One of Apple’s biggest rivals in the premium audio sector is about to take a swing at the company with not one but two brand-new product lines, including one that should surprise you.
Sonos currently makes a series of brilliant smart speakers and sound bars, including the Sonos Ray, the portable Sonos Move 2, and the Sonos Era 300 which is a potent rival to Apple’s HomePod. Now, a new report claims the company is lining up a set of premium headphones and a new TV set-top box, perhaps as early as next year.
In a new report this week, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims that Sonos “will make a long-awaited push into headphones with a model priced upwards of $400 that’s slated to be released as early as April.” A pair of premium headphones worth more than $400 would certainly turn heads as a possible alternative to Apple’s AirPods Max. Sonos’ audio chops are well-known, so save a catastrophic miscalculation it's likely these will be very good. It’s hat Sonos set-top box, however, has piqued my interest.
Sonos’ Apple TV rival
According to Gurman, Sonos “is also aiming to introduce a TV set-top box, which would compete with products from Apple Inc. and Roku Inc., as early as the end of 2024.” According to the report, the device will cost between $150 and $200, and run apps “from popular streaming services.” That sounds a lot like the Apple TV 4K, right down to the premium pricing, so if this report turns out to be true we might have a good old-fashioned TV throwdown on our hands.
Those headphones too are an interesting prospect. The price tag of more than $400 again suggests Apple territory— even the best AirPods Black Friday deals will still set you back nearly $450 for a pair of Apple’s premium AirPods Max, which usually retail at more than $500. If Sonos can provide a cheaper alternative that’s viable and offers sturdy noise canceling, they could be on to a winner.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
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Sounds good on the outside but let's think about this. For the headphones that might be viable but for hardcore Apple people they're probably a no go given they won't have ecosystem integration. I love that I can add them to one device and they are on all my Apple devices as well as they seamlessly switch from device to device.Reply
Now let's talk about the set-top box vs AppleTV or Roku. Are they going to have an App Store for their box or are they going to just supply all the streaming services out there already on it? If it is an App Store which would be the best route have they already gotten the streaming services onboard or is it ore likely that they will use Amazon's, Roku's or most unlikely Apple's?