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Introducing Sonos Voice Control

Introducing Sonos Voice Control
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Hi Sonos Community members!

Today, we introduce the first voice experience created purely for listening on Sonos. Designed with privacy at its core, Sonos Voice Control is the simplest way to control your music, offering complete command of your Sonos system using only your voice. 

Sonos Voice Control works on every voice-capable Sonos speaker, processing requests entirely on the device

No audio or transcript is sent to the cloud, stored, listened to or read by anyone.

Available on new voice capable products and as a free update for existing customers, Sonos Voice Control is compatible with Sonos Radio, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, and Pandora at launch. More services and markets will follow. 

 

Fast, accurate control of your music and your Sonos System 

Sonos Voice Control finds the music you want to listen to, processing requests entirely on the device. Local processing delivers faster response times, and effortless follow-ups. 

All you need is one “Hey Sonos” and you can follow up without the need for additional wake-words.

Just like the Sonos app, you can control music and speakers in any room, easily move music around the home, save and like your favorite songs to your personal music library and more.

 

Natural conversation with Giancarlo Esposito

Sonos Voice Control understands the nuance of human communication and will respond to natural commands like “turn it up!”. After a careful search, Sonos chose award-winning actor Giancarlo Esposito - best known for his roles in Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and The Mandalorian - to deliver a familiar voice for US customers. With careful recording, advanced processing and mastering, the voice is natural, unobtrusive, yet confident and engaging. 

Sonos’ first voice will be joined by others over time as Sonos continues to expand the experience to new people and places.

 Sonos Voice Control is available in the US starting June 1 and in France later this year, with additional markets to follow. 

Read the full press release on Sonos Voice Control here.


149 replies

Userlevel 7

“Hey Sonos, group the Living Room and Dining Room.”

Thank you, Sonos.

 

Here are other voice requests for Sonos Voice Control:
https://support.sonos.com/s/article/5108?language=en_US

 

 Great news @Caroline V. !  And thanks for the additional details @GuitarSuperstar 

 

A few questions:

  • Can you set default music services?  Per system or per room?
  • Can a room (or speaker) be set to act on a different room by default, similar to Alexa groups.  For example, you have a Roam (Room 1) and an Amp (Room 2).  Can you set it up so that a request to play music, change volume, etc be made to the Roam automatically go to Roam 2?  “Hey Sonos turn up the volume “...and the volume on Room 2 goes up?
  • Will the product control commands work regardless of music service currently played?  For example, if you’re streaming spotify, and request to fast forward, will it work?
  • Can you request to play music from an aux input?
Userlevel 2
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@melvimbe 

Yes, you can set a default service: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/5088?language=en_US

 

Bad news is that this is only good for existing SONOS speakers with voice control. Most of my setup are AMPs. I’m hoping SONOS will release separate hardware for just voice control like Echos.

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Will Sonos Voice Control play music in lossless (ie Apple Music)?

Haven’t seen any info about this. Be great if it could overcome this limitation of other voice assistants. 

Userlevel 6

Hey Sonos!

 

 

@melvimbe

Yes, you can set a default service: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/5088?language=en_US

 

Bad news is that this is only good for existing SONOS speakers with voice control. Most of my setup are AMPs. I’m hoping SONOS will release separate hardware for just voice control like Echos.

 

Thanks for that.  Your second point is why I asked my second question.  I am wondering if the cheaper (relatively) Roam, or a used/refurbished Sonos One can be used as the mic for a Sonos room that doesn’t have mics, in a way.  Pretty sure it can, if you include the room name with your command...but that’s not ideal, and will get old really fast.  And yes, it’s hard to say the dot you got for $20 on black friday two years ago is going to be replaced by a $180 Roam.  In my case though, my amp is serving outdoor speakers, so using a Roam for voice control might be the best option.

 

The Verge posted their article about the voice control release.  Worth a look as it has a bit more information.

  • Yes, volume, stop, mute, fwd, rev, etc will work regardless of what streaming service is playing, same as it does for Alexa or GA.
  • You can have both Alexa and Sonos Voice Control  (can we call it SVC?) operating on the same speaker.  Google Assistant won’t allow that.
Userlevel 6
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I hardly use voice assistants anyway 

2 commands I use good night turn downstairs lights and TV off and upstairs on, And all lights off found that works 99% of the time, rest of the time I have tried it it rarely works properly 😩

Prefer to use the app for music selection as it's the closest thing I have to flipping through my lp collection 

But what do I know I am old...

