Who doesn’t want a Smart Home? Sounds so good. It’s still your home, but smarter.

I have to admit, I never thought my house was dull or bland to begin with. It has everything I love inside: from my husband and child, to my clever dog (seriously she’s great) to my favourite music on demand and instant access to some of the most incredible cultural moments happening anywhere. If you step back and think about it, it’s kind of amazing.

“The future is now” is what we keep on hearing. It’s a way of recognising that things we once dreamed of existing, now actually do exist. All too often it is a lazy way for brands to pat themselves on the back for creating something new. The latest trend is voice-command everything. Promising to transform your home, making it as sharp as a new pin. What if it turns our dull-yet-cosy homes into cold, robotic command-scapes? What if we sacrifice the sonorous richness of a living home for a swarm of beeping gadgets and thin, tinny convenience?

What’s so smart about that?

We all have a voice. Not only do we all have a voice, we each have our very own voice. It’s how we make ourselves heard, how we connect with our family and friends (or, at times, argue with them), it’s how we stand out in a sea of others.

At Sonos, we’re all in on Voice. We want voice to stand for something, not just say something. We find it strange that some of the world’s biggest companies who claim to champion music and culture cut so many corners when it comes to sound. What good is an “innovation” if ultimately, it devalues the things you care about most?

Last year we released Sonos One, our first voice-enabled product. Yes, it’s a more human, less distracted way of getting to the music you love, as well as pretty much everything else our connected world offers. With ultra-convenience and productivity as side-effects. We’ve really designed Sonos One to listen to you and to help you listen better, to take you seamlessly from an off-hand request to the rich, resonant, living sounds of a never noiseless home.

Great sound draws you in. It nudges you, gets you to stop and listen. It promises to transform that particular moment, maybe even your entire day. We’ve designed Sonos One to do that, and not just with elegant new voice control. Unlike many contenders in the current mix of voice-enabled everything – from tin openers to fridges – we’re focused solely on the listening experience. No gadget beeps, bloops or blinks, no clunky design or glaring colour that visually shouts, just sleek Sonos simplicity and impeccable, soul-shaking sound.

Just because we like it loud, that doesn’t mean we need to shout. Just by asking, we can invite the voices of our musical heroes, favourite actors and actresses, sarcastic podcasters, epic directors and sound designers right into our own living rooms. We want to show them respect, otherwise we wouldn’t have Sonos. We don’t want to have to stomp all over, or abruptly cut off and shout over our heroes. That’s why, when you have the sound blasting out at 11, we’ll quickly turn it down until you’ve finished your command then turn it back up. We don’t think that anyone enjoys SHOUTING OUT REQUESTS FOR THINGS THEY LIKE AND THAT MIGHT MAKE THEM FEEL BETTER.

Anyway, the future really does seem to be now-ish. The world’s moving at a blinding speed, and we’ll probably never return to the days of shutting ourselves in our bedrooms to listen to a new album, or going to the cinema to see a film because it’s the only place we can see it. We do believe, however, that we can still hold onto that feeling of being fully immersed in an experience, in feeling incredible sound square in our chests, right down to our toes. We want those sounds like we want our coffee—rich, real, and deliciously-deep.

There’s nothing smarter than that.

Let’s be honest, anyone can talk. Anyone can make commands. And just about anyone can make something that they claim will improve your life. But bad sound is definitely not an improvement. It’s an unwanted distraction in a world that doesn’t need them. Living by default – default speakers, default technology, default sound – is no improvement at all. When you want to soak in all the music and culture that life has to offer, you have to hear it. Loud. And clear.

Joy Howard
Chief Marketing Officer

 

P.S. We all have a voice, but unfortunately voice assistants can’t yet understand us in every language. We currently support Alexa in the US, UK, Canada, Austria and Germany. And we’ve announced that we’ll bring Google Assistant to the Sonos platform later this year, dramatically extending our ability to hear your voice in any and every language. Like every Sonos product we’ve ever made and ever will, One gets better with time as the things you can do with it continue to expand.

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