As promised, Sonos has launched its own voice assistant. Sonos Voice Control is now available on every speaker the company has released with a built-in mic. As with most new features, you set it up via the Sonos app on your iOS or Android device, and it's a super simple process. I just added the feature to my Sonos One (the second-generation model released in 2019) and it took a scant five minutes.
Once it is set up, you can ask Sonos Voice Control to start music from a handful of services, including Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, Deezer and Sonos Radio. Saying "Hey Sonos" activates the assistant, and from there you can ask it to play artists, albums, songs or playlists. From there, you can adjust volume, pause music, skip tracks and ask the assistant to tell you what song is playing. And as we saw in a demo last month, the assistant is voiced by actor Giancarlo Esposito — though he doesn't talk much. The assistant was designed to minimize responses and keep music playback at the forefront.
Sonos Voice Control also lets you control your entire Sonos system, whether or not the speakers have microphones. You can use it to add or remove speakers from a group, start music playback on all Sonos devices in your home, and combine these requests all in one command. (Example: Hey Sonos, start playing music in the bedroom and stop it in the living room.) Sonos made privacy a big part of its voice assistant, as well — the company says that all requests are processed locally on the speaker with nothing transmitted to the cloud or back to Sonos.
To celebrate this launch, Sonos is having a rare sale, too. The company's two portable speakers — the larger Move and the comparatively tiny Roam — will both be 20 percent off from Saturday, June 4th through Sunday, June 12th. It's not often that the company does direct discounts on its products, so it's not a bad time to check these speakers out if you're in the market for something you can take with you this summer.