Sonos began rolling out Google Assistant support to its entire speaker line-up in the United States Tuesday. The company plans to bring the same feature to the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, France, and the Netherlands in July, and follow up in other countries in subsequent months.
Sonos speakers are gaining support for Google’s voice assistant in two different ways: Consumers who own a Sonos One speaker or Beam soundbar, which both come with far-field microphones built-in, will be able to simply query the Google Assistant directly from their device with the “Hey Google” wake phrase. The company’s legacy speakers can be controlled from a Google Home Mini, Nest Hub, smart phone or any other device with Google Assistant on board.
The addition of the Google Assistant will allow consumers to request songs, albums or playlists from a number of supported services, including Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Pandora, Tidal, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and Deezer.
Basic Playback controls are available even for music services that didn’t make this initial list, and consumers are also able to ask for a whole range of other things offered by the Google Assistant, including news briefings, weather, calendar entries, directions and more.
The smart speaker maker is adding Google Assistant after first integrating Amazon’s Alexa assistant in late 2017. And with this new addition, consumers will also have to make a choice: Each Sonos One or Beam can only have one default voice assistant, which has to be selected in the Sonos app.
However, consumers will still be able to mix and match voice control through multiple devices: For instance, one could set up one Sonos One to work with Alexa and another with Google Assistant, or make Alexa the default assistant and then query the Google Assistant with a Home Mini.
A Sonos executive told Variety that the company also implemented seamless control across these assistants, making it possible to launch playback in the Spotify app, then add a song with Airplay, and finally ask Google Assistant to identify what’s playing.
Some Google Assistant features won’t initially be available on Sonos. This includes phone calls, contacts and other personalized features depending on voice match functionality currently only available on Google’s own smart speakers. Sonos’ executive didn’t want to comment on the company’s roadmap, but said that it planned to extend the feature set of the Google Assistant on its devices over time.