Hey Siri, ...


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- Hey Siri, can I have a HomePod today?
- Hey Siri, can I get a HomePod subwoofer?
- Hey Siri, can I get a HomePod 5.1 system?
- Hey Siri, does HomePod sound as good as a SONOS PLAY:5?
- Hey Siri, do you have an Ethernet port? (Or do I need something from Apple Dongle Universe?)
- Hey Siri, can I use Alexa, Google Home or Cortana?
- Hey Siri, play a track from Spotify
- Hey Siri, play a track from Deezer
- Hey Siri, play a track from Tidal
- Hey Siri, play a track from Amazon Music
- Hey Siri, OK, play a track from anywhere other than Apple Music
- Hey Siri, play a track from one of my local music collections
- Hey Siri, can I plug in my turntable?
- Hey Siri, can you create your own dedicated WiFi network?
- Hey Siri, is there an Android controller app.?
- Hey Siri, …

Siri says ‘No’.

I love all my Apple gear, in which I have much more money invested than in Sonos. I’m sure HomePod will be very nice and will take sales away from Sonos and others. However, depending on what you want to do, there’s really some clear water between what Sonos has today, what Sonos will have once Alexa integration lands, and what Apple won’t even have for another six months (at least).

Innovation is good. Competition is good. Growing the market is good.

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38 replies

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I fee like Sonos needs to invest more in their marketing, especially with all the major tech companies seem to be interested in the market Sonos is in. Also, Google Home Max design looked a wee bit similar to the Sonos Play 3.

For what it's worth, I don't think Amazon, Google, or Apple actually care about direct competition with Sonos. It's the same play that all tech companies have been trying to make for years; be the first interaction with everyone.

Not unlike Android was the counter to the threat of iPhone interrupting the normal carrier-control of your experience, the counters of HomePod and Google Home speakers aren't about the speakers. Amazon disrupted the strangehold the major players had with the Echo, but the Echo was never anything more than a vehicle to get Alexa into your hands. Now that the value is established, you're going to see digital assistants showing up in everything.

That's not to say these guys aren't still a real threat to Sonos. It's just a perspective that Sonos is simply taking some collateral damage in the fight between the largest tech companies in the world for access to customers.

I don't know of any path Sonos could take other than their "embrace everyone" method. I hope they can pull it off, and despite the opinions of some, I think they can.
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I’ve been using Sonos for almost a year and I now have a 5.1 set up and I am continually adding Sonos throughout my home. Honestly, I am a big Apple fan and would have probably purchased the HomePod when it launches without hesitation but now that I am into the Sonos ecosystem, I would rather get a Play 5 for that price. My introduction to Sonos was thanks to Airmiles, I’ve noticed this product on their entertainment section and got curious. Bought the Play 3 through Airmiles and since then, I am hooked.

I fee like Sonos needs to invest more in their marketing, especially with all the major tech companies seem to be interested in the market Sonos is in. Also, Google Home Max design looked a wee bit similar to the Sonos Play 3.
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yeah, after my experience with sonos software, i think ill just wait 6 months which was never an issue anyway.
Post above says it all - "locked into Apple eco-system" - Let the Apple Fans suffer as they try and hook their users with apple speakers and yet another closed product where they will be locked in. The Sonos community needs to support the future of AI with Cortana support.. When will this and other voice support be available?Sonos have stated that wish is to add other voice systems, with Google Home next in line. You aren't going to get any more than that out of them.
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Post above says it all - "locked into Apple eco-system" - Let the Apple Fans suffer as they try and hook their users with apple speakers and yet another closed product where they will be locked in. The Sonos community needs to support the future of AI with Cortana support.. When will this and other voice support be available?
Nicely put - but yep, that's how it is. The lack of voice control was always annoying, but not a big deal as long as there was no alternative. At this point, what bothers me is that Sonos seems to be dragging their feet. If they don't prioritize this issue, I think it will hurt them badly. Btw, I had registered when I first got my Sonos system, but not had the need to bother with the Sonos forums for five years or so, since I haven't had any problems after the initial set-up. Not sure why the website forced me to update my registration at this point.

