Sonos has been the unquestioned leader in multiroom wireless audio for about a decade, and only in the last few years, it seems, have the big boys have woken up.
But Sonos is doing anything but standing still, as seen by today’s announcement that soon Sonos users can connect their Sonos speakers directly to the wireless home network. This is a huge deal, as the entry point before to having a wireless distributed Sonos system required having a Sonos bridge, which cost a user an extra $50 or so and also took up a port of Ethernet on your home router.
Now, however, users can add a Sonos speaker directly to the wireless network, allowing a new customer on-board to the world of Sonos for only $199 (the price of their lowest-end speaker, the Sonos Play:1).
According to the company, the reason they can do this now is wireless technology is a lot better than it was 10 years ago when they started. With the arrival of MiMO antenna technology and better overall reach of today’s newer routers, Sonos speakers can achieve the same, or near-same quality, as before when they used a pure SonosNet network (the name for the company’s mesh networking technology).
The company is currently accepting beta testers to roll out the new bridge-less functionality later in the year.