+ Tuesday October 22nd, 2019

After a few false starts and missed deadlines, Sonos finally appears to be ready to roll out Google Assistant on their smart speakers.

Shipping initially with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, Sonos One and Sonos Beam will be able to enable Google Assistant starting this week.

In a letter to shareholders last week, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence says that the rollout will come this week in the form of a software upgrade, and users will be able to choose between Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Disappointingly, for us at least, the rollout will initially be US-only, with other markets (that’s us) to follow in the coming months.

The letter also links to a Sonos playlist on Spotify called “Hi, how can I help you?” with songs inspired by the adoption of Google Assistant, including “Don’t Say That” and “Say My Name” – well played, Sonos.

I’ll be making the change to my Australian Beam as soon as possible in Australia – Alexa’s hotword detection is tripped up by TV broadcasts and conversations more than I care to admit, so I’m looking forward to switching that to “Hey Google”.

Source: Sonos Shareholders Letter.

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Jason Murray

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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And what about voice match? Nothing in this article about it. But the US reports say that Google Assistant’s voice match doesn’t work on Sonos.

What if you have bought content, such as albums. Are they going to work without voice match? What if you want to use voice to cast a movie (that you’ve bought) to a nearby TV? Or just ask Google what’s on the calendar today. Will any of these basic functions work at all without voice match?


Quote: “Disappointingly, for us at least, the rollout will initially be US-only”

Actually, it’s not disappointing. The Cast function on Sonos devices doesn’t work, and Sonos has no plans for fixing it. So we’re better off that they don’t sell it in Australia.

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