Photos of what appears to be the first Sonos speaker with Amazon Alexa support have leaked online, just days before the audio company is due to launch a major new product.
Sonos, which pioneered the home connected speaker market a decade ago, has seen its turf invaded by Amazon and Google over the last two years, with Apple to join the party shortly. Internet connected speakers like the Google Home and Amazon Echo have quickly become smarter, cheaper alternatives.
But now it looks like Sonos is about to fight back, with a device almost identical to the compact Play:1 speaker, but with the all-important addition of Alexa, Amazon's Siri-like voice assistant.
Images of the device appeared on the website of German blogger Carsten Knobloch on September 25, but the post was deleted just hours later. GearBrain has reached out to ask why the page has been removed.
Images claiming to show an Alexa-powered Sonos appeared onlineCarsten Knobloch
Now widely shared online, the images show a Play:1 with a design identical to that of an FCC filing made by Sonos in August. The new controls, shown in the filing and the new images, appear to include a play/pause button, a microphone and a circle of dots. Should this speaker indeed include Alexa, we can expect to see this circle light up in the Amazon assistant's signature blue colour, indicating when it is listening to your commands.
According to the filing, the new Sonos device contains a far-field microphone, which is also used by the Echo to filter out background noise and focus on voices to more clearly understand your questions and instructions.
Given Sonos' track record for making its speakers work with a wide range of streaming services, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine the new Play:1 working with Google Assistant and Google Play Music, as well as Amazon Music and Alexa. Apple fans hoping for Siri support are advised to not hold their breath.
Sonos is holding a media event in New York on October 4, where it is expected to reveal a new speaker. An Alexa-equipped Play:1 looks increasingly likely. (Also, visit GearBrain's What Works with Amazon Alexa to see the connected devices that work with Amazon Echo and Alexa enabled devices.)