Musical company

Sonos speaker company with its own music language assistant

SANTA BARBARA (dpa-AFX) – Speaker supplier Sonos wants to offer its device users an alternative to language assistants from big tech companies. The software is designed tightly for music use and will initially only be available in the US starting in June. By the end of the year, Sonos customers in France will also be able to place orders with their French speakers. Sonos did not give a schedule for other countries on Wednesday.

With the Sonos voice assistant, users will be able to control music playback and more, even in different rooms. Software called Sonos Voice Control can share a speaker with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, then programs switch to the wake word. Such coexistence on a device that does not work with Google’s competitor software assistant. Although they can be used in parallel in the same system, they must be run on different devices. Sonos and Google (Alphabet C (formerly Google)) are locked in a bitter patent dispute in court.

Sonos brought its language assistant technology home with the purchase of French company Snips in 2019. The preliminary work also explains why France will be the first stop in its international expansion. Data protection should ensure that all voice commands are processed on the devices themselves rather than online in the cloud. In the past, Sonos has indicated that customers were worried about voice assistants from Google and Amazon, so they launched models without the necessary microphones.

Sonos also unveiled its lowest-priced speaker model on Wednesday. The little device called Sonos Ray is said to cost €299 in Germany – and the company says it doesn’t want to leave the job of cheaper speakers for TVs to competitors. The previous Sonos speakers are much more expensive, priced at 999 and 499 euros. According to the latest information, the company has devices in 13 million homes. /sso/DP/zb