Business News Digital

Sonos to launch privacy-focussed voice control

By | Published on Thursday 12 May 2022


Sonos has announced that it will launch its own privacy-focussed voice control for use on its speakers next month.

Users have been able to use voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant on newer Sonos speakers for a number of years. Those who wish to will be able to use those assistants concurrently with Sonos’s own – the Sonos system itself only being set up for controlling speaker functions, rather than being a fully-fledged voice assistant.

“Sonos is committed to delivering new experiences that effortlessly connect listeners to the content they love”, says Sonos’ VP Voice Experience Joseph Dureau. “One of the most natural ways to connect to your music is with your voice, but when we speak to our customers, we hear that privacy concerns mean many are choosing not to use voice control”.

“Created purely for listening on Sonos and designed with privacy at its core”, he adds, “Sonos Voice Control delivers the Sonos app experience using only your voice”.

Highlighting the privacy of the new feature, Sonos stresses that all processing will be carried out locally on the device, and that “no audio or transcript is sent to the cloud, stored, listened to or read by anyone”.

The voice that speaks back to you may be familiar though, as Sonos has hired actor Giancarlo Esposito – best known for his roles in ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Better Call Saul’ and ‘The Mandalorian’ – to provide responses to commands.

“With careful recording, advanced processing and mastering, the voice is natural, unobtrusive, yet confident and engaging”, says the company. “Sonos’ first voice will be joined by others over time as Sonos continues to expand the experience to new people and places”.

The launch of Sonos Voice Control comes three years after the company acquired AI voice platform Snips in order to build its own voice control feature. It will initially launch in the US on 1 Jun, followed by France later this year and then other territories, including the UK.