Archives For Sonos

As revealed back in April, Sonos is poised to announce a new entry in their home theater lineup. As described in the FCC filings:

The model S14 is a high-performance all-in-one home theater smart speaker and part of Sonos’ home sound system.

Given the newer hardware like the Sonos Playbase and Sonos One, we might reasonably expect on-device touch controls, unlike the somewhat long-in-the-tooth (stylistically) Playbar. But what exactly does the “smart” refer to? Is it onboard Alexa control as seen with the Sonos One? Or might it have something to do with the integrated Bluetooth Low Energy communication, which I don’t think we’ve seen from Sonos before.

In terms of connectivity, Sonos has shied away from HDMI. But that will no longer be an issue as also revealed by the regulatory documentation. Further, a supposed report by a former employee indicates the video market didn’t move exactly as the company had expected and so they have embraced the new HDMI 2.1 eARC specification enabling increased throughput for higher-fidelity:

HDMI 2.1 introduces so-called eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel), which increases bandwidth for audio to 38 Mb/s. This allows TVs to output lossless audio, including Dolby Atmos and the full range of DTS audio formats. […] The first product from Sonos to take advantage of this will be a mini soundbar due this year.

Beyond a new, smaller soundbar (perhaps similar in size to the Bose Solo 5 and supposedly pictured in the leaked render above), might Sonos also announce updates to the existing Playbase and Playbar? We’re gonna find out real, real soon…

Sonos Takes On Apple Homepod

Dave Zatz —  January 26, 2018

The delayed and seemingly incomplete, or at least limited and locked-in, Apple HomePod has arrived… for pre-order, anyway.

Digital Trends reports that the new $349 connected speaker’s sound really shines, besting all comers in fact. But, to fully appreciate Siri’s soundtrack, one must also subscribe to Apple Music. On the flip side, connected speaker pioneer Sonos recently integrated Amazon’s more adept Alexa voice control with Google Assistant waiting in the wings. Further, given 80 linked services, Sonos natively streams just about everything… including the aforementioned Apple Music. So while a single Homepod may sound better, Sonos is generating some well deserved publicity by offering up two Play One speakers (in black or white) for the price of a single Apple speaker (also in black, err space grey, or white) – essentially a limited time $50 discount.

Personally, having cycled through a number of Sonos and Bose devices, I’ve concluded my hearing is about as good as my vision and I’d probably be content with a few $99 refreshed Amazon Echoes for music playback and even more extensive Alexa interaction. Although our single remaining Sonos Play:1 has stayed strong, playing nature sounds and lullabies remotely, on command each and every day in our daughter’s room.

Sonos Playbase Nears Release

Dave Zatz —  February 18, 2017

First spotted at the USPTO way back in 2014, several signs indicate the mysterious Sonos Playbase nears release. What appears to be a speaker array that one’s television sits upon, similar to the Bose Solo 15, the new Sonos product just popped up on retailer BH Photo’s site for pre-order. With a pencilled-in $699 price point, the Playbase comes in both white and black and is tentatively expected to ship in March. Beyond newly unearthed pics, adding fuel to the fire is a deleted Sonos forum post and an FCC listing referencing the incoming ZPS11/RM011/S11.

Of course, we expect the home theater-centric Playbase to provide similar functionality to its siblings… including the ability to pair with “traditional” Sonos speakers for rear channel audio and upcoming support for Alexa. Whether or not the Playbase incorporates native voice support, with far field microphones, or Alexa integration is handled via an Amazon Echo remains to be seen. Given the rumored pricing, equivalent to the Sonos Playbar and exceeding its Bose equivalents, I’d bet on integrated mics and touch controls, as seen with the recently refreshed Play:5 speaker.

Continue Reading…

Amazon Music Prime Stations land on Sonos (in beta form)

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As we continue to examine the updated Sonos Android app that revealed the upcoming touch-sensitive, second generation Play:5 connected speaker, we’ve learned that Sonos looks to further improve audio quality by listening to room acoustics – as we often see with home theater receivers. This new feature, called Trueplay, uses the mic on your mobile device to analyze acoustic performance in a given space. Presumably units with more speakers can be fine tuned to overcome positioning obstacles while units with fewer speakers might elicit suggestions to move it to another location.

There are multiple references to using the internal Android’s microphone for walking and waving as the analysis is conducted. Further, within the Android app code, there’s even reference to using an iPad microphone, so iOS support is clearly on the docket. Given some of the wording, I also wonder if newer Sonos models like the ZPS6 could even include their own mics. And while self tuning is great, the potential for Echo-esque voice control is absolutely stellar. Make it so! Continue Reading…

As the story goes, I’ve been tracking at least one new incoming Sonos speaker — the S100 aka RM010. And after unpacking a publicly available Sonos beta APK for Android, I came across several interesting renders. They appear to show a sleeker Play:3 or Play:5 that does away with hardware buttons on top in favor of a touch sensitive surface and gesture control… including newly introduced transport controls. Around back, near the power cord, is what appears to be a relocated pairing button.

Like the existing Play:3, this “ZPS6” speaker can placed vertically or horizontally. Beyond the new hardware itself, Sonos is also poised to unveil speaker tuning technology based on evaluation of in-room acoustics via smartphone or iPad mic.As to driver count, acoustic quality, and price, we’ll have to wait and see.

UPDATE: I’ve learned that both Trueplay and the new speaker will be announced tonight. And, the speaker is indeed a Play:5 replacement — available later this fall for $500 in white or black. Beyond the modern new look featuring touch controls, we’ve also learned it’s been upgraded from five custom drivers to six for a wider, room-filling soundstage.

What’s the Sonos S100?

Dave Zatz —  September 11, 2015

Could use a little help here…

A few weeks back, the SONOS S100 passed thru the FCC. Sadly, there is very little useful information to anyone outside of engineering and compliance. I’ve wondered if it could be a Boost update to integrate Apple HomeKit and Siri voice control – wouldn’t that be nifty? (Especially since I unloaded the acoustically inferior Amazon Echo.) Some on the forums have suggested the Play:5 is being phased out and this could be its replacement. The Sonos lineup is also still in need of a battery-powered portable or nightstand speaker – perhaps this Nightingale? And we still don’t know what that Sonos Playbase is all about.

UPDATE: Found something…!