The Sonos One may be the most flexible, best sounding, widest music service support speaker in Australia. From 26 April it also has Amazon Alexa voice support via an over-the-air firmware update.

Sonos announced last October that its Sonos One would support the Amazon Alexa system. If that’s not enough, later in 2018 it will be upgraded (via an automatic firmware update at no additional cost) to support Google Assistant, the advanced voice interaction system available on many Android phones.

Sonos is to speakers like Apple is to iPhones – unique

Sonos One (Website here) like all Sonos products is elegant, beautifully designed, and in a class of its own. It comes in matte black or white.

Sonos users are extremely loyal and build entire collections with the Playbase, Playbar, Sub, and multiple Play 1/3/5 speakers over the house.

“We are all about giving customers the freedom to choose the streaming services and voice services they want in their homes, and bringing Alexa to our entire home sound system in Australia is a big milestone for us” said Antoine Leblond, VP of Software at Sonos.

“With the Sonos One, we took everything people love about Sonos – an agnostic approach with streaming partners, amazing sound quality, flexibility with multi-room or stereo-pairing capability, a thoughtfully designed speaker that’s easy to use – and added voice as another means to getting music lovers to the songs and sonic content they love.”

Sonos One is uniquely Sonos

It sounds great too. The $299 speaker has a pair of Class D amplifiers that drive a tweeter and woofer. There are six separate microphones to hear you say Hey Alexa even over loud music.

Sonos One

Sonos uses a mesh Wi-Fi system of its own when connection multiple Sonos devices. Or it uses Wi-Fi N 2.4GHz or Ethernet LAN cable.

The app allows for adjustable bass, mid or treble. You can also tune the speaker to the room with Sonos Trueplay.

GadgetGuy had a preview and was most impressed. The frequency response was flat from 20Hz-20kHz and volume was room filling. We will be doing a review soon.

More than 80 global music services

Combine voice with the Sonos app to manage all your music in one place: Spotify, Apple Music and coming Amazon Music, internet radio and many more streaming services.

Sonos OneMulti-room and stereo pairing is impressive

Connect wirelessly with other Sonos Home Sound System speakers to play music in any or every room.

Sonos One

Sonos One

Sonos has a policy of continual improvement

Sonos continually updates its speaker range with new features, services and skills.

Sonos One allow owners to fully use Alexa.

  • Hear the latest updates from TEN Eyewitness News
  • Make a restaurant reservation with the Dimmi skill
  • Receive travel updates from QANTAS
  • Control their Alexa-enabled smart home devices.

With continuous free updates from both Sonos One and Alexa, new features, services and skills will be unlocked to make the experience better and smarter, including Airplay 2 and Google Assistant support later this year.

It has just updated its Privacy Statement for Voice Assistants to reflect General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a set of laws passed in the European Union.

In simple English, it says “Does Sonos sell information to third parties? No. We never have. And we never will.” That is good enough for me (and I am more than a little paranoid about privacy).

Sonos says the light on the speaker will be illuminated if the microphones are active. The light is hardwired to the same circuit that powers the microphone array, so if the light is off, it means the microphone is off.

Sonos One

But that does not cover Alexa Terms of Use

Amazon Alexa is a voice assistant. It can play songs, check news and traffic, manage smart devices and access a range of partners ‘skills’.

Its terms are here, and these are in addition to the need to comply with parent company Amazon’s conditions or terms of use.

When you use the Alexa wake word it collects every word you say, every search you make; it will be listening to you.

(With apologies to The Police –  Every Breath You Take)

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you

Oh can’t you see
You belong to me

My poor heart aches
With every step you take

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you

In reality, if you go down the voice assistant rabbit hole, you give up rights to privacy.