Audio company Sonos is to announce a new product at a virtual launch event on March 9.
The online-only event will begin at 1pm PST (4pm EST) and is to be streamed at the sonos.press website.
- Design of first Sonos headphones detailed in new patent drawings
- Why the rumored Move Mini is a must for Sonos to compete with Google and Amazon
- Is the new ad-free Sonos Radio HD worth the $7.99 monthly fee?
Although Sonos has said little about what the special event will be about, the company is expected to announce a smaller and cheaper version of its Move speaker. Dubbed the Move Mini, it is expected to work as a Wi-Fi connected smart speaker while plugged in at home, but then turn into a wireless, battery-powered Bluetooth speaker when taken outside.
Sonos potentially takes a nod to this outdoor theme with a promotional image for the event, which includes a person strolling through a woodland setting. Their small backpack could suggest the compact dimensions of the new speaker.
Although Sonos hasn't said anything about its upcoming products, we have recently seen a new speaker passing through the FCC, a process undertaken by most electrical devices before they gain permission to go on sale in the US. The FCC documents describe a device with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, plus a wireless charging dock and a cylindrical design, all of which are similar to the current Sonos Move.
The Sonos event takes place online on March 9Sonos
We think the so-called Move Mini will be a crucial product for Sonos. The company carved out a successful niche for itself with its whole-home wireless networking technology almost two decades ago. For much of that time, the answer to anyone wanting music playing in every room was, almost without exception, "get a Sonos system, it's expensive but worth it".
But the smart speaker industry has moved fast in recent years, with Amazon, Google and Apple making smart speakers that perform the same networking trick, but in many cases are much cheaper than anything from Sonos. As it stands today, Sonos has the circa-$200 One, while Amazon and Google have the Echo and Nest Audio at half the price. A couple of years ago, their sound quality couldn't match that of the Sonos One, but now there is far less between them.
If the Move Mini is priced at around $200, half the price of the Move, we think it will represent a worthy alternative to smart speakers by Apple, Nest and others.
Sonos is also reportedly preparing to launch its first pair of headphones, but these aren't expected to arrive until later in 2021.
Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with Sonos.