Len Klie

Sonos Lets Me Control My Music with Voice

I first came in contact with Sonos music systems at my dentist’s office. I was very impressed with not just the sound quality but with the consistency. As I went from waiting room to dental hygienist’s chair to the x-ray room to the dentist’s office, the sound was there in each room, and it was great.

Now it’s going to get even better as Sonos combines two of my favorite things—music and speech technologies—into one convenient service. Through a partnership with Amazon, people with an Alexa-enabled device, such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and Amazon Fire TV, will be able to control their Sonos music systems by voice, making it even easier for listeners to navigate, discover, and share the music they love throughout their homes.

The software integration – built using the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) SDK – taps into both Sonos’ and Alexa’s music capabilities. Users don’t have to learn new commands or keywords to play, pause, or skip songs, control the volume, and more; they simply ask Alexa to do it for them.

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“Our Amazon customers love listening to music. With Echo and Alexa, we combined that love of music with the ease of hands-free voice control, and today, music is one of the most-used features on Alexa-enabled devices,” said Mike George, vice president at Amazon, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with Sonos to combine the magic of Alexa with an incredible way to listen to music in every room in the home.”

“Our mission is to fill every home with music,” said Sonos President Patrick Spence. “We don’t care what you listen to, how you get to it, or in what room. We just want it to be effortless, quick, and epic. Alexa on Sonos will be all that, and fun too.”

These new voice capabilities will be delivered in a software update that will be available through an invite-only beta test later this year, with general availability in 2017. But who wants to wait that long for something so epic?