Sonos Preps Cheaper, Smaller Speaker?

As discovered by Variety (and yours truly) Sonos is prepping a new speaker. The paperwork has it labeled as S18 and RM016 — but those designations don’t really mean anything as it’ll surely carry a more natural name like Beam or One (unlike the horror that is Vizio audio naming conventions). And, speaking of the Sonos One, this new “satellite” speaker appears to feature the same touch sensitive surface and microphone iconography – suggesting the current Alexa and upcoming Google Assistant voice control is present. Further, I’m envisioning this as something of a smaller One – maybe somewhere between Echo Dot and Play:1 in both size (as rendered above) and output. On the flip side, Variety suspects this may solely be a Sonos Playbar accessory for surround sound and our very own Adam Miarka wonders if it’ll be a true portable with rechargeable battery. I obviously believe my positioning in the correct one… and a cheaper, universal Sonos would certainly go a long way to expanding the company’s footprint given the proliferation of inexpensive connected speakers, like Google Home Mini, even if it’s permanently tethered to an AC outlet.

4 thoughts on “Sonos Preps Cheaper, Smaller Speaker?”

  1. If that is the way it will look, I approve. I own the Sonos playbar and two Play 1s and felt left out of the Alexa/Google goodness since only the Sonos Beam and Sonos One has it. I’d purchase two of these asap. Especially if it has the Google assistant baked in.

  2. I very much doubt Sonos is interested in competing with the Home Mini and Echo Dot. These devices frequently sell for $25.

    My guess is they’re going after the $99 market, the full-sized Home and Echo devices.

    The problem there is that the $99 Home/Echo devices actually sound pretty good for a hundred bucks. The Sonos One sounds dramatically better, but it costs $199. So Sonos has to thread the needle of sounding markedly superior to the Home/Echo but without approaching the One and cannibalizing their own sales.

    You know what? Thinking my way through all that, I changed my mind. I do think it’ll cost $99, but the new product will be positioned as surround speakers for your Beam or PlayBar.

  3. Sonos is premium due to its quality sound and integrated ecosystem.

    If it costs the same price (or a third more, at $129) but sounds worse than a full-size Home/Echo, I don’t see that being successfully positioned as a standalone speaker. I know I wouldn’t buy one, and I own six Sonos products scattered around my apartment so I’m a fan. As surround-sound speakers, though, that could work.

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