Sonos is perhaps the most reputable manufacturer of smart speakers, having wowed us with the superb Play:1, the sublime Play:3, the sensational Play:5, and — most recently — the superlative-defying Sonos One. Featuring integrated Alexa voice support, it helps keep Sonos in line with popular speakers like Amazon’s Echo and the Google Home series.
Pandora, meanwhile, is one of the most popular music streaming platforms around, boasting more than 80 million active users despite flagging a bit over the past year relative to expectations. Now, the two companies are collaborating to help streamline users’ listening experiences by integrating Sonos support directly into the Pandora mobile app.
Previously, users needed to access Pandora through the official Sonos app in order to listen to Pandora radio stations or on-demand content (except those with the Sonos One, which can select Pandora playlists via Alexa voice control). Now, the Pandora app allows for full Sonos control — you can play a selected playlist, on-demand music, or radio station, as well as group and ungroup speakers, split playback across different speakers, and adjust volume anywhere.
Subscribers to Pandora Premium (touted as “the Spotify Killer“) can also utilize the full complement of Premium perks — including on-demand music playback for artists, albums, and individual tracks — via the Pandora app to play through Sonos speakers. The update also allows other people to “DJ” with your speakers as long as they’ve got the Pandora app downloaded, no Sonos required. You’ll still need to download the Sonos app to set up your speaker initially.
Unfortunately, the Premium perks don’t work with Alexa on the One — not yet, anyway. Pandora Premium offers a vast catalog of on-demand tunes, comparable to Spotify’s (minus the endless stream of covers and remixes that few people actually want), thanks to deals with the three major record labels (Universal, Sony, and Warner), plus a number of indie music distributors, including Merlin. Subscribers to Pandora Plus and the free tier have full Alexa support.
Along with Spotify and Apple Music, Pandora is among the premier music streaming services on the planet right now. If it continues to collaborate with reputable companies like Sonos, its profile will only continue to rise.