Google Assistant is finally coming to the Sonos One and Sonos Beam


Google Assistant is finally coming to the Sonos One and Sonos Beam
It's a CES miracle.

A lot of announcements have already come out of CES 2019, but without a doubt, this is one of the most exciting yet.

At a press briefing on Tuesday, January 8, Google confirmed that it's finally bringing the Google Assistant over to the Sonos One and Sonos Beam. An exact date has yet to be revealed as to when the rollout will begin, but it looks like we've finally reached the finish line.

If you don't have a One or Beam, Google says that "earlier speaker models" will also be updated with Assistant support, but right now it's unclear if all previous Sonos speakers will eventually get the Assistant or just a select few.

https://m.androidcentral.com/google-assistant-finally-coming-sonos-one-and-sonos-beam

32 replies

Listening to music and podcasts is one of the most popular ways people use the Google Assistant, so we’re bringing the Assistant to the Sonos One and Sonos Beam (earlier speaker models will be updated to work with the Assistant). With the Assistant built in, you’ll be able to control your favorite music, podcasts and radio stations from all over your home without ever picking up your phone.

https://www.blog.google/products/assistant/hey-google-whats-new-assistant-ces-year/
The beta will soon expand to thousands more homes in order to help Sonos stress test the feature which will, eventually, benefit the final release, although many of the final settings still aren't finalised.

"Part of the beta is understanding what people want," explained Sonos to Pocket-lint when it demoed the new tech behind a closed-door meeting. That means the company hasn't yet worked out whether users will be able to use both Alexa and Google Assistant at the same time or whether they will have to pick one at setup, but should mean that the integration will have a lot more features than the Alexa launch.

It is expected a full public launch will still occur later this year although Sonos couldn't confirm when that would be exactly.

https://www.pocket-lint.com/speakers/news/sonos/146199-get-google-assistant-on-sonos-one-if-you-agree-to-some-extraordinary-rules
Pretty simple answer, Sonos. OF COURSE both Alexa and Google Assistant should operate simultaneously. This will provide the full range of streaming sources via voice control.
This article suggests google are not keen on having multiple assisstants available:

"Sonos integration was supposed to be last year, and though Bronstein didn’t specifically explain the delay, he did present the problem in an interesting context. “Whether a device will have a switchable assistant or not is something that the entire ecosystem is defining right now,” he says. I think the key word there is “switchable.” Where Amazon is happy to let multiple assistants stay active on a single device, Google apparently wants them to be “switchable.”

https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/8/18172082/google-assistant-connect-vs-alexa-interpreter-mode-maps-features-devices-ces-2019
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
Pretty simple answer, Sonos. OF COURSE both Alexa and Google Assistant should operate simultaneously. This will provide the full range of streaming sources via voice control.
Unless that causes even more delays. If so pick one at setup suits me fine.
Userlevel 3
Badge +6
I'm not really seeing any new information here that we didn't already know. I think the only reason this is bubbling back up again is because Google said something about it at CES. Still lots of unanswered questions in terms of functionality.

Can we use other Google Assistance devices (minis, google assistant display devices, google assistant on phone, etc) to control Sonos or does it have to be one of the Sonos units?

What features will be available?
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
Until they start attaching DATES to these carrots, this is just old news. Of course they had to say it's coming due to the press pressure, as this Google integration has been the longest running joke in the industry. But, to qualify that by not adding dates, and then further saying they are only expanding the Beta pretty much means the masses very well might not see this for many more months. I frankly don't believe anything from these guys until I see it.
As far as I can tell, this is the first time Google has confirmed that GA is coming to Sonos, which does make it a big deal. But yes, a firm date would sure be helpful.
More details and an actual demo. Expanded beta “real soon”.

https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/09/sonos-google-assistant-demo-ces-2019/
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
Chicks - I cannot wait to share your enthusiasm. Jeez, it seems this 15 months has taken forever. Frankly, if they would just allow the Google Speaker Group integration, that alone would be a great first step. I also feel that ANYONE who bothers to register here on the forums, should be qualified for this next round of Beta testing.
https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/09/sonos-google-assistant-demo-ces-2019/More details and an actual demo. Expanded beta “real soon”.

