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Sonos bringing AirPlay 2 support to its speakers next year

05 October 2017

Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus are voice-controlled speakers that are famously known for having Amazon's artificial intelligence (AI) personal assistant Alexa built in.

The newly announced Sonos One (details coming later today) will work with AirPlay 2.

Apple will launch its Siri-based HomePod in December, while Google overnight announced the Google Home Mini (below), a smaller puck-shaped version of its Assistant-equipped Google Home smart speaker to take on Amazon's tiny Echo Dot. Sonos is planning to change the way of people of listening to music. Of course, like with other Sonos speakers, you will be able to pair the Sonos One with other Sonos Ones in stereo mode. The company first said that it was working on bringing voice control to its speakers in August, and the move came on the heels of Sonos reportedly laying off staff and refocusing its efforts on software improvements. The company says that it will be available soon though. Rather than building a clunky command like, "Alexa, ask Sonos to play" Song X, by Artist Y, Sonos wants something a little easier to use.

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Sonos One is available in all-white and all-black matte finishes.

Presumably, when Google Assistant support rolls out next year, we'll see similar limitations along the lines of whatever is now available on Google's platform at the time.

For the past few months, Sonos had been teasing us with its much anticipated smart speaker.

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Spence said that Sonos has enough cash on hand to finance its retail expansion, but he reiterated that an IPO would be one of the options for the company going forward.

Spec-wise, the new One looks to be in line with the Play:1 it replaces, save for the addition of touch controls and voice input mics. Still, it's safe to assume that the company may add additional voice-capable speakers to its line-up in the future.

The Amazon Echo is Amazon's own smart speaker with its personal assistant, Alexa built-in. Both speakers can be paired with something like an Echo Dot to allow you to control your music playback using your voice.

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Also, current Sonos speaker owners will get Amazon Alexa through a software update, bringing support for this voice assistant to millions of existing owners across the United States, the UK, and Germany. Amazon's Alexa app has also gained support for Indian names, places, music and local knowledge. The main difference here is the audio quality you'll get from a Sonos speaker vs a Amazon or Google speaker.

Sonos bringing AirPlay 2 support to its speakers next year