Sonos hints at new products for outdoor use

With the taglines "Fill Your Home with Music" and “All the music on Earth, in every room, wirelessly”, multi-room maestro Sonos has always had home-honed experiences at the heart of its mission.

A Play:1 in your kitchen, a Play:5 in your bedroom, a Playbar in your living room, say - all integrated, cooperative and controllable on one home wi-fi network. Recently, of course, its new smart One speaker and Beam soundbar introduced voice control to the ecosystem via Amazon Alexa.

Well, it looks as though Sonos’ ambitions for future innovation include the very first Sonos audio products designed for use outside the home.

MORE: Sonos: everything you need to know

In an interview with Wired, Nick Millington (Sonos’ chief product officer who heads up the company’s product team) hinted future Sonos products will be geared up to leave the house.

In the interview, Millington says: "one of the key transitions that we talk about is from home to everywhere… The home isn't the only place where you listen to music. There are many places where you listen to music. So I would say, without giving the blow-by-blow of everything in our road map, that's one of the key themes that we're thinking about.

"Over time, everywhere that you might want to enjoy music—in different rooms of your house as well as outside the home—we want to have a product that serves that scenario really well,” he added.

While this could be realised as a battery-powered Sonos speaker, it’s hard not to think, and anticipate, larger-scale aspirations. Will Sonos make an effort to prise the car audio market away from Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the ever-reliable Bluetooth? Maybe it’ll branch out into other everyday portable products such as headphones?

Of course, the hurdle Sonos will have to jump over to achieve this is what makes the Sonos ecosystem so dependable and expandable in the first place: wi-fi.

Without reliable wi-fi outside of the home, it'll have to think of a way round that.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.