Sonos unveils first voice-controlled speaker, with Amazon's help

The announcement comes just a week after Amazon introduced several new Alexa-powered Echo speakers, including a high-end model called the Echo Plus, a new middle-tier US$99 (RM419) version with louder speakers, and a nightstand-focused Echo Spot with a screen and video calling. It's available to pre-order now on the Sonos website. Currently, the public beta is only open to customers in the US, UK, and Germany. "There are no promises". Being agnostic to your assistant ecosystem of choice could give Sonos an edge and a chance to regain some lustre.

With the Sonos One, Sonos becomes the first commercial company to support multiple voice-activated smart assistants. Today, Sonos announced that Alexa integration is finally here, along with a new Sonos One speaker with Alexa built in - as well as forthcoming Google Assistant and Siri support.

Amazon today announced that Alexa, the brain that powers Amazon Echo, is coming to India, along with three Alexa-enabled devices: Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot. As an open platform, Sonos also plans to support the Google Assistant some time next year.

Users will also be able to set reminders, update shopping lists, and control smart appliances using their Echo device. You can use Sonos One as a standalone speaker, wirelessly pair two of them for stereo sound, or use them with PLAYBASE or PLAYBAR to create home theater surround sound. That's the idea Nissan and Amazon are going for with the latest automotive skill for virtual personal assistant Alexa. It can also be deployed as a wireless rear speaker in a 5.1 Sonos system. Hence, more than 80 streaming services are supported by the new Sonos One, so you can get as picky as you want with the tracks you want to listen. It allows Spotify apps to connect directly to Sonos, and bypass the Sonos app altogether. "We're grateful that customers are responding - is the most visited and the fastest growing marketplace in India", Bezos said during the first quarter earnings in April. The skill works with certain 2016, 2017, 2017.5, and 2018 vehicles with NissanConnect Services telematics. "It's about the customer experience that we can bring together".

Now, Sonos seems to be saying, you don't have to choose which platform or service to be locked into (or out of). These are poised to increase beyond the 80 now on the menu as the company will launch a platform that allows any service to get onto Sonos; the company will also launch a certification badge. Early partners that will be sporting that badge include Wrensilva, TunesMap, Lutron, iPort, Wink, Yonomi, and Enno.

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