Business

Maybe I had the Sonos Ace headphones all incorrect

Phil Nickinson wearing the Sonos Ace headphones.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

We speak quite a bit about headphones right here internally. Sometimes it’s fairly simple, only a matter of placing them by way of their paces and placing what we expect into phrases. Other occasions there’s much more backwards and forwards. What does a specific set of cans or buds imply? Where does it fall when it comes to the massive image for a specific firm?

That final half has been the crux of our dialog relating to the Sonos Ace headphones. We’ve been speaking about this stuff for years. That’s how far again the rumors and leaks go — and likelihood is Sonos has been engaged on them even longer than that.

The Sonos Ace have created a kind of chicken-or-egg paradox for us. As somebody who already has a reasonably respectable Sonos setup — however certainly not complete — are the Sonos Ace a must-buy? And if not, does that imply they’re a failed product? After all (and up to date software program woes however), Sonos followers are a fairly passionate bunch, to say the least. And I’ve been amongst these singing the praises of the wi-fi speaker ecosystem as a result of, till the previous few months, it’s been about as easy — and pretty much as good — as it might get. (Yes, Sonos additionally is a reasonably costly ecosystem. That reality isn’t misplaced me.)

But the extra I’ve used the Sonos Ace headphones, the extra I’m satisfied I’ve been them backward. Sure, Sonos will probably be completely completely happy promoting a pair to somebody already in the Sonos ecosystem.

But that’s not who they’re actually for. And Sonos truly mentioned as a lot.

The Sonos Ace headphones sitting atop the Sonos Move 2 portable speaker.
You don’t need to have already got a Sonos speaker or two (or three or 4) to benefit from the Sonos Ace headphones. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Here’s CEO Patrick Spence within the firm’s second-quarter 2024 earnings name: “We’ve been making healthy investments in innovation. Our investments remain focused on two things. The first is attracting new customers to Sonos, and the second is getting our existing customers to add more Sonos products to their life.”

And that makes good sense. If you’re not rising, you’re dying. Sonos needs new prospects, and headphones are a brand new class of product for the audio firm that may entice new prospects.

Spence continued: “This launch will give us a foothold into a new multibillion-dollar category, expanding the number of categories we play in from five to six and further diversifying our business. This has been a multiyear investment and we expect it to pay off in spades in Q3 and beyond. This will also mark the beginning of new efforts on the marketing front to evolve the Sonos brand and reach new audiences.”

The Sonos Ace are, for all intents and functions, very good Bluetooth headphones that dwell alongside the likes of the Apple AirPod Max and the top-end choices from Bose and Sony (to call however three rivals). What they don’t seem to be is a specialised set of headphones that requires a bigger Sonos ecosystem to work in any respect, and even to get probably the most out of them. Yes, there’s the “audio swap” characteristic that connects with a Sonos Arc to feed TV content material to the headphones, however that’s actually about it. (And the characteristic presently requires you to have the $900 soundbar along with the $450 headphones.)

So, no. You don’t need to produce other Sonos audio system to even contemplate shopping for the Sonos Ace headphones.

In reality, Sonos may truly want it that manner.

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