The state and the transparency of Sonos regarding Google Assistant is just embarrassing by now.

  • 10 April 2019
  • 26 replies
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Moderator Note: Google Assistant is now available on Sonos. See here for more information.

It is just embarrassing that a company of the size of Sonos is incapable of delivering a damn voice assistant integration. Something dozens of other manufacturers, way smaller than Sonos, already managed OVER A YEAR AGO. Sonos charges more for their product, yet is not capable to actually giving us a reliable timeline. They are not giving us updates since November (and that demo in January) and literally treat their customers the worst. By the time they roll out Google Assistant I hope most people have moved on from this incapable brand. At least their share price reflects their commitment.

26 replies

Sigh.

Google Confirms Integration in Sonos One at CES 2019

Update: Bringing Google Assistant to Sonos
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...and literally treat their customers the worst.

My experience has been quite the contrary. Extremely helpful, approachable, and resourceful.

Perhaps you're overgeneralizing due to a particular issue? If Google is the actual concern, they've updated as much as they're able. And for what it's worth, especially from a development perspective... Google doesn't just hand over access to their proprietary tech without a LOT of obstacles.

Trust Sonos are hard at work behind the scenes and will keep us abreast of all developments -- good, bad, or indifferent.
Withour agreeing or disagreeing with you, I wonder which comparable system everyone is going to move onto?

Anyway, how could anyone take issue with a company that has just given us a singing table lamp?
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Something dozens of other manufacturers, way smaller than Sonos, already managed OVER A YEAR AGO. Sonos charges more for their product, yet is not capable to actually giving us a reliable timeline.

I don't wish to diminish your frustration, but the comparison is apples to oranges. None of the those other speakers products are part of a multiroom audio system, nor are they also capable of Alexa integration. I have not researched all of the speakers on their on the market, but I imagine none of them do much of anything beyond the functionality that Google provides, quite unlike what Sonos is looking to do.

Again, quite understandable to be frustrated and disappointed with the delays.
@spydrwebb. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you are right about Google protecting their own multiroom offering. Not so sure about Sonos keeping us abreast of developments though!
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Anyway, how could anyone take issue with a company that has just given us a singing table lamp?


lol, If only it were a candle holder and clock and it would be just like you were living in "Beast Castle".
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@spydrwebb. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you are right about Google protecting their own multiroom offering. Not so sure about Sonos keeping us abreast of developments though!

Understandable, but I feel they're telling us all they can at this time. Surely they are overly anxious to be done with this topic, no? 🆒
It is just embarrassing that a company of the size of Sonos is incapable of delivering a damn voice assistant integration. Something dozens of other manufacturers, way smaller than Sonos, already managed OVER A YEAR AGO. Sonos charges more for their product, yet is not capable to actually giving us a reliable timeline. They are not giving us updates since November (and that demo in January) and literally treat their customers the worst. By the time they roll out Google Assistant I hope most people have moved on from this incapable brand. At least their share price reflects their commitment.

What is meant by the bolded? Sonos charges about the going rate for multi-room streamers. A little bit more than HEOS, about the same as Bose, and a lot less than Bluesound.

And exactly what "capable" brand is doing Google Assistant support at this time? Some of the competitors aren't even doing Alexa yet, never mind Google. And Bose dropped support for its entire SoundTouch lineup and brought out a completely incompatible Alexa version. Talk about "literally treat their customers the worst".
@totom, I 100% agree with you, but my frustration is slightly different.

Apart from the ambiguous post Sonos sent last year, they have posted no updates whatsoever.
I have worked on IT projects that have taken longer than expected, but the worst thing you can do is not communicate anything. Sonos should be offering a refund program for marketing a feature that has not come into fruition within 12 months of releasing the product stating that feature was coming.

To not post anything is unacceptable. I have followed up their social media team a couple of times and the response I get is "we're working on it". Basically the equivalent of dialing into a call centre being on hold indefinitely hearing "ÿour call is important to us, please hold".

My Sonos is nothing more than a paperweight right now and my google home mini does significantly more at less than 20% of the the cost of a sonos one.
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Sonos should be offering a refund program for marketing a feature that has not come into fruition within 12 months of releasing the product stating that feature was coming.

Not only would this cost the company a ton of money, but it would lower the stock value, and would not result in any additional sales. If a customer is so annoyed that they want a refund, they aren't going to be buying new Sonos products in the future. And potential customers aren't going to suddenly think Sonos is great and go buy some Sonos after such a program. It can work in some scenarios for companies, but not this case.


My Sonos is nothing more than a paperweight right now and my google home mini does significantly more at less than 20% of the the cost of a sonos one.


