Smart speaker maker Sonos is getting ready to release its first-ever portable product with Bluetooth connectivity, according to multiple leaks. The speaker was first tipped in a FCC filing late last week, and Zatz Not Funny was able to unearth an image of the device (pictured above) as well.
The company has a press event scheduled for later this month, and executives told investors on the company’s most recent earnings call that it would unveil new products in September. Sonos did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday morning.
Sonos has long stayed away from adding Bluetooth to its products, and instead focused on Wifi connectivity. Executives have in the past argued that Bluetooth offered a subpar user experience, cutting out when out of reach of a paired device.
The new speaker is said to have a switch that allows users to alternate between Wifi and Bluetooth, according to The Verge. This would allow consumers to use Wifi when at home, and then switch to Bluetooth when they take the speaker on the go.
The speaker is also expected to include far-field microphones for voice control, and offer the ability to automatically tune music output to the acoustic qualities of the room they’re placed in — a feature that’s similar to that of Apple’s HomePod and Google’s Home Max smart sound.
Sonos executives have for some time talked about their desire to build products that could be used out of the home. Introducing such a portable speaker with Bluetooth support this year does make a lot of sense for the company: Just this month, Sonos rolled out a massive collaboration with Ikea, with the furniture giant selling entry-level Sonos speakers for as little as $100.
Thanks to that collaboration, Sonos has a chance to massively expand its potential customer base. These new consumers may have different expectations for Sonos products, and are more likely to compare them to higher-end portable Bluetooth speakers.
In addition to the portable speaker, Sonos is expected to announce at least one additional product. It will also be interesting to see how Sonos will price these new devices. Sonos speakers are manufactured in China, and on the company’s most recent earnings call, executives seemed resigned to the fact that they will face tariffs of 10% starting on September 1.