It’s been a query on many lips for a few years, nevertheless it seems like Sonos may lastly trying to launch its first pair of headphones, and we’re hopeful they may arrive this 12 months.
Till now rumours haven’t been based mostly on rather more than rumour however we now have some proof to get enthusiastic about. With Sonos’ historic reluctance to make use of Bluetooth, wi-fi headphones appeared extraordinarily unlikely. Nevertheless, that modified when the agency launched the moveable Sonos Transfer speaker final 12 months.
Let’s check out how the Sonos headphones are shaping up based mostly on the hearsay mill.
When will the Sonos headphones be launched?
Bloomberg first reported about the potential of some Sonos headphones a very long time in the past, saying they might arrive in 2020. That did not occur with the agency as an alternative primarily launching the Arc soundbar.
2021 regarded like an actual chance however at an occasion in March, Sonos unveiled the Roam – a extremely moveable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker.
As you may count on, Sonos has not confirmed the existence of the headphones but telling Protocol that “We proceed to make investments in our robust patent portfolio with dozens of latest patents annually. We should not have extra data to share at the moment relating to our future product roadmap.”
It does appear to be Sonos has now taken an enormous step in the direction of launching its personal headphones, although. First reported by Forbes, Sonos has now acquired a majority stake in RHA Audio, makers of the TrueConnect 2 earbuds (under).
Regardless of being round for a decade and receiving numerous awards, together with from Tech Advisor, RHA fell on robust occasions with debt mounting up. Earlier this 12 months RHA stopped promoting merchandise on its web site, rebranded to Origin North LTD and ditched its social media channels.
Sonos has picked up the corporate and can doubtless make use of its established know-how and provide chain. A doc on Corporations Home states that Sonos now has 75% or extra of the shares.
On the very least, it is a sign that Sonos goals to launch its personal headphones, even when they do not arrive for a while.
Including gas to the hearth is information, by way of Protocol, that Sonos has now acquired T2 Software program, a Bluetooth audio startup that has been engaged on the Bluetooth LE Audio normal and LC3 codec for higher audio high quality at decrease bitrates and higher battery life.
“Sometimes, we are going to purchase groups, expertise, and/or know-how that increase our current and future product roadmap,” mentioned a Sonos spokesperson mentioned, confirming that T2 Software program was acquired in November 2021.
Moreover, a LinkedIn put up from Pete Pedersen, VP of worldwide advertising at Sonos searching for a advertising company to assist launch “a brand new class” of product, “concentrating on a brand new viewers/shopper section.”
2022 is flying previous and the await the Sonos headphones goes on. The agency has introduced the Sonos Ray soundbar in addition to Sonos Voice Management and new Roam colors however nonetheless hasn’t hinted at own-brand cans.
Fingers crossed that the headphone shall be subsequent on the roadmap.
How a lot will the Sonos headphones value?
It’s no secret that Sonos merchandise fetch a premium value so it’s not precisely stunning that the identical Bloomberg report means that the Sonos headphones will value “$300 or extra”.
This is able to put them at an analogous value to rivals such because the Sony WH-1000XM4, Microsoft Floor Headphones 2 and Bose QC45.
What options will the Sonos headphones have?
Following the information that Sonos acquired a majority stake in RHA (particulars above) we obtained unique particulars on an unreleased pair of RHA headphones known as Atlas which Sonos might flip into its personal pair now it owns the know-how and mental property.
Our supply instructed us that the Atlas over-ear headphones had been deliberate to launch in 2021 at round £500 with high-end options together with lively noise cancelling, spatial audio, Hello Res Bluetooth and extra. When it comes to design, they sound just like the AirPods Max with a “square-ish and barely curved”.
A doable take a look at the Sonos headphones comes by way of a German Patent and Trademark submitting – noticed by The Verge.
The design seems to be refined, now with a Sonos emblem and headbands rods that go straight into the earcups. A USB-C port, three buttons and a 3.5mm jack enter are additionally proven within the drawings.
An adapter for earphones can also be a latest submitting however this might merely imply a replaceable earpad for the headphones.
Again in September 2020 we acquired a superb take a look at two doable designs from a US patent. One which seems just a little like Grasp & Dynamic pairs such because the MH40, however the patent may give an perception into what the Sonos headphones may supply.
We are saying ‘may’ as a result of a patent is not any assure of any tech really being included within the ultimate product.
Each choices proven within the patent are an over-ear design and the headphones might effectively characteristic lively noise cancelling. The patent says that microphones might be “configured to facilitate filtering of background noise” whereas there’s point out of a doable management for ANC, too.
These microphones can even be used for taking cellphone calls when related to a smartphone, it appears.
There are mentions of assorted proximity sensors which might be used for issues like controlling the amount. Nevertheless, a knob can also be talked about as a chance so it’s unclear which Sonos will determine on and will even use a mix.
A patent noticed by digitaltrends means that the Sonos headphones might have Wi-Fi. This is able to imply the headphones might stream immediately from the web without having for a Bluetooth gadget like a cellphone whereas with the ability to deal with Excessive Res audio with ease.
It might additionally imply they combine with the present vary of Sonos audio system even higher, in a position to be part of teams and even use the Sound Swap characteristic from the Sonos Roam to maneuver audio to and from the headphones.
“a shopper expects from Wi-Fi-enabled headphones the identical kind of dependable web connection to their wi-fi entry level that they expertise when utilizing a pill,” is says translated from German.
Whether or not this occurs or not stays to be seen, particularly for the reason that patent makes it clear there are technical hurdles together with having so as to add a secondary antenna in addition to coping with a bigger headband cable of over 4mm in diameter which is double the standard measurement for Bluetooth headphones.
The patent says that Sonos might get round this by utilizing a serpentine routing sample in addition to a malleable elastomeric plastic materials.
What’s pretty clear is that the Sonos headphones will help a number of digital voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. Not too stunning contemplating lots of the Sonos speaker vary does already.
Many, together with Siri and Cortana, are talked about as examples and the headphones might have varied activation phrases to set off them.
What many will need to know is how the Sonos headphones will play with the vary of audio system. They might, in spite of everything, be an unbiased product and never work with the multi-room options Sonos is known for.
Nevertheless, the indicators are optimistic because the patent talks a couple of ‘swap’. This seems to counsel the music you’re listening to on the headphones might be simply moved to a different gadget.
“For instance, if a selected piece of content material play is at the moment enjoying on the wi-fi headphone, a swap adjustments the playback to play that piece of content material on a number of different playback units on the native community.”
It could be a missed trick in case you couldn’t arrive residence and seamlessly transfer your music from the headphones to your Sonos system.
Try our information to the very best Sonos audio system.