Sonos likely to reveal Alexa-enabled home theater speaker at June 6 event

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2018
Connected speaker maker Sonos on Thursday invited the press to a June 6 event in San Francisco, where the company will almost certainly reveal a new home theater product with support for Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.

sonos-invite


The company's email invite shows a table littered with remotes, and overlaid text claiming "you're better than this." Adding to the evidence of a home theater speaker, a March FCC filing pointed to a product with both microphones and HDMI support.

Sonos's first true smartspeaker, the Sonos One, already has Alexa and should gain Google Assistant and AirPlay 2 compatibility in the near future. The company has expressed a strong interest in voice assistants, and so it would make sense to continue with other product lines.

It will presumably refresh either the Playbase or Playbar, but might also choose to debut an entirely new design. The presence of HDMI on the new model could mean direct control of a TV, though what that would entail is uncertain.

Apple and Sonos have enjoyed a close partnership, despite the former's introduction of the HomePod, nominally a competitor with the One. Sonos products have appeared in Apple stores, and also support Apple Music as an option in app-based control.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,823member
    Still wondering if Apple will do a HT product based on HomePod.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,213member
    I’d totally buy an Apple soundbar if they made one. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 21
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 842member
    I’d totally buy an Apple soundbar if they made one. 
    I absolutely would as well. B)
    allmypeoplecornchip
  • Reply 4 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,794member
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 21
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,995administrator
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,794member
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
    Ah so just like HomePod.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,995administrator
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
    Ah so just like HomePod.
    ?

    I play Apple Music and/or iCloud Music Library music directly from the HomePod with a Siri request (a content pull, versus AirPlay push) without a device in the middle.
    edited May 2018 lollivergatorguy
  • Reply 8 of 21
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 842member
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
    Ah so just like HomePod.
    Hahaha  Homepod is called a half baked product because it can't play Spotify and other services via Siri command, it requires Airplay.   Sonos can't play Applemusic or your Itunes match library via Alexa and it's no big deal.  I am picking up what you are putting down.

    Also if the pricing stays the same the Playbar & Playbase are priced at $699.00 USD. 
    StrangeDayscornchiplolliver
  • Reply 9 of 21
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,213member
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
    Ah so just like HomePod.
    Is that because Sonos won’t allow it?
  • Reply 10 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,794member
    jcs2305 said:
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
    Ah so just like HomePod.
    Hahaha  Homepod is called a half baked product because it can't play Spotify and other services via Siri command, it requires Airplay.   Sonos can't play Applemusic or your Itunes match library via Alexa and it's no big deal.  I am picking up what you are putting down.

    Also if the pricing stays the same the Playbar & Playbase are priced at $699.00 USD. 
    Exactly -- the Amazon and Sonos products seem unable to natively access your iCloud Music Library or Apple Music subscriptions, and can only act as an endpoint receiver of audio. That is the status quo and is no big deal. But now for the HomePod, if it can't access Spotify natively, that is somehow a Really Big Deal (tm) despite being the exact same sort limitation everyone has accepted on the Sonos and Alexa products.

    I think this illustrates the hypocrisy of those grading Apple on a curve.
    lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 21
    I'd buy a couple of Sonos Ones today if they had Assistant built in. If they didn't look like something from the 90s I'd be even happier.

    jcs2305 said:
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
    Ah so just like HomePod.
    Hahaha  Homepod is called a half baked product because it can't play Spotify and other services via Siri command, it requires Airplay.   Sonos can't play Applemusic or your Itunes match library via Alexa and it's no big deal.  I am picking up what you are putting down.

    Also if the pricing stays the same the Playbar & Playbase are priced at $699.00 USD. 
    Nobody calls HomePod half baked because it can't play Spotify, it's intentionally hobbled. We all know it's Apple's MO to keep the system closed but that's doesn't mean people have to like it.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 842member
    I'd buy a couple of Sonos Ones today if they had Assistant built in. If they didn't look like something from the 90s I'd be even happier.

    jcs2305 said:
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
    Ah so just like HomePod.
    Hahaha  Homepod is called a half baked product because it can't play Spotify and other services via Siri command, it requires Airplay.   Sonos can't play Applemusic or your Itunes match library via Alexa and it's no big deal.  I am picking up what you are putting down.

