The Sonos One webpage states "Everything that Alexa does -
Play songs, check news and traffic, manage smart devices and enjoy all those other helpful Amazon Alexa skills using a single Sonos speaker." However, reading the forum and other sites, this doesn't seem to be quite true.
We've be using an Amazon Echo Dot for a while, and find it to be really useful. I was looking for a multi-room speaker solution for an extension that we are building, and was considering Sonos Play:1 until I saw the Sonos One. However, I am concerned that if the functionality of Alexa is limited, this will irritate us.
I realise that Sonos will be able to add software updates and new features, but we don't have a roadmap as such. Could we reasonably expect that the Alexa integration in the Sonos One will reach parity with Amazon Echo, or will it always be a poorer cousin?
Limitations of Alexa in SONOS One
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First, that the vocal commands are too difficult, and I would agree with that. I think that will get better with time as we get more accustomed to the vocal commands, and as the technology improves. I think that means that if you have complex musical needs, and lack the patience to work through getting the commands right...it might be best to wait on this. That's not a knock on anyway, just reality. I somewhat find myself in the middle of this, as sometimes I want to use voice control, and sometimes, it's too frustrating.
As far as having multiple echos in the same room...not a good idea, I agree. I haven't bought a Sonos One for that reason primarily, I already have all the dots I need. As it stands now, the wrong echo responds a little too frequently for my tastes. If/when I do get a Sonos One, it will be to replace a dot.
As far as right direction, I'd be curious to hear what other direction they should have gone. I don't see how they could have ignored voice control and been successful, and they certainly are not alone in putting a high value on voice control.
I experienced disappointment with both the Echo and the Sonos One. I remember with the Echo wondering why I had spent the money in the first place. It seemed like a cute idea, but also an unfulfilled promise. The Echo could hardly do anything useful at all, the voice recognition was often humorously errant, and there were few 'skills' or streaming options available. Now, three years later, the Echo practically runs my house and I don't have time to explore all the skills one can find.
With the Sonos One, I've experienced a similar curve -- but over a much shorter time. It was terrible at first. But in the two months its been publicly available, I've seen dramatic improvements in responsiveness, broken Alexa features fixed (with promises of more to come) and evidence of a concerted effort by Sonos to get it right—at least so far as Amazon will allow. Obviously, there's a lot of work to be done, but they've also come a long way. And next year, they'll be adding Google integration, which is sure to give Sonos a whole new set of headaches.
I'm up to four Sonos Ones now, and with the recent improvements in responsiveness to the wake word, I'm probably going to buy a fifth next week. Yes, there are still missing or broken features, some that matter a lot to me and some that don't. No question, not everybody wants to put up with those issues. If waiting for Sonos to work through these issues isn't for you, if you don't like being a beta tester or buying a product that we all know isn't quite finished, I understand that. Return them. Personally, and this is just me, I'm wiling to gamble that things will get a lot better soon. Let's hope they do or my wife is going to take away my credit card again. ?