Sonos Voice Control is a convenient, hands-free way to control the company’s smart speakers — and it’s easy to set up through the Sonos mobile app. The Sonos Voice Assistant was first revealed in May 2022 as a faster way to control music and other media on Sonos speakers. The voice assistant is the first in-house assistant from the company, but it isn’t the first voice assistant to ship on its smart speakers. Sonos speakers have included Amazon Alexa support before, and the company initially wanted to include Google Assistant. That didn’t work out, but its vision of including two voice assistants on the same speaker has become a reality.
There is a lot of refinement that goes into perfecting a voice assistant, so it is reasonable to assume that Sonos Voice Control will be limited in its capabilities at launch. However, the company itself thought of this and will defer to Alexa for complex queries. Though Sonos Voice Control can’t do everyday tasks like checking the weather or making a to-do list, it can ask Alexa for help responding. This happens promptly, with little delay, and uses on-device intelligence. It’s a fast and secure way to get answers to essential questions from a Sonos smart speaker, and users can set it up through the Sonos mobile app.
Setting up the Sonos Voice Assistant on a speaker or Sonos system requires a voice-enabled S2 speaker and a mobile device. Not all products sold by Sonos are voice-enabled, but having just one voice-enabled speaker in a system will allow users to make verbal requests throughout the entire system. To start, open up the Sonos S2 mobile app and check to make sure the speakers are updated to the latest software. Next, tap on the ‘Settings’ tab, and press the ‘Services & Voice’ button. Then, select the ‘Add A Voice Assistant’ and choose the ‘Sonos Voice Assistant’ option. While users cannot enable Sonos Voice Assistant and Google Assistant simultaneously, they can have the two assistants enabled on two speakers in the same system. Additionally, users can enable the Sonos Voice Assistant and Alexa concurrently.
Use Sonos Voice Assistant To Control Audio
Like many voice assistants, the Sonos Voice Assistant has a wake word to let the speaker know it’s time to start listening for a request. Simply saying ‘Hey Sonos’ will wake the smart speaker, which will be identified by a glowing light and the lowering of media volume. After it has understood a request, the speaker will also play a confirmation tone and can make the appropriate changes. According to Sonos, the voice assistant can manage various tasks, such as music control and library management. However, it must defer to Alexa for more complex queries.
At launch, there were a handful of music streaming services compatible with Sonos Voice Assistant. These services include Sonos Radio, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and Pandora. A notable exception is Spotify, a widely-popular streaming service, but the functionality may be added in the future. In addition, the company has promised that support for more streaming services will be added soon, but it is unclear when that might be. All in all, the combination of Sonos Voice Assistant and Amazon Alexa is an excellent solution for responding to media controls and complex requests, and it’s easy to use.