Hardware Songs One speaker photo

Published on January 26th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Twofer on its speakers for $349, Sonos tells Apple ‘we can play this game too’

American smart speaker maker Sonos took aim at Apple Thursday by announcing a bundle of two Sonos One speakers for $349, the same price as Apple began selling its single highly anticipated, but highly delayed HomePod smart speaker on Friday.

The timing of the offer is no coincidence, coming 24 hours before Apple began selling the HomePod online, through its Apple Store app, and through retail stores in the U.S., Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Making no mention of the HomePod in its press release, the company played up the strengths of its networkable speakers, reminding Apple users that it too will support Apple’s AirPlay 2 technology sometime this year, making the speaker compatible with iOS devices and consequently Apple TV devices through the use of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3.

The addition of AirPlay 2 will also enable Sonos One speakers to be controlled through Siri as an intelligent assistant, but it is not completely clear if Sonos is working on bringing Apple’s Siri to its speakers.

The offer has another early advantage over the HomePod…multiroom audio now before Apple offers the feature on its HomePod later this year. Sonos is able to offer that capability now through the Sonos app on a smartphone or PC.

Until the Sonos One supports AirPlay 2 controlling and playing audio through Apple TV will not be possible, but the offer is still a good one for those willing to wait as HomePod will also not have the same capability until the release of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3. tvOS 11.3 was released as a public beta Thursday

The Sonos offer is for a “limited time,” but two different company phone representatives told BESTAppleTV.com Friday that the offer will last for 60 days and “possibly longer.”

Simultaneous with the two-for-one Sonos One offer, the company took out a full-page ad in the New York Times Thursday and released a blog post entitled “Why Open Matters”, encouraging speaker manufacturers like Apple, Amazon, and Google to support open standards that don’t restrict consumers from playing and controlling various streaming music networks through all devices.

“Since our early days, we’ve been agnostic about the sources of music and audio you can hear on Sonos, preferring to stay open-minded and let you make the choices,” the statement read. “This spirit of openness is as crucial to us and our products as it is to the free flow of creativity and culture in general. Just like the open, neutral architecture of the Web helps fuel a new creative, musical renaissance, the same principles will help Sonos and its customers explore the true depth of the sonic internet for years to come.”

Last year, Apple began selling Sonos speakers at its retail stores, but as yet to sell the Sonos One. It remains to be seen how far competition will go among the speaker makers in allowing an open platform for sharing and controlling of music content.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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