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No Google Assistant on Era 100/300 - support for existing speakers

  • 7 March 2023
  • 22 replies
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Userlevel 4
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So the Sonos Era 100 and 300 have been officially announced - without support for Google Assistant.

The following article from The Verge (https://www.theverge.com/23627044/sonos-era-300-100-announced-price-features-hands-on) mentions this: 

‘Sonos says this is due to changes that Google has implemented for companies that want to run the voice service on third-party hardware. Patrick Spence claims it’s unrelated to the ongoing legal battle between the two companies and insists Assistant is now more of a “heavy engineering lift” than it was before. “Right now, we don’t see it being worth the effort. We hope Google will take another path that will allow us to continue to offer it in more of a lightweight manner the way we do today.”’

Does this mean that those new speakers cannot be controlled by an additional Google Nest speaker either via the Google Home integration? And will this lack of Google Assistant support eventually affect owners of existing Sonos devices, such as the Sonos One/Move/Beam/Arc?

 

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Best answer by melvimbe 7 March 2023, 20:01

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22 replies

I would assume it works like existing speakers that do not have GA installed.  They can be controlled through any GA enabled speaker, including other Sonos speakers.

Userlevel 7
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If the 100 really is meant to succeed the One this does present a problem for people wanting voice control in languages that are unsupported by Alexa and SVC. Like my native language, Dutch. Even if this is Google’s doing, I do feel a bit left out.

Using a Nest Mini is a work around, not a solution.

Userlevel 2

This move is entirely unacceptable and makes the entire Era line incompatible with my household. Upgrading is not an option without Google Assistant.

Then you may want to complain directly to Google, since they’re the ones that changed the requirements and caused Sonos to rethink adding the Google voice assistant to the new Era speakers. 

I do feel your pain, but then if you have current Sonos speakers that work with Google assistant, they’ll be able to control the new speakers. It does limit the number of microphones to pick up your voice, however. 

Userlevel 2
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Personally I would even consider getting new Era speakers without Google Assistant, but they don’t even support Alexa in Poland. So I would be left with no assistant support besides simple Sonos Voice Control… 

Interestingly on the Polish website they claim that you can use Alexa to control it, but it’s probably due to semi-automatic translation

 

Userlevel 7

Personally I would even consider getting new Era speakers without Google Assistant, but they don’t even support Alexa in Poland. So I would be left with no assistant support besides simple Sonos Voice Control… 

Interestingly on the Polish website they claim that you can use Alexa to control it, but it’s probably due to semi-automatic translation.

 

Support for Alexa on Sonos in Poland is coming soon.

https://www.pocket-lint.com/sonos-alexa-voice-control-availability-countries-how-it-works/

@DominikDominik,

Please do not Spam your complaint to multiple threads.  It is both Spamming and off-topic, and is against the TOS you agreed to when you signed up for this site. 

Userlevel 2

Was also considering upgrading some of my Sonos One speakers, but decided not to due lack of GA support. I’m not a big fan of other assistants and would like to keep my home smart.

I’m disappointed to see Sonos using “Premium Smart Speaker” for something that drops support of GA compared to the old models and not even highlighting this anywhere on the product page — I just accidentally noticed while checking details and ended up on this page.

One can say it’s a Google’s problem and indeed partially it is, however I was about to pay €500 for the speaker and the previous model already does what I want, so that being said I will blame it fully on Sonos.

Anyone familiar with implementation of voice assistants that knows what’s changed with Google assistant that makes it more of a “heavy engineering lift”?

Userlevel 2

@joshbutleruk exactly; I’ve seen no developer announcements or news articles in these regards and I follow Google from a developer’s perspective quite closely.

Userlevel 3

It’s very disappointing that Google Assistant isn’t supported on the new Era devices with more processing power than the previous Sonos One units (I have several). Alexa is a non-starter for me, I’ve used it in the past but the need to add a skill before I can ask Alexa to accomplish a task is not user friendly,

 

Google Assistant just does what I ask it to without having to jump through unnecessary hoops. Considering Amazon has made major cuts in their Alexa division and since it’s not clear how much continued investment there will be from Amazon I’m not willing to jump ship no matter how much better the Era may sound.

 

Sonos please consider adding Google Assistant. The need to use a Google smart speaker or older Google Assistant enabled device to control a Sonos smart speaker doesn’t make sense.

Userlevel 7
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How have you concluded the solution is “more processing power”?

Userlevel 3

How have you concluded the solution is “more processing power”?