"The lack of voice control was always annoying"? I have to ask - "always"? Viable whole home voice control has existed for barely 2 years, beginning with the release of the Amazon Echo in June 2015. Sonos is realistically the only third party multi-room system to state they are going to implement it, never mind are actually working on it as we speak, and it has "always" bothered you for the "8 years" you claim to have owned Sonos? 8 years predates phone apps, never mind voice control, yet you were "always" annoyed by lack of voice control?

Something is odoriferous in Odense.
Well, I guess my point is: it's started to suck. Also note, the whole point of my post was a plea to Sonos to come up with a solution that allows me to stay with Sonos, not that I'm going to get whatever Apple's coming up with. I don't think Apple is all that great; I think I'd be quite happy with Windows on the PC and Android on the phone - but at this point I'm far to invested (materially, not emotionally) to change that side of the equation. If Sonos gets their act together, I'll keep my Sonos stuff; if not, not.
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hpl: your logic appears to be:
- I set up an Apple multi-room system, and it sucked
- I set up a Sonos multi-room system, and it doesn't suck
- I'm now going to ditch Sonos for another Apple system which doesn't even exist yet

Genius.
Nicely put - but yep, that's how it is. The lack of voice control was always annoying, but not a big deal as long as there was no alternative. At this point, what bothers me is that Sonos seems to be dragging their feet. If they don't prioritize this issue, I think it will hurt them badly. Btw, I had registered when I first got my Sonos system, but not had the need to bother with the Sonos forums for five years or so, since I haven't had any problems after the initial set-up. Not sure why the website forced me to update my registration at this point.
These "drink the Apple kool-aid or the bunny gets it" posts from recent registrants are quite fascinating. A system which has evidently reproduced multi-room music impeccably for 8 years is now destined for eBay or the skip? A sense of proportion is surely in order.
I, too, am getting rather impatient with Sonos. For better or worse, I'm locked into the Apple eco-system, and if Sonos won't play nice with it, I'm going to drop Sonos, sell the 9 units I have (after 8 years) and move on. It's not even that I'm all that sold on Apple - and I sure don't need everything to be Apple-stuff; but I need it to work with it. I first got into Sonos, after my efforts to build a multi-room system based on a set of Airport Express units turned out to be unsatisfactory. I liked Sonos, but I was never blown away by the audio quality of the speakers (especially considering the price). I find them satisfactory, nothing more. Without the recent developments in voice control, I would probably stick with them for much longer, as I'm not willing to pay what it takes to upgrade to high-end multi-room audio. But voice control is a game-changing innovation that addresses a what I feel is a serious interface short-coming in the Sonos system. The best solution would be to have Siri on Sonos itself. Or for Sonos to be be controllable by Siri. I understand that the main obstacle there may be Apple itself. But, as I said, I need Sonos to work with my Apple stuff, and if it doesn't, then Sonos goes. I'm willing to accept some less than perfect work-around - but if all I get offered is the Amazon or Google option, then I'll sell. And I want something pretty soon from Sonos. As of December, I'll have new options. I'll wait until summer next year. If nothing is out that works for me (or is at least officially announced) then that's it. Alright, call me an Apple fanboy - I won't bite back. All I want is that Sonos take notice.
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Could that perhaps be on account of planned obsolescence by the manufacturer? Now, I wonder which company immediately springs to mind... hmm....

I still use an iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, iPod Classic and 2012 MacBook Air, and they all work fine.
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Honestly, I can't imagine the people who want SONOS and want Homepod is probably rather small since there is a lot of feature overlap.
By that argument, why would anyone want Amazon Echo or Google Home alongside Sonos since they also have a lot of feature overlap. I do want Sonos and want Homepod, but what I would like is an Apple HomePod "Dot" that allows me to control my Sonos setup, as well as my Nest thermostats, my Schlage smart locks, my Somfy blinds and awnings, my Hue lights, my PowerBOT vacuum, my etc; However, neither Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung, Somfy or any others have an all encompassing offering, because right now they are all jockeying for market share in the Internet-of-Things control space to see who comes out as indispensable.

