Rumors have been circulating for years that Sonos wants to move into the wireless headphone space. Some also believed that prior to its most recent product launch – the Sonos ROM – that the company was finally going to drop the needle on the Sonos wireless headphones that we are hearing about.
That was not the case, but reports have surfaced that Sonos may want to launch a true wireless earbud, thanks to some patents the company filed to the USPTO back in February.
It is very early days, and there is no certainty that earbuds will become a viable product for the consumer. But it shows that Sonos is looking out of the house after the launch of its Move and ROM portable speaker, and its Audio partnership with Audi.
When will Sonos True Wireless be announced?
We do not know at all.
USPTO filing patent There is no confirmation in February that this headphone will come on the market, or even if it has become available that this patent will be on show. Many things can change, including Sonos’ interest in making true wireless.
There are rumors about a full-size pair of Sonos wireless headphones from 2019 – Sources commented on Bloomberg The headphones wanted to be launched in 2020. The fact that you are not holding a pair in your hands now says a lot about development time.
We know that Sonos is interested in adopting its approach and exploring the audio market that exists outside the home. It has had success with Move and the Rome, but a headphone would be a different kettle of fish altogether.
How much will sonos earbuds cost?
Again, given that the patent filing shows that the headphones are in the initial consideration process, there is not much to go on.
But we know Sonos, and we know that they are hard bargains in terms of pricing. RRPs rarely fluctuate for their products and people still buy them. We don’t know what the sales of Sonos ROM are, but we want it to perform well given the most affordable speaker in the Sonos portfolio.
Perhaps that – as well as Sonos’ lack of experience in the headphone market – would indicate that Sonos would be mid-range and low in terms of price. Given their lack of experience, it makes sense to start a certain amount of economical and construction. We can be years away from hearing about the price in any case.
What features will Sonos wireless earbuds have?
The patent gave an interesting look at the ‘potential’ earbuds and charging case. And interestingly, the words for these earbuds.
The looks are like earbuds, but look very different from traditional efforts. They are definitely in-ear (you can tell by ear-tips), but the shape is unusual. They look like a helicopter seed look or, from a certain angle, they look like a clown shoe.
There is a more traditional design (which looks very rectangular), which probably indicates that Sonos is playing with shape and form. Both follow the stem design approach rather than embedded approaches (such as Bose or Sony), and suggest that they are more inspired by Apple than anyone else with touch / playback controls at the top of the stem.
Even more interesting is how the charging case and earbuds interact with them. Instead of a cradle where the earbuds ‘sit’, the earbuds click on either end of the case, which Sonos refers to as the ‘charging adapter’. This is an interesting approach, and potentially reflects a smaller, more pocketable case.
Given Sonos’ hatred for Bluetooth before the appearance of the Move, what form could wireless connectivity with these earbuds take? We can only speculate at the moment, but looking at the patent filing it wouldn’t surprise us if earbuds work primarily on Bluetooth outside of the home, and then in the same way as Apple’s devices interact with each other. , Start talking to each other more strictly when connected via the Sonos S2 app.
Given Sonos’ platform agnostic approach, you’d expect Google Assistant and Alexa voice control in one form or another as suggested by an image in the filing. Not much to go on otherwise, but if this patent filing emerges as an interesting look at the future of Sonos.