Sonos could be getting ready to take on the Amazon Echo with new voice control functionality. The company’s CEO has already hinted at its plans, but an event invitation set for August 30 could finally see the results of that work.

According to Business Insider, which spoke to someone familiar with Sonos’ plans, ‘the company will announce its first steps into voice control’. Despite not having long-range microphones in its speaker line-up however, BI understands that the company will not be releasing any new speakers at the event.

Without any new speakers Sonos won’t quite have the hardware to take on Amazon’s Echo – it’s more likely that it will rely on smartphone control – but it’s thought that this could be just a testing bed for a further roll out in the future.

Not only is Sonos set to go big on voice control, the multi-room speaker manufacturer is also reportedly gearing up to make some big changes to the way users control their music. Currently most Sonos users are forced to control their multi-room speakers through the often-criticised Sonos App. That should eventually change however, as its reported that the company has been working to integrate its service into its partner Apps.

What that could mean is that users who want to listen to their Spotify playlist on their Sonos system could control the music directly from the Spotify App, rather than being forced to use the Sonos App. That’s likely to be popular with the users who would prefer to not have another App on their home screen.

Voice control is already expected to be one of the biggest new control technologies in 2016 – with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home set to go head-to-head for control of the smart home. It’s not yet known how far Sonos will go with its voice control technology however (will it only control music or will it also include APIs for smart home control?), and whether it will be using in-house software or leasing another voice control assistant to power it.

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