Why didn't you wait to buy a speaker till it actually had the features you wanted? I can understand picking Sonos over other options, if future features was a bonus, but if the product is nothing but a paperweight to you without google integration, I don't see the point of your early purchase. Was it a case where you thought you'd like the product without google integration, but realized after purchase that it wasn't going to be as useful as you thought?

To be clear, I get frustration in the delays, and a desire for more information. I'm not question that at all. I don't quite feel it myself since I don't use Google as much as I use Alexa (for now). I have no doubt that the delay is hurting Sonos sales (missed Christmas season) and management cannot be happy about it.
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As has been stated, no intentions to diminish users' frustration. That said, how is continuing to post the same GA-related threads moving us closer to resolve?

It's obvious this entire collaboration has fallen well short of what Sonos expected. Sonos management are most likely livid about the way this has all transpired, but that's the risk you take when partnering with a 3rd party.

Google integration alone should not sell Sonos, nor should Alexa. Sonos at its core is multi-room audio, so they're focusing (I suspect) their developments on other elements of a better audio experience as well. This is, to say, Google is not the only thing keeping Sonos awake at night. I'm sure there are countless hours of lost sleep, but the sun will rise if GA isn't introduced officially to Sonos tomorrow.

I would caution any investments in tech that are based on future updates and compatibility. Not suggesting all of you that are concerned decided to buy into Sonos purely because of the proposed GA integration, but obviously some did... and at this point, they're feeling burned.

I get it, to an extent. For the time being, there are work-arounds available through Yonomi and Home Assistant. That's not (seemingly) identical to what Sonos will officially launch with Google, but it's functional and should serve the purpose in the interim for those that truly seek a "band-aid" to cure their ailing wounds.

I have thousands invested into the Google/Nest ecosphere, but that's not the exclusive reason I poured equal faith into Sonos. Music is #1 on my list, closely followed by a reasonable HT experience. Voice assistant capabilities are an incentive that I'm looking forward to, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying what does exist until more official updates/firmware patches are available.

Cheers!
As per my post the most frustrating thing is the lack of communication. For a company that is selling what's supposedly a premium speaker, it's appalling.

Imagine if you were at an airport and there was an issue with your departing flight. Would you be happy for the staff to say "we're sorry but fixing the aircraft issue is taking longer than expected. We will give you an update later" and not communicate anything for hours on end?

I bought the Sonos because I wanted a good quality smart speaker for my living room. I later was given a google home mini for my birthday and because of its GA capability I have that in the living room now. If my Sonos had GA (16 months an counting) I would use my Google Home mini in a different room.

Agree I was aware that it would take some time to deliver. My trust in Sonos to deliver was definitely misguided.
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As per my post the most frustrating thing is the lack of communication. For a company that is selling what's supposedly a premium speaker, it's appalling.

Imagine if you were at an airport and there was an issue with your departing flight. Would you be happy for the staff to say "we're sorry but fixing the aircraft issue is taking longer than expected. We will give you an update later" and not communicate anything for hours on end?


Although I wouldn't use such strong language as appalling, I get the frustration. That's not a very good analogy though. I have to buy airline tickets in advance since seating is limited, I cannot wait until the plane is actually there and ready to go. The flight itself is all I get from the purchase, I can't do a darn thing while I'm waiting, etc. I would be frustrated in the airline case, but I wouldn't so much for Sonos since I still have the features I bought product for....but that's just me.


I bought the Sonos because I wanted a good quality smart speaker for my living room. I later was given a google home mini for my birthday and because of its GA capability I have that in the living room now. If my Sonos had GA (16 months an counting) I would use my Google Home mini in a different room.


So you didn't buy a Sonos One for it's potential GA features? You only gained interest in GA after you later received a mini?


Agree I was aware that it would take some time to deliver. My trust in Sonos to deliver was definitely misguided.


So if you had known that there was going to be a delay, or perhaps that you wouldn't get the details about the delay you wanted, you would have bought a different product or taken a different course of action?
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The other thing to consider is that perhaps Google moved the goal posts at some stage in the development life cycle - What's Sonos communication going say that won't be negative about their tech partner. (When they have probably had to sign a gagging order, as part of the partnership) Don't confuse an 'IT project' with a Collaborative Product development which requires development with multiple organisations. Also, think of the testing in this scenario: Initiate music on the App, Change it via Alexa and control it via GA - and all the time GA and Alexa are moving platforms that you have limited up front knowledge of changes and no control....
Don't confuse an 'IT project' with a Collaborative Product development which requires development with multiple organisations.

95% of projects I've been involved with have involved multiple companies to collaboratively build a solution. It's common place to do this and while I agree that can complicate things, it's not rare for technology related projects to do this.