 

Userlevel 4
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Now the stupidity of not putting voice capabilities in the Five comes home to roost.

Designed long before there was knowledge about how such a system would potentially work. Seems like blaming Sonos for not allowing the PLAYBAR to have AirPlay 2. 

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This has seemed like a lifetime waiting for (ok a few years anyways). Giancarlo Esposito is the bomb, perfect choice. Thank you Sonos, really excited for this in general. June 1st can’t come soon enough!!!! The end goal for me is to finally kick Alexa to the curb and we are this close. A few quick questions & requests: 

Is it only the speaker you are within voice shot of to control or any speaker on your network. For example, can I use a bathroom Roam to turn on the Kitchen (with or without a mic as I have both).

I know everyone and their mother wants Spotify but for me Sirius XM integration would be awesome. Also curious about the Apple Music Lossless question.

Can you trigger or integrate something like Shortcuts where you can say, “Run Patio Party” and it will go thru a series of steps with launching certain speakers, certain music etc..?

Any chance we will get Sonos app voice integration if you are away from voice shot of a speaker (like Alexa can)?

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Designed long before there was knowledge about how such a system would potentially work. Seems like blaming Sonos for not allowing the PLAYBAR to have AirPlay 2. 

That’s a pretty I’ll informed response. It’s not like Sonos products didn’t already support voice assistants when the Five [and even the Play:5 (Gen 2] was released.

Designed long before there was knowledge about how such a system would potentially work. Seems like blaming Sonos for not allowing the PLAYBAR to have AirPlay 2. 

That’s a pretty I’ll informed response. It’s not like Sonos products didn’t already support voice assistants when the Five [and even the Play:5 (Gen 2] was released.

 

Pretty sure @Airgetlam is stating that the basic design of the play:5 and Five didn’t change, they only upgraded the memory other parts to modernize it.  Sonos didn’t change the speaker layout or the exterior housing to make room for mics and all that that entails...as well as testing, etc.  Whether the cost of additional development and such would have been worth it throw in mics, or what Sonos may have planned to address that in the future...I have no idea.

Also pretty sure the Play:5 (gen 2 was released years before Sonos One.  It certainly wasn’t after.

 

 

This has seemed like a lifetime waiting for (ok a few years anyways). Giancarlo Esposito is the bomb, perfect choice. Thank you Sonos, really excited for this in general. June 1st can’t come soon enough!!!! The end goal for me is to finally kick Alexa to the curb and we are this close. A few quick questions & requests: 

Is it only the speaker you are within voice shot of to control or any speaker on your network. For example, can I use a bathroom Roam to turn on the Kitchen (with or without a mic as I have both).

 

 

From the support docs posted early, you can control any room if you speak the room name.  So “hey sonos, play music in the kitchen’ would work.  My open question is whether or not I can set a default so speaking to the bathroom Roam will play in the kitchen automatically...sort of like Alexa groups work.  Sounds strange, I know but there are use cases.

 

I know everyone and their mother wants Spotify but for me Sirius XM integration would be awesome. Also curious about the Apple Music Lossless question.

 

 

I am going to be selfish and say I want them to prioritize adding more music services before adding more countries who can use the service.  😀

 

Can you trigger or integrate something like Shortcuts where you can say, “Run Patio Party” and it will go thru a series of steps with launching certain speakers, certain music etc..?

 

 

That’s a good one.  I’m betting the answer is no, but it would be something I would use often.

 

Any chance we will get Sonos app voice integration if you are away from voice shot of a speaker (like Alexa can)?

 

Userlevel 4
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Designed long before there was knowledge about how such a system would potentially work. Seems like blaming Sonos for not allowing the PLAYBAR to have AirPlay 2. 

That’s a pretty I’ll informed response. It’s not like Sonos products didn’t already support voice assistants when the Five [and even the Play:5 (Gen 2] was released.

