Voice Control WITHOUT Alexa

  • 5 August 2018
  • 7 replies

I just want voice control for simple things like volume control, skip, repeat, play, pause, etc. Not interested in all the other stuff and actually got rid of Alexa's to get Sonos and have no interest in linking Sonos to Alexa account for what should be obvious reason...

Can Sonos please consider adding this for Sonos One, the mic is there, why not?? I would buy more for the rest of our rooms but right now I am not sold on this being the speakers I invest in.

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7 replies

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So you want a system that understands your voice to control Sonos but you don't want voice control???? Is this me or is this an oxymoron!!!
I think what s/he wants is voice control done by Sonos, and not Amazon/Google/Apple.

I would suggest that the effort/hardware/software/expense to do so would make it most unlikely for Sonos to invest in, given so many other options that appear to have little comparative expense for Sonos.
Exactly Airgetlam. Simple built-in voice commands to play, pause, volume control. Seems simple, but IDK... I was chatting with Sonos about it and they said likely not something they will not do. I'd put them throughout my house if so, otherwise likely just stick with the one I have until something comes out that does this than replace my Sonos
I have heard rumors of Sonos possibly being involved in a new voice assistant, along with several other companies. The idea being that the voice assistant wouldn't be tied to Google/Amazon/Apple/Microsoft and thus you wouldn't be tied to specific services. Sonos would theoretically have more control over voice commands that make more sense for their products that are not currently available with Alexa (like grouping). However, if such a thing were to happen, it surely would have a lot more functionality that you're wanting and would require cloud services, as they all currently do.

I am sure Sonos could have a few built in commands for the basics as you describe, but I honestly doubt there would be that many customers who would be satisfied with just that as you are. At the very least, I personally would want to be able to request specific songs/artists/stations, and that can't be done without the cloud at this point. Such voice control probably wouldn't even appease the security crowd who are concerned about someone listening in to private conversations, as the devices would still be open to the internet.

@irunfree what exactly is the concern with the more robust voice control? Is it because it's cloud based? Do you feel it's not stable enough.

Personally, I don't think cloud computing is ideal. I would much rather have voice commands processed and executed entirely at a computer that I own within my own network. I think that will happen one day, but we are many, many years away from that though. The big companies won't want to give up the control they have over what data you get and consume, but someone else will come along.
@melvimbe I agree with your let point. We had three Alexa's on the house and after a few years but I'm done with the "cloud" and giving my data up to these giants- just a personal preference. I got got other issues with these services but won't go into that. Thanks for you reply, I'm staying on the lookout!
Dunno, my car has voice control for basic audio commands, I’m sure it isn’t using the cloud. Can’t be terribly expensive to implement, but since Sonos is already using AWS, I would think they would put a proprietary voice service there. Way simpler to update, without the need to push out changes for every little tweak. Fewer resources required at the speaker, too, so cheaper over millions of speakers.
That's a good point @chicks. I always forget about that since the button to turn on voice control is on the steering wheel...along with the buttons to control audio. I really haven't explored the full potential of voice control in the car since everything I could do is already available with buttons in reach. What I did try (and it's been awhile) didn't seem as reliable as I'd like it to be, but that's going to vary from car model to model.

These days, if I'm using voice control in the car, it's probably Alexa off my phone.