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Garmin Speak is a Mini Alexa-Equipped Car Accessory, Priced at $149

"So join me while I raise a glass to the Sonos One, the company's first music player with Alexa built natively into the corpus". That means instead of saying, "Alexa" you could control your speaker with "OK, Google". For most people eager to try out a smart assistant and play music inside their homes, a Dot and a solid speaker (like the Play:1) is enough. The premise behind the Sonos One makes sense, but unfortunately in practice, the device doesn't quite live up to its potential. Amazon's rapidly expanding Alexa as it aims to convince home users that voice control is the future of technology. But at $150, it's priced similar to Garmin's cheapest touchscreen navigation device, and as fun as having Alexa along for the ride is, she isn't necessary for finding the closest gas station, or the quickest route to grandma's. Then the answer is easy - the Sonos One is essentially a marriage of existing products.

At 6.4 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches, the Sonos One is about the size of a large can of coffee. Picking Sonos or Echo actually matters: You can play the same music on multiple Sonos speakers and on multiple Echos, but you can't mix and match.

You don't need an exact address to search for locations while driving. But Alexa's integration into the best-sounding speaker yet still has some limitations.




Still, the two are different speakers, and can not be paired with one another to create a true stereo setup.

The Play:One delivered great performances with more acoustic fare as well, beautifully rendering the two-part harmony of The Unthanks' aching rendition of the Scottish folksong "Anachie Gordon", from the duo's release A Retrospective. The caveat is that while you can use Alexa to move forward and back through songs, you have to use the Sonos app to initiate the playback. The actual speaker components are specific to the Sonos One. And where Chester Thomposon's frenetic work on the Hammond B3 seemed to have hard emerging from the Play:One, it happily bubbled up to its due prominence on the Sonos One. Sonos engineered the light and the microphone into the same circuit so that it's impossible for one to be on without the other.

But the long wait set the stage for another major announcement: that Sonos One would add Google Assistant support in 2018, making it the first major smart speaker to support multiple voice platforms. In this mode, you don't even have to say, "Alexa", but you do have to use your hands. You can also use the device to remotely access smart appliances in your house, like lights, locks, and thermostats. Additionally, support for Apple's AirPlay 2 will be coming to all Sonos devices in 2018.

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