Sonos launches its own voice assistant for select speakers, with a focus on privacy
The new Sonos Voice Control wants to handle all your music-related commands.
What you need to know
- Sonos has launched its new Sonos Voice Control on its lineup of speakers.
- Sonos Voice Control is a voice assistant that can control your speakers and various music streaming services.
- Voice requests are processed on-device for added privacy.
- The new voice assistant is available in the U.S. as of June 1 and will launch in France later in the year.
Google Assistant and Alexa may be the most popular options for voice assistants on the best smart speakers, but now Sonos has launched its own assistant for its lineup of speakers.
The new Sonos Voice Control (SVC) is a new voice assistant that will arrive on select Sonos speakers. Sonos clarifies that SVC is not a general-purpose assistant like some others and was designed to give you the best experience with your music. It enables you to control the playback of your favorite tunes from a variety of streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Music, and of course, Sonos Radio.
Additionally, you can transfer music around the house or create new groups just with your voice. The assistant is smart enough to continue listening to multiple requests without needing the "Hey Sonos" wake word every time. You can even stack requests by saying something like, "Hey Sonos, play The Midnight very loudly," or "Hey Sonos, stop playing in the kitchen and play in the living room instead." The assistant should be able to understand everyday language to better handle queries.
Sonos says that it's limiting responses and chimes so users won't have to wait to listen to their music after a request. This is probably one pain point that many Google Assistant users have when asking to play music, having to wait for the assistant to repeat (often rather loudly) your song request. However, when it does issue responses, Sonos users in the United States will receive a "familiar voice experience" thanks to the warm tones of actor Giancarlo Esposito.
The voice assistant was also built with privacy in mind. SVC processes your voice locally and now over the cloud, which should give users some peace of mind.
Sonos Voice Control is available as of June first in the U.S. You can set it up via the Sonos app on all Sonos voice-enabled speakers running its S2 software, including the portable Sonos Roam. SVC will come to France later this year with plans to expand to other markets.
The Sonos Roam is one of the best portable smart speakers you can buy. It may be small, but it comes with big sound, and all the the features you come to love from Sonos. It also has access to the new Sonos Voice Control for effortless playback control.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.