Audio equipment maker Sonos has filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the U.S. to develop a new product that has home theater with smart speakers, according to media sources.
Based on a regulatory filing with the FCC, Sono’s new product, code name S14, is described as “a high-performance all-in-one home theater smart speaker and part of Sonos’ home sound system.”
The filing does not provide further information about the new product, neither the physical shape nor which system it adopts as a smart speaker.
One spec information included is that the product will feature a HDMI port. Sonos hasn’t had any HDMI ports on its previous soundbar models.
Instead, the company uses optical output for digital sound, which limits its capability to support more dynamic home theater audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos. If the S14 model supports HDMI 2.1, the product will be able to play lossless audio formats.
Sonos entered the home theater market in 2013 and introduced the Playbar, a wireless soundbar that streams music and output full-theater sound. The company has since received good feedback for its products in the field. Last year, it launched the Playbase, a soundbar-like device sitting under a TV with Internet features.
As for smart speakers, the company introduced Sonos One in 2017, a third-party Alexa-powered device that receives lots of positive feedbacks in the market.
The S14 model could very likely support Alexa voice commands. According to label filing reported by The Verge, the S14 model has an interface with a microphone on the top, similar to the Sonos One.
Alexa powers home entertainment devices such as the Fire TV and Echo Show. It’d be interesting to see how Alexa will function when it sits inside a home theater system.
Sonos could also integrate both Alexa and Google Assistant into its product, as Sonos One will support Google Assistant later this year.