Sonos is currently working at a rapid pace to bring AirPlay 2 support to its speakers, while it also announced a brand-new addition to its line-up in the form of the Sonos Beam. The company shows no sign of slowing down, however, with its CEO recently sitting down with consumer technology publication, The Verge, to discuss its lack of Dolby Atmos support, and whether more digital assistants will be coming to the company’s products.
It’s no secret that Sonos’ priority is giving users easy access to the music, no matter how they want to get it. That’s why the company has taken the approach of supporting just about every music streaming service on the planet, and has also signalled its unwillingness to pick sides in the smart AI wars between the likes of Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant. Then it should be no surprise that Sonos CEO Patrick Spence sees that trend continuing.
How To Solve A Problem Like Smart AI
In his chat with The Verge, Spence admitted that it has been a challenge supporting multiple smart assistants in one speaker. That’s why we’re all still waiting for Google Assistant support, and it seems we could be waiting a little while longer. Despite reassurances from Sonos’ social media that Google Assistant support is still on track to launch this year, Spence wasn’t ready to commit. Thankfully, a PR representative for the company was more than willing to confirm that it’s still on the cards for 2018.
While most people will advise you to walk before you can run, Spence isn’t settled on just having Google Assistant added to Sonos’ roster of supported AIs. In fact, Sonos’ CEO noted that the firm had already held discussions with Apple as to whether or not they’re going to open up Siri to third-parties. That would give the Sonos line-up unbelievable versatility, but it relies on Apple being more open to third-parties, which if anyone was to convince them, it would be Sonos.
No Dolby Atmos
Spence has shut down any suggestion that Sonos’ speakers could support Dolby Atmos anytime soon. In the interview the CEO admitted that the technology worked well when a lot of speakers were present, but didn’t translate as well to soundbar formats. That’s why it’s not investing significant resources in making Dolby Atmos work on the Sonos Beam, Playbar or Playbase.
“The primary driver at the end of the day is ‘Hey, how do we create the best sound possible in the room?’ And not get too caught up in what’s the flavor of the day from an audio technology perspective,” he told The Verge. This is a stance that has made Sonos’ products popular – the firm concentrates on what it knows best, rather than following fads.