Sonos in 2014: no new products, no high-res audio

Sonos has said that the company's focus for this year will be developing the Sonos user experience and that it's unlikely that we will see new Sonos products in 2014.

The company also said it was unlikely that we would see support for Bluetooth streaming or high-res audio playback on Sonos any time soon. Sonos currently supports CD-quality streaming but not 192kHz/24-bit music.

Sonos launched two new products in 2013, the Playbar and the Play:1, both of which received glowing five-star reviews, but this year the focus will be on software not hardware, as demonstrated by the launch of a new Sonos controller app on a completely new platform.

Yasser Rashid, Senior Director of User Experience at Sonos, told What Hi-Fi?: "This year the focus is user experience, building on a new platform which will allow us to roll out services faster and bring an enhanced UI and fresh look and feel.

"The behind-the-scenes stuff is important and the new platform ensures we can meet consumers demands."

While Sonos acknowledged the new players in the wireless multiroom speaker market, saying "it was always good to get competition from the likes of Samsung and Bose", Tom Lodge, European PR and Culture Manager at Sonos, confirmed that "2014 is unlikely to see any new Sonos products".

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High-res audio support doesn't look to be on the Sonos roadmap, either. "I don't see any great appetite for that [high-res audio] at Sonos. They don't see the value in 24-bit streaming audio for users," said Lodge.

Bluetooth audio also got a flat "no" response. Sonos does of course already offer direct streaming from your phone or tablet music library, and it's possible to add AirPlay using an Airport Express and a Sonos product with an aux input.

It does however look likely that we will be seeing new music services added to Sonos, with the new app said to be "the first of a series of updates coming this year, with developments in coming weeks and months". Watch this space, then.

Is there a new Sonos product you'd like to see? Or are you happy that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"? Let us know in the comments below.

MORE: New Sonos controller app launches in beta mode

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by Joe Cox

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).