Sonos Announces One Smart Speaker 

The new $199 smart speaker ships with Alexa support out of the box, but Google Assistant and AirPlay 2 are coming in 2018.

Sonos has long been praised for the sound quality of their speakers, but before this, that experience was locked away in the Sonos app. If your streaming service (or favorite podcast network) wasn’t in the app, it was very difficult to get that audio to play on your fancy speaker.

With the new One, Sonos is flinging open the doors. By embracing competing services from Amazon and Google — while adding streaming support from iOS devices — Sonos is making it easy to stream just about anything to its speaker. If a service requires deeper access, there is still the company’s invite-only developer program.

I’m glad to see Sonos fighting to stay relevant as our speakers become assistants, but I can’t help but think this is may be a too-little, too-late situation for Sonos. I’m sure even the updated Echo doesn’t sound as good as the Sonos One, but I bet it sounds good enough for most consumers. I know I would prefer to run Alexa or Google Assistant on first-party hardware, not on hardware that is dependent on software and contracts.