For years, Sonos has led the market for multi-room audio, beating back a host of competitors and proposed industry standards aimed at knocking it aside. But the company's biggest challenge to date has come from an unlikely cylinder with middling audio that could not only play music, but talk and listen. Amazon's Echo, which is often used to set alarms, itself served as a wakeup call to Sonos. Sonos already had a product competitive with the Echo's size and price in the Play:1. But rather than try to answer even lower points of entry into the Alexa ecosystem such as the puck-like Echo Dot adapter, it made its existing speakers responsive to Alexa and introduced one as an Alexa endpoint, the Sonos One.
USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham takes a look (and listen) to the new Sonos Beam which incorporates Amazon's Alexa.voice The Santa Barbara, California company is set to go public. Sonos' premium wireless speakers have been a hit with consumers. Now the audio company is about to find out how it plays on Wall Street. The Santa Barbara, California-based company's shares will begin trading on Nasdaq on Thursday.
The Bose Home 300's sleek design fits in well with most decor. We weren't sure what to expect upon opening the Bose Home 300 for testing, but we were pleasantly surprised on almost every level. While the sound quality can't quite compete with the (much larger) Echo Studio, the Bose Home 300 allows users to choose between Alexa or Google Assistant; it has handy preset buttons on the top of the speaker; and it can stream audio over Bluetooth, AirPlay, WiFi, or via an old-school auxiliary cable. Through its app and smart assistants, the Bose Home 300 can play music from a large number of streaming services, such as Spotify, TuneIn, Amazon Music, Tidal, Pandora, and even Apple Music via Airplay or Bluetooth. The compatible music and podcast sources will vary a bit depending on which smart assistant you choose (you can only use one assistant at a time, however it is very easy to switch in the Bose app). Though not any larger, this speaker is much louder than most of the other smart speakers we included in this roundup.