Sonos Reportedly Developing High-End Headphones

When you think about it, it’s pretty remarkable that wireless-speaker pioneer Sonos hasn’t ventured outside of the home since shipping its first music streaming system 13 years ago. That may be about to change.

Bloomberg is reporting that the Santa Barbara, CA-based company is in the early stages of developing high-end wireless headphones that could be launched next year. The ’phones are said to be a full size over-ear design that will likely sell for $300 or more.

In addition to focusing on quality sound, the report said Sonos is seeking to leverage its relationships with streaming music services to create headphones that will work with multiple services and digital assistants, as it is doing with products such as the Sonos One smart speaker and Sonos Amp streaming amplifier, both of which support Amazon’s Alexa voice control. Sonos is expected to add support for Google Assistant early this year.

In a letter to shareholders last November, Sonos noted that half of music listening occurs outside the home and went on to say “we need to continue to offer differentiated listening experiences in the home while extending our platform and products to all the places and spaces our customers listen… In FY2019, we plan to push our boundaries by investing resources to make the experience of Sonos outside the home a reality.

Apple is also reportedly readying its own over-ear headphones for sale as early as the second half of this year. Given the popularity of headphones in general and AirPods in particular, you have to wonder what they’ve been waiting for.