To clarify I was not suggesting that more processing power is the solution, the new devices have more processing power than the older units that support GA which is part of my frustration. 
 

If it is supported on a less powerful device then there is little argument about processing capability for support other than engineering effort to include it, licensing, etc. 

Userlevel 2
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I’m also frustrated but from the dev point of view I understand how decision could have been made.

Disclaimer: I don’t have any inside knowledge why Sonos actually resigned from having Google Assistant. I’m interested in Google dev ecosystem in general, though.

Between 2020-2022 Google announced significant changes to how Google Assistant integration will look like in the future. Before that it was relatively straightforward to integrate any input (e.g. voice) with Google Assistant using tools like Conversational Actions. For instance libraries like Google Assistant Library have been deprecated. There was a lot of comments about this controversial move in Home Assistant and YouTube community.

I suppose there were some other changes if you’d like to integrate commercial products with Google Assistant. The Sonos-vs-Google trial probably wouldn’t help with that as well. For instance here you can see an expected process if you’d like to integrate your system with Google Assistant.

Moreover, Google has decided to leverage Matter for their smart home integrations which is probably another engineering challenge to solve.

Userlevel 1
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I prefer the Google mini gen 2 for voice control. It listens more accurately from farther away. 

Just came back with new Era 300 under my arms from local dealer. Paid €500.

Trying to set up GA, failed, found my way in this forum. 
Immense disappointment. Purchase was after exploring positive GA-story’s of other Sonos products like One not knowing Era would not offer GA.

I’m behind but understand that Google and not Sonos is the problem-source.

 

My question:

Is it currently 100% clear that GA will not be support  Era products or is some perspective present in the near future? (after legal outcome)

Otherwise I return the device to dealer next week.

 

 

Userlevel 2

@Hans VC, it is not for certain that Google is the problem source. All we have is the word of Sonos, given without proof of increased development complexity, just their word of mouth. It’s more likely they are just trying to distance themselves from Google given the lawsuits in both directions, at the expense and convenience of us, their consumers. To both companies: good luck with that. Shutting down access to competitor’s ecosystems makes me look towards other, less walled-garden solutions with greater longevity.

Userlevel 1
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LONG time Sonos owner here. Dumped Amazon Alexa a few years ago and have been using Google. Dismayed Google is no longer supported and, instead of jumping in with Era purchases, I am sticking with the Sonos Ones that I have for portable use.

@Hans VC, it is not for certain that Google is the problem source. All we have is the word of Sonos, given without proof of increased development complexity, just their word of mouth. It’s more likely they are just trying to distance themselves from Google given the lawsuits in both directions, at the expense and convenience of us, their consumers. To both companies: good luck with that. Shutting down access to competitor’s ecosystems makes me look towards other, less walled-garden solutions with greater longevity.

 

Google has been showing less interest in their voice assistant lately, particularly on smart displays.

https://www.techradar.com/news/google-kills-third-party-smart-displays-and-its-voice-assistant-could-be-next

Google really wasn’t that interested in having their Assistant on Sonos to begin with, and made a rule that you can’t run other asisstaince (Alexa, SVC) on the same device.  To be fair, Amazon has also pulled back on it’s voice assistant efforts too, and this all has to do with the current state of the market.

If you currently dependent on GA, then it absolutely makes sense to hold off on Era speakers.  I wouldn’t be too optimistic that the new speakers, or future speakers for that matter.  Things don’t seem to be trending in that direction.

 

Just my opinion, but I don’t think the low cost speaker + free server access plan for these cloud based voice assistant are proving to be profitable.

Final conclusion is that the Era300 is NOT a smart speaker and €500 is completely overpriced.

 

Purchased from dealer last Saturday.

Returning to dealer tomorrow.

 

Final conclusion is that the Era300 is NOT a smart speaker and €500 is completely overpriced.

 

Purchased from dealer last Saturday.

Returning to dealer tomorrow.

 

 

While I completely get that lack of GA is a deal breaker for you, stating that Era isn’t a smart speaker makes no sense.  By that logic, Amazon Echo and and Apple HomePods aren’t smart speakers either.

Userlevel 2

Final conclusion is that the Era300 is NOT a smart speaker and €500 is completely overpriced.

 

Purchased from dealer last Saturday.

Returning to dealer tomorrow.

 

 

While I completely get that lack of GA is a deal breaker for you, stating that Era isn’t a smart speaker makes no sense.  By that logic, Amazon Echo and and Apple HomePods aren’t smart speakers either.

 
Having One available with better smartness takes away their opportunity to call Era 300 premium smart speaker!