$349 Now Buys 2 Sonos One Smart Wireless Speakers For Stereo or Multi-room Listening
Sonos may be on the brink of getting squeezed out of whole-home wireless speaker industry it first sparked 15 years ago. When Apple, Amazon, and Google enter your category there is little margin for error. Sonos speakers have never been inexpensive, but the company is getting chopped in the knees by Amazon with it’s Echo “Alexa” voice-assistant wireless speaker line now priced at $99. Apple is taking aim at the neck with its new HomePod “Siri” voice-assistant wireless speaker set to debut at $349. Meanwhile, Google’s Home line-up has products across the spectrum laying multiple body blows to the gut.
To fight back, Sonos announced a new price war strategy by offering two Sonos One speakers for $349. That’s only $50 off, but looks compelling because it matches the price of HomePod, and gets you two speakers for the price of Apple’s. The Sonos One includes Alexa voice integration now, with Google Assistant to follow. However, with no AI voice service of their own, Sonos can only depend on one of the big three platforms and therefore can only be as good, never better.
The last battle left to fight could be over sound quality, but that may not even matter as all similarly sized smart wireless speakers may be perceived as sounding good enough for the average consumer. Sure, there will be slight differences that will appeal to some, but likely not enough to gain any ground. Amazon is certainly winning right now. Consumers are literally falling in love with Alexa. It’s likely to be a bloody year, and the other audio industry stalwarts are likely to struggle in the smart home speaker segment including Bose, Sony, and JBL. Only Ultimate Ears has found a niche in its rugged, drop-proof, waterproof Boom/Blast series that go-anywhere.
Nevertheless, the “Sonos Two” bundle now gets you two Sonos One speakers for just $349 in the US and £349 in the UK. Or $199 for one. Each speaker can be used independently in different rooms or together as a stereo pair in the same room. The now six-month old Sonos One is already getting smarter through cloud updates that have added Spotify voice control, Alexa Flash Briefings, improved voice responsiveness and simplified the setup process. Later this year Google Assistant as well as Apple AirPlay 2 will be arrive via software update to Sonos One.
Sonos is now in more than 60 countries, with dozens of streaming music providers, through thousands of retailers, and in millions of homes. With a constant investment in software and services, Sonos is improving the experience customers have with music in the home for years after they buy it. Sonos is changing the way people listen to music – one home at a time.
Sonos, Inc. is a privately held company, headquartered in Santa Barbara, California with additional offices in Boston and Seattle, as well as in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and China.