The Sonos ecosystem of wireless speakers and soundbars might be on the verge of a big upgrade, if rumors of a new home theater operating system are to be believed.
According to Protocol (opens in new tab), which cites "multiple sources" who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Sonos is hiring people to work on a new Home Theater OS project, with job descriptions that suggest the company plans to run apps directly on TVs.
Sonos has apparently been considering various ways to break into TV streaming over the past few years. While the company has created the comprehensive S2 app, which allows users to control their Sonos speakers, create different groupings, and stream music, it's never made this app available on TVs.
That could all be about to change, though with Sonos posting an job ad (opens in new tab) for a UX Lead - Next Generation Home Experience. The successful candidate will "work across deliver surfaces (mobile, television, tablet, and HW remote) to deliver a next-generation content delivery experience'". Applicants need to have eight to 12 years designing UX for mobile and/or TV.
Other job listings for the project ask for applicants to have experience in modern operating systems, including Android/Android TV, which further suggests a big focus on TV from the company.
While Sonos is yet to comment on whether it is working on a home theater operating system, we do know that the company is branching out. Sonos' chief innovation officer, Nick Millington, shared one of the job listings on LinkedIn (opens in new tab), saying that he's working on "a new home theater project", and the role would suit anyone with experience in streaming media such as “audio, video, games, sports, music, news, movies, TV, news, podcasts.”
So, the new Sonos Home Theater OS could be pretty far-reaching, extending into lots of other kinds of content besides music streaming - perhaps even acting as a one-stop-shop for TV, radio, podcasts, gaming, and music, tying in all your various subscriptions into one place.
What about the Sonos wireless headphones?
The news that Sonos could be working on a new home theater operating system suggests that the company might not be looking to branch out into the world of headphones this year, as we had previously thought.
We've seen a few patents for wireless headphones and earbuds from the company, and as Sonos tends to release two new products a year, we were hoping that 2022 would see in the first pair of Sonos headphones.
Sonos is a big name in multiroom audio, so a pair of headphones from the company could really shake up the competition - especially if they come with Wi-Fi connectivity and the ability to 'swap' audio to other Sonos devices, like the Sonos Roam.
However, it looks like Sonos is very much focusing on the world of home cinema with its rumored operating system - and with the success of the Sonos Arc and Sonos Beam (Gen 2) soundbars in recent years, that's not a huge surprise. It's also rumored that Sonos is working on the Sonos Sub Mini, a smaller version of its popular subwoofer, so a home theater OS would compliment that nicely.
In any case, we may not have too long to wait until we find out what the next Sonos device will be. The company released its first product of 2021 in April last year, and if it wants to stick to its rather rigid release schedule, you can expect a new Sonos product to launch in the next few months.