Recent Sonos FCC Filing Confirms Voice Controlled Speaker

A recent FCC filing discovered by Dave Zatz of Zatz Not Funny! confirms that Sonos is indeed working on a new speaker with integrated voice control. The FCC document reads:

The EUT is 802.11 a/b/g/n (HT20) Client Device. Product model S13 is a high-performance all-in-one wireless smart speaker and part of Sonos’ home sound system. S13 adds integrated voice control functionality with far field microphones. Moreover, the device will support multiple voice platforms and music services, allowing customers to effortlessly control their music on Sonos.

A Sonos Smart Speaker

Based on the FCC filing, it appears Sonos is looking to use its own hardware to enabled voice control for its speakers in addition to Amazon’s. Dave Zatz believes Sonos will partner with Amazon first via an Alexa Skill:

“I believe I can confirm Alexa as their sole, initial partner and that the Skill, accessed via Amazon hardware, may launch as a public beta (perhaps given a frustrating early implementation, per one source).”

Variety also cited new changes to the Sonos privacy policy which now include:

“Voice control works by your voice enabled Sonos Product ‘listening’ for a specific wake word. Please note that not all Sonos Products are voice enabled.”

It appears Sonos is finally getting into the smart speaker market, either via an Alexa skill or through its own hardware. But is it too late? Sonos is known for its sound quality but with Apple also positioning its HomePod as the leader for this value set, Sonos may have more competition than it would have had a year ago. But others point out that unlike Amazon, Google and Apple, Sonos doesn’t have to stick with only one voice assistant. It could offer all three to its users, giving it an edge in an increasingly saturated market.

New Sonos CEO Wants Integration with Both Alexa and Google Assistant