SONOS has launched a new voice control system for its speak range, allowing users to control their music, including SONOS Radio and streaming apps, using their voice. They’ve teamed up with Breaking Bad and Mandalorian actor Giancarlo Esposito to provide the silky voice for the speakers, and unlike Alexa and Siri, there’s no cloud aspect that sees your audio uploaded to the cloud. For privacy reasons, any commands are processed within the speaker, giving you peace of mind if other voice services put you off.
Everything you might expect can be controlled such as volume, next track, and playing and stopping, as well as asking what battery percentage your device is on for any Bluetooth speakers you might own. You can also use voice controls to group speakers together and play music in certain rooms. The new voice system is supported on all SONOS speakers that feature a microphone.
Elsewhere, SONOS also launched a new affordable soundbar called Ray. While it won’t feature Dolby Atmos like its older siblings the Beam and Arc, it still includes similar tech with a wide soundstage using front-firing speakers. While soundbars are usually associated with home theatre setups, SONOS worked with their Head of Audio and legendary mix engineer Giles Martin to perfect the speaker for music listening, using their Sound Board consultants – including Nigel Godrich and multiple Grammy-winning engineer Manny Marroquin – to continue to tweak the device. It works either as standalone or connects to other SONOS One speakers to create a wireless surround sound setup. It also supports the new voice control functionality.
Finally, SONOS’s Roam speakers, announced last year, have been given a splash of colour, with three new colour options. All three support SONOS’s new voice control.
The Ray costs £279 while the Roams are £179. Find out more on the SONOS website.