 

Pretty sure @Airgetlam is stating that the basic design of the play:5 and Five didn’t change, they only upgraded the memory other parts to modernize it.  Sonos didn’t change the speaker layout or the exterior housing to make room for mics and all that that entails...as well as testing, etc.  Whether the cost of additional development and such would have been worth it throw in mics, or what Sonos may have planned to address that in the future...I have no idea.

Also pretty sure the Play:5 (gen 2 was released years before Sonos One.  It certainly wasn’t after.

 

 

Fair call on the Play:5 (Gen 2), which was released about two years earlier than the One. However, given the shape and size of the Play:1 and One are similar, and they managed to squeeze in voice assistant support as part of that transition, I maintain there was no reason they couldn’t have accommodated the hardware for voice assistant support in the Five, and I said so at the time:

 

 

Not sure I missed this in preceding posts - is NAS control part of this?

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  • Can you set default music services?  Per system or per room?

Yes, you can set a default music service for your Sonos system. You can activate Sonos Voice Control on all voice-capable Sonos products. You can control all other Sonos products in your system through any of these supported speakers.

 

  • Can a room (or speaker) be set to act on a different room by default, similar to Alexa groups.  For example, you have a Roam (Room 1) and an Amp (Room 2).  Can you set it up so that a request to play music, change volume, etc be made to the Roam automatically go to Roam 2?  “Hey Sonos turn up the volume “...and the volume on Room 2 goes up?

Not exactly in the way you described. Sonos Voice Control can control all other Sonos products in the household, but some commands require explicit targeting. 

 

  • Will the product control commands work regardless of music service currently played?  For example, if you’re streaming spotify, and request to fast forward, will it work?

Yes. If you are using other music services, you will not be able to ask Sonos Voice Control to search and start music, or manage your content library. You can still use other functions of Sonos Voice Control such as skip, pause, volume, and grouping.

 

Is it only the speaker you are within voice shot of to control or any speaker on your network. For example, can I use a bathroom Roam to turn on the Kitchen (with or without a mic as I have both).

You can control all other Sonos products in your system through any SVC-enabled speakers.

 

 

 

Can you request to play music from an aux input?

Can you trigger or integrate something like Shortcuts where you can say, “Run Patio Party” and it will go thru a series of steps with launching certain speakers, certain music etc..?

Any chance we will get Sonos app voice integration if you are away from voice shot of a speaker (like Alexa can)?

Will Sonos Voice Control play music in lossless (ie Apple Music)?

Not sure I missed this in preceding posts - is NAS control part of this?

 

Not at this time, though I’ve passed these suggestions on to our development teams for consideration. 🙂

Userlevel 5
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@James L. Does the Sonos voice assistant only run on the speakers or will you be bringing it to the Sonos app (or as a standalone app) on mobile devices to allow voice control of amp, port etc from a phone?
 

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@James L. Does the Sonos voice assistant only run on the speakers or will you be bringing it to the Sonos app (or as a standalone app) on mobile devices to allow voice control of amp, port etc from a phone?
 

You can activate Sonos Voice Control on all voice-capable Sonos products. You can control all other Sonos products in your system through any of these supported speakers.

Control from other devices such as phones or tablets is not possible at this time, though I will be happy to pass this request on to our development teams 🙂

Designed long before there was knowledge about how such a system would potentially work. Seems like blaming Sonos for not allowing the PLAYBAR to have AirPlay 2. 

That’s a pretty I’ll informed response. It’s not like Sonos products didn’t already support voice assistants when the Five [and even the Play:5 (Gen 2] was released.

 

Pretty sure @Airgetlam is stating that the basic design of the play:5 and Five didn’t change, they only upgraded the memory other parts to modernize it.  Sonos didn’t change the speaker layout or the exterior housing to make room for mics and all that that entails...as well as testing, etc.  Whether the cost of additional development and such would have been worth it throw in mics, or what Sonos may have planned to address that in the future...I have no idea.

Also pretty sure the Play:5 (gen 2 was released years before Sonos One.  It certainly wasn’t after.

