Later this year, it looks like Sonos will be announcing/releasing their own smart speaker – a Sonos Play speaker with Alexa voice control built in and probably compatibility with the other systems such as Google Home, Apple HomePod etc.
Update: On Wednesday 4 October, Sonos announced the Sonos One, a new speaker with Alexa built in, available from 24 October.
If you’ve got a Sonos Play 5, you can already try a version of this, by plugging in an Amazon Echo Dot to your line in port. This allows you to both play your usual music sources through your Sonos Play 5 but also when you say Alexa, it comes alive and takes over the Sonos Play 5.
For example, you can say “Alexa, play Massive Attack” and it starts playing Massive Attack tracks.
If you have a Spotify account, you can set that up as your default music service and then everything works in harmony.
Note that this use of Spotify via the Echo Dot into the Sonos Play 5 doesn’t give as good quality as just playing Spotify directly through your Sonos, as the music is coming in from the Echo Dot source.
From brief use of Alexa, just to try it out, it does seem voice control is going to be massive, as it cuts out all the usual problems that Joe Public have with using a mobile device – the UI, eyesight issues, sometimes just getting the device to do what you want it to. With voice control, this is all out of the way.
I’m looking forward to my first “voice control testing project”!
Many thanks to Sam Mallery and his blog, as this is where I found out you could hook up an Echo Dot to a Sonos and also further tips on the best settings to use. Also thanks to Amazon who dropped the price of the Echo Dot to £34.99 earlier in the summer.