Apple's HomePod has not started shipping yet, but Sonos is already making moves to protect its rule in the multi-room audio market. Today the company announced that for a limited time, it will be able to buy two Sonos One smart speakers for $ 349, the price of a single HomePod. Sonos does not specify how long the promotion will last, which officially begins tomorrow. After an initial delay, HomePod will start on February 9.
Sonos One has incorporated the voice integration of Amazon Alexa, and the company has promised to add the Google Assistant to the device also sometime in 2018. Users can speak out voice commands to play music on Spotify, Pandora , Amazon Music and other services, although Apple Music is not among them. But like the other speakers of the company, Sonos One fully supports the playback of Apple Music content through the Sonos application on a smartphone or PC.
Yesterday, Sonos published a blog post entitled "Why Open Matters" that seemed to point directly to speakers from Amazon, Google and now Apple. "Since our early days, we have been reluctant to listen to music and audio sources on Sonos, and we prefer to keep an open mind and let you choose," the company wrote. And, in fact, Sonos allows you to integrate accounts from a wide range of music services.
But each company has at least some way of keeping things "open" in their respective speakers. Google Home allows users to transmit music from countless applications on their phones through Google Cast (or simply old Bluetooth). The Echo also supports Bluetooth playback for services with which Alexa does not work, and Apple's AirPlay has been widely adopted among multimedia applications. (Sonos has said he plans to add AirPlay 2 support to Sonos One, which will allow him to control it with Siri.) But the message from Sonos is clear: the company insists that it gives customers more flexibility and fewer complications than those offered. of "great technology."
And now he's putting himself in front of HomePod by offering two Sonos One speakers for $ 350. That gives new customers an immediate path to multi-room audio immediately while Apple has only said that HomePod will make several rooms "later this year". Does HomePod outperform a single Sonos One? It is very possible But remember that you can pair in stereo the two speakers that you would get here, and that comparison might not be so good for Apple.
Last year, Apple began selling Sonos speakers in its retail stores. So far, the Sonos One has not been included in that association.