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Garmin Speak adds Amazon Alexa to your vehicle for $149

Alexa isn't activated by default, and you if so choose, you could carry on using the device as a normal Sonos without linking it with Amazon's digital assistant.

The Sonos One is almost identical in design to its predecessor the PLAY:1, but it's a bit taller, and it houses touch sensitive buttons on its top side.

The Sonos One represents the next step for Alexa and voice control.

The speaker's sound quality really shines when you ask Alexa simple questions while playing music, such as retrieving the weather forecast or a shopping list.

Admittedly, a wait time of 12-15 seconds for the correct playlist to load is a small price to pay for the convenience of voice control. The icing on the cake? If you've completely bought into the Amazon eco-system, including music subscriptions and shopping, then having Alexa easily accessible from your auto while you commute to and from work will certainly be useful.

In my house, we love listening to music while we cook dinner each night, and being able to casually tell the speakers to turn down or switch to the next song without having to free up our hands is blissful. Plus the fact that it has got Alexa built in makes it a pretty good value. Our tests proved this in spades. That goes double for anyone who already owns Sonos components, and triple for Amazon Echo users. But Alexa hasn't had a big presence in the drivers seat yet.

The top of the 2013 Sonos Play:1 (left) compared to the all-new Sonos One (right). Alexa knows thousands of skills you'd be surprised at what this cloud-based voice service can do. Now, Sonos introduces Sonos One which can offer them both. It's the first product to give Alexa mapping capabilities, which is one of the things that other in-car Alexa solutions (such as those from Ford) have been missing.

We're not sure Alexa will prove as helpful in the vehicle as in the home, but things like music control and turn-by-turn navigation do appeal.

Garmin may be more known for its Global Positioning System trackers and fitness smartwatches but the brand also comes up with other devices like the VIRB 360 action cam and the Quatix 5 smartphone. Then the answer is easy - the Sonos One is essentially a marriage of existing products.

Other than that, the Sonos one has no inputs, so unless you have them connected to a Sonos Connect ($349), you can't use them to output audio from your TV.

At 6.4 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches, the Sonos One is about the size of a large can of coffee.

You have everything you need integrated into the new Sonos One speaker.

Still, the two are different speakers, and can not be paired with one another to create a true stereo setup. For better or worse, Alexa doesn't sell its own higher-end speaker. That's not to say that the PLAY:1 is a slouch by any means, but the Sonos One does sound better than the PLAY:1. They're different beasts, despite their looks.

The Play:One delivered great performances with more acoustic fare as well, beautifully rendering the two-part harmony of The Unthanks' aching rendition of the Scottish folksong "Anachie Gordon", from the duo's release A Retrospective.

Beyond the color of the grill, the most noticeable difference between the new and old speakers is the top.

As far as Global Positioning System units go, the Garmin Speak is easily one of the smallest and least obtrusive aftermarket upgrades. In addition to regularly flushing any logs on the device and not sending data to Amazon unless and until it hears the watch word ("Alexa", by default), Sonos provides visual indication of the microphone's status.

Including the Sonos One reviewed here, my Sonos system has six speakers: Garage, Kitchen, Living Room, Master Bedroom, Media Room, and Sun Room. Additionally, support for Apple's AirPlay 2 will be coming to all Sonos devices in 2018. For example, if you have forgotten to turn off the lights or close the door (and you have original home accessories for you), you can just control everything from the driver's seat. When you do call out for Alexa, the volume on the Sonos one will duck out to a lower volume so that you don't have to shout.

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