Sonos has long been a terrific choice for setting up a simple wireless home audio system. Their speakers are all connected using Wi-Fi, with a central app enabling control over one, some, or all of those speakers. But, the technology Sonos used wasn’t something that meshed well with other products and services, which held it back for a while. Earlier this week, Sonos announced that that would be changing — in 2017, it’ll be possible to control a home Sonos speaker system using Amazon Alexa or the Spotify app.
Their announcement on Tuesday in New York was light on details, so it’s not yet clear how it’ll be possible to control individual Sonos speakers using Alexa. Alexa is Amazon’s digital assistant found in their Echo and Dot devices (along with Tap and Fire TV), which have rapidly become the dream smart home control hubs that we’ve been waiting for. Alexa reduces smart home functions to simple voice commands, and has quickly become the go-to software for smart home device manufacturers. Sonos did release a video demonstrating how Sonos would work with Alexa, but that demo was limited to one speaker.
Starting next year, Sonos can also be controlled directly from the Spotify app. It’ll be possible to group Sonos speakers and rooms under the Spotify Connect section of the app, which will feature total control for your home Sonos system. It’ll even be possible for friends to connect their smartphones to your Wi-Fi network and play music from their Spotify account. It’s great news for Sonos owners — Sonos makes great speakers, but having to work within the confines of their app made playing music from streaming services a little harder than it should have been.
Both of these updates are slated for next year, as Sonos will have to work closely with Amazon and Spotify to iron out the wrinkles. But, both features are expected go into limited beta by the end of the year, which bodes well for a public release in the first half of next year. Sonos has been busy with several other smart home companies, too — they’re working with Crestron, Lutron, Savant, Control4, iPort and QIVICON to integrate Sonos control into those company’s smart home products and apps.