https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/09/sonos-google-assistant-demo-ces-2019/

Yes that’s a better indication that things will work in a very similar way to the Amazon Alexa integration. I’m just not sure that these voice control services from Amazon & Google will be available to the user at the same time. My thoughts are there will perhaps be a switching process, which is not what some customers were perhaps hoping for. We will have to see.
here’s the main limitation you should be aware of: you’re not going to be able to have both Google and Alexa active and listening on a single speaker. You can set one Sonos speaker to Google and another to Alexa, but you can’t have both assistants active on one speaker at the same time.

So, maybe this was the delay. Google refused to allow Alexa at the same time. Honestly, I doubt I’ll be using the microphones on Sonos speakers, so long as they can be set as default targets for the Home Hub. It’s a vastly superior experience, controlling via the Hub, with its full time display of the songs playing. If Sonos speakers can’t be Chromecast targets, I’ll likely move to dumb powered monitors with Chromecast Audio dongles.

https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2019/1/9/18174686/sonos-google-assistant-beam-one-beta-demo-features-ces-2019
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I'd also say that Google pushing this as a feature to announce at CES is kind of a big deal. I don't recall Amazon doing that for their integration. I wonder if this is a sign that Sonos is thought of as more of player in the VA market. I think that would be good news for consumers in general.

I also think it's interesting if Google doesn't want it's assistant and Amazon to be active at the same time. It's hard to imagine there's a technical limitation, and I can't see how it would be bad for consumers, so you have to conclude that Google doesn't see it as a positive for their bottom line. And that's fine as well, but let's not pretend that Google always has the consumer's best interest in mind.
There is also the “works with Sonos” side, which lets Sonos speakers serve as music endpoints that can be controlled by other Google speakers. In other words, if you have a Google Home and an older Sonos speaker (or a Sonos speaker set to Alexa), you can use your Google Home to start music on the Sonos.

Perfect. This is all I really need. This could have been done a year ago. Grrrrr.
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
It very very interesting if Chromecast built-in feature will be available on Sonos speakers after Google Assistant will be enabled.
For me it's much more important than voice control.
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
I'm very much in agreement with all. Imho, I almost never use voice control on the Sonos, and prefer to run them off my tablet or phone. I do have a Google Home Hub, with a few mini's around the home, and cannot wait to add the One's to the Group, or as part of a bunch of different groups to play interface based (Hub/Tablet) music. Asking a Sonos speaker for Google Assistance is about the lowest priority I can imagine as my speaker mics are always off. Any Low-Fi mini can speaker handle that satisfactorily for Pete's sake.

Imho, lets get the Google Speaker Group Integration out there ASAP, and then worry about handling Google Asst requests for recommended nearby restaurants down the road. I mean, it just boils my blood when I hear they are waiting to deliver anything until they optimize the voice control for everything beyond the main objective with supposedly Hi-Fi speakers. Makes no sense??
Well, I’m just concerned that Sonos is getting way outside its core competency, which is great sounding multiroom speakers, and will be unable to keep up in a world of smart speakers, where the underlying technology is very immature, and under constant change.

Just like their CR-100 was instantly and hopelessly outdated with the advent of smart phones. They adapted, quite successfully, and had the good sense to finally obsolete the CR-100 last year, well after its shelf life expired,

I’d be perfectly happy if they left the voice control to the inexpensive and ever changing devices like the Echo Dot, Google Home, and especially the Google Home Hub. Just make sure these devices can connect to and control streaming services now, and perhaps later on play from a local NAS, though that’s less and less important every year.

