The Alexa Announcements feature was launched by Amazon a couple of months back. It essentially transforms a multi-room smart speaker setup into a home announcement system. This feature was initially limited to Amazon’s Echo speakers only but the company has now opened it up to third-party devices as well. Sonos One and Beam have now received support for Alexa Announcements. Sonos now has the first third-party smart speakers that are compatible with this useful feature.
Sonos is rolling out a firmware update for the One and Beam smart speakers to users in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Once the update arrives, users will be able to make announcements through Alexa.
They will be able to do that by saying commands like “Alexa, announce,” or “Alexa, tell everyone” and then following up with whatever it is they want to announce to everyone else in the house.
The feature basically transforms the speakers into a one-way intercom so that people in the house don’t have to shout to get someone’s attention in another part of the house. The command is broadcasted to all connected speakers in the house, be it an Echo or Sonos. These one-way broadcasts can also be sent through any Alexa-enabled device as well as the Alexa app on smartphones.
The announcement is played by all speakers but if users want to exclude a particular device, set that particular speaker to Do Not Disturb. It won’t receive the announcements until the feature is turned off.