Today, at a special media event in San Francisco, Sonos announced a new partnership with Apple and a brand new TV speaker, the Sonos Beam.
The Sonos Beam is essentially a smaller, smarter, and cheaper version of the company’s Playbase speaker. It includes Amazon Alexa support at launch, in addition to Apple Airplay 2 connectivity, which is scheduled to arrive in July.
The new soundbar is intended for people to use in the living room, a place the company says has been ignored by other smart speaker companies, who typically focus on other areas of the home such as the bedroom or kitchen. This speaker, by comparison, is tailor made for the living room.
Last fall, the speaker company introduced the Sonos One smart speaker with built-in Amazon Alexa digital assistant capabilities. The Sonos Beam appears to be an effort to expand its voice control capabilities in the home, and will add yet another speaker to the company’s ever-expanding product lineup.
Using Apple’s AirPlay2 system, Sonos will connect devices with music apps, its own Sonos app, and other apps to its speakers, including the new Beam.
The Sonos Beam launch marks an important turning point for the company, as the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that the company was seeking to file for an IPO as soon as this month. While there haven’t been any updates on its initial public offering, the company’s integration with popular voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa will certainly help it fend off competition from the likes of Apple, Google, and Amazon, all of whom have their own popular smart speaker offerings.
The Sonos Beam will be available for $399 on July 17. It comes in black or white, and pre-orders start today.