We remember the Summer of 2016 fondly here at Technospeak. We were in the middle of selling a great audio system combo with Control4 or RTI handling audio amplification and distribution and Sonos providing all the audio streaming services you could dream of. We had full integration with all Sonos apps back then, including full search and song selection on Spotify, Control4 announcements over all Sonos speakers and mini-drivers for each Audio Stream app to minimize the amount of time between audio selection and playback. We were able to have this level of Sonos Integration as the platform Sonos was built on allowed for it. Sonos didn’t necessarily approve of this integration formally but in talking with our Sonos sales rep (we are Sonos dealers) Sonos didn’t seem to mind it much.
Then towards the end of the summer of 2016 the end came, at least the end for our perfect audio streaming system. Spotify apparently worked out a deal with Sonos that they no longer wanted the Sonos app to be able to control a Spotify account. Instead, Spotify wanted to control a Sonos speaker within the Spotify app. Sonos was laying off some its workforce and losing market share due to the introduction of Amazon Alexa and in my opinion caved to the request as a result. A side effect of that transaction was that Sonos closed our ability to have direct access to all the streaming apps, including Spotify. Control4 tried diligently to work with Sonos to develop an “endorsed” Sonos Integration however it was so limited compared to what existed before that most Control4 dealers and customers gave up integrating Sonos going forward. For our customer base, Spotify was just gaining steam at the expense of Pandora and SiriusXM so to see it be swiftly removed from our Sonos Integration model was a painful experience.
Early in 2017, we had a glimmer of hope when we saw that Sonos was integrating somewhat with Lutron via their popular Pico remotes. We liked the idea being level 2 Lutron Integrators already as it meant we could add an instant volume control anywhere in an existing structure. We could also combine audio control with light control all on the same keypad. We thought it an experiment at first that wouldn’t last but so far the partnership appears more long term.
Fast forward to October 4th 2017, Sonos has now introduced the Sonos 1, a Play1 that has Alexa and Google Assistant built in. Although that was interesting, what was more interesting for us was the admission that Sonos is a platform company that ironically does not like to integrate much. They also vowed that they were going to change that by completely opening up their API, implying our old Sonos integration could come back (Yea!). During the same presentation, Sonos had a list of partners they have completely opened up their API to. Unfortunately, Control4 and RTI were not on that list (not so Yea…). However there was a second list of integration partners Control4 was on (implying RTI) that will have what Sonos referred to as “Scene Platform” access during the presentation. As we have next to no integration with Sonos now, we are hoping this 2nd tier while not 100% of what we had before will at last give us more integration than we have now. Here’s to hope!!!
We hope you have found this information useful. If you have any more specific questions about Control4, RTI or Sonos based audio systems, you can reach us at 855-832-4775 of find us on the web at www.technospeakco.com. If you have more general Home Automation or Home Theater needs, please feel free to contact us using the contact information above as well.
And as always remember, at Technospeak, we take the “Techy” out of Technology, leaving our customers with the knowledge they need to enjoy their electronics.