Amazon launches Alexa and Echo devices in India

October 05 08:56 2017

It isn’t a surprise that Sonos adopted voice assistants.

Amazon has at long last brought its line of Echo speakers and Alexa assistant to India, making the country the fourth one to welcome the AI.

The Sonos One is based on the Play:1 speaker, but with added voice assistant stuff. Here are my first impressions.

Sonos, which has a growing Seattle office, has been working closely with Amazon on Alexa integration for more than a year. The only noticeable difference is the top panel, where physical keys have been replaced by touch-sensitive controls.

There are also six “far-field microphones” for capturing voice commands throughout the room.

The new, voice-enabled Sonos One resembles the popular PLAY:1 and adds Alexa voice control.

Sonos One: Does it support Amazon Alexa? The Echo Plus allows you to connect smart home devices to it. All the usual OK Google functionality will be available – listening to music, asking questions, following news, and so on. This comes just a few hours after Amazon’s announcement that users in the US, Canada and Mexico will now be able to make Alexa-to-Phone calls.

You can pair two Sonos One units and use them in stereo configuration. Sonos has created a certification model for customers to know which products support Sonos with a “Works with Sonos” badge for their products.

Music services such as Pandora, Tidal, iHeartRadio, Audible and Kuko will furthermore be able to be controlled directly on Sonos products. Same goes for pausing, skipping, playing different genres, and so on. By supporting both Alexa and Google Assistant, the company has a leg up on linear smart speakers, like the Apple HomePod and Google Home Max, which are limited in both voice control and music service compatibility.

Not an Amazon Alexa user?

And next year, Sonos speakers will get increased compatibility with iOS devices, as AirPlay 2 will land on Sonos hardware in 2018.

The Sonos One can be pre-ordered at the Sonos website for $199. Two separate sources revealed that the Google undertaking’s inner name is “Manhattan” and will highlight a screen that is also measured to the Echo Show. The cloth-covered smart speaker comes with a dedicated bass tweeter which delivers quality sound. That’s because they were conceived as assistants first, speakers second. Smart speakers are a recently growing phenomenon all around the world. Hopefully the update will fix the rather clunky music streaming experience that Sonos has offered to date.

The Sonos Play:5 incorporates an innovative design that allows for the most effective wireless performance. You get the same twin Class D amplifiers. The Sonos App is also getting a refresh today.

For starters, this thing sounds a lot bigger than it looks. You’ll need to fill in your deets right here. The bass is impressively deep and nicely controlled.

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