Sonos offers multiple speakers within its portfolio, but as great as many of them are, none are portable and none of them offer Bluetooth audio support. Instead, Sonos has focused on offering speakers designed for the home that use a mesh Wi-Fi network to talk to each other and require mains power.
That might all be about to change though with rumours emerging about a portable Sonos speaker that offers Bluetooth streaming capabilities, as well as the ability to work as part of the Sonos multi-room platform. Here's everything we know so far.
- End of August/Beginning of September
Sonos is holding a press event on 26-27 August in New York, as well as a press event on 4-5 September in Berlin, prior to consumer electronics show IFA kicking off.
We suspect the same products will be revealed at both events and with a patent appearing and rumours increasing for the Sonos Bluetooth speaker, we're expecting one of the devices to be this. It's rumoured to be called Sonos Move but that's not confirmed as yet.
There's also talk of a new Sonos Connect, which would make sense given the Sonos Amp refresh prior to IFA last year.
- Under £200
No price details have been revealed in leaks for the Sonos Bluetooth speaker as yet but with the Play:1 costing £149 and the Sonos One starting at £199, we expect the new Sonos Bluetooth speaker to sit somewhere under the £200 mark.
- Capacitive touch controls
- Taller and wider than Sonos One
- Integrated handle
- Wi-Fi/Bluetooth switch on rear
Sonos plays close attention to design and all its latest speakers - from the 2015 Play:5 to the Sonos Beam - share similar design features, such as capacitive controls, black and white colour options and plastic detailing.
Based on the leaks, the portable Sonos Bluetooth speaker appears to share the same design ethos as these newer Sonos speakers, with rounded edges, a plastic base, capacitive controls and an identical top to the Sonos One, including the microphone LED light in the centre.
It's claimed the portable speaker is wider and taller than the Sonos One, which measures 161.45 x 119.7 x 119.7mm and based on the leaks, there will be a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth toggle switch on the rear, a power button and a pairing button - the latter of which all Sonos speakers offer. The buttons all appear on the rear, and they slant inwards, allowing for an integrated handle.
The integrated handle is built into the design rather than a separate strap or handle, according to the images and rumours. A USB Type-C port sits below it, as well as two charging pins below that.
Hardware and specs
- 45W power
- Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy
- AirPlay 2 support
- USB Type-C
It's claimed the portable Sonos Bluetooth speaker will come with 45W of power, coupled with Bluetooth for audio streaming capabilities with a paired device and Bluetooth Low Energy for easy setup. The Sonos One offers BLE for setup but not Bluetooth for audio streaming.
At the moment we don't know anything about the make up of the internals. It wouldn't be too surprising to see a similar arrangement as the Play:1 but re-engineered to fit the Bluetooth speaker's design however. This is what Sonos did for the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Table Lamp speaker that launched recently.
It's also claimed the new Sonos speaker will offer support for Apple's AirPlay 2 - as the Beam, One and Play:5 do - which makes sense.
In terms of charging, it's suggested there will be a charging base for the new Sonos speaker - which has now appeared in leaked marketing images, but it will also be possible to charge it via USB Type-C. There is also said to be an ethernet port on the rear, as all Sonos speakers offer, though this can't be seen in any of the leaked images.
- Function as typical Bluetooth speaker
- Also functions as Sonos speaker in Wi-Fi mode
- Auto Trueplay
- Alexa and Google voice control
According to the rumours, the portable Sonos Bluetooth speaker will function as a typical Bluetooth speaker when in Bluetooth mode, allowing users to send music to it via a paired device, as you would the Ultimate Ears UE Megaboom 3, for example. In Bluetooth mode, the new Sonos speaker apparently won't be controlled via the Sonos app.
When not in Bluetooth mode, the portable Sonos speaker will function as a traditional Sonos speaker, it's claimed, but it will appear with a battery indicator in the Sonos app. Functioning as a traditional Sonos speaker will presumably mean you'll be able to group it with other Sonos speakers, control it through the Sonos app and access all the features that come with the Sonos app, including compatibility with over 80 music streaming services and customisation of EQ levels, to name but a few.
There's also the suggestion that the new Sonos speaker will offer a feature called Auto Trueplay. Trueplay is a software feature Sonos introduced with the Play:5 in 2015 and it allows users to tune their Sonos speakers according to their surroundings using their iOS device.
Auto Trueplay is said to use the built-in microphones on the Sonos speaker itself to tune the speaker, making for a much simpler process, even if the current Trueplay feature is easy enough to perform.
Additionally, the portable Sonos Bluetooth speaker is said to support Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control, as the Sonos One and Sonos Beam both offer. You won't be able to have both assistants set up at the same time but you will be able to switch between them as you please. At the moment, it is said voice control will only be available when in Wi-Fi mode, aka standard Sonos mode.
Sonos portable Bluetooth speaker rumours: What's happened so far?
Here's a round up of all the rumours surrounding the Sonos portable Bluetooth speaker so far.
19 August 2019: Sonos Move Bluetooth portable speaker press image leak shows design in full
German tech site, WinFuture published a number of images of the new Sonos portable speaker, including both press cut outs and marketing images.
The press cut outs reveal the rear of the device, confirming many of the rumours, while the marketing materials give a better indication of size, as well as show the charging dock.
10 August 2019: More details on Sonos Bluetooth speaker appear
The Verge updated its initial story confirming the Sonos S17 as a Bluetooth speaker with some further information about the speaker, including details on features and some more information on design. It was in this update it discussed the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi toggle switch on the rear, integrated handle and Auto Trueplay features.
10 August 2019: Image of the Sonos Bluetooth speaker arrives
Dave Zatz published an image of the alleged Sonos Bluetooth speaker, showing what we can expect the device to look like. Based on the image, the speaker will share identical controls to the Sonos One on the top, but it is said to be taller and wider than the mains-powered smart speaker.
9 August 2019: Sonos S17 model number confirmed to be Bluetooth speaker
The Verge followed up the tweet from Dave Zatz, confirming one of the filings was for a Sonos Bluetooth speaker.
9 August 2019: Two Sonos devices are filed through FCC
Dave Zatz noticed two Sonos devices passing through FCC. He tweeted claiming one was square, while the other was round. Zatz speculated that the filings could be linked to the previous reports of a smaller Sub and satellite speaker, or they could be something different.
Two Sonos things went through the FCC today. One is square and one is round. Someone please go figure it out, I'm busying packing for a move. :) pic.twitter.com/wKnPJ3oa9L— Dave Zatz (@davezatz) August 9, 2019
10 January 2019: Sonos hints it has made a cheap Sub Core subwoofer and more new devices
A survey recently sent to Sonos users provided some potential hints about what Sonos might be planning in the future. Different surveys were said to be sent to different users but a Sonos Core Sub was mentioned, priced at $399, as well as Dolby Atmos surrounds, priced between $399 and $699 for a pair.
2 January 2019: Sonos S18 satellite speaker leaked, to add smarts to Playbar?
A Sonos speaker appeared in a filing posted on the Federal Communications Commission website online. It goes under the current model name and number S18. According to diagrams in the filing, it is thought to be a satellite speaker and therefore working with a "master device", providing additional spacial support to a home cinema set-up.
The master device is said to be the existing Sonos Playbar, with S18 speakers widening the soundstage left and right.