Earlier this year, home speaker maker Sonos hinted at plans of making its own smart speakers. Now, it looks like the Sonos smart speaker is definitely on its way as an FCC filing for such a device was recently discovered.
The FCC filing for the Sonos smart speaker was first discovered by Dave Zatz. He shared his findings on his website Zatz Not Funny. The FCC filing mentions a product with a model number S13, and it is described as having “integrated voice control functionality.”
The filing also revealed that the Sonos S13 speaker will come equipped with far-field microphones. This is the same type of technology that's found on smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and the upcoming Apple HomePod. Far-field microphones make it possible for devices to pickup a user’s voice inside a room.
The inclusion of the far-field microphones isn’t all too surprising considering that all other smart speakers right now have it. What’s really interesting with the FCC filing is that it also hints at what virtual voice assistant will be onboard the Sonos S13 smart speaker.
The filing says that the S13 smart speaker will have support for “multiple voice platforms and music services.” Support for multiple music services on a single smart speaker isn’t uncommon, but support for multiple voice platforms is a first.
No further details were given on what that actually means, but it looks like the Sonos smart speaker might give users the option to choose their preferred digital voice assistant. Right now, there are three major voice assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Perhaps Sonos has managed to make all three compatible with its smart speaker.
If that’s the case, then Sonos would definitely have an upper-hand compared to its competitors, as pointed out by Android Authority. All smart speakers so far only feature a single voice assistant. Amazon Echo has Alexa, Google Home has Google Assistant and Apple’s HomePod will have Siri onboard.
If the Sonos S13 smart speaker can support all three, or even just two, the device would be offering something that its rivals can’t. How this will work exactly wasn’t detailed in the FCC filing. Early rumors suggested that Sonos’ smart speakers would only be powered by Amazon’s Alexa, according to CNBC.
Having support for more than one voice assistant seems like a dream come true for some. However, the description could have been misinterpreted for something else. Until Sonos clears this up, everything is pretty speculative at this point.
The FCC filing also gives everyone a look at the Sonos S13’s user interface. The S13’s UI features a play/pause button in the center, while a microphone icon sits on top. The left and right side of the UI comes with two unknown icons, while a horizontal line icon is also present above the play/pause button.
Sonos is widely known for its high-quality home speakers, but with the rise of smart speakers in homes, the company will now have to step up its game. If this S13 smart speaker will truly support more than just one digital assistant, that alone could make a huge difference.
The Sonos smart speaker has been discovered on an FCC filing under the product model "S13."