Sonos and Bose could be about to get some serious competition, with rumours circling that Apple could be developing its own home cinema system.
According to Patently Apple, the Californian tech giant has been awarded a patent for a "wireless and wired speaker hub for a home theater system." The patent diagram appears to show a 5.1 set up, comprising speakers and a subwoofer, all of which would communicate wirelessly – much like the Sonos Beam, Playbar and Playbase does with the Sonos Sub.
Apple already has a decent foothold in the living rooms thanks to its Apple TV 4K box, Apple TV+ streaming service and HomePod wireless speaker. The latter is one of the best-sounding smart speakers around, but naturally it's no substitute for a 5.1 or 7.1 set-up – especially one that would help you get the most out of the latest Apple original's Dolby Atmos audio track.
Of course, Apple files tons of patents each year in an effort to head off the competition and protect its intellectual property, and most never see the light of day. We're still waiting for the Apple TV with laser projection, Apple iPhone with built-in projector and the 'Apple car' patents to materialise into products after all.
One thing's for sure, though: if Apple is hatching a cunning plan to launch a premium home cinema speaker system to challenge top rivals Sonos, Audio Pro and Bose, it'll have to be at the top of its game.