Sonos is at a crossroads, but it’s about to offer a clue as to where it’s headed next. The smart speaker firm is holding a virtual “special event” on March 9th at 4PM Eastern. The company’s invitation (below) doesn’t say much, but the photo of someone wandering through nature suggests the company might introduce another outdoor-friendly portable speaker akin to the Sonos Move.
There’s evidence to support this. As The Verge spotted earlier this month, a Sonos portable speaker passed through the FCC with lower power consumption than the Move (a hint at a smaller, more affordable design) and a label suggesting a cylindrical shape. This wouldn’t so much be a Move-style luggable device as a competitor to the UE Boom and other Bluetooth portable speakers. It appears to be the first Sonos speaker with WiFi 5 (802.11ac), too, which could improve the reliability of your connection in some scenarios.
This could be one of Sonos’ more important products in recent memory. It already has a robust in-home speaker ecosystem — if it’s going to keep growing, it may need to expand to other categories where connected speakers prove useful. The company is also shifting more of its attention to streaming music offerings like Sonos Radio, and a new portable speaker might bring those broadcasts to a considerably wider audience.