July 4, 2022

What you need to know

  • Sonos has launched its new Sonos Voice Control on its lineup of speakers.
  • Sonos Voice Control is a voice assistant that can control your speakers and various music streaming services.
  • Voice requests are processed on-device for added privacy.
  • The new voice assistant is available in the U.S. as of June 1 and will launch in France later in the year.

Google Assistant and Alexa may be the most popular options for voice assistants on the best smart speakers, but now Sonos has launched its own assistant for its lineup of speakers.

The new Sonos Voice Control (SVC) is a new voice assistant that will arrive on select Sonos speakers. Sonos clarifies that SVC is not a general-purpose assistant like some others and was designed to give you the best experience with your music. It enables you to control the playback of your favorite tunes from a variety of streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Music, and of course, Sonos Radio.

Additionally, you can transfer music around the house or create new groups just with your voice. The assistant is smart enough to continue listening to multiple requests without needing the “Hey Sonos” wake word every time. You can even stack requests by saying something like, “Hey Sonos, play The Midnight very loudly,” or “Hey Sonos, stop playing in the kitchen and play in the living room instead.” The assistant should be able to understand everyday language to better handle queries.

(Image credit: Sonos)

Sonos says that it’s limiting responses and chimes so users won’t have to wait to listen to their music after a request. This is probably one pain point that many Google Assistant users have when asking to play music, having to wait for the assistant to repeat (often rather loudly) your song request. However, when it does issue responses, Sonos users in the United States will receive a “familiar voice experience” thanks to the warm tones of actor Giancarlo Esposito.

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