Sonos is seemingly planning to replace the aging Playbar with an upgraded “home theater smart speaker” with HDMI and an integrated microphone for voice control, according to a report by Variety.
The successor to Playbar
We first reported on the new Sonos product in February 2018 after a person who claimed to be a former employee leaked information about the new product as well as background on why Sonos had skipped HDMI in the past.
The same employee referred to the new Sonos product as a “mini soundbar” but in a FCC filing Sonos describes the product as an “all-in-one home theater smart speaker”. The FCC filing was first spotted by Variety.
- “The model S14 is a high-performance all-in-one home theater smart speaker and part of Sonos’ home sound system,” reads the FCC filing.
The documents also make reference to an HDMI port. The former employee explained in February that it will be HDMI 2.1. The wording in the description and a picture of the button layout suggest that it will have an integrated far-field microphone for voice assistant functionality. Sonos already offers voice control in its latest One speaker.
In the past, Sonos skipped HDMI in favor of an optical audio port. However, HDMI is a requirement if the company is planning to support the latest digital audio formats.
German site iFun has also received a rendering that they believe depicts the new Sonos soundbar.
So when will the new TV speaker from Sonos arrive? We have no idea but we do know that HDMI 2.1 certification starts later this year.