Alexa Now Supports Apple Music in Australia and New Zealand on Echo, Sonos, and Fire TV Devices

Alexa now supports Apple Music in Australia and New Zealand on Amazon Echo and Amazon Fire TV devices, and compatible Sonos speakers, as reflected in a recently updated Apple support document.


This means Apple Music subscribers who own one of those devices in those countries can now ask Alexa to play songs, artists, playlists, and more from Apple Music. This functionality first launched in the United States in December before expanding to the United Kingdom and Ireland last month.

Read our guide on how to set up Apple Music in the Alexa app, including how to make it the default music service so that you don't have to say "on Apple Music" each time you ask Alexa to play something.

(Thanks, Brad!)


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Alexa Support for Apple Music Expands to Sonos Speakers

Amazon Echo devices have been able to use Alexa-based voice commands to control Apple Music since December, but the feature has been limited to Amazon's own devices until today.

Sonos One and Sonos Beam owners in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland are now also able to use Alexa to control Apple Music after adding the Apple Music skill to the Alexa app.


To get Alexa controls for Apple Music on Sonos, users will need to update to the newest version of the Sonos app, enable the Apple Music skill in the separate Amazon Alexa app, and link an Apple Music account.

From there, Sonos owners will be able to use commands like "Play My Chill Mix on Apple Music," or "Play Beats 1 Radio on Apple Music."

It's not yet clear if other Alexa-enabled devices will also be gaining support for Apple Music controls in the future, but right now, the feature is available on all Amazon Echo and Fire TV devices along with the Sonos One and Sonos Beam.


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IKEA’s Symfonisk Line Will Include a Table Lamp With Sonos Speaker, Support AirPlay 2

Ikea today revealed more information about its upcoming line of Sonos smart speakers, which the Swedish furniture company has dubbed "Symfonisk" (via The Verge). There will be two products in the line: The Symfonisk Table Lamp with Wi-Fi Speaker ($179) and Symfonisk Bookshelf with Wi-Fi Speaker ($99).

Image from Ikea/Sonos via The Verge

Each device will be controlled through the Sonos app, and Sonos CEO Patrick Spence suggested that the Table Lamp's audio quality will be similar to the Sonos One speaker. It has two class-D digital amplifiers, one tweeter, one mid-woofer, and a sealed enclosure. The Table Lamp and Bookshelf can also be stereo paired, used for multiroom audio, and they both support Apple's AirPlay 2.

A brief ad on Ikea's Italian YouTube channel shows off both products. The Symfonisk line aims to produce Wi-Fi smart speakers that also perform some kind of secondary furnishing purpose, such as an extra shelf on a wall and lighting in a room.


The ad showcases two people dancing around to music playing from the speaker, with bright and colorful lights strobing from the Symfonisk Table Lamp. As with any other standard lamp, users will be able to place a smart light bulb into the Symfonisk (such as Philips Hue) and connect the bulbs to their existing ecosystem of lights.

More information about the Symfonisk smart speaker line from Ikea and Sonos is expected to come out of the Milan Furniture Fair, which takes place April 9 through April 14 this year. The products will then go on sale in August 2019.

Tags: Sonos, Ikea

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IKEA to Unveil Sonos Line of ‘Symfonisk’ Speakers in April

IKEA today confirmed its plans to announce the Symfonisk line of speakers during the Milan Furniture Fair, which takes place next month. The Symfonisk speakers come out of a long-term partnership between IKEA and Sonos, resulting in unique products like a speaker that doubles as a bookshelf.


Neither company has released information about what the final version of the speakers will look like, but customers can expect the entire Symfonisk line to provide music playback with an extra purpose in your home's furnishing. IKEA put out a short video highlighting the Symfonisk speakers, but it appears the company has blurred out the actual speakers in the home set-up seen in the video, wanting to save the hardware reveal for next month's announcement.

The press release today also emphasizes the unity of sound and light, suggesting there could be more announcements from IKEA's smart lighting branch, or a product that combines the two.
There’s sound, and there’s light. What if we combined them both? Two hugely important elements for creating the right mood around the home. This was the starting point for making the playful exhibition FEEL HOME in Tortona in Milan. The results? It is best experienced on site, the ambition has been to share knowledge through fun interactive installations based on everyday life activities.

“Together with Sonos we wanted to combine our home furnishing knowledge with their expertise in creating great sound experiences for every room of the home, and in Milan we want you to experience the real difference that sound and light makes in your life”, says Björn Block, Business Leader for IKEA Home Smart at IKEA of Sweden.
During IKEA's Democratic Design Day in Sweden last summer, the furniture company said that the Symfonisk system will fully integrate with other Sonos products as well as IKEA's Trådfris smart home line of lights and switches. Other prototype ideas suggested that a Symfonisk speaker will be compatible with many of IKEA's furniture products thanks to a bracket system, turning the speaker into a free-standing wall shelf or allowing customers to place it under a Metod kitchen cabinet.

