Sonos welcomes us to 2019 - potential new speakers?

It’s been an exceptional year for tech giant Sonos with the release of many new features, the hugely successful Sonos Beam soundbar and of course, Sonos going public to name just a few.

All the excitement of this year has got us thinking, what can we expect in 2019?

But first, let’s round up some significant events that happened for the firm during 2018.

Sonos' newer speakers receive AirPlay 2

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The Beam, One, Play:5 and Playbase all received AirPlay 2 capabilities via a free software update. This means that all Apple users can now easily cast their audio from their device to their Sonos speaker, bypassing the Sonos app completely. 

The new compact, smart soundbar - Beam

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The release of the Sonos Beam soundbar in July 2018 has been a smash hit for the company and has proved very popular amongst families who are fed up with the lacklustre audio quality from modern TV's internal speakers. 

Coming with Airplay 2 and Amazon Alexa voice control built-in, there is no soundbar on the market currently offering these smart features at this level of sound quality in this price bracket.

Goodbye Sonos Play:3

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This year, we wished farewell to the middle sibling of the Sonos family, Play:3, but also the longest-running speaker of the range. It provided a great middle ground between the Play:1 and Play:5, for people wanting a bigger sound than the Play:1, but couldn’t stretch to the esteemed Play:5.

However, with quite a significant price gap between the One at £199 and the Play:5 at £499, will Sonos fill the void with a replacement (maybe smarter) Play:3 in 2019?

Sonos goes public

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After Sonos famously redesigned the NASDAQ bell with their own take on it, Sonos finally sold their shares on the stock market and registered as a public limited company.

Sonos had doubled its revenue from 2013 to 2018 and it was clear that the smart speaker market was proliferating and will continue to grow for many years to come. 

It is certainly an exciting venture for existing and potential shareholders.

Sonos Releases in 2019

Sonos AMP - twice as powerful as the Connect:Amp

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Up until now, the Sonos Connect:Amp has been the go-to choice for powering passive HiFi like ceiling speakers, outdoor speakers and more with fantastic sound. 

Sonos feel it is time to take advantage of all the industry's modern developments like AirPlay 2 and HDMI and have redesigned a new Amp for release in February 2019. 

It will be able to power speakers, double the power of what the Connect:Amp could power, as well as an HDMI-ARC input. 

With Airplay 2 built in, you won’t need to use the Sonos app at all if you have an Apple device.

It is rack-mountable and stackable and we think it looks much prettier than its predecessor, Connect:Amp with its stealth black finish.

View the Sonos Amp

Sonos will expand their voice repertoire with the addition of Google Assistant

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Sonos will capitalise on its open voice platform, present on the One and Beam and likely all Sonos products in the future by adding Google Assistant voice support at some point in 2019.

This will be the first smart speaker of its kind to have a choice of voice assistants, adapting comfortably to a family lifestyle where different family members may have different preferences of voice assistant. 

As Google Assistant will use information from its own search engine, it will be able to provide much more worldly information and arguably answer more questions intuitively and with more detailed information than Amazon Alexa. 

Sonos partner up with Ikea to design some groundbreaking new speakers

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When you think about it, Sonos and Ikea make the perfect partnership. After all, music makes it home. Just like a house can't be a home without furniture, it also can't be a home without music!

Building on Sonos’ benefit of wireless control, they are taking it one step further using Ikea-designed furniture with Sonos built in. 

Sonos will try a new concept where audio equipment is completely invisible, built in to furniture like shelving or seating and will have touch controls on its edges.

Everything else can be controlled directly from the Sonos app and will integrate with your wider Sonos system.

It will also be able to auto-Trueplay so your speaker will be spatially aware of its surroundings straight out the box. Sonos CEO Patrick Spence has already hinted that this is the next generation of speakers.

Expect to see some extremely neat audio solutions in 2019!

Mystery Sonos smart speaker on the way

Sonos have recently filed a new smart speaker under the code name S18. When Sonos do this, we can be almost certain there is a new speaker in the pipeline.

What is interesting is that the filings indicate it will have bluetooth, but this could be a red herring as the Beam uses bluetooth as part of the initial set up but does not support streaming via this method. 

Some people have speculated that it could be a satellite speaker to add useful smarts to a Playbar, currently lacking Airplay 2 or Amazon Alexa support. 

However, it is not yet clear what this might be. Subscribe to our newsletter to be updated as soon as there are any announcements from Sonos. 

What do we think? We think it could be a set of portable headphones. Why? Take a look at our 'what's next for Sonos' blog.

Sonos are collaborating with Sonance to design in-ceiling, in-wall and outdoor speakers

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Sonos will be working with audio manufacturer Sonance to release some new architectural speakers. These will include the all-aesthetic ceiling and in-wall speakers, as well as an outdoor speaker solution. 

These will still need to be wired in the normal way with speaker cable to the Sonos Connect:Amp or new Amp for 2019. We are positive a lot of customers will like the fact they won’t need to research other brands of speakers for outdoor scenarios or for in the ceiling. 

control sonos in the most intelligent way ever

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Further to the announcement of the Sonos IFTTT integration (If this, then that), you'll be able to automate your Sonos to start based on certain events triggered from other smart home devices. For example, you can tell Sonos to "Stop Sonos when I leave home" or "Instant party with Sonos and Hue" plus many, many more.

Sonos have already started rolling the integration out, but expect to see many more of this in the coming months, via a free software update.

We respect how Sonos endeavour to make music an integral part of life, as it becomes easier to use and automate than ever before.

Read more about the Sonos & IFTTT integration >>

 

Summary

Based on the above, it is clear that Sonos are working on some exciting projects for 2019, especially the new speaker. Let us know what you’d like to see next from Sonos the most!

Remember, the Sonos smart speaker you have today will be smarter tomorrow via free software updates.

And don't forget to sign up to our e-newsletter below if you haven’t already, so you can be kept informed on all the latest Sonos news, releases and tips!

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