After all that talk about voice control, Sonos is finally ready to put its money where its mouth is. The connected speaker company has sent out invitations to a New York City event on October 4th where it has some "news to share." The invitation (below) has virtually no details, but the open mouth on the front is a not-so-subtle hint as to what's coming -- it's that smart speaker that popped up in an FCC filing earlier this month. Based on the description, the device will use far-field mics to accept commands from "multiple voice platforms," which suggests that the expected Alexa support may be just the start.
The fall timing for the event could be crucial. Sonos hasn't had to worry too much about the rise of voice-guided speakers, as its sound quality still tends to be much better (even a standard Play:1 will thrash an Echo or Home), but that's changing. Amazon just introduced the higher-quality Echo Show, and Apple's HomePod is very clearly gunning after Sonos' core market with a mix of both voice control and top-flight audio. Simply speaking, there's a lot of pressure on Sonos to do something with voice -- the pioneer in connected audio risks being left behind if it insists on 'old-school' apps and buttons.