Those who are keen on using Google Home with Sonos sound systems, have quite a few things going their way. Though many deadlines have been missed and promises broken, dreams might soon become a reality. Google Assistant might finally work with Sonos and this indeed is great news, to say the least. This is not based on grapevine rumors but based on some ground reality. Google conducted a meeting where many interested persons and stakeholders showed the features that could pave the way for the integration of Google Home with Sonos Speakers.
Will Google Home Work with Sonos? Yes, it is happening…
Though there are certain limitations, the good news is that Google was able to use their Google Assistant and say a few words to Sonos One and Sonos Beam and the speakers did reproduce the few words that were spoken. Though it was just a small beginning, it certainly is filled with a lot of potentials and possibilities. It will not be long before it is available to the public at large. Hence, it would be interesting to know more about the latest development in technologies that made this possible. After going through this article, it is quite obvious that the answer to the question will Google Home work with Sonos would have answered positively with strength and conviction.
The Right Beginning Might Have Been Made
The demo that Google offered was a limited beta version and it was offered to a few thousand people. Yes, there were some bugs in it, but these hiccups and bottlenecks are quite obvious and are bound to happen. These bugs and the limitations of the beta version are being worked upon and it will only be a matter of a few months or year or so before it gets fully sorted out.
It Does Hold Out Lot Of Promises
There is no doubt that the beta versions work quite well. It allows the users to do all the regular stuff such as asking questions, triggering video playbacks using chromecast, setting reminders and quite a few other things. You could also play music without the need to mention a specific room. Google Assistant uses its artificial intelligence and knows that it is available on the Sonos speakers. You could also use it along with a Sonos Beam if you have one. This will ensure that you have the basic TV controls under your command. It is almost the same as you might have done it with Alexa.
There Are Some Glitches To Be Ironed Out
While the above would most certainly give you an idea as to how it works, it would not be right to state that everything about Google Home and Sonos Speakers marriage is perfect. There are some glitches and it may not be working as seamlessly as the fans would have expected it to work. Hence your dream for a smart home using these technologies could still be some distance away. There could be many reasons for this and some are of the belief that the Sonos philosophy of continuity of control could pose some challenges. Sonos allows you to use whatever methods you would like to control the speakers. It could be in the form of an app on your smartphone device or the app that could be residing in some other place. However, if one gets into the finer points of using the app and mapping it with Sonos, the task could get a bit complicated. But again, these are very early days and it would be wrong to apportion the blame either on Sonos or Google. In fact, these glitches are quite common and it did exist with Sonos and Alexa too. The onus perhaps lies on the end users in the way in which they are able to mix both the services and facilities and make use of the same.
The biggest limitation perhaps is that you cannot have Alexa and Google working on a single speaker. You do have the liberty of assigning one Sonos speaker to Alexa and the other to Google but it would be difficult to assign both the speakers with Alexa and Google working simultaneously. It would be perhaps wrong to call this a glitch because it doesn’t happen with other such applications.
The feedback that was received both from Google and Sonos was not very clear. We wanted to find out whether the problem was technical or philosophical but it would not be wrong to mention that the answers that we got from both the service providers were not very lucid and transparent. However, Google did have a valid reason as to why it may not be possible to use two speakers of Sonos one for Alexa and the other for Google. If an alarm was to go off, you might be left wondering as to the source of such instructions.
It Is Google Assistant Specific
There is one more point that one needs to bear in mind. Music streaming services to Sonos speakers are available only for the music that Google Assistant supports. As of now, there are around seven services. The numbers might go up in the future. The services as of now cover Spotify but you will not be able to use Apple Music. But using Google, you will be in a position to perform basic transport controls. You also will be able to identify songs that are from other services. It is possible even if you have started the music from AirPlay and other such outlets. This is almost similar to Sonos and Alexa combination. There is no doubt that Apple music is very popular and users would like to see it work with Google Assistant. However, this might take some time because both Apple and Google must sit together and work out a deal that is mutually beneficial to them and of course to the end customers.
It Does Have Some Positive Takeaways
There is one bright spot about how the team of Google and Sonos works. You basically have the facility of two sides to the integration. You have the option of passing on your commands directly to the Sonos Speaker. You also can use Sonos speakers to work as music endpoints and the same can easily be controlled by other Google speakers. To put it differently, if you have an old version of Sonos speaker and if you want to integrate it with Google Home you can easily do it and listen to some quality music using the older version of Sonos.
