Sonos will launch Google Assistant on its smart speakers next week


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Many other news stories available. Also raises many more questions...but progress!

https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/9/18563413/sonos-google-assistant-smart-speakers-coming-next-week

42 replies

Userlevel 3
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Saw this a few minutes ago as well. It's progress so that's great BUT...

It sounds like the only gateway to using Google Assistant on Sonos is via the Sonos One or Sonos Beam. I hope that I'm either reading into the statement too much OR that this is only the first step and they will eventually (sooner rather than later) add the ability to interface with any Google Assistant Device to play music via Sonos.

If not that's a HUGE swing and miss. I have a feeling this is going to be a frustrating and long process of "almost but not quite" if you know what I mean.
That part doesn't seem to be defined by any of the data so far, one way or another.

We'll just need to wait until the release more information in order to know. I have to admit, it would be challenging to think that the implementation would be that wildly different than the Alexa integration.....but I've got no inside knowledge, nor am I in the beta (although I suppose if I was, I'd have to say that, due to the NDA?)
Userlevel 3
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That part doesn't seem to be defined by any of the data so far, one way or another.

We'll just need to wait until the release more information in order to know. I have to admit, it would be challenging to think that the implementation would be that wildly different than the Alexa integration.....but I've got no inside knowledge, nor am I in the beta (although I suppose if I was, I'd have to say that, due to the NDA?)


Every article out there specifically says "...Sonos is nearly ready to roll out Google Assistant to its Sonos One and Sonos Beam smart speakers"

Engadget even went as far to say "There weren't many other details on the forthcoming launch in Sonos' press release; it still remains to be seen if the Assistant will work with other Sonos speakers via a Google Home device."

I'd be willing to bet money that when the update drops next week it will only apply to Sonos One and Sonos Beam devices.

This is going to be problematic for me (and probably many) because the rooms where I have these devices also contain native Google Home devices. It will be interesting to see which device executes the command or if they have a plan to address this.
My apologies. I was talking specifically about the interface with another Google Assistant device.

Yes, it would make sense that only the Sonos devices that have microphones would be the only Sonos devices that can accept a voice input. That's exactly as the Alexa integration works. It would be challenging to have any of the other speakers do it, as they don't have microphones.

Essentially, I'm predicting that it will react in the same way as an Alexa device. You could use the Sonos speakers that have microphones to use as input. You could then group that speaker with any other Sonos device. And you could use a Google input device to control your Sonos. Essentially exactly the same as the Amazon Alexa integration. It just doesn't make much sense for it to be any other way. But I could be wrong. We'll see soon.
Oh, I should probably mention that those Sonos speakers with microphones also have faster processors, and potentially more memory than devices that were designed many years earlier. So the same limitations that impact the ability of the older Sonos devices to not be able to be AirPlay 2 and Alexa enabled speakers would impact the ability for them to run the Google Assistant.
Userlevel 3
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My apologies. I was talking specifically about the interface with another Google Assistant device.

Yes, it would make sense that only the Sonos devices that have microphones would be the only Sonos devices that can accept a voice input. That's exactly as the Alexa integration works. It would be challenging to have any of the other speakers do it, as they don't have microphones.

Essentially, I'm predicting that it will react in the same way as an Alexa device. You could use the Sonos speakers that have microphones to use as input. You could then group that speaker with any other Sonos device. And you could use a Google input device to control your Sonos. Essentially exactly the same as the Amazon Alexa integration. It just doesn't make much sense for it to be any other way. But I could be wrong. We'll see soon.


I've never even tried Alexa with my Sonos so I don't know how it works. But I THINK what you're saying is that you expect the user will be able to do one of two things:

1 - Use a Sonos One or Sonos Beam as an input device for Google Assistant commands to control Sonos speakers.
2 - Use any other Google Assistant device (Google Home mini, Google Home Hub, Google Assistant on a phone, etc) as an input device for Google Assistant commands to control Sonos speakers.

I'm saying that I bet that only item 1 above will be available when they launch this feature.
As I've said repeatedly, it is unclear, and we'll have to see.
Userlevel 3
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I bet that only item 1 above will be available when they launch this feature.I bet we'll find out next week 😉
A spokesperson declined to share additional details on the timing Assistant support for legacy Sonos speakers, saying that the company would share more next week, but CEO Patrick Spence suggested that this functionality was definitely coming as well: “If you have a Google Home device, you will be able to use that to control your Sonos,” Spence said.


Hopefully sooner than later for this most important part of this integration.
Userlevel 7
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I would guess that only Gen 2 One's will be supported. There has to be a good reason they updated the hardware recently.
Userlevel 2
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I would guess that only Gen 2 One's will be supported. There has to be a good reason they updated the hardware recently.

