2019-08-10 by W.M.
Sonos is working on its first-ever Bluetooth speaker
One of two devices recently filed by Sonos with the FCC is a Bluetooth speaker, The Verge can confirm. In the filing for product model S17, Sonos directly states that it’s “a high-performance wireless speaker and part of the Sonos sound system. The device’s primary function will be for streaming with Wi-Fi, but also features Bluetooth audio streaming and Bluetooth Low Energy, used for simplified setup.” (Emphasis added by The Verge.) No other previous Sonos speaker has supported Bluetooth music playback, though the Sonos One includes BLE for the same reason of easier setup.
The product label for S17 features a curved blue line running across it, which could be a reference to the speaker’s unique functionality in the Sonos lineup. It will seamlessly integrate with the company’s multiroom audio platform like any other Sonos device.
The filing also mentions that this unannounced Sonos product includes a USB-C port and an ethernet jack. The latter is found on all of the company’s existing speakers.
Other Sonos speakers require Wi-Fi to play music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other content from popular streaming services. But the first time ever, Sonos will support Bluetooth pairing, letting you play any audio from a Bluetooth-enabled device and ensuring that the speaker will work at times when Wi-Fi is unavailable. (The company has previously mocked the downsides of Bluetooth speakers in its advertising.) Sonos added support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 to its more recent speakers, as well.
The Bluetooth speaker represents a new category for Sonos as the company continues to expand upon its product lineup through new first-party hardware and collaborations with other companies. Sonos recently partnered with Ikea on speakers that start as low as $99, and its technology has also made its way into high-end architectural speakers from Sonance.
On Thursday, Sonos sent out media invites for meetings later this month that will likely revolve around new products coming sometime this fall.