    Also if the pricing stays the same the Playbar & Playbase are priced at $699.00 USD. 
    Nobody calls HomePod half baked because it can't play Spotify, it's intentionally hobbled. We all know it's Apple's MO to keep the system closed but that's doesn't mean people have to like it.
    I have read multiple comments here mocking HomePod because of its inability to play Spotify or other services with Siri voice control.  Which is exactly what I said in my original post. I really don’t care what you do Or
    dont like.  I was agreeing with the OP.  Please explain how the system is closed?  You can play ANY other music service via airplay to HomePod. It may not be ideal for you, but to say it’s Apple’s MO to keep the system closed when in fact it isn’t, doesn’t make sense. 
    cornchipStrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 13 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,794member
    I'd buy a couple of Sonos Ones today if they had Assistant built in. If they didn't look like something from the 90s I'd be even happier.

    jcs2305 said:
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
    Ah so just like HomePod.
    Hahaha  Homepod is called a half baked product because it can't play Spotify and other services via Siri command, it requires Airplay.   Sonos can't play Applemusic or your Itunes match library via Alexa and it's no big deal.  I am picking up what you are putting down.

    Also if the pricing stays the same the Playbar & Playbase are priced at $699.00 USD. 
    Nobody calls HomePod half baked because it can't play Spotify, it's intentionally hobbled. We all know it's Apple's MO to keep the system closed but that's doesn't mean people have to like it.
    So why aren’t Sonos devices likewise devalued for not being able playback Apple Music natively (without needing an app to do so)? Regardless of why this may be the case, the end result is exactly the same. If it’s not a deal breaker for Sonos or Alexa devices, it cannot be one for HomePod. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 14 of 21
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,518member
    Home theater speaker, not speakers?

    Is Sonos going for the center channel, or will you be able to double it for discrete two or more channel stereo?


    I wouldn't buy any soundbar without hearing it first. They sound better than TV speakers, but almost all of them sound like— soundbars. I'd have to be under some kind of significant constraints to choose one over a pair of decent speakers.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    saldogsaldog Posts: 38member
    Exactly -- the Amazon and Sonos products seem unable to natively access your iCloud Music Library or Apple Music subscriptions, and can only act as an endpoint receiver of audio. That is the status quo and is no big deal. But now for the HomePod, if it can't access Spotify natively, that is somehow a Really Big Deal (tm) despite being the exact same sort limitation everyone has accepted on the Sonos and Alexa products.

    I think this illustrates the hypocrisy of those grading Apple on a curve.
    Apple Music and iCloud Music are the ONLY music services that Sonos doesn't play natively, requiring you to stream those from iOS. All other services (~65) are handled directly by each Sonos device. So, not fair to imply this puts Sonos on the same compatibility level of HomePod. It seems to me the restriction is by Apple, not Sonos. For those who use non-Apple music services, no system comes close to Sonos for compatibility. It would be nice if Apple was the same way with HomePod, but at this point, I think Apple is only concerned with appealing to Apple Music customers, which is not a bad approach since they have more of those than they do HomePod owners. I was on the fence about doing my 8-location multi-room setup with HomePods (which sound great), but the price is just a little too high for that. If Apple had a lower cost speaker closer to Sonos One, I would have mixed and matched the two types across the house and bought an Apple Music subscription. Instead, I went with Sonos and bought Amazon Music, which works well over Sonos and all of our Echos.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 16 of 21
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 942member
    I'd buy a couple of Sonos Ones today if they had Assistant built in. If they didn't look like something from the 90s I'd be even happier.

    jcs2305 said:
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
    Ah so just like HomePod.
    Hahaha  Homepod is called a half baked product because it can't play Spotify and other services via Siri command, it requires Airplay.   Sonos can't play Applemusic or your Itunes match library via Alexa and it's no big deal.  I am picking up what you are putting down.

    Also if the pricing stays the same the Playbar & Playbase are priced at $699.00 USD. 
    Nobody calls HomePod half baked because it can't play Spotify, it's intentionally hobbled. We all know it's Apple's MO to keep the system closed but that's doesn't mean people have to like it.
    So why aren’t Sonos devices likewise devalued for not being able playback Apple Music natively (without needing an app to do so)? Regardless of why this may be the case, the end result is exactly the same. If it’s not a deal breaker for Sonos or Alexa devices, it cannot be one for HomePod. 
    Why aren’t Sonos devices devalued for needing an app? Well, I guess because they don’t play anything without the Sonos app. 

    I argue the app is is the best part of Sonos. I have playlists that consist of random mashups of tracks saved on local iTunes libraries, streaming Apple Music tracks and amazon music as well as smaller services like Bandcamp. 

