For years, it’s been apparent that Sonos has been at least flirting with the idea of branching out beyond Bluetooth speakers by making Sonos-branded wireless headphones and earbuds. But don't mark any space in your calendar for that product to arrive this year.
“In fiscal 2022, we are focused on launching new products in our existing product categories,” said CEO Patrick Spence on the recent Q1 2022 earnings call (opens in new tab) with investors.
As any move into headphones would certainly qualify as a new product category, so that rules out the arrival of any kind of headphones or earbuds in the immediate future. Still, it’s worth clarifying that the financial year is different to the calendar year.
The former ends on September 30, so it is still possible that Sonos could release some headphones ahead of the crucial holiday season.
2022 or not, Sonos headphones seem likely
A company not launching a product that it’s never made before may seem like a non-story, but Sonos’ recent movements make it pretty clear that it’s a matter of “when” and not “if” the audio firm moves into the headphones and earphones space.
In the last few years, we’ve seen a number of interesting patents, including possible wireless charging technology and a stylish over-ear headphone design. The various diagrams show images of over-ear headphones as well as true wireless AirPod rivals.
Then there are the acquisitions, which include T2 Software (opens in new tab) — a business working creating better audio quality at lower bit rates to boost headphone battery life — and a controlling stake in British headphone maker RHA Audio (opens in new tab).
Drawing these bits of circumstantial evidence together is a recent LinkedIn post (opens in new tab) from Sonos’ vice president of global marketing and communications, Pete Pederson. “Sonos is looking to partner with a thoughtful, creative, and innovative integrated marketing firm for one of the most ambitious projects in our history,” he wrote. The company, apparently, is specifically looking for agencies that could prove success in “launching a new brand/product/service in an established category.”
Hopefully that means that a reveal in 2023 — or better still, Holiday 2022 — is on the cards for Sonos’ headphones. Given the company’s pedigree in the wider audio space, we could easily be looking at a new entrant in our list of the best headphones when it finally makes its move.