Listen up – Sonos is letting people control the music streamed to their speakers by giving voice commands to Amazon Echo and its Alexa personal assistant.
Sonos is also developing Spotify integration, allowing folks to control their speakers from Spotify, plus there's an Airbnb Sonos listening initiative.
Today, Sonos users control what's played on their Wi-Fi-connected speakers through an app on their smartphone, tablet or PC. Now this software can be replaced by Amazon's Echo and Spotify.
The Echo integration uses the Alexa Voice Service SDK, and users don't have to learn new commands or key words. Talking into an Echo, they'll ask Alexa to play their music from Amazon Music, Spotify and other services, and it will flow to any group of Sonos speakers in the home.
Sonos owners can use their voice to play, pause, skip, control volume and more through hands-free, Alexa-enabled Amazon devices.
Check out this video to show voice-mediated Alexa control of Sonos speakers:
Spotify Premium users will have full control of the music all over their homes outside the Sonos app. There is a Sonos and Spotify Connect integration with functionality that will make it the only whole-home sound system that can be fully controlled directly from the Spotify app, including play controls and access to room grouping/ungrouping. Spotify users can connect to a Sonos user's Wi-Fi and stream their music to Sonos speakers without downloading the Sonos controller app.
Antoine Leblond, Sonos' software VP, said: "Fifty per cent of all Sonos households use Spotify. By tightly integrating the Spotify experience with the Sonos system, we've created an easier way for Sonos owners to get music out of their phones and playing all around their homes."
Gustav Söderström, Spotify's chief product officer, said: "Spotify listeners can now seamlessly transition their listening throughout the day from their headphones, to the car, to their computers or to their Sonos system at home, with complete control of all their favorite Spotify features, directly from the Spotify app."
Pandora and Airbnb
Sonos stated it will enable direct control experiences across its entire lineup of music service partners, including Pandora.
It also announced partner integrations with connected home suppliers Crestron, Lutron, Savant, Control4, iPort and Deutsche Telekom's QIVICON. These joint collaborations seamlessly integrate Sonos' sound platform into a connected home, making it possible for listeners to control their music at home, from a touchscreen panel, a light switch or a remote control, with button pushes.
Sonos will also work with Airbnb "to enhance the home listening experience, not only for Airbnb's host community, but also for their 100+ million guest arrivals around the world. Sonos has been offering Sonos systems to new Airbnb hosts, and together the two brands recently piloted a Sonos Home pop-up activation.
The streaming Wi-Fi speaker company has joined the Open Music Initiative. This organization was founded in June this year by Berklee's Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship to simplify the way music creators and rights owners are identified and compensated for their work.
The voice capabilities will come via a software update that will work with new and existing Sonos and Alexa-enabled devices such as Amazon's Echo, Echo Dot, Tap and Fire TV. There will be a Sonos/Amazon invite-only beta test later this year, with general availability in 2017.
The Spotify integration will be available in October as a free software update in part of the Sonos public beta programme. ®