As the company has heavily hinted in recent weeks, Sonos will release its first pair of headphones next year. That is according to BloombergMark Gurman, who anticipates a launch in April. The over-ear headphones are rumored to cost between $400 and $500, very premium territory for a company that’s new to the category.
At least one standout feature will be its ability to sync music with other Sonos products in your home. The headphones will also include Sonos Voice Control, which is already heavily focused on music-related commands, unlike other broader voice assistants from Amazon, Apple, and Google. Bloomberg It says that Sonos has been working on the headphones since 2019, but canceled previous versions of the product, so the company’s previous patent applications will likely have little bearing on the final hardware. Sonos could follow the headphones with its own pair of wireless headphones.
Sonos could price its first headphones up to $500
During Sonos’ quarterly earnings conference call last week, CEO Patrick Spence confirmed that the company plans to enter “a new multibillion-dollar category in the second half of the year.” [fiscal] year” that will represent the bulk of the $100 million Sonos expects to receive from new product launches in 2024.
Bloomberg also reports that Sonos is planning a TV streaming device that will launch in late 2024 or early 2025. The company has telegraphed its interests in video in recent years through job postings related to a “cinema operating system.” at home”, like Protocol reported in March of last year. Voice control will play a prominent role in the device, which is described as a small black box, much like all other streaming devices today. Sonos is already in talks with entertainment service providers such as Netflix to develop applications for the platform, but it could also launch its own service as it has already done in audio.
A second-generation Sonos Roam portable Bluetooth speaker will also be introduced in 2024. It will be updated to match the top controls on the Era and Move 2 speakers. Some customers of the first-generation model have complained about reliability and been disappointed by the speaker’s battery life over time, so Sonos is expected to make some improvements in this regard as well. forehead.
According BloombergAccording to the report, other upcoming products include an updated Sub, a business-oriented version of the Era 100 with built-in Ethernet, and a new soundbar, the sequel to the Sonos Arc, launching in late 2024. Sonos recently resolved a bug of “loud pop” that had plagued the $900 Arc for some owners since its launch in 2020. The revamped soundbar will integrate technology from Mayht, a startup Sonos acquired in 2022, and could cost considerably more than the Arc at around of $1200. That would compare it to the more expensive Dolby Atmos sound bars from Samsung and other tech brands.
Sonos tries to reverse a serious drop in demand with this wave of new devices
The wave of backlogs is set to boost Sonos’ hardware revenue after consumer demand for the company’s products took a serious hit in 2023. That led Sonos to lay off 7 percent of its employees. employees in June. And just last week, after Spence said 2024 would mark “the beginning of a multi-year product cycle in which we expect to reap the rewards of our investments in research and development,” Sonos made even more job cuts at its product development team, exactly the same. group that would be expected to be relatively secure as the company pursues new categories of hardware.
“We feel pretty good about the size of the team we have right now,” Spence said at the end of the fourth-quarter earnings conference call. “We don’t see the need to add many more people to meet our long-term growth objectives.” Those goals revolve around what Sonos consistently calls its “flywheel,” the idea that existing customers will routinely add more products to their Sonos system, occasionally replace older equipment with the latest model, and sing the company’s praises to others. people and will expand even more. Sonos customer base.
The biggest challenge that awaits Sonos when it finally enters the headphone and set-top box business will be to somehow clearly differentiate itself from highly successful competitors.
Photography by Chris Welch/The Verge