Sonos on Wednesday announced its HomePod competitor, the $199 One wireless speaker, that will launch with Amazon Alexa on October 24, with support for Google’s Assistant and Apple’s AirPlay 2 feature coming in 2018.
The devices includes a pair of Class-D digital amplifiers, one tweeter and one mid-woofer, delivering “surprisingly rich sound from a speaker of its size,” Sonos said. Voice capture technology takes advantage of a built-in six-mic array and an adaptive noise suppression algorithm, with echo cancelation allowing it to hear the user over the music.
The device automatically lowers the volume when you speak to it so you don’t have to shout over the music.
The LED light that lights up when the microphones are active is hardwired to the circuit that powers the mic array. “If the light is off, it means the microphone is off,” Sonos underscored.
You can use the One as a standalone speaker, wirelessly pair two of them for stereo sound or use them with PlayBase or PlayBar to create home theater surround sound.
The accessory lets you do the usual things like play music, podcasts, audiobooks and other Sonic content from more than 80 streaming services, as well as use your voice to control your entire Sonos home sound systems, use Alexa to get the weather, set timers, listen to news and traffic reports and hear the latest sports scores, and more.
Voice transport controls like pause, skip, volume up and down and asking what’s playing will be available for all other music services Sonos supports.
The Alexa voice system is always getting smarter through cloud updates, according to Sonos. Free software updates due October 24 will even unlock Alexa voice control for current owners of Sonos’ wireless speakers. A new software update available today lets existing Sonos owners in the US, UK and Germany control their entire Sonos systems using any Alexa-enabled device.
The One’s Alexa voice support for Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM and TuneIn will be limited at launch to customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Additional support for Spotify is “coming soon after launch.”
Next year, the One will gain support for Google Assistant and Apple’s AirPlay 2 technology.
With AirPlay 2, iOS device owners will be able to play any audio, including YouTube videos and Netflix movies, on Sonos speakers throughout the house, as well as use ask any Siri-enabled device to control music on Sonos speakers.
The One will be available globally on October 24 in White and Mate Black finishes, with pre-orders starting today at sonos.com.