Sonos acquires voice assistant startup Snips, potentially to build out on-device voice control

Sonos revealed during its quarterly earnings report that it has acquired voice assistant startup Snips in a $37 million cash deal, Variety reported on Wednesday. Snips, which had been developing dedicated smart device assistants that can operate primarily locally, instead of relying on consistently round-tripping voice data to the cloud, could help Sonos set up […]

Daily Crunch: Free Spotify comes to Alexa

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Spotify’s free music service will now stream on Alexa devices, plus Bose and Sonos smart speakers Spotify has worked with Amazon […]

Google makes moving music and videos between speakers and screens easier

Google today announced a small but nifty feature for the Google Assistant and its smart home devices that makes it easier for you to take your music and videos with you as you wander about the different rooms in your home. ‘Stream transfer’ as Google prosaically calls it, allows you to simply ask the Assistant […]

The time is right for Apple to buy Sonos

It’s been a busy couple of months for smart speakers – Amazon released a bunch just this week, including updated versions of its existing Echo hardware and a new Echo Studio with premium sound. Sonos also introduced its first portable speaker with Bluetooth support, the Sonos Move, and in August launched its collaboration collection with […]

Is Amazon’s Alexa ready to leave home and become a wearable voice assistant?

Amazon’s device event today played host to a dizzying number of product announcements, of all stripes — but notably, there are three brand new ways to wear Alexa on your body. Amazon clearly wants to give you plenty of options to take Alexa with you when you leave the house, the only place it’s really […]

Amazon wants to put microphones into your rings and glasses

At the end of its hardware event today, Amazon announced a new program for testing and selling its own experimental, limited-volume hardware: Day 1 Editions. The first of these new products is Echo Frames. These are Alexa-enabled glasses, though, unlike Google Glass, there’s no camera and no display, just microphones and a speaker. The second […]

Amazon unveils the $199 Echo Studio, its answer to the Apple HomePod and Google Home Max

Today at a special event Amazon unveiled a bevy of new Echo devices including several aimed a bit upmarket.  The Echo Studio is Amazon’s answer to the Google Nest Max and Apple HomePod. It’s larger than a normal Echo, supports 3D audio and Dolby Atmos. The seems to have device five drivers: one, downward facing […]

Sonos took the mic out of its smart speaker for the $179 Sonos One SL

Sonos has a new entry-level connected speaker that will give you all of its multi-room, high-quality sound – without the onboard microphones and smart assistants of the Sonos One. The microphone-free Sonos One SL retails for $179.99 ($20 less than the existing Sonos One) and comes with AirPlay 2, delivering good functional upgrades over the […]

The new Sonos Port connects your existing stereo setup to Sonos and AirPlay 2

Sonos has a new addition to its ecosystem for connecting in your existing stereo and AV equipment, and for adding sound out and AirPlay 2 capabilities to existing speaker setups connected via an amplifier. It’s the $399 Sonos Port, and it replaces one of the older existing devices in the Sonos lineup, the Sonos Connect, […]

Google falls to third place in worldwide smart speaker market

The global smart speaker market grew 55.4% in the second quarter to reach 26.1 million shipments, according to a new report from Canalys. Amazon continued to lead the race, accounting for 6.6 million units shipped in the quarter. Google, however, fell to the third spot as China’s Baidu surged ahead. Baidu in Q2 grew a […]