First Sonos headphone may use an outsider's design

As first reported by IDG’s Tech Advisor, Sonos acquired a popular but failing British audio company that was working on a high-end noise-cancelling headphone design.

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Sonos’ long-rumored first headphone could be based on a high-end design from RHA Technologies, a small but popular British audio company that encountered financial trouble earlier this year.

A source familiar with RHA’s plans tells TechHive’s sister site Tech Advisor that RHA was working on a headphone design with specs rivaling Apple’s AirPods Max. Sonos quietly acquired a majority stake in RHA—since rebranded as Origin North Ltd.—and RHA’s design could be the foundation for one or more new Sonos headphones.

RHA’s high-end noise-cancelling headphone—dubbed Atlas—were due to come to market in early 2021. Tech Advisor’s source describes a prototype as black, fairly large, “square-ish and slightly curved.” Tech Advisor reports that the Atlas featured a high-res Bluetooth codec, possibly aptX HD; aptX Low Latency; Google Fast Pair; and Google Assistant support for hands-free control.

What’s more, Tech Advisor’s source says the headphones featured “cracking” active noise cancelling and support for spatial audio with a “movie mode.” RHA apparently intended to price the Atlas headphone at “around the £500 mark” (about $670). Tech Advisor reached out to Sonos for comment and received a boilerplate answer about the company’s philosophy related to the acquisition of talent and technology.

You can read Tech Advisor’s full story at this link.

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