Integration with Lutron, Crestron, Alexa, and others enables Sonos music to synch with lights, shades and other amenities.
It’s official. Sonos now integrates with third-party home automation systems. Of course, smart-home systems have integrated with Sonos for at least a decade, but now they have the love and support of the manufacturer itself. Control4, Crestron, Deutsche Telekom’s QIVICON, iPort, Lutron and Savant are Sonos’s first sanctioned partners.
You can’t do anything special with the home-control systems that you couldn’t do before — just the same old transports, lists of favorites to select and feedback for “now playing.” For almost everything else, you still have to go back to the Sonos app itself. Crestron is the exception (below).
Control4, Savant and QIVICON (Deutsche Telekom’s smart-home platform) already integrated with Sonos. Crestron, on the other hand, has been by-the-book, refusing to offer native Sonos support without the blessing of Sonos itself.
Lutron and iPort Integration
The collaboration with Sonos, the sound platform for the connected home, gives consumers direct, one-touch control of any Sonos speaker alongside lights, shades and temperature, when used with Lutron’s Caséta Wireless, RadioRA 2, and HomeWorks QS smart home systems. Play, pause, skip tracks, and adjust volume, in exactly the same way that you control lights and shades from your nightstand or from the wall. Lutron has developed a new Pico Remote Control for Audio just for this purpose which puts audio and lighting control in the palm of your hand.
“Music sounds better when the lights are just right,” says Michael Smith, Lutron vice-president of sales. “Imagine settling into the couch with a glass of wine and you can adjust the lights and music right from the Pico remotes on your coffee table. Or as you pull into your driveway, the entry lights automatically turn on and your Sonos Home Sound System starts playing to welcome you through the front door. Music lovers will truly appreciate how easy it is to sync your music and lights and get immersed in the experience.”
And imagine this: Lutron’s geofencing feature allows scheduling of immersive sound and lighting scenes to have speakers and lights automatically turn on/off once an owner is within a set distance of home.
You know … to get the house in the mood before you arrive home.
Priced from $49, the Pico Remote for Audio will be available starting on September 15 from your local lighting showroom, electrical professional, home technology professional, and Amazon.com.
Also new to Sonos is iPort, the division of Dana Innovations that makes iPad mounts and controls. iPort will launch the xPress Audio Keypad, which talks directly to Sonos over the home’s Wi-Fi network. Unlike Lutron and the others, iPort does not require a hub for controlling Sonos.
The $100 Decora-style Keypad is wireless, so it can sit right next to same-style light switches on the wall. The xPress Magnetic Wall Adapters allow users to grab a Keypad off the wall for use as a hand-held remote.
Crestron is doing its Sonos integration different from the others. From within the Crestron environment, users have full access to the Sonos app itself. Plus, while the other Sonos partners can deliver just the fundamental Sonos controls, Crestron will allow users to browse song lists, create presets and do everything else Sonos itself can do.
Other Sonos Partnerships: Alexa and Spotify
Sonos owners with an Alexa-enabled device such as an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot will soon be able to use Amazon’s popular Alexa service to control their Sonos sound system. The software integration – collaboratively built from the ground up using the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) SDK– taps into both Sonos’ and Alexa’s existing music capabilities so owners don’t have to learn additional commands or key words. Simply ask Alexa to play your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, and more and it will flow to any group of Sonos speakers in the home.
These new voice capabilities will be delivered in a software update that will work with new and previously purchased Sonos and Alexa-enabled devices such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and Amazon Fire TV. The companies will begin rolling out the experience through an invite-only beta test later this year, with general availability in 2017.
Sonos also announced a Spotify Connect integration with additional functionality that will make it the only whole home sound system that can be fully controlled directly from the feature-rich Spotify app, including play controls and easy access to grouping and ungrouping of rooms. Spotify will be the first music streaming service that allows Spotify Premium listeners to have full control of the music all over their homes outside the Sonos app.
The inherently social listening experience also makes it possible for everyone in the home to control a listening session with both the Spotify andSonos apps, which stay linked with one another. Friends coming over? They can connect to your WiFi and use their own Spotify app to instantly play music to your Sonos speakers without downloading the Sonos app. And since you can control your Sonos system when you’re away from your home WiFi, you can now have music playing for you as soon as you come home.
This free software update will be available in October as part of the Sonos public beta program.