Sonos mentioned in its earnings call today, that it will be bringing the Google Assistant to its smart speakers starting next week. The call didn't mention any specifics, other than the fact that it will be launching next week.
When Sonos launched the One smart speaker a couple of years ago, it was supposed to get Google Assistant within a couple of months. That turned into a couple of years. Now we're nearly two years after that launch, and the Google Assistant is finally going to be available. It went into beta earlier this year, after Sonos showcased it working on the One and Beam at CES in January.
The letter to shareholders mentions that it will be available in the US next week, with other countries following later on. But no specific release dates for other countries, just yet. Sonos' CEO, Patrick Spence stated that "this feature will truly elevate the customer experience and marks the first time that consumers will be able to buy a single smart speaker and get to choose which voice assistant they want to use. We think giving consumers choice is always the right decision, and we anticipate this philosophy will be adopted in the industry over time."
Currently, both the One and Beam ship with Alexa built-in and will get Google Assistant support next week. Other Sonos speakers will also get support for Google Assistant, but not in the same sense. Unless things have changed since CES – which is very possible – other speakers like the PLAY:1 or PLAYBAR, will work with the Google Assistant, but it won't be built-in. Meaning you can use your Google Home to tell Google Assistant to play music on your PLAYBAR. But you won't be able to actually talk to your PLAYBAR using the Google Assistant. It's going to be a bit confusing, so hopefully Sonos does a good job at explaining it.
Being able to purchase a single smart speaker and being able to use either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant is going to be a big deal. Especially those that are already invested in Sonos, or want a really good sounding smart speaker. Sonos is able to fit both of those bills. With multi-room audio, Sonos and Google Assistant are going to be a match made in heaven. With the Sonos Beam, you'll be able to also ask either assistant to play something on your TV – that is, if you are using the HDMI ARC port on your TV. As it is able to control your TV through that port and not the regular soundbar port on the back.
Sonos will release more details next week on Google Assistant for its speakers, so until then, there's a lot of questions that need to be answered. Like whether this will work on both versions of the Sonos One, and if it will also work on One and Beam speakers that are already in people's homes. It should, since Sonos does push out software updates quite often, and that's all that should be needed here.