Sonos CEO John MacFarlane has announced “with a heavy heart” that the company has had to lay off some staff as it navigates "an industry in transition".

MacFarlane announced the news in a blog post, while also revealing that access to paid streaming services and voice control were the two key areas of immediate focus for Sonos.

Since Sonos was founded in 2002, there has been a transition away from users listening to personal music libraries, towards a focus on streaming services such as Spotify and Tidal. MacFarlane cites the launch of Apple Music and the addition of The Beatles discography to streaming services as key catalysts for the increase in paid music subscriptions.

As a result, Sonos has said it’s going to focus on “building incredibly rich experiences that were all but unimaginable when we started the company, and will be the vanguard of what it means to listen to music at home.”

MORE: Sonos - everything you need to know

It’s not only paid music subscriptions that Sonos sees as important in the changing landscape of music consumption - voice control has also started to take hold. The company says it’s a fan of what Amazon has done with its Alexa voice assistant and the Echo speaker - and now Echo Dot and Amazon Tap - as it demonstrates just how powerful voice control can be around the home.

Sonos has said it is “taking the long view in how best to bring voice-enabled music experiences into the home” and that it will “invest what’s required to bring it to market in a wonderful way.”

There’s no further information on when and how the new experiences will be introduced, but it’s clear Sonos is making these staff cuts in an attempt to ensure it stays the market leader for multi-room audio systems and music consumption. 

MORE: Sonos Play:5 (2015) review


manicm's picture

In plain English: We're not

In plain English: We're not remotely interested in anything hifi/sound quality anymore. Also, the current Connect/Connect Amp won't be upgraded, ever.

Gilboa's picture


They've become the Apple of multi-room speaker a bad way. There's been recent rumours again that Apple will start providing HD audio files on Apple Music/iTunes but I doubt Sonos they provide sound quality that is good enough for the masses but not audiophiles and it'll probably stay that way.

Graham Luke's picture

Ah! Golden Ears!

So you had a Sonos system and decided it wasn't good enough, right...?

earache's picture

Then Bluesound worth the premium!

Shame about Sonos not moving towards a true hi-if option. Glad I went for Bluesound due to the ability to play hi-res files. I have never regretted it. I look forward to the system continuing to develop. 


sonycentre's picture

Its the staff i feel sorry

Its the staff i feel sorry for...we will all be consumed by the internet.