Case Study: Dialect & Accent Speech Data Collection

Sonos is one of the world’s leading sound experience brands. As the inventor of multi-room wireless home audio, Sonos innovation helps the world listen better by giving people access to the content they love and allowing them to control it however they choose.

They make it easy to set up a sound system across rooms and to integrate consumer audio devices. This means managing the audio, from music to your TV, centrally.

The Challenge: A Multilingual Smart Home Assistant

Sonos was developing an integration between their wireless speakers and smart home assistants. This meant they needed speech data collection from three geographies—the USA, the UK, and Germany—broken down by varying age groups.

In particular, they needed wake word data, similar to Amazon’s “Alexa” and Google’s “OK Google.” This data would be used to test and tune the wake word recognition engine, ensuring that users of all demographics or dialects have an equally great voice experience on Sonos devices.

Sonos had specific accent and dialect requirements for their speech data set:

Collecting the Data Set

The data set we built spanned different cultures and age groups. The range of data needed included several demographic identifiers, including age, sex, and lingual capacity.

This project required strict sampling demographics and proportions. Participants were picked meticulously, ranging from ages 6-65, with a 1:1 ratio of males to females, and tracked according to their accents.

In the US, this also included participants of varying ethnic descent: Southeast Asian, Indian, Hispanic, and European.

Post-Processing the Speech Data

Once the data is collected, it gets processed. The team went through each phrasing segment and tagged the relevant wake commands. With those timestamps, the audio was cropped after the desired phrase.

Then, our Quality Assurance team did a thorough review of the processed data to ensure it met Sonos’s strict requirements. We worked dynamically on a live data collection platform so that Sonos could access the data immediately as it came in.

Our Data Collection Team

In the realm of data collection, no two projects are the same. Luckily, our experienced team is able to tackle every unique challenge head on. Each project comes with its unique requirements, but our team is ready to create custom solutions on the fly.

With a diverse range of demographics needed from our participant base, you need the right attitude to recruitment. Our project team managed each participant with the right degree of cultural sensitivity, understanding that variation in culture and age groups meant adjustments in our data collection methodology from one demographic to another.

The Result: Expanded Voice Recognition Capabilities

In the end, Sonos was able to extend their speakers’ voice recognition capabilities to additional English and German dialects.


Accents across two languages


Participants across various age groups


Countries we collected data locally in

Our Data Collection Services

Our data collection services include more than just speech data collection. We offer terminology and lexicon development, multilingual transcription, and linguistic analysis.

Learn more about our services on our Data Solutions page, or reach out to us below to see how you can be our next success story.

Want to be our next success story?

Reach out to us today to learn how we can cater a data collection project to your specific requirements.

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