@Danny, honest answer is that if I knew it would take over 19 months after my purchase to get GA integration, I definitely would have gone for an alternative like one of the larger Google Home speakers.... What I liked about the Sonos is the best of both worlds - a speaker with great sound that was going to provide GA integration.

I really think Sonos should do something to take genuine ownership for the delay. I think what is fair is that they will extend the warranty for all Sonos One speakers till December 2020 as a way of acknowledging the delay to their customers.

Next Wednesday will mark 6 months since Sonos' last update......
If the Google/Sonos integration did not happen, for any reason, I’m absolutely certain I would choose to sell my Google Home devices and stick with Sonos and Amazon Alexa... which really does work extremely well these days, with 'preferred' auto-grouping/ungrouping features and implicit playback access to Amazon Music, Deezer, Spotify, Apple Music etc.

What’s not to like about that 'existing' excellent working integration?
Exactly. I’d be more cranky with the one that gave me the GA instead of an Alexa. :D

In the OP’s defense, he’s right. How many units did Sonos sell upon the promise of the feature and has yet to deliver after 16 months? With no status updates, it amounts to nothing more than false advertising. New products shouldn’t be announced until there are actually new products and not just ideas in the board room.

What’s not to like about that 'existing' excellent working integration?


Couple of things.

1. Unlike the Home Hub, the Show doesn’t show the words as you say them, on screen.

2. It’s still not as good at understanding those words, either. “Soup timer” almost always gets interpreted as “Sleep timer” by Alexa, but always correctly by Google. Google’s bot is simply better at understanding me.

3. Home Hub always displays the current song, even while music is playing on better speakers via Chromecast. Show doesn’t have this fantastic feature, at all.

Someone has clearly dropped the ball here, whether Sonos or Google. It’s unfortunate.
Chicks,

I accept there are advantages and disadvantages to each of the voice assistants. I do currently use both in the main rooms of our home, but I would still rather sell my Google Home Hubs and stick with the Sonos and Alexa integration, rather than sell my Sonos devices, that’s if the Google/Sonos integration falls by the wayside...it appears some people here in this thread were eluding to getting rid of their Sonos speakers, well that is not what I would choose to do.

I may well hang onto the “Google Home Display” in the Kitchen, for use with recipes and YouTube etc. but my Home-Mini devices would go in preference to my echo dots. Ideally I would like to have the best of both worlds in conjunction with Sonos, but my Google devices would certainly be out the door long before I let go my Sonos Multi-Room wireless audio system.

I just wanted to clarify and add these things to my earlier statement.
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@Danny, honest answer is that if I knew it would take over 19 months after my purchase to get GA integration, I definitely would have gone for an alternative like one of the larger Google Home speakers.... What I liked about the Sonos is the best of both worlds - a speaker with great sound that was going to provide GA integration.


I can respect that answer as I think there are some legit comparisons between getting a Sonos One and Google Max, if google voice is a high priority to you. Most folks usually imply that there is some other multi-room audio system out there with Google integration already, and there really isn't.

However, you said earlier that you bought Sonos for the speakers before Google integration was something that you were interested in. It doesn't sound as if you had a moment in the store where you actually debated between getting a Sonos One and a Google Max, but went with the Sonos One thinking GA would be on Sonos soon.
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However, you said earlier that you bought Sonos for the speakers before Google integration was something that you were interested in. It doesn't sound as if you had a moment in the store where you actually debated between getting a Sonos One and a Google Max, but went with the Sonos One thinking GA would be on Sonos soon.


This describes my situation perfectly. The only option I have is to patiently wait, as I'm thousands invested in Google/Nest's ecosystem.

That said, I know Sonos is committed.
One does have to wonder if Google is delaying so that they can push their own hardware. I've no idea either way.

@Danny, honest answer is that if I knew it would take over 19 months after my purchase to get GA integration, I definitely would have gone for an alternative like one of the larger Google Home speakers.... What I liked about the Sonos is the best of both worlds - a speaker with great sound that was going to provide GA integration.


I can respect that answer as I think there are some legit comparisons between getting a Sonos One and Google Max, if google voice is a high priority to you. Most folks usually imply that there is some other multi-room audio system out there with Google integration already, and there really isn't.


Bang on Danny - you're right. Sonos is a pretty big name and when the One was released I was really excited that I could get the best of both worlds. Sonos has a solid reputation for sounds quality and now they were releasing a speaker that would get GA integration, that was the product for me....

We're in May now, exactly 6 months from Sonos' last official update.
Sonos has committed to updating their blog - even though they have confirmed the update is coming, no official update here. - https://blog.sonos.com/en-au/google-assistant-update/

I just read this and it sounds like I'm waiting till July for the update to come to me (I'm Australian). Only thing is that by Sonos terms, I'm not confident what year that will be?


https://www.sonos.com/en-us/google-assistant

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