I would also imagine (I don't know) that of the 3, Amazon, Google, and Apple...Apple would be the one who least wants to do business with Sonos because of the feature overlap (which Apple created by the way).
If by feature overlap, you are talking about music services, both Amazon and Google have music services too. They too don't share across every platform, nor are they available in every country, but I accept that Apple is the most closed of all the content and computer companies.

I'm just not seeing why Sonos needs to drop everything and do whatever Apple fans want, at the expense of everything else, or fear going out of business.
I am both a Sonos and Apple fan. I'm not expecting Sonos to drop anything. Quite the contrary, I believe that the survival of an independent Sonos is widespread compatibility. And for the record, I'd like to see Sonos continue as independent. Nest, for example, was bought out by Google (who could resist $1B offer as a startup), and so now it also doesn't support Apple HomeKit. Had they remained independent I believe they too would be more widely compatible.
Presumably Sonos/Alexa development is in private beta right now. Sonos never talks about private beta. In fact, the joke around here is when things get real quiet, you know something is coming. That is their way. Accept it or not.

As to refusing to buy? Meh. I'm sure if they thought their product sales were suffering due to their tight-lipped policy as opposed to being verbose and missing/cancelling deadlines like Denon, they'd change the policy. Personally, in my forays into the public sector, the ones who complain about no deadlines given are the very first to complain about deadlines that are missed, and the ones who publicly threaten to boycott or sell on e-Bay are the ones who never do.
@jgatie, Yes, in software development nobody, no matter how good they are, can give a release date and a feature set both with any accuracy. On the other hand, many companies seem to be able to predict this within a quarter or two reliably. Certainly, this far into the development cycle, they should be able to say "Coming in Q4 2017".

And even if they are only 80% confident in that date, from a marketing perspective they should be "holding the market" to keep us Sonos customers from kicking the tires on another platform.

The fact is, in the time since Echo came out, Google, Microsoft and now Apple have all developed products in this space, and numerous other "speaker companies" have built interfaces to those platforms. Heck, Sonos hired an enthusiast who had already coded an Echo/Sonos hack to be a product manager. And that was two years ago.

To put it plainly: I'm not buying any more Sonos gear until I know their strategy to extend their products beyond the functionality they introduced a decade ago.
sidenote: As a developer of sorts, I never liked deadlines. It's done when it's done right. You give people a date and they assume you screwed up if it's late, which usually isn't the case. If it's done early, they think you either lied to them, or you are some genius, which isn't the case.

I am good without having a date for delivery. I would be curious to know how the development is going and what it's going to be, but I also understand that people will not understand setbacks and could question feature changes and all that. So go ahead and don't tell me.


There will always be those who complain. Most people who I see complaining about no definite release dates would be the very first one in here on that release date to complain it's not here. It's what they do.

Hell, there was one guy in here complaining that Sonos announced the Alexa integration too soon and I have no doubt he'd be in here complaining about Sonos having no plans for voice control if they had kept it secret.
@jgatie, attacking the arguer instead of the argument. Yet another one who knows nothing about debate.
(PS - software developer here) :D


Ok, if you are a developer. then tell me how Sonos can give a definitive delivery date for a software package that is wholly reliant on coordinated development with a third party, aka Amazon? That is, without opening themselves up to missed deadlines due to factors beyond their control?

By the way, ask Denon what happens when you give deadlines as to when Google Cast, Windows app, or Alexa functionality will be delivered. Then ask yourself if you would be any happier if Sonos gave a date of release and then failed to deliver years/months later.
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Agreed on deadlines but you need goals and this really is a matter of discussing resources and the most efficient management of said resources. It gets complex for a company even the size of SONOS.
Not to mention that the human factor is such a pain to deal with... are people really as productive as they can be (they all have personal lives/ own motivations etc), do you have the best talent you can possibly get, how complex is technical project etc.

SONOS' implementation of voice command will be centered on Music.

They have given Spotify the ability to send the music to SONOS directly from the Spotify app.
Perhaps it will be the same for Voice Command platforms and Airplay2 & HomeKit.
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sidenote: As a developer of sorts, I never liked deadlines. It's done when it's done right. You give people a date and they assume you screwed up if it's late, which usually isn't the case. If it's done early, they think you either lied to them, or you are some genius, which isn't the case.

