Sonos gets smarter with Spotify Connect and Amazon Alexa integration

Sonos has been the king of connected speakers for years now, but its devices are about to get a little more useful. At an event in New York City on Tuesday, the speaker company announced two key new features: full Spotify support and full integration with Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot speakers. Both features are coming to existing Sonos owners for free.

In the coming months, Spotify users will finally be able to connect and play music on their Sonos speakers directly from the standard Spotify app, and every Sonos speaker will basically become an Amazon Echo, complete with the Alexa voice assistant.

Spotify support plugs Sonos’ major hole

For years, Sonos has had the best system for stringing together and connecting multiple speakers in different rooms, and playing unique music in each. Instead of relying on Bluetooth, Sonos speakers leverage your home Wi-Fi to form a network that you can control from the Sonos app for iOS, Android, Mac, or PC.

But that app was also its weakness. Though it supports 80-plus music and audio services inside it, the Sonos app just can’t keep up with all the features and usability improvements that each music service makes inside its own app. For instance, on Tuesday morning we tried to listen to the new Release Radar playlist on Spotify using the Sonos app and it failed. You can play music from services like Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, and dozens of other services, but you may often wish you could just use the apps for them, like Google allows on its more open Chromecast network.


The new ability to play Spotify directly from the app using “Spotify Connect” is a great step forward, and we hope more apps will be directly compatible in the future. Sonos says that 50 percent of its speaker owners already use Spotify.

Spotify Connect is coming to Sonos beta users (owners, you can sign up in your Sonos app settings) in October.

Alexa support adds key features

Adding Alexa is another bold move for Sonos, and removes one of the big reasons Sonos owners may have a some jealousy when they see a friend using an Amazon Echo. Beginning in 2017, all Sonos owners will be able to use the Alexa Voice Service on an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot device to talk to their Sonos speaker network. You can ask Alexa to play a song, skip a song, adjust the volume, find a genre, and do other small tasks, like finding out the weather or starting a timer for your casserole in the oven.

Connecting to Alexa also gives Sonos owners the possibility of connecting to other devices that are compatible with Amazon’s service.

Sonos owners who are a part of the beta program will be able to try out Alexa “by the end of the year.”

Promising step forward

We haven’t yet tried out the new Spotify or Alexa services with Sonos, and don’t have a complete list of which older Sonos speakers will be compatible with these new features, but it all sounds like a promising step forward. By continuing to support existing users and upgrade older Sonos speakers with new functionality, the speaker brand is showing dedication that other closed streaming competitors haven’t.

Hopefully, Sonos will continue to move in the direction of openness and connectivity. As soon as we’re able, we will test the new functionality. The services were not on display at the NYC event.

Product Review

Step aside, Sonos: Riva's Concert is the best smart speaker you can buy

The Riva Concert series speaker is a fantastic, small-profile smart speaker with Alexa integration, truly excellent sound, and great looks, making it the perfect addition to your kitchen, living room, or bedroom.

Get electronics gifts for high-tech homes for under $100 with these deals

The holiday season is in full swing with Christmas just around the corner. New deals on interesting, fun, and practical electronic gifts under $100 from major online retailers can convert last-minute shoppers to savvy bargain hunters.
Home Theater

These top-line smart speakers conduct the most sophisticated symphony: Your life

Stuck talking to yourself? Get an A.I. assistant to keep you company! Whether you put your stock in Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, we've picked out the best smart speaker for any smart home ecosystem.

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Home Theater

Streaming services blast past networks for the most scripted TV shows in 2018

For the first time in history, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, produced more original scripted series than broadcast or cable channels, setting a new record for the number of TV shows on the air.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.
Home Theater

What is Terrarium TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Terrarium TV offered a way to watch movies & TV for free, but now after a troubled existence, the app's developer has shut it down, and offered an ominous message to users on his way out.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.