At some point in the future you’ll likely have the opportunity to buy a Sonos-branded pair of headphones.
That's is the main takeaway from a new report which draws on “people familiar with the plans” as a confirmation that the company is in the process of diversifying into a headphone brand as well.
Moving into the headphone market will be a significant move for Sonos who has up until now focused on more home-based audio solutions, including smart speakers such as the Sonos One, home entertainment units such as the Sonos Playbar, and a small range of accessories.
Besides the suggestion that this is the direction the company is now heading in, the report highlights that in spite of currently being in an early developmental stage, the first headphone product from the company could arrive by next year. The company is reportedly already in talks with overseas manufacturers to produce the headphones which will first arrive as a wireless, over-the-ear solution.
It would also seem as though Sonos plans to embrace as similar approach with headphones as it currently does with smart speakers by focusing in on multiple voice assistant and music streaming support. Although not touched on in the new report, it would not be too surprising to see Sonos also make a play for an integration element with the rest of its products and ecosystem.
That is, in addition to the heightened quality and design elements often associated with the brand.
As a result of this better-sounding, smart-supported ethos, the report suggests these will arrive as a high-end pair, with the expectation the Sonos headphones will look to compete in and around the $300 marker. These headphones are expected to arrive ready to compete with products by Bose, Sennheiser and Sony.
Whether this proves to be a right move for the company remains to be seen. It is likely that Sonos is feeling some pressure in the smart speaker market thanks to wealth of choices now available that also offer advanced features, good sound, at a lower price.
The headphone market, however, is not entirely different in this respect with the big-name brands also having to compete with cheaper, but feature-rich products.
It is this similarity between the two markets which likely appeals to Sonos, but it also the similarity between the problems of the two markers the company will need to compete with. While also competing with the big-name brands that are already operating within the market.
Sonos won’t be arriving blindly or as hindered as other companies might, as the company has developed a decent user base who are attracted to the way Sonos works and manufacturers. This brand-association will help Sonos arrive to the headphone market with some immediate success. Especially considering the headphones would offer those customers a like-for-like experience when away from home as they current experience in the home.
Although this is only rumored information at the moment, the report does pick up on comments made in a recent letter to shareholders where it was explained that the company plans to make investments “to make the experience of Sonos outside the home a reality.”
A sentiment which could easily be interpreted as further evidence that a Sonos pair of wireless over-the-ear headphones are coming.