Certain varieties of Sonos smart speaker can now stream Apple Music with the help of Amazon’s Alexa.
Amazon’s Echo speakers officially got Apple Music support in December of last year. With that, many people wondered when third-party devices would be able to interface with Apple Music. The answer is now, at least for users in the US, UK, and Ireland.
Alexa can stream Apple Music to Sonos One and Beam devices, just like the Amazon Echo smart speaker.
Sonos smart speakers sound much better than most of the Echo speakers, so the new change is welcome. The Apple Music skill will need to be enabled in the Alexa app, with your account linked. To use the service, you will need to add “on Apple Music” when you make your requests.
Sonos has confirmed you can even send audio to its devices that aren’t Alexa-equipped. They have to be part of the same audio group as a Sonos or Alexa device, however. It’s an okay solution, but certainly not ideal. As far as integration goes, you can’t request content uploaded to your iCloud Library. Smart playlists are still iOS-only, and shuffle doesn’t work with Alexa.
Last year, Sonos had to downsize and let employees go after crushing competition in the smart speaker niche.
Now, the company is looking at expanding in markets beyond just the home.
Sonos is looking at expanding into the Bluetooth over-the-ear headphone market to compete directly with Apple’s Beats product. Sources familiar with that matter said Sonos has at least one pair of headphones in development. They are expected to cost around $300 and will support Alexa, Google Assistant, and more.
Sonos’ IPO in August was not as successful as the company had hoped. The $15 initial Sonos stock price has dropped from its debut price down to $10 before bouncing back. The stock hovers at around $12 for now as investors seem undecided on the company’s broader focus and minority stake in one of its core markets.