 

 

Fair call on the Play:5 (Gen 2), which was released about two years earlier than the One. However, given the shape and size of the Play:1 and One are similar, and they managed to squeeze in voice assistant support as part of that transition, I maintain there was no reason they couldn’t have accommodated the hardware for voice assistant support in the Five, and I said so at the time:

 

 

The One needed to have voice control.  No way around it in that case, since they needed a base/flagship device with voice control.  And you can’t assume that there was physical space in the Play:5/Five because there was physical space in the One/Play:1.  For one thing, the top of the One/Play:1 is flat, which works find for mics.  The top of the Play:5/Five is not, which probably isn’t good for mics.  They would have had to do more of a redesign.  I’m not say that the extra dev costs and such would definitely not be worth it, but way too much stuff unknown to me definitely say it was a stupid move.

  • Can you set default music services?  Per system or per room?

Yes, you can set a default music service for your Sonos system. You can activate Sonos Voice Control on all voice-capable Sonos products. You can control all other Sonos products in your system through any of these supported speakers.

 

 

Thanks James. Can you activate SVC on specific speakers, but not others?  For example, if one bedroom has Sons voice and a different bedroom is using Google Assistant?  I can see where that might be a desire for some people.  Not an issue for Alexa, since it can exist with SVC on the same speaker.

 

Also, as  feature suggestion, I would like to default music service based on the ‘audio type’ I’m requesting. By that I mean that I want to set it up so that most request use Amazon music, but using the keyword ‘radio’  defaults to Sonos radio. So if I say “Hey Sonos, play Genesis”, it knows to play from Amazon.  However, if  I say “Hey Sonos, play Cruise Control radio”, it knows to play Sonos radio, rather than pulling up something from Amazon.   For me, I do use Sonos radio a fair amount, but I don’t want to set as a default because then I am more limited on making specific requests.  Yes, I know I can say “play Cruise Control on Sonos radio”...but that’s two extra words.  And yes it gets tricky if I say “play 80s radio on Amazon music” 

This could be expanded so that other keywords can have a default service.  “station”, “playlist”, ”podcast”, “audiobook”.

 

I just found with Alexa, that I ended up using Alexa 95% of the time, even though Pandora and Sirius XM were also setup.  The more words required to be said, the more likely I would screw it up and have to repeat myself, or that Amazon would play some playlist/station on Amazon rather than what I wanted on Pandora or Sirius XM.  I usually would just use the Sonos app instead.

 

  • Can a room (or speaker) be set to act on a different room by default, similar to Alexa groups.  For example, you have a Roam (Room 1) and an Amp (Room 2).  Can you set it up so that a request to play music, change volume, etc be made to the Roam automatically go to Roam 2?  “Hey Sonos turn up the volume “...and the volume on Room 2 goes up?

Not exactly in the way you described. Sonos Voice Control can control all other Sonos products in the household, but some commands require explicit targeting. 

 

 

That’s what I figured.  Related question, if  Room 1 and Room 2 are currently grouped, and I say “Hey Sonos, play XXXX on Room 1” will the existing group be maintained, or will the group be broken with XXXX playing on Room 1 only, while Room 2 continues with whatever it was doing previously.    I’m not sure what functionality I would want in this case to be honest.  Seems like a good idea to used name groups so you can be more specific.

 

New question:  Does ducking work the same on SVC as it does with Amazon and GA?  Will it duck on Arc/Amp/Beam/ray when TV audio is playing?

 

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Thanks James. Can you activate SVC on specific speakers, but not others?  For example, if one bedroom has Sons voice and a different bedroom is using Google Assistant?  I can see where that might be a desire for some people.  Not an issue for Alexa, since it can exist with SVC on the same speaker.

Yes, absolutely. 

 

That’s what I figured.  Related question, if  Room 1 and Room 2 are currently grouped, and I say “Hey Sonos, play XXXX on Room 1” will the existing group be maintained, or will the group be broken with XXXX playing on Room 1 only, while Room 2 continues with whatever it was doing previously.    I’m not sure what functionality I would want in this case to be honest.  Seems like a good idea to used name groups so you can be more specific.

If you target a speaker by name, it will ungroup. If you use implicit commands (i.e. without naming a room) then the group is maintained.

 

New question:  Does ducking work the same on SVC as it does with Amazon and GA?  Will it duck on Arc/Amp/Beam/ray when TV audio is playing?

