Your favorite home music speaker brand could soon become your favorite headphone brand, with Sonos reportedly developing a pair of wireless over-the-ear headphones.
That’s according to Bloomberg, which said today (Jan 24) that the speaker company hopes to launch its new headphones by next year.
Details are scant at this point, but the headphones are expected to include top-quality sound and the ability to connect to multiple music streaming services and digital assistants — features Sonos is known for offering in its home audio products. The price of the headphones will come in at around $300, Bloomberg’s report says, targeting popular high-end brands like Bose, Beats and Sony.
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Over the last couple of years, Sonos’ groupable, wireless speakers have taken on more features to compete with the emerging smart speaker category led by Amazon and Google. Most recently, Sonos brought Amazon’s Alexa voice-powered assistant to its Sonos One and Sonos Beam and announced Google’s Assistant will hit those same models soon. Last summer, Sonos became the first company to play nice with Apple’s AirPlay 2, which unlocks the ability to speak to Siri through its speakers.
It’s unclear whether all of those digital assistants will be integrated in some way or another into the rumored Sonos headphones. JBL recently accomplished the feat of packing in two assistants — Alexa and Google Assistant — and though Apple is notoriously stingy with allowing third-party companies to build devices that include Apple software, its recent deal with smart TV makers to bring iTunes and AirPlay to never-before seen platforms shows a change in attitude there.
Sonos could do well in the headphones space thanks to brand recognition alone, but the company will probably want to either seriously outperform its competition in the audio department or manage a way to loop in Siri and snag the full Big Three of digital assistants to insure its headphones launch turns some heads — or ears.