In other IKEA-related news, the company today announced that it's delaying the release of its smart blinds until later in 2019. The smart blinds were originally set to launch in the United States on April 1, but IKEA decided to push back the release because it found "an opportunity for improved functionality," and the blinds need to have their firmware updated before the launch.

For the Symfonisk speakers, users can expect to hear more details about the IKEA and Sonos partnership sometime during the Milan Furniture Fair, which takes place April 9 through April 14 this year.

Tags: Sonos, Ikea

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New ‘Sonos One’ Speaker Launches With Upgraded Internals and No Design Changes

Sonos this week announced a new version of the Sonos One speaker with upgraded internals. These improvements include Bluetooth Low Energy, a faster processor, and more memory than the original Sonos One, all without any changes to the external design of the speaker (via The Verge).


The new Sonos One doesn't have any exclusive features, and sound performance is said to be the same. Sonos is simply beefing up the Sonos One, about a year and a half after the first model launched in the fall of 2017.

At the same time, the original Sonos One is being discounted by $20, and will now be sold for $179 at participating retailers. As the old model gets a markdown, the upgraded Gen 2 device will be priced at the original point of the first Sonos One: $199.

Sonos has yet to detail how the upgraded memory and faster processor will benefit the Sonos One (Gen 2). Previously, Sonos has stated that some older speakers "simply don't have the horsepower to support AirPlay 2," during the announcement that AirPlay 2 would be coming to Sonos One, Play:5, and Playbase speakers.

Because of this, it seems Sonos is simply future-proofing the Sonos One with better internals that ensure more features will be available to Gen 2 owners down the line. You can purchase the Sonos One (Gen 2) for $199 in Black or White on the Sonos website. The Sonos One (Gen 1) is also available for $179 starting today.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Sonos. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: Sonos

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Sonos Debuts New In-Wall, In-Ceiling, and Outdoor Speakers With AirPlay 2 Support

Audio company Sonos today announced a new range of speakers called "Sonos Architectural by Sonance," which are a collection of passive speakers that are designed for both indoor and outdoor use. There are three new speakers total: the Sonos In-Ceiling, Sonos In-Wall, and Sonos Outdoor Speaker.

Sonos In-Wall

As their names imply, the first two speakers are designed to be placed within the walls or ceilings of your home, sitting flush with each surface. Sonos says it worked with Sonance to make sure each speaker blends into any space while still providing the clear sound, even coverage, and performance expected of a Sonos device.
“Our goal was to create a solution optimized for installers, bringing the Sonos experience to architectural speakers for the first time,” said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence. “Sonance was the natural partner, sharing our passion for high quality, reliable sound solutions inside and outside the home.”
These can connect with Sonos Amp to use the "Trueplay" feature that detects the size, construction, furnishings, and more of a room and adjust the EQ for optimal sound.

Sonos In-Ceiling

For the Outdoor speaker, Sonos says this is its first device specifically built for outdoor use, featuring a weatherproof build that was engineered to withstand various environmental conditions. The Outdoor speaker can also be installed on walls, but it does protrude from the surface unlike the In-Wall speaker.

The In-Ceiling, In-Wall, and Outdoor speakers all support AirPlay 2 and Apple Music streaming, like existing Sonos speakers.

Sonos Outdoor

The In-Ceiling and In-Wall speakers are priced at $599 for a pair of each, while the Outdoor speaker costs $799 for a pair. The two Sonos Architectural speakers are available for pre-order today and will launch on February 26, while the Outdoor speaker will not be available until April.

Sonos today also announced that the updated Sonos Amp is now available for purchase in Australia, Canada, and Mexico, and it will launch in Europe on February 12. During its original launch last year, the new Sonos Amp was only available in the United States.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Sonos. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: Sonos

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Black Friday 2018: Best Deals on AirPods, Beats, Bluetooth and Smart Speakers

AirPods, Beats, and other headphones, as well as smart speakers like the Sonos One, make for great holiday gifts at reasonable prices. Black Friday presents an opportunity for additional savings on a variety of these products.


AirPods and Other Headphones

Bluetooth and Smart Speakers

Disclosure: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission, which helps us keep the site running.

Related Roundups: Apple Black Friday, AirPods
Tags: Beats, Sonos
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

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Sonos Launches New Sonos Amp and Partners With Sonance for New Architectural Speakers

Sonos today announced the launch of the Sonos Amp, a new audio hub that's designed to replace the existing Connect:Amp. The Sonos Amp is able to connect to traditional home audio speakers and integrate them into a Sonos home sound system.

According to Sonos, its new Sonos Amp is twice as powerful as the Connect:Amp with the ability to power four speakers with 125 watts per channel, up from two. It supports AirPlay 2 and more than 100 streaming services, in addition to including an HDMI Arc port to connect to TVs and line-in ports to connect devices like turntables, CD changers and other audio components.


Two Amps can be paired together for surround sound, and using the aforementioned HDMI Arc port, it can be used to add stereo sound to a TV or wireless rears to a home-theater setup.


