Apple may have more serious competition for its AirPods Max headphones come 2023. The well-known connected speaker brand Sonos seems likely to enter the arena. Sonos has offered very high-quality home theater and Bluetooth speaker solutions for years, and appears to be ready to expand its reach into headphones.
Sonos CEO Says Company to Enter a New Product Category in 2023
Since 2019, rumors have suggested Sonos was planning to expand its reach into headphones. At the time, speculators suggested the speaker manufacturer might debut its first high-end headphones as early as 2020, but that never happened.
Recently, though, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence made comments that seem to point to at least one upcoming product category for the company in 2023. During Sonos’s 4Q22 earnings call, Spence acknowledged the company “has its eye on several new product categories.” One of those, he added, will arrive sometime in fiscal year 2023.
Based on other rumors and job postings Sonos ran earlier in 2022, the most likely choice for the first debut would be wireless headphones. Such a product would almost certainly rival the Apple AirPods Max in terms of audio quality. The headphones, most likely, would also integrate with other Sonos products.
Recent Acquisitions Support Idea of Sonos-Branded Wireless Headphones
Mergers and acquisitions can often be good indication of where a company is planning to go. As The Verge points out, Sonos recently purchased T2 Software. That company was focusing on the Bluetooth LE Audio standard, along with a related LC3 codec. Those would be crucial to high-quality wireless headphones.
Then there’s the Netherlands-based company, Mayht, which has done work on producing smaller and lighter audio transducers. Sonos bought that firm, too. While the technology will likely make its way into Sonos’s upcoming flagship desk speaker, it could also find use in headphones, too. Such audio transducers would give the headphones support for immersive Dolby atoms sound.
Whatever category Sonos enters, even if it isn’t wireless headphones, the company is sure to give competitors a run for their money. As Spence reminded investors, Sonos has “a proven track record of gaining share when entering a new category.