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How to Add Sonos Voice Control to Your Sonos Speaker

You can finally use "Hey Sonos" voice commands on your voice-enabled Sonos speaker. Here's how.

tech roundup
Tucker Bowe

Sonos announced its first voice assistant, called Sonos Voice Control, several weeks ago. As of today, June 1, it's finally available to use on any voice-enabled Sonos speaker.

Before you can use these new "Hey Sonos" voice commands, however, you have to enable your Sonos speaker to respond to them. To help you do so, we've pulled together a quick-and-easy guide to adding the new voice command technology to your existing audio system.

A quick note, before we start: Sonos Voice Control is only available on voice-enabled Sonos speakers. Here's a list of the compatible speakers: One, Move, Roam, Arc and Beam (2nd Gen).

How to add Sonos Voice Control to your Sonos speaker

  1. Open the Sonos S2 app on your smartphone.
  2. Select the Settings tab (bottom right corner).
  3. Select Services & Voice.
  4. Select Add Voice Control.
  5. Follow the in-app instructions.

    The in-app instructions will likely require you to update your speakers (this only takes a few minutes) and then will walk you through a quick and optional tutorial on how to use "Hey Sonos" voice commands.

    tech roundup
    Tucker Bowe

    As a reminder, Sonos Voice Control comes with some advantages and limitations compared to the voice assistants that might already be on your Sonos speaker, such as Alexa or Google Assistant. Here's a quick rundown:

    Sonos Voice Control: What's Good?

    • Sonos Voice Control and one other virtual assistant, either Alexa or Google Assistant, can live on the same Sonos speaker. You don't have to choose one or the other. Your speaker will respond to both voice commands.

    • Sonos Voice Control is designed to be significantly more secure than Alexa or Google Assistant as all requests are processed on the speaker and no information is sent to the cloud. Essentially, you won't be seeing ads of things you ask "Hey Sonos" about.

    • Sonos Voice Control works almost identical to Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands when it comes to music. Simply ask to play a song, playlist or podcast and it'll do it. The kicker is that controls Sonos speakers more intelligently, so you can play and pause music on specific Sonos speakers (or groups of speakers) around your house. You can also group and ungroup Sonos speakers with your voice.

    • Sonos Voice Control works on the company's portable speakers, Move or Roam, even when they are connected to Bluetooth (not Wi-Fi). You can also ask Sonos Voice Control how much battery life is left in those portable speakers, too.

    • You get to hear the voice of Giancarlo Esposito — an actor you probably know from Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian — whenever you ask "Hey Sonos" a question. He's the official voice of Sonos Voice Control.

    Sonos Voice Control: What's the Catch?

    • Sonos Voice Control works with most music streaming services, including Sonos Radio, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and Pandora. However, it doesn't support Spotify. If you're a Spotify subscriber, you'll have to use "Alexa" or "Hey Google" commands to summon music with your voice.

    • Sonos Voice Control can't answer questions about the weather or trivia or basically anything that's non-music related.


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