Sonos could be working on a pair of true wireless earbuds, according to a patent discovered by Zats Not Funny (opens in new tab)(via Pocket Lint (opens in new tab)).
The patent (opens in new tab) describes two different wireless earbuds designs, as well as three options for charging cases with some novel approaches to extend playtime, including detachable battery plates.
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Some of the earbuds also sport unusual designs. One of the images in the patent shows a pair of true wireless earbuds with long, ovaloid housings, that slot into either side of a charging case.
It's not a design we've seen before, and it could be a clever way to reduce the size of the charging case, with no need for bulky lids. Whether a charging case that doesn't actually cover the earbuds will provide enough protection, remains to be seen.
What about the Sonos wireless headphones?
As with any patent, there's no guarantee that the products described in the filing will ever see the light of day – but it's certainly a good indication that Sonos is looking to expand beyond the world of wireless speakers and soundbars.
It's not the first time that we've heard Sonos will branch out into the world of personal audio, with rumors that Sonos is working on a pair of wireless over-ear headphones being circulated since early 2019.
We've seen a number of patents so far, describing how the first Sonos headphones would interact with other Sonos products, allowing them to seamlessly integrate with existing multi-room audio setups – something that rivals like Sony, Sennheiser, and Bose don't offer.
According to a report from Bloomberg (opens in new tab), the first Sonos wireless headphones will likely have multiple virtual assistants that would function similarly to the company's Sonos Arc and Sonos One speakers, and would focus on offering a high-end audio performance.
Bloomberg’s sources also suggested that Sonos could target a price point of around $300 (£200 / AU$400) – cheaper than the Sony WH-1000XM4, but not by much – and would launch in 2020. Of course, they never materialized, and rumors have been thin on the ground since then.
Previously, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence confirmed that the company is looking to release two products per year – and since we had the Sonos Roam in March, the next offering from the audio company could well be a pair of headphones or wireless earbuds.
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