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Sonos announces layoffs, pivot toward voice control

Home speaker maker Sonos is laying off workers as the company shifts to voice recognition and music streaming.

"Today, the entire music ecosystem is in transition — ultimately for the better — and so is Sonos," CEO John MacFarlane wrote in a blog post on Thursday. "We're not chasing short-term gains or answering to impatient investors. Rather, we're making a decision to substantially and confidently increase our investment in the future of music."

"We believe that listeners will grow increasingly dissatisfied with the solutions they've cobbled together for listening at home," MacFarlane wrote.

The new focus could put Sonos in direct competition with Amazon and its Echo device, which uses voice recognition to control the smart home. It could also set Sonos up for collaboration with the tech giant.

Sonos won't be creating its own streaming music service, Sonos spokeswoman Errin Cecil-Smith said in an email to CNBC.

"Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Google, Pandora and many others are already doing a terrific job there — as evidenced by the explosive growth of paid subscriptions," Cecil-Smith said. "At Sonos our job is to make it easy to listen to any and all of these services out loud in every room of your home."

Sonos wouldn't disclose how many workers will be laid off.

Amazon didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.