Finally, Sonos is about to introduce its own voice assistant

May 5, 2022

‘Hey Sonos’

Sonos is preparing to introduce its own voice assistant service within the next few weeks, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. The voice functionality will let customers play and control music on Sonos’ whole-home audio platform.

First reported by The Verge, this feature will be part of a forthcoming software update set to arrive first to customers in the US on June 1st, with an international rollout to follow. Sonos Voice will serve as an alternative to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which Sonos already supports on its smart speakers and voice-enabled soundbars. All Sonos products that run the company’s S2 software will support Sonos Voice Control.

Sonos has recently posted job openings related to the “Sonos Voice Experience,” with the company saying its ambition is to “make voice interactions fully private, more personal, and more natural.” The debut of Sonos Voice will mark a pivotal moment in Sonos’ expansion into services as the company seeks to augment its hardware business. (Sonos Radio and the paid, higher quality Sonos Radio HD were the first such forays into services.) The offering will provide core conveniences that are similar to existing competitors, allowing Sonos product owners to play specific songs, artists, or playlists with voice commands, among other functions.

According to The Verge, at launch, Sonos Voice will work with Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, Deezer, and the company’s own Sonos Radio. Spotify and Google’s YouTube Music aren’t yet on board. In keeping with Sonos’ interest in privacy, the feature will not record user audio commands or relay them to the cloud for processing. “Hey Sonos” will be the wake word for Sonos Voice Control, and the company’s internal tests show it to be quicker than competing assistant services at core music tasks.

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.