    I dont begrudge Apple their choice to heavily favor their music service on homepod, but I’m not going to pretend Sonos doesn’t have something very compelling with their Sonos app-based player technology. 
  • Reply 17 of 21
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 942member

    saldog said:
    Exactly -- the Amazon and Sonos products seem unable to natively access your iCloud Music Library or Apple Music subscriptions, and can only act as an endpoint receiver of audio. That is the status quo and is no big deal. But now for the HomePod, if it can't access Spotify natively, that is somehow a Really Big Deal (tm) despite being the exact same sort limitation everyone has accepted on the Sonos and Alexa products.

    I think this illustrates the hypocrisy of those grading Apple on a curve.
    Apple Music and iCloud Music are the ONLY music services that Sonos doesn't play natively, requiring you to stream those from iOS. All other services (~65) are handled directly by each Sonos device. So, not fair to imply this puts Sonos on the same compatibility level of HomePod. It seems to me the restriction is by Apple, not Sonos. For those who use non-Apple music services, no system comes close to Sonos for compatibility. It would be nice if Apple was the same way with HomePod, but at this point, I think Apple is only concerned with appealing to Apple Music customers, which is not a bad approach since they have more of those than they do HomePod owners. I was on the fence about doing my 8-location multi-room setup with HomePods (which sound great), but the price is just a little too high for that. If Apple had a lower cost speaker closer to Sonos One, I would have mixed and matched the two types across the house and bought an Apple Music subscription. Instead, I went with Sonos and bought Amazon Music, which works well over Sonos and all of our Echos.
    I don’t experience any difference playing Apple Music tracks and other streaming services. The device that initiates playback can shut down or leave the premises and the music happily keeps playing. As far as I can tell, all services are equally “native”

    what makes Apple Music not native?
  • Reply 18 of 21
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 942member
    macgui said:
    Home theater speaker, not speakers?

    Is Sonos going for the center channel, or will you be able to double it for discrete two or more channel stereo?


    I wouldn't buy any soundbar without hearing it first. They sound better than TV speakers, but almost all of them sound like— soundbars. I'd have to be under some kind of significant constraints to choose one over a pair of decent speakers.
    If Sonos does it the way they have with their first two sound bar HT products, the sound bar will handle all audio channels if you only have the single device and will offload the subwoofer and surround channels as you add more speakers to the room. There are LOTS of drivers inside the Playbar, so Left & Right stereo signals are routed to different physical drivers.

    Ive been quite happy with the playbar by itself. I used it this way for a few months before adding surrounds and subwoofer, which were great additions, though certainly not necessary for those who aren’t super particular about their audio equipment. The playbar works quite nicely on its own. 

    It it would be interesting if in addition to the first player mounted conventionally (horizontally) under the TV you could also mount playbars vertically to be L&R & surround channels throughout the room. As it is now, you cannot add any speakers to specifically do left & right stereo. The only possible configuration for left & right stereo is routed to the left and right sides of the playbar.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 19 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,282member
    So with the Sonos HT speaker that will make 12,001 Alexa-enabled devices. Google Home was bragging about having less than half that at 5000 compatible devices just a couple days ago. Apple Siri-compatible ones are comparatively non-existent.  Amazon is so far ahead of everyone else at this point it's barely a race. 
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 20 of 21
    I'd buy a couple of Sonos Ones today if they had Assistant built in. If they didn't look like something from the 90s I'd be even happier.

    jcs2305 said:
    With the Sonos products, can you ask them to playback music from your iCloud Music Library? Apple Music?
    No. Just push it with AirPlay from an iPhone or Mac.
    Ah so just like HomePod.
    Hahaha  Homepod is called a half baked product because it can't play Spotify and other services via Siri command, it requires Airplay.   Sonos can't play Applemusic or your Itunes match library via Alexa and it's no big deal.  I am picking up what you are putting down.

    Also if the pricing stays the same the Playbar & Playbase are priced at $699.00 USD. 
    Nobody calls HomePod half baked because it can't play Spotify, it's intentionally hobbled. We all know it's Apple's MO to keep the system closed but that's doesn't mean people have to like it.
    So why aren’t Sonos devices likewise devalued for not being able playback Apple Music natively (without needing an app to do so)? Regardless of why this may be the case, the end result is exactly the same. If it’s not a deal breaker for Sonos or Alexa devices, it cannot be one for HomePod. 
    So are you saying Sonos should just have access to Itunes cloud and Apple Music? Something tells me Apple wants to keep that to themselves and their Homepod. Sonos is open to lots of music services. Hell their doing both google and Alexa. I bet if Apple would give permission they would add those things. They can't just give access without permission. 
     
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