Sonos is pricing the Amp at $599, $100 more than the previous Connect:Amp product. It will be available to professional installers in the U.S. and Canada starting in December, with global availability coming in February 2019.


The Amp is part of a new three-prong approach to better integrating Sonos into smart homes, which also includes speakers created in partnership with Sonance and new platform APIs.

Sonos is partnering with Sonance for three new architectural speakers, including in-wall, in-ceiling, and outdoor, which will be able to be paired with the new Sonos Amp. The three new speakers will be marketed and sold by Sonos and will launch in early 2019.

Starting in September, Sonos plans to open up its developer platform to all potential partners, and it will introduce a new set of Control APIs that will make it easier to integrate Sonos products into smart homes run by systems like Control4 or Crestron.

The new Control APIs will include support for line-in switching to allow line-in components to be selected within a third-party control interface, volume pass-through for easier volume control, the ability to add Sonos playlists using a third-party interface, and as a preview option, capabilities to provide notifications and alerts from third-party devices like doorbells through Sonos speakers.

Tag: Sonos

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Sonos Adds AirPlay 2 Support to Latest Speakers, Enabling Siri Control and Multi-Room Audio

Sonos today announced that its One, Beam, Playbase, and second-generation Play:5 speakers now support AirPlay 2, as promised.


This marks the first time Sonos speakers have supported AirPlay in general, enabling users to easily stream audio from iTunes on Mac, and virtually any app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, including Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, Hulu, Pandora, and Netflix, to compatible Sonos speakers over Wi-Fi.

AirPlay allows for Siri control of Apple Music or Podcasts playback on compatible Sonos speakers via iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, HomePod, and Apple TV. For example, one could say "Hey Siri, play Beats 1 Radio in the bedroom," after the speaker is named and assigned to a room in Apple's Home app on iOS.

AirPlay 2 in particular enables multi-room audio playback for Sonos speakers paired with other Sonos speakers, HomePod, or Apple TVs. Sonos speakers appear in the AirPlay Picker within apps and Control Center on iOS devices.

Sonos said its older speakers do not support AirPlay 2 on their own due to processor limitations, but in the Sonos app, they can be paired with any of the aforementioned speakers to enable support for Apple's new protocol. An older Playbar paired with a Playbase, for example, works with AirPlay 2.

Sonos initially held out on adding AirPlay compatibility to its speakers in part due to minor latency issues addressed by AirPlay 2.

Apple first enabled AirPlay 2 in iOS 11.4, released in late May. Sonos is the first third-party speaker maker to support the protocol, to be followed by Beoplay, Bang & Olufsen, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, Naim, and others.

AirPlay 2 support is available through a free software update via the Sonos Controller companion app on the App Store.


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Sonos and IKEA Reveal Prototypes for ‘Symfonisk’ Speakers, Including One That Doubles as a Shelf

Following yesterday's announcement from Sonos that AirPlay 2 will be coming to its speakers this July, more details about the company's partnership with IKEA have now emerged, after first being revealed in December. In a press release shared by the Swedish furniture maker, the two companies detail a "long-term partnership" that's beginning with a new range of speakers called "Symfonisk" (via The Verge).

A few non-functional prototypes of Symfonisk were showcased at IKEA's Democratic Design Day event in Sweden, and the company says that the Wi-Fi speaker system will fully integrate with Sonos' existing products as well as IKEA's own Trådfris smart home line of lights and switches. Of course, Symfonisk will also be compatible with many of IKEA's furniture through a bracket system that can turn the speaker into a shelf or place it under a METOD kitchen cabinet, among other prototyped ideas.

A Symfonisk prototype attached to the wall above the Sonos Play:5 via The Verge

IKEA mentioned that it's still early on in the design process for Symfonisk, so the look and implementation of the speakers could change before they are released sometime "after summer in 2019." Suggested prices were also not yet given.
"Sonos' company culture is very similar to that of IKEA. Our shared values and beliefs made us connect from day one. When the actual work started, we felt that we were the perfect match in every way", says Björn Block, Business Leader for IKEA Home Smart.

"Many people dream of built-in sound systems, but few can afford it. Our goal is for our collective work to save space, get rid of cords, make clutter invisible, and bring sound and music into the home in a more beautiful way", says Björn.
IKEA has already gotten into the speaker market, launching a line of minimalist "Eneby" Bluetooth speakers earlier this year. These devices come in 8-inch and 12-inch sizes, can be both mounted on a wall or displayed on a stand, and are designed to fit in the Kallax and Eket storage systems.


In 2017, IKEA launched the Trådfri Smart Lighting System in the spring, and then debuted HomeKit support for the lighting range in the fall, allowing users to easily integrate their IKEA bulbs and switches into the Home app on iOS. The company got inspired by Apple when it launched a new ad campaign for its Qi charging furniture alongside the debut of Apple's foray into wireless charging with the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus in September 2017.

Tags: Sonos, Ikea

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