There has been a steady stream of rumors that Sonos is eyeing the headphone market, and now the home audio maker seems even closer to launching its first headphones following a key acquisition.
Protocol reports that Sonos recently acquired T2 Software, a Bluetooth audio startup that is steeped in LE Audio, the latest Bluetooth standard. T2 Software joined forces with Sonos last November, according to Protocol, but the acquisition is only now coming to light. Sonos confirmed the acquisition.
The LE Audio standard, which was first introduced by the Bluetooth SIG in early 2020, features the new LC3 (short for Low Complexity Communications) audio codec, which offers an improvement in audio quality over SBC (the LE Audio codec). current default Bluetooth) while using the same amount of bandwidth.
The LC3 codec can also deliver the same audio quality as SBC using only half the power (think better battery life), while its multi-streaming capabilities allow multiple streams between Bluetooth audio devices.
As Protocol points out, one of T2 Software’s earliest customers was Bose, which happens to be one of the biggest headphone manufacturers on the planet. So if Sonos really is preparing its first headphones, it makes sense that the company would want the T2’s Bluetooth experience for itself.
Reached for comment, a Sonos representative issued the following statement to TechHive:
Innovation remains at the core of Sonos, both in the products we make and in the culture that drives them. To that end, we will occasionally acquire equipment, talent, and/or technology that augment our current and future product roadmap. We have nothing more to share at this time.
Rumors of Sonos headphones began in 2019 following a report by Bloomberg News, while a Sonos patent including headphone designs and possible features surfaced the following year.
Just a few months ago, we learned that Sonos had acquired RHA Technologies, a well-known but financially troubled British tech company that (according to TechHive’s sister site) Technical advisor) working on a high-end noise-cancelling headset.
Dubbed Atlas, RHA’s prototype for the headset had a “slightly curved, square” design with support for Hi-Res Bluetooth codec, “broken” active noise cancellation, and spatial audio functionality.
With a design potentially implemented and now Bluetooth-enabled that enables higher audio quality and better battery life, it looks like Sonos is very close to unveiling its first headphones. But will 2022 be the big year? Stay tuned.