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Sonos finally enables Google Assistant for the UK, Australia and other non-US regions

Sonos One speakers
Image Credit: Sonos (Image credit: Sonos)

Sonos speakers just got that little bit smarter in the UK and Australia, bringing Google Assistant to its smart speakers via a free update six months after the feature was released in the US.

Sonos has, to a certain extent, led the charge for smart capabilities in high-end audio systems. Back in 2017, it launched the Sonos One speaker with support for the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, bridging the disparate worlds of high-fidelity audio and hands-free voice commands.

Sonos has since brought out a number of Alexa-enabled speakers, expanding the kinds of smart devices available on the market – with competing models like the Naim Mu-So proving a growing appetite for smart conveniences among audiophiles.

Now though, Sonos speakers can also support Google Assistant, after a free software update to numerous countries worldwide – built-in with the Sonos One and Sonos Beam, or through a connected Google Home speaker. 

While Google's own AI helper first came to US Sonos devices back in May, it's now rolled out to the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, France, and the Netherlands. 

The first with two voice assistant working concurrently

In the words of Patrick Spence, Sonos's CEO, this has made Sonos "the first company to have two voice assistant working concurrently on the same system."

Naturally the in-house products made by Amazon or Google don't play too kindly with the competition, but the licensing of various assistants in a third-party system allows for much more flexibility with what consumers can use.

In a Sonos press release, Spence asserted that “We value freedom of choice, empowering listeners to choose what they want to listen to and how they want to control it. Adding voice, now with the Google Assistant, has made that control even easier."

Spence left open the door for other smart assistants too, adding that "We imagine a day where we’ll have multiple voice assistants operating concurrently on the same device, and we’re committed to making that happen as soon as possible.”

Could we get Samsung's Bixby, or Apple's Siri assistants on a Sonos music system too? You're unlikely to really need more than one, but having the choice during setup to pick one that plays nice with all your other home gadgets would be something of a relief.

Henry St Leger

Henry is TechRadar's News & Features Editor, covering the stories of the day with verve, moxie, and aplomb. He's spent the past three years reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as well as gaming and VR – including a stint as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.