Sonos Headphones are Reportedly In the Works
Having essentially owned the wireless multi-room speaker market since it began shipping product in 2005, speaker manufacturer Sonos is reportedly looking to dip its toe in an entirely new audio category: Headphones. That’s at least according to a recent Bloomberg report, which cited “people familiar with the plans.” A Sonos spokesperson said in the report that the company does not comment on future product plans. (We’ve reached out to the Sonos team here as well and heard a similar tune—pun intended.)
According to the report, the wireless, over-ear headphones are still in the early development stages and could be launched by next year. It’s expected, those sources said, that the headphones will compete in the high-end range of wireless over-ear headphones, alongside the likes of Bose, Beats, and Sennheiser—all of which come in around the $300 price point.
The Sonos headphone announcement comes around the same time that the rumor mill is starting to crank up around the over-ear, wireless headphones that Apple is said to be developing. The Apple headphones, reports say, could launch as early as the second half of this year—perhaps around the same time as the 2019 iPhone lineup is announced in September.
But back to Sonos.
A move into the personal audio space, while an entirely new category for the company is one that certainly makes a lot of sense. Sonos has made its hay in the room-based audio market, having developed a renowned lineup of internet-connected speakers that sound great and are reasonably priced for the mass consumer market. So, as an established audio brand, it would only seem to be the most logical next step for the brand to get move towards personal audio. And not to be forgotten here is the fact that Sonos is just a few months removed from entering the public domain as a business entity, which means they have investors they need to appease, which also means they need to continue to look to evolve their product offerings.
And to that point, Sonos dropped something of a major hint that it might go in this direction in their most recent letter to its investors.
“We realize that while approximately 50 percent of listening happens in the home, the other 50 percent happens outside the home,” the company said. “So, to be the leading sound experience company, we need to continue to offer differentiated listening experiences in the home while extending our platform and products to all the places and spaces our customers listen to the fantastic breadth of audio content available on demand today. In FY2019, we plan to push our boundaries by investing resources to make the experience of Sonos outside the home a reality.”
Short of saying flat out that they’re working on headphones or other personal audio products, Sonos basically confirmed right there that they’re at least looking into the possibility of morphing its portfolio to include the products for the individual listener. And if their track record stands for anything, I think it’s safe to say the new headphones will be a surefire hit.