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Smart speakers: Bose products get more Alexa features

Sonos products lack the practical Alexa capability is still missing, which is now available for Bose speakers.

More Alexa features for Bose speakers
(Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Bose has improved Alexa connectivity for their own smart speakers. All Bose speakers with a built-in microphone can now be used for phone calls using the Alexa call functions. Until now, the call functions were mainly reserved for Amazon’s own echo devices.

The Alexa call function allows other people with compatible Alexa speakers to be called by voice command. Then the call is made as with a hands-free phone. The Alexa call quality is roughly on a par with a phone used in hands-free mode. The calls are made via the Internet

For other people to be called via Alexa, the corresponding contacts must be stored in the Alexa address book. By default, Amazon is granted access to the smartphone address book for this purpose. If this is not desired, contacts must be entered individually into the Alexa address book, which is much more tedious.

In-house telephone system consisting of Alexa loudspeakers

If you have more than one Alexa loudspeaker in your household, you can use the Alexa call functions for an in-house telephone system. A telephone call to another device in the household can then be set up on call-up. For example, if you have a normal Echo loudspeaker, you can say “Alexa, call Echo” to the Bose loudspeaker and the call is made. The name of the device must be announced, which is stored in the Alexa app.

In addition, the Alexa call function can be used to make calls via the Alexa app on the smartphone using the smart speaker at home.

A special feature of the Alexa call function is the Drop-In function This allows a phone call to be set up directly to a device without a person at the other end having to answer the call. The Drop-In function can be switched off in the Alexa settings if required.

Sonos speakers still without Alexa call function

If you don’t want to use the Alexa call functions, you can disable them completely in the settings of the Alexa app. The corresponding menu item in the device settings is called Communication. Otherwise, the Bose music app manages Bose smart speakers, but the Alexa functions cannot be configured there. The call functions of Alexa stand for the Bose models Home Speaker 500, Home Speaker 300, Smart Soundbar 300, Smart Soundbar 500 and Smart Soundbar 700 and the portable speaker Portable Home Speaker ready.

The smart speakers of Sonos still do not support Alexa’s telephony features and it is not known if this feature will be added later. All Alexa-enabled products from Sonos as well as Bose can also be used with the Google Assistant. However, parallel operation of Alexa and Google Assistant is not possible with either Bose or Sonos.

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