Why The Functionality Has Not Been Thrown Open
The devil perhaps lies in the details and that is perhaps one of the main reasons for Google and Sonos delaying the process of shipping the functionalities to the end users. Further, there are a few more loose strings that need to be addressed. Room definition is one such thing. Google uses its own method of categorizing the stuff that should be kept in different rooms. The same is the case with Sonos. There are quite a few different approaches and therefore it calls for a common meeting ground between Sonos and Google and this might take some time. There certainly will be some hard bargain involved in the whole process of negotiations until a middle ground is discovered.
Some Technical Details About Sonos-Google Assistant Integration
While these are still early days, there are obviously a few fascinating technical details when it comes to Sonos and Google Assistant integration. While Sonos speakers work fine with Google Assistant, right now they do not work with Google Cast. Those who know Google Cast would feel a bit surprised because this is Google’s own streaming system that is suitable for a multi-room environment. Google is very comfortable when it comes to using Cast but for reasons not very clear, Google Cast still continues to be out of bounds for customers.
Beamforming using Sonos microphones is something many of us might be aware of. However, the way it is done is different when compared to Google’s two-mic array. Therefore both the companies will have to put their heads together and find out ways and means by which Sono’s audio data can be integrated with Google. Here again, the solution to be worked out will have to be mutually beneficial and a win-win situation for both.
What Does All The Above State?
While there are some glitches that could delay the final integration of Google Assistant with Sonos speakers, it will happen sooner than later. The demo version did ensure that when it comes to common usages such as setting timers, requisitioning of music, directing Chromecast to stream Netflix and other such things, there were hardly any reasons to complain. There were a few occasions where the wi-fi connection played truant but this is not a big deal and it never was a show stopper. Sonos is keenly analyzing the feedback from the beta version and based on the final analysis, the final shipping dates will be decided. The exact date is still a question of guesswork, but it will most certainly happen sooner than later.
Some Information About Google Home And Mini Sonos Integration
Like all electronic devices, the routine setup does involve some work and time. However, if things are done properly and if the instructions are followed the entire process should not take more than 20 minutes.
Here is a brief outline of the setup process
The first task is to set up the Google Home device and then you must set up the Chromecast Audio device or devices. Once done it must be integrated with the Google Home app.
The Chromecast Audio device should be renamed as Sonos. This is because when you instruct Google Home, you will ask it to play the music on Sonos. Based on the instructions music will move from Chromecast and to the Sonos speaker that is connected to it. Ensure that you have connected the audio cable between the line-in port of your Sonos speaker and the Chromecast Audio. This should start playing the music once the instruction is given through Google Home. There could be some lag time because of the line-in audio processing. This delay between the play command and the actual audio output from the Sonos speakers is perhaps unavoidable at this point in time. It is quite possible that you may miss out the first few seconds of the live streaming of music.
You also can enable the autoplay features and there are menu driven instructions. If you follow the same you will be directly connected to the room from where you would like the playback to start automatically. Of course, the instruction has to come from Google Assistant. Once the above process has been gone through you can save the settings and close the window and exit.
How To Control Sonos With Google Assistant
You will have to use the Yonomi app and along with Yonomi for Google Assistant, you will be in a position to take control of all the run complex routines and SN complex routines. All you need to do is to use the sound of your voice. The process involves integrating Yonomi with your Google Assistant app. Once the Yonomi app has been installed and open, make sure that all the Sonos devices are linked to this new Yonomi account for Google Assistant. In Yonomi you will have to create a routine and you could perhaps name it as Enjoy All Sonos. Once this routine has been created, you must set all the Sonos speakers that you want to play. This process should take a few minutes. After completion of the above process, the speakers will automatically ungroup from any speakers that were previously created. It also is possible to create a routine that addresses only a single speaker or a group of speakers. For example, if you would like to listen to music upstairs, you can have a separate routing for the same.
This is all it takes for your Routine to be ready for use with any device that is Yonomi compatible and also with devices that are linked to your individual Yonomi account. You could run your routine with the help of your Google Assistant. All that might be required is a few words perhaps running as “ Google, Play All Sonos’. You can now sit back and relax and enjoy the best quality music that is directed to your Sonos speakers. It does not matter where the speakers are located. You also could use Yonomi for Google Assistant to play the live broadcast of various FM stations in your city, country and also other countries of the world.
The above should give you a good insight into the current status of Google Home and Sonos speakers. It should not take too much time to convert your home into a smart home as far as quality live streaming of music is concerned. However, the whole process of integration of Google home with Sonos is a work-in-progress and it will be shipped to customers once the demo version has been modified and the bugs identified and ironed out.
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