Garmin Speak is a Mini Alexa-Equipped Car Accessory, Priced at $149

Leigh Mccormick
October 19, 2017

The Sonos One gadget is a spectacular product that offers incredible sound quality.

Garmin also throws in their turn-by-turn spoken traffic directions. Overall, the Sonos One is another superb connected speaker product from Sonos, and we're looking forward to future software updates that further unlock its potential.

The Speak is finally making GPSs cool again.
Will Alexa transform how you experience music? This works for targeting a single speaker ("play the Beatles in the kitchen") or an existing group of rooms grouped in the Sonos app. "We are excited to be the first to offer Garmin GPS navigation and Amazon Alexa's intuitive voice service in the new Garmin Speak", said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. The touch controls let you swipe to skip a track, and tap to turn up the volume.

If you set-up an Echo Dot in a room in your home, you can just say "Alexa, play Stone Roses in my living room", for example, and your living room Sonos speaker will instantly play the chosen music.

And I hoped for better Spotify support, given how closely Sonos and Spotify have worked together in the past.

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After years of controlling music with a computer or an iPhone, moving to voice control is liberating. You can then set up "routines" to instruct any number of devices with just one command.

I had a little trouble initially after pairing the speakers; Alexa wasn't recognizing them properly, and wouldn't play music, nor would Alexa realize that I started playing music using the Sonos app. So you don't miss out on all voice control through non-supported music streaming services. As for Apple Music, a Sonos spokesperson told us full support for the Apple service is also on the company's roadmap, but declined to offer a timeline for when it's coming. On the back of the speaker is a port for its power cord, and an Ethernet port just above. In addition to regularly flushing any logs on the device and not sending data to Amazon unless and until it hears the watch word ("Alexa", by default), Sonos provides visual indication of the microphone's status. But at $150, it's priced similar to Garmin's cheapest touchscreen navigation device, and as fun as having Alexa along for the ride is, she isn't necessary for finding the closest gas station, or the quickest route to grandma's. There is also a mute "button" for the mic for when you want privacy.

Spotify support is not available yet, but it's coming soon!

What Sonos will need to do to stay ahead of the competition, I believe, is work on developing features that keep the sound quality pristine and operation painless in a voice-controlled world.

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