Here is the new Sonos voice command

Sonos has officially introduced its voice control system. And I say “voice command” instead of “virtual assistant” because, as the company itself indicates, it’s not a versatile assistant like Google Assistant or Alexa. The focus is on controlling various speaker settings with voice or being able to play music from the library. So you can’t ask him what the weather will be like or when the next Lakers game is.

A key factor in Sonos Voice Control – that’s what they call it – is the privacy. All orders are processed locally. Nothing is sent or obtained from an external server. It’s a system they’ve been developing for years at the hands of a French startup that Sonos acquired in 2019.

Another key voice assistant factor is speed. Sonos wanted him to have an immediate response. And also have worked to make it work on all Sonos speakers that have a microphone. Even those that have been on the market for several years. It was obviously a challenge. Well, they had to develop a fast system that works entirely locally and is also compatible with older devices that perhaps don’t have a particularly fast processing unit.

An advantage of a fully local system is that, after making a request, the voice command listen for a few seconds –six, more specifically–in case we want to ask you something else without having to say the wake-word again (hi sonos). For example: you can say “Hey Sonos, put on some Daft Punk” and then immediately say “volume up” without having to precede those words “Hey Sonos”.

Voice command even is able to search for songs in your music library or add songs to it. Of course: it is not compatible with all services. The most striking case is that of Spotify. And the company declined to comment on when or if it will ever support the service. Diffusion. Apple Music, on the other hand, is fully compatible.

Another advantage of local processing is that, in the case of the portable Sonos Roam and Sonos Move, you do not need an active internet connection to be able to interact with the voice command. The options are more limited, of course. You can’t, for example, ask him to play something from Apple Music if he doesn’t have a connection to get the song from the server. But you can check the battery level, pause or resume playback, etc.

And how does all of this affect the battery of portable speakers? According to Sono, the impact is negligible. Therefore, owners of a Sonos Roam or Move can rest easy with this new voice command.

Sonos Voice Control will be launched June 1st starting with the United States and, later, it will also arrive in France. Its implementation, by the way, does not mean the disappearance of Alexa or Google Assistant from the company’s speakers. They will all coexist.