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Sonos debuts One smartspeaker with Amazon Alexa, AirPlay 2 & Google Assistant coming later

Sonos on Wednesday launched the $199 Sonos One, a smartspeaker with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, as well as support for Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant coming in 2018.




Shipping Oct. 24, the One is based on the the Play:1 but sports six far-field microphones to pick up voice commands. Initially full voice control will be limited to Pandora, TuneIn, Amazon Music, Sirius XM, and iHeartRadio, with Spotify only coming later. All services —including Apple Music, Spotify, and others —will support pause/play, skipping, and volume commands, but further control will require some version of the Sonos Controller app.

The device will support room-specific playback commands in homes with multiple Sonos products, such as "Alexa, play The Kinks in the kitchen." It will also handle commands available to other Alexa devices, such as smarthome control.

Physical buttons are present on the top of the speaker, including a microphone mute control. As with the Play:1, it can be paired with a second One to create stereo, a Sonos Sub for bass, and/or a Playbar or Playbase to create surround sound for a TV.

AirPlay 2 compatibility, like Alexa also coming to some existing Sonos devices, will let people integrate the speaker with HomeKit and Siri. Apple will introduce AirPlay 2 with an update to iOS 11 coming later this year.

The One is available in black or white. Sonos is also selling stand and wall-mount accessories.

The product could pose one of the more serious challenges to Apple's HomePod, which is shipping in December at a much higher $349 pricetag. The latter will double as a HomeKit hub and should be a more powerful speaker, but will also only support Siri commands.