It’s been a question on many lips for many years, but it looks like Sonos might finally be about to launch its first pair of headphones as the firm announces a March special event.
Until now rumours haven’t been based on much more than hearsay but we now have some evidence to get excited about. With Sonos’ historic reluctance to use Bluetooth, wireless headphones seemed extremely unlikely. However, that changed when the firm launched the portable Sonos Move speaker last year.
Let’s take a look at how the Sonos headphones are shaping up based on the rumour mill.
When will the Sonos headphones be released?
Bloomberg first reported about the possibility of some Sonos headphones a long time ago, saying they could arrive in 2020.
While that didn't happen - Sonos instead namely launched the Arc soundbar - there's a possibility of the headphones arriving in 2021, very soon in fact.
Sonos has since announced a 9 March 'special event' which will take place at 9pm in the UK. Find out how to watch the Sonos launch event live stream.
While there's a small chance it's for the headphones, Sonos did say 'product' rather than 'products' in a recent earnings and it looks like it will be for the Sonos Roam speaker thanks to a big leak.
As you might expect, Sonos has not confirmed the existence of the headphones yet telling Protocol that “We continue to make investments in our strong patent portfolio with dozens of new patents each year. We do not have additional information to share at this time regarding our future product roadmap.”
How much will the Sonos headphones cost?
It’s no secret that Sonos products fetch a premium price so it’s not exactly surprising that the same Bloomberg report suggests that the Sonos headphones will cost “$300 or more”.
What features will the Sonos headphones have?
The latest look at the Sonos headphones is the best yet and comes via a German Patent and Trademark filing - spotted by The Verge.
The design looks to be refined, now with a Sonos logo and headbands rods that go straight into the earcups. A USB-C port, three buttons and a 3.5mm jack input are also shown in the drawings.
An adapter for earphones is also a recent filing but this could simply mean a replaceable earpad for the headphones.
Back in September last year we got a good look at two possible designs from a US patent. One which looks a little like Master & Dynamic pairs such as the MH40, but the patent might give an insight into what the Sonos headphones might offer.
We say ‘might’ because a patent is no guarantee of any tech actually being included in the final product.
Both options shown in the patent are an over-ear design and the headphones could well feature active noise cancelling. The patent says that microphones can be “configured to facilitate filtering of background noise” while there’s mention of a possible control for ANC, too.
Those microphones will also be used for taking phone calls when connected to a smartphone, it seems.
There are mentions of various proximity sensors which would be used for things like controlling the volume. However, a knob is also mentioned as a possibility so it’s unclear which Sonos will decide on and could even use a combination.
What’s fairly clear is that the Sonos headphones will support multiple digital voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. Not too surprising considering many of the Sonos speaker range does already.
Many, including Siri and Cortana, are mentioned as examples and the headphones could have various activation words to trigger them.
What many will want to know is how the Sonos headphones will play with the range of speakers. They could, after all, be an independent product and not work with the multi-room features Sonos is famous for.
However, the signs are positive as the patent talks about a ‘swap’. This appears to suggest the music you’re listening to on the headphones can be easily moved to another device.
“For example, if a particular piece of content play is currently playing on the wireless headphone, a swap changes the playback to play that piece of content on one or more other playback devices on the local network.”
It would be a missed trick if you couldn’t arrive home and seamlessly move your music from the headphones to your Sonos system.
Check out our guide to the best Sonos speakers.