Currently, Sonos works with pretty much every streaming app from the majors, including via AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Alexa Cast, and Sonos Direct Control. The huge, glaring hole right now is Chromecast, but the article linked above makes it sound like Google will be using the proprietary Sonos API, vs Sonos enabling Chromecast. This may be due to memory constraints on older speakers. Unfortunately, it appears to mean that hundreds of apps that rely on Chromecast to play beyond the crappy phone speakers will still not have access to Sonos speakers. Sad.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Imho, lets get the Google Speaker Group Integration out there ASAP, and then worry about handling Google Asst requests for recommended nearby restaurants down the road. I mean, it just boils my blood when I hear they are waiting to deliver anything until they optimize the voice control for everything beyond the main objective with supposedly Hi-Fi speakers. Makes no sense??


I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "Google Speaker Group Integration", but if means being able to paly Google speakers and Sonos in sync, I think you'll be sorely disappointed. There is no parallel feature with Alexa, and nothing of this nature has been promised or hinted to by Google or Sonos that I'm aware of. Although consumers would clearly benefit from the availability of such a feature, there is no business reason to do this. Sonos for one has intellectual property around multiroom audio that they surely do not want to share.

Honestly, the main objective is to be able to use Sonos One and Beam in the same, or very similar, manner that you would a Google speaker, and to initiate Sonos audio through google voice commands. This has always been stated as the main objective.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Well, I’m just concerned that Sonos is getting way outside its core competency, which is great sounding multiroom speakers, and will be unable to keep up in a world of smart speakers, where the underlying technology is very immature, and under constant change.


While I agree with this in principle, I don't know that staying away from embedded voice control would have played well in the market. All in one devices sell well, and many customers would not really take the time to grasp that you can marry a voice assistant with a multiroom audio system without it all being in the same system.

And yes, Sonos will be caught up in a race for ever increasing/improving features that they will be pushed to support because of this.


Currently, Sonos works with pretty much every major streaming app from the majors, including via AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Alexa Cast, and Sonos Direct Control. The huge, glaring hole right now is Chromecast, but the article linked above makes it sound like Google will be using the proprietary Sonos API, vs Sonos enabling Chromecast. This may be due to memory constraints on older speakers. Unfortunately, it appears to mean that hundreds of apps that rely on Chromecast to play beyond the crappy phone speakers will still not have access to Sonos speakers. Sad.


I don't know how popular Chromecast is or how difficult it is to implement. I would guess there are other reasons why it's not currently in place, as it seems like it could be treated exactly like airplay.
Another hands on review. https://www.androidcentral.com/google-assistant-sonos-just-good-you-hoped-it-would-be
Userlevel 1
Badge +1

Imho, lets get the Google Speaker Group Integration out there ASAP, and then worry about handling Google Asst requests for recommended nearby restaurants down the road. I mean, it just boils my blood when I hear they are waiting to deliver anything until they optimize the voice control for everything beyond the main objective with supposedly Hi-Fi speakers. Makes no sense??


I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "Google Speaker Group Integration", but if means being able to paly Google speakers and Sonos in sync, I think you'll be sorely disappointed. There is no parallel feature with Alexa, and nothing of this nature has been promised or hinted to by Google or Sonos that I'm aware of. Although consumers would clearly benefit from the availability of such a feature, there is no business reason to do this. Sonos for one has intellectual property around multiroom audio that they surely do not want to share.

Honestly, the main objective is to be able to use Sonos One and Beam in the same, or very similar, manner that you would a Google speaker, and to initiate Sonos audio through google voice commands. This has always been stated as the main objective.


The objective with the Google Home Hub - regarding the Music/sound aspect, is to develop integrated speaker groups that can be controlled either with the Hub or any of the individual speakers without interfaces by voice. That is where in my mind Sonos fits in with the markedly better SQ. I never claimed this was a current capability with Alexa, but if the entire Sonos/Google big picture is to create a better sounding stand alone Echo, that is incapable of being part of a speaker group and is not integrated beyond itself, Imho, this is pretty much a waste of time. Who gives a crap about ordering pizza's over a Sonos instead of an Echo? The entire focus of the emerging HA technologies is integration, so how does that reconcile?

