jh-siesta.com January 22, 2018

Bring Amazon Alexa into your auto with new Garmin Speak

19 October 2017, 12:26 | Eugene Bates

Forget BMW, the Garmin Speak Is a Cheaper Way to Put Alexa in Your Car

Garmin Speak brings Amazon Alexa and GPS navigation to any vehicle

The Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot tend to yo-yo in price anyway, but you can now get £25 off if you have a Sonos speaker. There is also a mute "button" for the mic for when you want privacy. If you want the mic off full-time, you can just press-and-hold on the microphone each time you want the Sonos One to process voice commands. Basically, the Garmin Speak has a small display that provides users with real-time location, directions, and lane guidance. With the Sonos One, launching on October 24th for $200, the first great-sounding Alexa-powered speaker has finally arrived, and the early reviews are glowing.

The sound quality is what I expected from Sonos - powerful, without blowing my ears out (my landlady who has told me to keep the noise down for dropping a box too loudly did not come knock on my door once during the four consecutive hours that I played my Sonos One). Drivers can enjoy the convenience of asking Alexa to remotely access smart home automation devices such as lights, locks, and thermostats. And if I split all the rooms apart again, I can stream different music to each room. I've been telling Alexa to do things like "play Haim", or "lower the volume" and Alexa on the Sonos One has been very responsive, and in general a pleasure to use.

Do you like Sonos? Alexa can easily search music by artist, title, or genre.

Amazon recently held an Alexa hardware launch event and unveiled a number of new Echo products but their focus was put on the home.

Sonos only has so much room for slip-ups here, because the One is just one of many smart speakers on the market. However, there is an audio cue when Alexa has heard you. But I'm a Spotify fan, so for my actually listening session I switched to Spotify, sacrificing the fun voice control for the time being. And once you have that, you can control any Sonos speaker from any Amazon Echo. Streaming music is only possible through the service provided by Amazon.

The Sonos One is a great way to upgrade a multiroom audio setup, especially if you already own Sonos devices, and especially if you have yet to make the foray into voice control. That goes double for anyone who already owns Sonos components, and triple for Amazon Echo users. My living room was filled with rich, full sound.

Finally, one of the most perplexing drawbacks of the Sonos One is that it does not yet now support voice control for Spotify - a Spotify spokesperson says that this will be "available soon, likely before the holidays".

For now that's what I recommend, until Sonos really comes through with Google Assistant, Spotify, and Apple Music support.

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