Yes. The speakers that are listening as well as those in the same group will duck, regardless of what’s playing.

 

Also, as  feature suggestion, I would like to default music service based on the ‘audio type’ I’m requesting. By that I mean that I want to set it up so that most request use Amazon music, but using the keyword ‘radio’  defaults to Sonos radio. So if I say “Hey Sonos, play Genesis”, it knows to play from Amazon.  However, if  I say “Hey Sonos, play Cruise Control radio”, it knows to play Sonos radio, rather than pulling up something from Amazon.   For me, I do use Sonos radio a fair amount, but I don’t want to set as a default because then I am more limited on making specific requests.  Yes, I know I can say “play Cruise Control on Sonos radio”...but that’s two extra words.  And yes it gets tricky if I say “play 80s radio on Amazon music” 

This could be expanded so that other keywords can have a default service.  “station”, “playlist”, ”podcast”, “audiobook”.

You’ll be happy to learn that the SVC already has this functionality. 😉 I tested using your example here and it successfully played Genesis from Amazon Music, and Cruise Control from Sonos Radio. 

The top of the Play:5/Five is not, which probably isn’t good for mics.  

Does not the 5 have a mic just now? It was never put to use, as far as I know, so I wonder what was the original intent of putting it there.

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The top of the Play:5/Five is not, which probably isn’t good for mics.  

Does not the 5 have a mic just now? It was never put to use, as far as I know, so I wonder what was the original intent of putting it there.

No. Two microphones are built into the Play:5 Gen 2s with serial numbers starting with 1703 or less. These microphones are not enabled and cannot be used. All players, including the Sonos Five, with serial numbers starting with 1704 and above do not have microphones. The microphones on the Play:5 Gen2 were designed with another use in mind, and we have decided to move away from that original plan.

 

That’s what I figured.  Related question, if  Room 1 and Room 2 are currently grouped, and I say “Hey Sonos, play XXXX on Room 1” will the existing group be maintained, or will the group be broken with XXXX playing on Room 1 only, while Room 2 continues with whatever it was doing previously.    I’m not sure what functionality I would want in this case to be honest.  Seems like a good idea to used name groups so you can be more specific.

If you target a speaker by name, it will ungroup. If you use implicit commands (i.e. without naming a room) then the group is maintained.

 

That  makes sense.

 

 

 

New question:  Does ducking work the same on SVC as it does with Amazon and GA?  Will it duck on Arc/Amp/Beam/ray when TV audio is playing?

Yes. The speakers that are listening as well as those in the same group will duck, regardless of what’s playing.

 

 

That’s a big plus for me.

 

 

Also, as  feature suggestion, I would like to default music service based on the ‘audio type’ I’m requesting. By that I mean that I want to set it up so that most request use Amazon music, but using the keyword ‘radio’  defaults to Sonos radio. So if I say “Hey Sonos, play Genesis”, it knows to play from Amazon.  However, if  I say “Hey Sonos, play Cruise Control radio”, it knows to play Sonos radio, rather than pulling up something from Amazon.   For me, I do use Sonos radio a fair amount, but I don’t want to set as a default because then I am more limited on making specific requests.  Yes, I know I can say “play Cruise Control on Sonos radio”...but that’s two extra words.  And yes it gets tricky if I say “play 80s radio on Amazon music” 

This could be expanded so that other keywords can have a default service.  “station”, “playlist”, ”podcast”, “audiobook”.

You’ll be happy to learn that the SVC already has this functionality. 😉 I tested using your example here and it successfully played Genesis from Amazon Music, and Cruise Control from Sonos Radio. 

 

Very nice! Is it because SVC knows “cruise control” is a Sonos Radio station, or because of the keyword radio?  Asked a different way, does “hey Sonos, play Cruise Control” work?  Either way...really like this feature.

I’m assuming I can’t have a Pandora radio station, say ‘fleetwood mac radio’ and do the same thing. “hey Sonos, play Genesis” plays on Amazon and “hey Sonos, play fleetwood mac radio” plays on Pandora (it would play something on Amazon).  Instead I would need to  say ‘hey Sonos, play fleetwood mac on Pandora”...which wouldn’t be a big deal for me.

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