The new feature comes just one day after the news leaked that Sonos is planning a voice-controlled speaker of its own, similar to the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod that, that according to new sources, will be unveiled during an October 4 event. Right now Amazon says the new feature is available to Echo device owners in just three countries, which are the us, the United Kingdom, and Germany, at least for now. It will soon be supported via Spotify and SiriusXM. In the future, Amazon plans to extend this feature to support other non-Echo connected speakers.
ZatsNotFunny writer David Zats discovered this FCC filing where it looks like Sonos will be introducing a new line of speajers that will use far-field microphones for "integrated voice control".
The voice-activated digital assistant's skills now include beaming music to specified groups of smart speakers. This tool will be released later this year.
Amazon announced on Tuesday that its Echo devices can now act as multiroom speakers using Alexa. Once you've done that, you'll be able to tell Alexa to play music on a specific speaker by using its name, a la "Alexa, play Beyonce in the kitchen". It seems like Amazon is going after that, by making the sound in the Echo better.
Multi-room audio is a pretty big addition for the Amazon Echo. Users can set up multi-room playback on their Alexa app.
However, as with other Alexa features, expect the functionality of Multi-Room Music to increase. For now, this capability is offered with Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and Pandora.