Sonos’ whole-home audio systems can be pretty expensive, but the company is hoping to lure more people in with improvements to its entry-level speaker.
Sonos says its next firmware update will bring better clarity to the $199 Play:1 speaker, especially with vocals at high volumes. The update should also improve bass performance when the Play:1 is paired with Sonos’ $699 subwoofer.
For those who are going all-in with home theater setups, Sonos is removing the Ethernet connection requirement for its Soundbar, Bridge, and Boost devices. This allows users to create 3.1 or 5.1 surround sound from multiple speakers using Wi-Fi only.
Sonos also says it’s updating its developer tools to allow new features in the Sonos app. For instance, streaming music services could offer recommendations based on the time of day and other factors. Sonos is also testing some general interface tweaks and an improved shuffle feature.
The update is available now for Android beta users, and will roll out to all users this summer.
Why this matters: Although Sonos is seen as the leader in whole-home audio, it’s starting to face some more competition. Both LG and Sony recently announced their own multi-room speaker lines, using Google Cast audio to stream music from smartphones and tablets. Entry-level speakers can serve as the gateway drug to the rest of the ecosystem, so it behooves Sonos to make its basic speaker sound a bit better.