The Google Assistant has finally joined Amazon’s Alexa on Sonos devices in the UK. That means if you own a Sonos One or Sonos Beam you can communicate with Google’s voice AI directly, while those with other Sonos devices will be able to communicate with the Google Assistant on another device, such as the Google Home Mini, and have it line-up music to play on the Sonos speaker.
To activate the Google Assistant on Sonos devices in the UK, all you need to do is hop into the Sonos app. From there select ‘more’ and then voice assistants. Then you’re just a tap away from activating Google’s AI.
Unfortunately many features that are found on other Google Assistant-enabled devices are absent from the Sonos implementation. That includes support for Google’s Cast protocol and the ability to link a Sonos device into an existing Google-enabled multi-room set-up. This was hardly unexpected, and is similar to the implementation of Alexa on Sonos, but is still disappointing.
After a gruelling 19 months, Sonos One and Sonos Beam customers in the US can finally gain access to the Google Assistant today. This makes Sonos the first company to offer a device with two voice assistants, although users will be forced to choose between either Alexa or the Google Assistant in the settings – there won’t be any option to flip flop on the fly.
While it’s bad news for those outside of the US, as Google Assistant is launching stateside first, there is a bit of good news. That’s because Sonos has finally confirmed when users outside of the US will gain access to the Google Assistant, and thankfully, there’s not too much longer to wait. Google Assistant for Sonos will debut in the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, France, and The Netherlands just 21 months after the initial teasing, with it set to be made available in July.
Unfortunately, the Google Assistant on the Sonos One and Sonos Beam can’t be used to loop those devices into a multi-room system consisting of third-party Google Assistant speakers. It’s a disappointing omission, as it now means you can’t sync up a Google Home Max and Sonos Beam, although it wasn’t entirely unexpected. There’s still plenty that you can do with the Google Assistant on Sonos speakers, however, such as:
- Listen to some tunes. Or news. Or podcasts: While you’re able to play music from all the services the Assistant already supports – including YouTube Music, Pandora, and Spotify – you can also use the Assistant to skip to the next track, pause the music and change volume from the 100+ music services already available on Sonos. It’s also easy to catch up on the latest episode of your favourite podcast just by asking the Assistant. Direct support for Apple Music is likely to come in the future, as Alexa has just rolled that feature out, but there’s no confirmation at this stage.
- Enjoy entertainment: With the Google Assistant on Sonos Beam and a Chromecast-enabled TV, you can turn on the TV, switch from music to TV, and adjust the volume. You can also stream videos from popular services.
- Plan your day: Get help with things like your flight information, or traffic on your commute to work.
- Manage tasks: Set alarms and timers, pull up your calendar appointments, or add items to your shopping list.
- Get answers: Ask all your questions on sports, weather, calculations, translations and more.
- Control your home: Ask your Assistant on your speakers to adjust the temperature, lighting, and other smart home devices connected in your home.
If you’re in the US, you can activate the Google Assistant from inside the Sonos app. Simply navigate to ‘voice services’ and select the Google Assistant. From there you’ll be able to follow the simple guide to getting started.