: Sonos has 3 speaker-only designs. They have a Connect (like an airport express) and an amp (just add your own speakers) and two configurations of sound bar with available subwoofer. 

    Obviously Apple tends to go with simplified product arrays, but to replace my Sonos system, if want at least the PlayBar/Sub and the powered Amp equivalents to be available from Apple in addition to the simple HomePod speaker we've seen already. And…keep the airport express in the product mix for un-amplified audio…you might think it goes without saying that the AP Express will stick around, but this is Apple…
    Apple is mostly definitely not going to release all that audio gear. It's akin to asking them to support external HDs as wireless Time Machine storage on the Airport again, which they dropped years ago. Sure it would be useful, but it's more complication than what they're offerings are.
    You are probably right. And I would actually prefer that Sonos just do a better job of integrating Apple Music. That's the main problem I have with sonos right now. 

    Sonos is certainly going to push voice control, and if they can't do voice control of Apple Music, it's probably unlikely they will devote any attention to improving their Apple Mysic implementation. 
  • Reply 6 of 6
    kkqd1337kkqd1337 Posts: 165member
    I love my Sonos speakers. But their glacial update pace does leave my eyes wandering. Like wtf happened with Alexa & Sonos integration announced in 2016??
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