Rumours have been running hot for a few weeks that Sonos is about to announce its own voice assistant, and it turns out the rumours are true – the company has just announced a new voice assistant for its products, designed to help you control your Sonos products and voiced by actor Giancarlo Esposito.
First things first – the Sonos voice assistant isn’t a do-everything voice assistant. You’ll still want to ask Google, Alexa or something called Siri (🤷♂️) about your schedule, appointments and general knowledge. Sonos’ assistant is designed to handle what it knows best – its own products, and your experience using them. It’s there to offer fast, accurate, hands-free control of your Sonos system.
As we’re increasingly conscious of privacy around processing of our voices, Sonos is quick to point out that all language processing happens on the speaker itself and nothing leaves your network – the company says they don’t need the data and they don’t want it.
The Sonos voice assistant is summoned by the wake words “Hey Sonos”, which seems a good choice – its unlikely to come up in conversation. You can ask it to play specific music, control playback and volume, and manage Sonos speaker groups.
Interestingly, voice control doesn’t seem to work with all the music services attached to your Sonos account. Sonos lists its own Radio service, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer and Pandora as supported services (Spotify and YouTube Music are notable omissions).
Sonos is rolling out Voice Control starting from June 1 in the USA. France is the second territory, with a launch looming later in 2022 — Sonos says that’s where many of the engineers who worked on Voice Control are located.
An Australian launch is not yet on the cards, but we’re sure it will happen eventually.
Perhaps Sonos will launch localised voice responses in different territories? We’d love to hear our Sonos answer back in Alf Stewart’s voice.