After being asked by many for many years, it seems that Sonos is finally considering launching the first headphones. I hope they arrive this year.
Rumors so far haven’t been based on more than hearsay, but now there’s some exciting evidence. Wireless headphones were very unlikely, as Sonos has historically hated using Bluetooth. But that changed when the company launched the portable Sonos Move speaker last year.
Let’s take a look at how Sonos headphones are shaped based on rumors.
When will Sonos headphones be released?
Bloomberg first reported on the potential of some Sonos headphones long ago and said they could arrive in 2020. It didn’t happen in the company, mostly instead of launching the Arc soundbar.
2021 seemed like a real possibility, but at an event in March, Sonos unveiled Roam, a highly portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker.
As you can imagine, Sonos hasn’t confirmed the existence of headphones, but he told Protocol: At this time, there is no additional information that can be shared regarding future product roadmaps. “
However, Sonos seems to have taken a big step towards launching its own headphones. First reported by Forbes, Sonos has acquired a majority stake in RHA Audio (below), the manufacturer of TrueConnect 2 earphones.
RHA has been around for 10 years and has won numerous awards, including Tech Advisor, but has been in a difficult situation of rising debt. Earlier this year, RHA stopped selling products on its website, renamed it Origin North LTD, and discontinued social media channels.
Sonos has the potential to acquire the company and leverage its established know-how and supply chain. Sonos currently owns more than 75% of the shares, according to a document about Companies House.
At the very least, it shows that Sonos is aiming to launch its own headphones, even if they haven’t arrived for a while.
Adding fuel to the fire is news that Sonos has acquired T2 Software via a protocol. T2Software is working on the Bluetooth LE Audio standard and LC3 codec to achieve better audio quality with lower bitrates and better battery life.
A Sonos spokeswoman said, “We will occasionally acquire teams, talent, and technology to reinforce our existing and future product roadmaps,” confirming that T2 Software was acquired in November 2021. ..
In addition, in a LinkedIn post from Sonos Vice President of Global Marketing Pete Pedersen, we’re looking for a “targeting new audience / consumer segment” marketing agency to help launch products in “new categories.” ..
2022 is gone and Sonos headphones are on standby. The company has announced a Sonos Ray soundbar, Sonos Voice Control, and a new Roam color, but hasn’t yet suggested a can of its own brand.
Fingers crossed that the headphones were next to the roadmap.
How much does a Sonos headphone cost?
It’s no secret that Sonos products get premium prices. So it’s not surprising that the same Bloomberg report suggests that Sonos headphones are priced “over $ 300”.
This will give you the same price as rivals such as Sony WH-1000XM4, Microsoft Surface Headphones 2, and Bose QC45.
What are the features of Sonos headphones?
Following the news that Sonos has acquired a majority stake in RHA (details above), exclusive details about an unreleased pair of RHA headphones called Atlas, where Sonos now owns technology and intellectual property. I got.
According to our sources, the Atlas Over-Ear Headphones were set to go on sale in 2021 for around £ 500 with high-end features such as active noise canceling, 3D audio, and high-resolution Bluetooth. In terms of design, it’s similar to the AirPods Max, but “square and slightly curved.”
The potential look of Sonos headphones comes from a German patent and trademark application discovered by The Verge.
The design looks sophisticated, with the Sonos logo and headband rods straight into the earcups. A USB-C port, three buttons and a 3.5mm jack input are also shown in the drawing.
An adapter for earphones is also a recent application, but this could simply mean a replaceable ear pad for headphones.
In September 2020, I scrutinized two possible designs from US patents. It’s a bit like a Master & Dynamic pair like the MH40, but this patent could give you insight into what Sonos headphones offer.
The patent does not guarantee the technology actually contained in the final product, so it is said to be “potential.”
Both options shown in the patent have an over-ear design, and the headphones may have active noise canceling. While the patent also mentions the control possibilities of ANC, it states that the microphone can be “configured to facilitate background noise filtering.”
These microphones also seem to be used to make phone calls when connected to a smartphone.
There are references to various proximity sensors used, such as for volume control. However, knobs are also mentioned as possible, so it’s unclear which Sonos will decide, and they can be used in combination.
The patents discovered by digitaltrends suggest that Sonos headphones may have Wi-Fi. This means that headphones can be streamed directly from the internet, making it easy to handle high-resolution audio without the need for a Bluetooth device like a phone.
It also means better integration with existing Sonos speakers, allowing you to join groups and use Sonos Roam’s sound swap feature to move audio to and from your headphones.
“Consumers expect Wi-Fi-enabled headphones to have the same type of reliable internet connection they experience when using tablets,” a German translation said. I am.
I’m still not sure if this will happen. In particular, the patent reveals technical hurdles, such as the need to add a secondary antenna and the handling of large headband cables with a diameter of over 4mm, which is twice the normal size of Bluetooth. It has become. headphone.
The patent states that Sonos can avoid this by using a winding routing pattern and malleable elastomeric plastic material.
Quite clearly, Sonos headphones support multiple digital voice assistants such as Alexa and the Google Assistant. Not surprising, given what much of the Sonos speaker series has already done.
Many examples are given, including Siri and Cortana, and headphones may contain various activation words to trigger them.
Many people want to know how Sonos headphones play on different speakers. After all, these are independent products and may not work with Sonos’ well-known multi-room feature.
But the signs are positive, as the patent talks about “swap.” This seems to suggest that you can easily move the music you are listening to on your headphones to another device.
“For example, if a particular content playback is currently being played on wireless headphones, swapping modifies the playback and the content is played on one or more other playback devices on the local network.”
If you get home and can’t seamlessly move music from your headphones to your Sonos system, it’s a trick you’ve missed.
Check out our guide to the best Sonos speakers.