Sonos is a smart speaker system which lets you stream music from your favorite music service to multiple speakers across the house. The speakers are hands down the best way to get multiple room speakers that sound great and work effortlessly. The only downside to the speakers is the high price and confusing app they have. I’ve wanted to buy Sonos speakers for years now, but haven’t had a compelling reason to shell out $300 or more on a speaker.
Now, after the companies recent peaceful transition of power from the companies CEO and founder, John MacFarlane, to VP Patrick Spence. The new CEO has one mission; keep the small independent company afloat as they face stiff competition from other speaker systems, Google Home and the Amazon Echo. They’re going to do this through bringing voice assistants to the Sonos speakers!
The idea stems from everyone buying the Echo and Google Home over a Sonos device or other Bluetooth speakers. No one has a viable way to keep customers in their ecosystem, until now. Spence believes the best way to keep everyone interested in Sonos, or Bluetooth speakers isn’t with premium audio or smart systems, but in a direction where they’re working with all the voice assistants. In the coming year, we could see Alexa, Google Home, and maybe even Siri on Sonos speakers. If, a big IF here, developers work with Sonos to bring their voice assistants to their speakers, they could stay independent and cash positive.
Amazon Alexa is easily integrated into other devices, which can be seen from the deluge of Alexa enabled devices. Sonos is already working towards adding in Alexa support for certain commands, but now we’ll see full Alexa support soon. Google Assistant, on the other hand, is still in the early stage leaving few SDKs or APIs to bring the voice assistant to other hardware. This means Sonos will have to partner with Google or Apple, yet try to stay independent, like they managed to do with all the music streaming services.
I’m personally looking forward to having a speaker with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. I’ve wanted a speaker where I can say “Okay Google” or “Hey Alexa” without needing to have an Echo or Google home. In my mind, the two services would open my world to more smart home devices and smart commands. I could use Alexa for my smart home, while I’m using Google for my calendar and reminders. I know, sounds confusing but I’m already doing something similar with Alexa on my Echo and Google Assistant on my phone.