Hey Sonos, forget Google and Alexa and turn the volume up

(Pocket-lint) – Sonos has announced Sonos Voice Control – a dedicated assistant that will offer users more control of their Sonos speakers using their voice than Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

The Sonos voice assistant will be available on all Sonos speakers that have a microphone, which includes the Sonos One, Sonos Roam, Sonos Move, Sonos Beam (Gen 1 and Gen 2) and the Sonos Arc. You’ll also be able to use one of these speakers to control other Sonos speakers though.

Responding to the wake words “Hey Sonos”, Sonos Voice Control will allow users to use their voice to exercise a number of features, from basic volume control and music playback control, to more specific features like turning on Speech Enhancement on your Sonos soundbar, or grouping Sonos speakers together. 

Unlike Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, the Sonos Voice Control assistant works locally on the speaker itself and Sonos has said no transcript is sent to the cloud so conversations remain private. That also means the Sonos Voice Control assistant can be used on the Sonos Roam and Sonos Move to control the speakers even when they are in Bluetooth mode as a connection to the internet isn’t required.

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You won’t be able to use the Sonos Voice Control assistant to control smarthome devices, as you can with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and you won’t be able to start adding to a shopping list or find out what the weather is like – it’s not designed to compete with Alexa or Assistant. The Sonos Voice Control assistant will also only work alongside Amazon Alexa. You won’t be able to have it working alongside Google Assistant.

The Sonos Voice Control assistant will launch in the US on 1 June, followed by France later in 2022. It is voiced by Giancarlo Esposito. A launch date for the UK has yet to be revealed. When it becomes available, it will be an over-the-air software update and you’ll have to add it to your compatible speakers to get started.

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Writing by Britta O’Boyle.

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