Bose and Sonos are the leaders in smart home entertainment systems, but their speakers might have some competition on the horizon, courtesy of none other than Apple.
Apple was awarded a patent for a "Wireless and wired speaker hub for a home theater system (opens in new tab)" that consists of 7 output speakers and a subwoofer that transmits a "plurality of channels" to the central audio hub.
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Patently Apple (opens in new tab) shared images of the patent, which show a living room outfitted with a complex entertainment setup. We've long seen concepts of this nature from Bose, Sonos and high-end TV manufacturers like LG and Samsung. But Apple has never preposed this complete of a smart home system before. Take a look for yourself.
While Apple's HomePod is technically a smart speaker, it doesn't sound nearly as premium as the Sonos One, which we think is one of the best smart speakers because it pairs with other home speakers for whole-house audio. Bose also makes audio easy, The Soundbar 500, for example, can be tuned to sound best for the room it's in.
It's possible Apple's plans to compete with these longtime audio savants could be the next evolution of the Apple 4K TV or a similar streaming hub. Either way, the company will need a unique angle for improving home entertainment if it wants to take on the companies that have dominated the speaker market for years.
Apple patents new devices all the time, and very few see the light of day. But with the foundations of the HomePod and Apple TV lines, it's possible we could hear some home entertainment news from the company during its iPhone 12 launch in the fall.