I am good without having a date for delivery. I would be curious to know how the development is going and what it's going to be, but I also understand that people will not understand setbacks and could question feature changes and all that. So go ahead and don't tell me.
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@Temperamental

No, I do not currently own any apple products. I certainly have in the past though. I've owned ipods and iphones. I dropped them when the Galaxy looked like it did all that Apple could do, but had more flexibility. I have not regretted that decision.

I get that Apple gains a lot of quality by being a closed system, as much as possible, but I also think they are too expensive and don't allow for as much flexibility. I also see why others don't care. If Apple came out with a product that interested me, that did worked with what I already have and did it well, I would seriously look into it.

My kids have an ipod touch and iPhone, but I really don't deal with those much.
@jgatie, attacking the arguer instead of the argument. Yet another one who knows nothing about debate.
(PS - software developer here) 😃

It always amazes me how happy the true followers are to dispose of perfectly functional pieces of hardware, at the behest of their Cupertino masters.

Every thrift store in the USA is loaded down with gadgets sporting Apple's obsoleted 30-pin connector. Will Apple do it again, and move to USB-C?

BTW, I've visited the thrifts for years (vintage hi-fi, fix and sell as a hobby). Have seen tons of obsolete Apple gear, but zero Sonos gear.
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Thousands is no longer a "lot" of money and you'll have no problems selling your SONOS gear to help pay for something else.

But don't worry @TyBrewer SONOS have stated they will work with all voice platforms the way they work with all music services.

Amazon Voice efforts exec just stated that he'd like for Alexa and Sir to be able to talk to each other.

Fascinating times...
Sigh. Yet another one who knows nothing about the software development process. :8
I think its great that so many Sonos users are "Sonos Fanboys" - including me. But bashing Apple/Android is misdirected.
Should we be asking Sonos "what's the plan?" or drag Apple through the mud for actually releasing a product to avid music listeners?

I've come to accept that Sonos is no more a "high-tech" firm than Denon or Klipsch. Sonos is a music appliance manufacturer. Yes, their appliance was revolutionary when it appeared almost 15 years ago. Since then they've iterated the same basic appliance - all logical extensions of the original ("Now with a bigger speaker!" and "Now with a smaller speaker!").

I would love for Sonos to integrate with the Apple/Amazon/Google ecosystems. I don't want them to develop their own Alexa competitor. That ship has sailed, and if they announce that they're building their own version of the Echo, then we'll all know the company has jumped the shark.

The real crime here is that Sonos is acting like a high-tech firm (keeping future product development a BIG secret) and failing to provide guidance or a roadmap because they want to own first-mover advantage. That makes a lot of sense if you're Apple or Google, but could you imagine Klipsch saying "we aren't telling you what we're doing next, but we promise it will be big" - and then releasing a Bluetooth 4.0 speaker? What's the secret in that. It's a logical extension of their product line.

Sonos should put a stake in the ground and say "We are committed to working with Amazon. We'll release that integration on October 1, 2017. Some of you may say it's a little late, but we wanted to do it right. Thanks for your commitment to our platform."

The ONLY reason for their secrecy is that a) they aren't as good at product development as they should be and can't forecast accurately; or b) they are building their own voice-enabled services; or c) they are STILL wringing their hands internally trying to figure out what they're doing. ALL THREE are concerning.

I've got thou$sand$ invested in the Sonos platform and I love my system, but I'm also fatigued at waiting for Sonos to catch up to literally "every major audio company" in releasing a voice-controlled music solution.

We should be encouraging Sonos to move quickly, share their plans with their CUSTOMERS, and then execute on their plans. At this point, Sonos' ecosystem isn't meeting the needs of the market. They're behind. And they are unlikely to leap ahead of the competition in the "smart speaker" space. So there is more risk in saying nothing (which risks Sonos customers moving away from the platform) than making a firm announcement (and at least temporarily freezing that decision until the new Sonos product/offering is released).

I'm calling "Bad Leadership" on the Sonos executive team. And you should too.