Sonos is doubling the amount of Sonos-compatible products - all without releasing any new products of their own.
It’s all thanks to a new OTA update that’s coming to Onkyo’s network branded receivers, including those made by Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite. According to Onkyo, these receivers will all soon be certified “Works with Sonos” products, allowing you to treat them just like you would a Sonos speaker.
The update is rolling out in June and, when it hits, certified models will integrate with the Sonos ecosystem with the help of a Sonos Connect, allowing receivers and any connected speakers to act just like any other component in a Sonos system.
- Correction: Onkyo now tells us that the receivers will need a Sonos Connect in order to work as part of a Sonos system - the firmware update alone isn't enough. This makes the situation less than ideal, as it means you'll have to shell out for a Sonos Connect, but it will allow receivers purchased in the last year or two to be compatible with Sonos systems - potentially saving you the hassle or replacing the whole system.
If you’ve never used a Sonos system before this integration will allow you to control the volume and playback on any Sonos systems via the Sonos app, creating multi-room zones or re-arranging speaker groups on the fly.
In practice that means you’ll be able to have something different playing the living room than, say, is playing in your kitchen or you can all have them play the same song, mixing and matching rooms and devices as you please.
Is this connected to the Sonos event on June 6?
The other interesting part of today’s news - other than the fact that many of us will now have many more Sonos compatible products than we had before - is the timing of OTA update’s rollout: It’s happening at the same time as Sonos’ June event in San Francisco.
It’s unlikely that Sonos will announce a new AV receiver up on stage in San Francisco as that’s an area the company has long avoided these last few decades, but chances are good Sonos will mention the update during its presentation for whatever the company unveils.
While we’re not entirely sure what that product will end up being, chances are good Sonos will announce an update to the Sonos Playbar with Amazon Alexa support - following in the footsteps of last year’s ultra-successful Sonos One smart speaker.
The event happens on June 6 and you can bet we’re going to be there.
- Speaking of AVRs, these are the best AV receivers in 2018