Multi-room audio giant Sonos is finally making a Bluetooth-compatible speaker to join its array of Wi-Fi connected products, according to newly revealed documentation.
The company has filed for two new devices with the Federal Communications Commission in the United States, one of which offers the popular audio streaming tech avoided by Sonos thus far.
The product model dubbed S17 in the filing is “a high-performance wireless speaker and part of the Sonos sound system. The device’s primary function will be for streaming with Wi-Fi, but also features Bluetooth audio streaming and Bluetooth Low Energy, used for simplified setup.”
Sonos has never made a speaker where Bluetooth is used for streaming music (although the Sonos One offers Bluetooth Low Energy for pairing), and it’s becoming clear what the thinking behind the pending launch is.
Perhaps the S17 speaker could be designed for use outside the home, where Wi-Fi streaming might not be possible? A report from The Verge says the speaker will come with a base station that will recharge the battery and will enable it to be used on the go.
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Interestingly, the company is going to offer a button that would allow users to switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modes. When the user is streaming via Bluetooth, control won’t be possible using the Sonos app. You can see the button below.
The speaker will also have the option to recharge using USB-C and offers hands-free voice commands from Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, while AirPlay 2 compatibility will be on board, according to the report.
The speaker resembles one depicted in an image published by Zat’s Not Funny just before the weekend (above), showing a more rounded speaker compared with the Sonos – the company’s last major portable speaker release. According to the report there’ll be a brand new feature called Auto Trueplay which will recalibrate the audio profile depending on the environment.
There’s no news yet on how much the speaker would cost and when it will be available, but this is an interesting new direction for Sonos as it looks to keep up with the wide-range of smart speakers from tech companies who haven’t always competed in the audio space.