Google Home, Alexa, Homepod and Sonos

  • 26 January 2018
  • 7 replies

Userlevel 2
I've been building my Sonos collection over the last few years, and am now interested in getting into the AI (if that's what it's called) game. My number one priority is continuing to use Sonos, but I also have Philips Hue lights and am interested in other "smart home" technologies.

My problem is that I'm becoming overwhelmed with what AI to use, and which will work best with Sonos in the future. I currently have an Echo Dot and a Google Mini, and after a small sample size I find myself enjoying the Echo more. However, I am hoping to be able to use Alexa with Sonos to play Apple Music, as it is the primary service I use for listening to music. Will this ever be possible? Would it be possible with Google Home?

I see that Apple is coming out with their Homepod, but I have no interest in purchasing another speaker when I already have so much invested in Sonos. Will Apple be releasing a mini version of the Homepod? At the same time, my family all uses iOS devices, so it seems like another Apple product would work best for my needs.

I apologize if this isn't in the right form, but as my number one priority is integration with Sonos, I was hoping to find some quality advice/answers here.

Thanks in advance!

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7 replies

While I don't have an immediate solution for you, I have had this same dilemma myself, so I thought I'd share some thoughts which may be helpful as you navigate the new (and complex) smart home market.

First, I believe it's unlikely that either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant will support Apple Music anytime in the near future. It seems to me that each of the major players in this space (Amazon, Apple, Google) are taking a winner-takes-all approach by creating platforms that are not cross-compatible. In the long run I believe that these platforms will have to learn to play more nicely together but it may take time. Thankfully, Sonos is already leading this charge with their efforts to bring multiple voice platforms to their speakers. Additionally, I don't think it is likely that Apple will release a mini speaker like the Echo Dot or Google Home Mini. It doesn't seem to match Apple's style as they typically prefer to offer high-end and higher-priced products. Apple doesn't really need you to buy a "HomePod Mini" anyway, since you can already use Siri + Apple Music on every other Apple device, and with their coming AirPlay 2 platform you will be able to control a wide variety or third-party speakers with Siri (including Sonos).

This is why I think Sonos is (and will remain) the best choice for home audio on the market. They have already announced that Google Assistant and AirPlay 2 are coming to Sonos this year, which means they will be the first home audio platform to support all voice assistants. With a Sonos One in every room of your house, you will be able listen to any music you want using either Alexa, Google, or Siri. Although I don't think Apple will allow Sonos to put Siri on their speakers directly, with AirPlay 2, you will be able to talk to Siri on your iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch, or whatever device is close by and ask her to play music on your Sonos. This is just as good since you probably have your iPhone or Apple Watch nearby at all times anyway.

In short, I believe Sonos is going to be the best audio platform for the smart home era, thanks to their platform-agnostic philosophy and the already amazing functionality available on the Sonos One.
I’m in the same boat.

Our home is full of Apple products. Phones, macs, MacBooks, older Apple TVs, Mac mini, iPod and our streaming service is Apple music.
Over the past year we have outfitted our home with numerous smart items. All of our switches and plugs are now smart enabled along with our smoke detectors and ac system. I was unhappy with the implementation of HomeKit so we decided to use Wink as our hub. I was careful to make sure all the products we purchased would work with HomeKit if I every changed my mind.

Than we purchased a echo.

The Amazon Echo has been a game changer in our household. I have numerous dots throughout the house and they just work. No issues working with Sonos or any of my smart devices. The need for Siri or HomeKit has been reduced to almost zero.

I was still excited to see what Apple would do with the HomePod. The possibilities with AirPlay 2 and the new Apple TV had me debating on adding a HomePod to my Sonos stable. It seems Apple is again releasing a product that is not quite ready for prime time. So many features are missing at launch. I feel they did this with HomeKit as well and it resulted in me choosing a different platform.

Siri is no longer a draw. Echo has taken that role in our home but I was still hopeful I would be able to mix and match Sonos speakers with a HomePod. The ability to use a HomePod with a Apple TV would give me a alternative to a PlayBar. (That’s my understanding anyway) Now I’m not so sure. As of release the HomePod Doesnt do multi room, no stereo, no airplay 2, no multiuser support and limited streaming options.

Still kinda waiting on a tv solution but I think Sonos is still the best multi room music solution and I’m surprised.
However, I am hoping to be able to use Alexa with Sonos to play Apple Music, as it is the primary service I use for listening to music. Will this ever be possible? Would it be possible with Google Home?

You want to use Amazon/Google+Apple+Sonos and expect it to work well together. I doubt the makers will cooperate as well as you would like them to, each has its own agenda.
In your case, the easiest switch to make if you like the Echo front end would be from Apple Music to Amazon Music. Doing that will significantly elevate your Echo or Echo+Sonos experience.
With Apple's HomePod delayed into 2018, here are the best alternatives available this holiday season:
Google Home works on Google Assitant, Sonos and Amazon Echo devices works on Alexa while HomePod works on Hey Siri.

If you want to good quality of sound then I will say that you go with Sonos One or HomePod as you will get awesome sound quality with it. HomePod sound is far better than Sonos One but if you consider price and Sonos One is cheaper.

Later this year SONOS one will also support Google Assistant and AirPlay 2. So It will be the first smart speaker supporting both Alexa and Google Assistant. Based on this Sonos one will be the best HomePod alternative right now you can adopt.

If you want to explore other top rated alternatives of HomePod then jump to this post -
Userlevel 7
Badge +19
I wonder how the Homepod compares sonically with a Play 3?

For functionality, it does seem a very limited device, what with no stereo pairing, only Apple Music support and no Airplay!
Userlevel 7
I wonder how the Homepod compares sonically with a Play 3?

It's been stated by many in the Community and independent reviews that out of the box the HomePod is base heavy (which I can also attest too). If you have ever listened to a Play 3 you know that's not the case. Although, the Play 3 in horizontal position delivers stereo...that would soon be mitigated after a few feet away. The Homepod with it's 360 degree sound delivery placed against a wall might provide the illusion of stereo a bit further away than the Play 3. However, IMO the play 3 will deliver a more balanced reproduction of low/mid/high frequencies. That said in the end the listener will have to be the final judge.