Sonos Dealers Sign NDA – Is This What’s Coming Next?

It’s almost seven years ago that we first tried the Sonos system and gave it our coveted ‘Top Tech’ award. Since then it’s only grown in our affection and got more affordable too with the latest Play:3.  We heard last month that Sonos are going to announce something new to their dealers in the next week or two.  So what could it be?  Here are some thoughts on what Sonos may have in store for us…

Built-in AirPlay? Currently if you want to send audio from your Apple device to a Sonos zone it’s a bit of a kludge.  It requires buying an Airport Express and feeding it into the input of one of your zones. Time to build AirPlay into each Sonos zoneplayer?

Home Cinema? The sound from a Sonos Play:5 (formerly known as an S5) really does belies its size.  Sonos already allows you to configure these in ‘stereo pairs’ and using a few of the smaller Sonos Play:3 units for the centre and rear effects seems like such an obvious thing to do. There would be issues though.  Timings are more critical in home cinema systems where even small delays can lead to perceptable AV sync issues. Probably nothing the boffins at Sonos couldn’t overcome though.

BIG Speakers? The logical progression of a Sonos home theater setup would be the addition of some nice large, maybe even floor-standing speakers.  And of course we’re going to need a wireless Sonos Subwoofer to bring all that point-one to those 5.1 and 7.1 setups.  Doing away with the need for criss-crossing a room with speaker wire would be a major attraction to the minimalist crowd.

Smart Home Integration? Despite its popularity, Sonos still isn’t easily integrated with home automation systems. Will Sonos finally provide an API for 2 way control or perhaps add some smart home hardware like the Philips RFX9600 Advanced Serial Extender for the Pronto Pros?

Video? Probably the least likely, but what if Sonos are getting into video?  A tiny Roku-like zoneplayer with HDMI out that streams your video as well as audio – we can dream!

Word on the grapevine is that the new addition will be the most expensive unit in the entire product line-up.  Whatever is in the works from Sonos it’s going to be interesting to see what our favourite streaming audio company has in store for us.  Let us know in the comments below what you’d like to see next from Sonos.

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2 Comments on "Sonos Dealers Sign NDA – Is This What’s Coming Next?"

  1. Paul Gordon | May 15, 2012 at 9:13 am |

    My preference would be for at least *some* provision of integrated HA features… – the ability for a ZP to remotely control an attached amplifier for instance… – so I’m thinking an IR out port would be *very* handy… give each ZP the ability to learn a handfull of IR codes, and to transmit them via a blaster or stick-on emitter… although… lots of new amplifiers these days support http control via ethernet, so perhaps IR control is a bit “old school” now…

  2. I can see the home cinema option becoming a reality. A set of 5 Sonos 5s plus a new subwoofer of some king would be very cool.

    I doubt they would do much with the dedicated HA market as it just isn’t big enough.

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