Although Sonos already sells a number of products that could technically be viewed as smart speakers, with integrated Wi-Fi functionality and streaming support for online music services like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, the US-based audio industry veteran can’t exactly rival Amazon or Google’s voice-controlled gadgets.
Not yet, but a mysterious device carrying model number S13 for a recent regulatory visit at the FCC should be able to take on the Echo family and Google Home before long thanks to “voice control functionality with far field microphones.”
The most exciting thing about the “high-performance all-in-one wireless smart speaker” listed by the Federal Communications Commission is undoubtedly compatibility with “multiple voice platforms and music services.”
That seems to suggest this S13 contraption will take voice commands not only from Alexa, but other “voice platforms” as well, presumably including Google Assistant, Cortana and maybe even Siri.
Keep in mind that Sonos already has a partnership in place with Amazon to enable Alexa controls of various third-party sound systems through “easy software updates”, aided by an Echo or Echo Dot.
The full-blown new smart speaker would however be something else entirely, especially if it brings together the aforementioned digital assistants from different companies and ecosystems.
Odds are we’ll hear all about the voice-powered Sonos system on October 4, when the company has a glitzy New York City event planned.