It shouldn't be the case - Sonos said the Gen 2 was in anticipation of future needs. I can't believe it's such a short time to the future 😃 Plus, the Beam is also supported. That's not seen an upgrade.
Would be nice if they opened up instead of only in the US. Here in Denmark we are not getting it next week:(
Who says that GA is about to launch next week – the tabloids? Never mistake scribblement for fact. No official word from Sonos yet on that front.
Userlevel 1
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Actually Sonos have officially announced this. It's referred to in the shareholder letter dated 9th May. However not happy that it's US only and I await to see how extensive the integration is? If it's just Sonos One & Beam a bummer. Why should I have to buy new speakers to use GA. We will have to wait and see how it pans out!
Userlevel 5
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Let's hope we will be able to enable it outside the US with a workaround, like Alexa can be activated beyond supported regions. However, with Google, I wouldn't be very keen to change my home location in my Google account, since that would break a lot of other functionality of the Google ecosystem.
Userlevel 7
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Given what Google have done to Nest I will stay with Alexa. I thing Google Home (or Nest Home) have changed their strategy recently for the worse.
Userlevel 7
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I seriously doubt the integration is on Sonos One and Beam only. Given how the Alexa integration works, and how Google Assitant also utilizes the cloud, it would be completely illogical to impliment only speakers with built in assistants. You pretty much would need to intentionally handicap the integration for some business reason. Sonos might sell more speakers that way perhaps, but the hit to customer goodwill would be high, and it does not fit Sonos MO. I can't see Google wanting to do this as it would actually discourage sales of Google home products, since a customer who has a Sonos room without built in VA would buy a Google Home for that room.

You also have to remember that the authors of these articles are not going to be into the details of Sonos the way we are. They wouldn't recognize that they're statements could be taken the wrong way, or possibly even know enough about Sonos to know there is a concept of controlling other Sonos speakers by voice.

I would guess that only Gen 2 One's will be supported. There has to be a good reason they updated the hardware recently.

No, not buying this theory. There isn't a a good reason to think that the Google integration requires significantly more hardware than Alexa. This is cloud computing after all. Even in the off chance that it did, Sonos would surely give users the option of turning of other features, like airplay 2 perhaps in order to accommodate GA.

I might be more inclined to believe that Gen 1 speakers can have either Alexa OR GA configured, while maybe Gen 2 can have both configured at the same time? That would make some sense to me, I'd be more inclinded to believe that the Gen 2 has more to do with production costs (perhaps using more common parts with the beam) and farther future proofing then a consequence of the GA integration.


Regardless, I really hope that we'll be able to configure Alexa and GA on the same speakers. I'm pretty much set in my ways with Alexa, and would be open to migrating to Google. I just can't do that if I have to give up the ease I've established with Alexa and practically start over again.
I would guess that only Gen 2 One's will be supported. There has to be a good reason they updated the hardware recently.

Lol. Did you not read my post, immediately before yours? Yes, legacy Sonos speakers will be supported using Google Home devices.
It's most certainly not just the One and Beam. As the CEO was quoted above, any Google Home device will be able to control Sonos speakers. Just like any Echo device allows you to control any Sonos speaker ever made via Alexa.
Userlevel 7
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Right, but the issue is which devices you can talk to. The Beam, sure, and, I am surmising, the One Gen 2. I don't think the One Gen 1 is going to work. We'll find out at some point. Obviously all models can be controlled with voice, that doesn't need any more hardware (or software) support than Alexa-remote-control needed, but its the mic-listening devices that are hardware challenged, as they have to run three very separate software stacks: Sonos Classic, Alexa, and Google. We have seen that a lot more memory (4x) is required for this compared to the non-mic-equipped devices.
Userlevel 3
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It's most certainly not just the One and Beam. As the CEO was quoted above, any Google Home device will be able to control Sonos speakers. Just like any Echo device allows you to control any Sonos speaker ever made via Alexa.

I hope you're right. This is the first time I find myself being a little bit skeptical of Sonos. I've been a loyal fan pretty much since the beginning (remember seeing your name in the forums WAY back so I know you've been around forever too). But the delayed implementation of Google Assistant has been a bit of a black eye for them.

Admittedly, I'm probably more sensitive to it than some as I'm a staunch Google Assistant supporter and refuse to use Alexa (I've tried it - not a fan).
Userlevel 2
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When they announced the Gen 2 ( https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/sonos-one-gen-2-now-available-6821472 ) it stated that:

You can stereo pair a Gen 2 with Gen 1, or use them together with a Sonos home theater setup as surrounds. There aren't any functionality changes between the two, and Google Assistant will be coming to both of them when we're ready to go. (Bold text by me, not the original)
Right, but the issue is which devices you can talk to. The Beam, sure, and, I am surmising, the One Gen 2. I don't think the One Gen 1 is going to work. We'll find out at some point. Obviously all models can be controlled with voice, that doesn't need any more hardware (or software) support than Alexa-remote-control needed, but its the mic-listening devices that are hardware challenged, as they have to run three very separate software stacks: Sonos Classic, Alexa, and Google. We have seen that a lot more memory (4x) is required for this compared to the non-mic-equipped devices.

I'll bet you a One Gen 2 that it will work with the Gen 1. Deal?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Right, but the issue is which devices you can talk to. The Beam, sure, and, I am surmising, the One Gen 2. I don't think the One Gen 1 is going to work. We'll find out at some point. Obviously all models can be controlled with voice, that doesn't need any more hardware (or software) support than Alexa-remote-control needed, but its the mic-listening devices that are hardware challenged, as they have to run three very separate software stacks: Sonos Classic, Alexa, and Google. We have seen that a lot more memory (4x) is required for this compared to the non-mic-equipped devices.
These are not completely separate stacks as Alexa and Google surely have a lot of common code (and there is also airplay). Besides, there is nothing that says a single speaker needs to support Alexa and Google at the same time, so if memory was an issue, they would setup it so a user must chose between the two options rather than disappoint legions of customers.

And the CEO did not make a distinction between Gen 1 and Gen 2, something he surely would not want to be misleading on.

And the GA beta has been running well before Gen 2 was even released.
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I would guess that only Gen 2 One's will be supported. There has to be a good reason they updated the hardware recently.

Highly doubt this, or the Beam wouldn't be supported.

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