Part of the whole problem is, Sonos has been touting Google Assistant integration for well over a year, but has never fully presented exactly what that means? Integration to me means full integration, not just picking and choosing what is actually integrated. If the objective is to just high jack GA, but put a hard wall against working with all others in the local Google HA ecosystem, that's dumb and very shortsighted - And frankly, is NOT integrated at all.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21

The objective with the Google Home Hub - regarding the Music/sound aspect, is to develop integrated speaker groups that can be controlled either with the Hub or any of the individual speakers without interfaces by voice.


Again, not really sure what you mean with this term. I took a guess, but you didn't really confirm whether I was incorrect or not.


That is where in my mind Sonos fits in with the markedly better SQ. I never claimed this was a current capability with Alexa, but if the entire Sonos/Google big picture is to create a better sounding stand alone Echo, that is incapable of being part of a speaker group and is not integrated beyond itself, Imho, this is pretty much a waste of time.


The Sonos One and Beam are not standalone, not by a long shot. They don't play audio in sync with other smart speakers (except through airplay I think) and that has always been the case. The integration has always been about control...being able to control Sonos playback using the Google (or Alexa) voice assistant. And that's far from a waste of time, even if it may not be of any value you to you personally.



Who gives a crap about ordering pizza's over a Sonos instead of an Echo? The entire focus of the emerging HA technologies is integration, so how does that reconcile?


Being able to order a pizza is way underestimating what the Sonos/Alexa integration means, and surely the same for Google integration.


Part of the whole problem is, Sonos has been touting Google Assistant integration for well over a year, but has never fully presented exactly what that means?


No, not fully, but that have given lots of hints. They have always spoken about integration in terms of voice controlling your Sonos speakers, never in terms of playing Sonos in sync with other branded speakers...if that's what you think of by 'integration'.


Integration to me means full integration, not just picking and choosing what is actually integrated.


Why? Integrations are often not 'full'. Integrations are usually about what aspects of the products makes sense for the two companies to integrate.


If the objective is to just high jack GA, but put a hard wall against working with all others in the local Google HA ecosystem, that's dumb and very shortsighted - And frankly, is NOT integrated at all.


Is HA = Home Audio or Home Automation? And yes integration to allow GA to control Sonos speakers is integration by any definition.
Oddest Google Home / Sonos integration at CES: :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nHzYNJd9z8&feature=youtu.be
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
Well Danny - Seems you are really setting the bar rather low, if you think it's OK to have a whole bunch of separate individually existing but incompatible ecosystems in one home. I'm not sure how you think that's full integration but I have zero interest in debating nor get into parsing every single word with you. Yes, Sheldon, the Pizza remark was sarcasm, lol.

And, if you don't know what Google Speaker Groups are, before lambasting the concept, why don't you research it? I was hoping that my pairs of One's would INTEGRATE into this Google Home Assistant ecosystem, but I will reserve my judgement until this thing is finally released. If it's not INTEGRATED, I then will have waited all this time for nothing, and I will dump them and replace with the Max's, or whatever else is the best performing Google speaker there is at that time. I mean this really isn't a big deal, and sorry to see you getting so defensive.

I was hoping for much more, but again, I'm not basing any decisions on what you may, or probably, may not know. I guess your statement that you don't know how popular Chromecast is, kind of says it all.
Userlevel 3
Badge +6
I'm guessing everyone will have their own personal wishlist of Google Assistant Integration functionality.

Google Speaker Groups would certainly be awesome.

The lowest/simplest possible functionality is enabling Google Assistant on a Google Assistant Sonos speaker (One and Beam) and forcing the user to interface with Sonos via Google Assistant ONLY through those devices. If that's where they stop then I'll be sorely disappointed.

I think what most are looking for is an ability to interface with Sonos via Google Assistant by using ANY Google Assistant device in their house (home hub, mini, phone, etc). After that it's just a matter of how deep the integration goes - Google Speaker Groups, music services, zone pairing (if manual instead of using defined groups), etc.

I'm guessing we'll start with a rather basic feature set and watch it grow but I'm hoping for the best honestly.

Reply

    Cookie policy

    We use cookies to enhance and personalize your experience. If you accept you agree to our full cookie policy. Learn more about our cookies.

    Accept cookies Cookie settings