It’s no longer just Alexa, as Sonos and Google have teamed up, and the Google Assistant has launched locally on the Sonos speakers.
“Hey Google, what’s the weather today?”
That’s a statement many people utter when they use an Android phone, a Google app, or a Google smart display or smart speaker. It’s one of the many things you can say to Google to get it to say something back, and you can check the news, play music, or do a Google search to get an answer for something.
These days, asking Google something is fairly normal, but it’s something you can’t do on every device. Quite a few support it, but not everything.
However this week, Sonos does, as a good year or so of waiting has resulted in the Google Assistant being added to select Sonos speakers.
From this week, owners of the Sonos One and the Sonos Beam soundbar can now add the Google Assistant to call up Google functions on their speakers. Interestingly, the Google Assistant will work alongside that of Alexa, meaning both Amazon and Google’s assistants work on the same system.
“Hey Google” and “Hey Alexa” can be triggered from the same Sonos Beam, though they will do different things, with different skills supported between them.
One thing you may not be able to do, however, is use your Google Assistant to transmit sound to other Google speakers. Rather, the update brings the Google Assistant to Sonos speakers, but not necessarily multiroom across Sonos speakers to other Google speakers. That’s something we’ll be curious to test a little more, though it is a start.
In fact, it’s a speaker system that handles both major assistant services, covering Amazon’s Alexa — which the Sonos One launched with — and the Google Assistant. We’re not sure of many others that have this, if any, though we’ve heard that Bose might soon have something, and that makes the Sonos a rarity in the world.
If you’re not sure which assistant is the best, Sonos’ support for both is a good thing because it means you can now dabble with both and see which works best for your needs, if any.
Sonos owners will find the update waiting on their devices from July 3 provided they have a Sonos One or Sonos Beam. If you have an older Sonos product, your multiroom connectivity will still work, but you won’t be able to talk to your speaker because it lacks a microphone.