Sonos Enters the Car Audio Market

Posted on March 10, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Sonos with 6 Comments

In addition to launching its Roam ultraportable smart speaker this week, Sonos is expanding into the car audio market too, starting with Audi.

“We love to be getting started with Audi, they are very innovative on this front and willing to experiment,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said at an analyst event this week.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the first vehicle with a Sonos audio system is a high-end electric SUV, the Q4 e-tron. We don’t have too many details about the Audi and Sonos linkup yet, but Sonos has described this as its “first partnership” in the automobile market and has said that it “wants to be in all the different categories of audio,” a “big chunk” of which is in autos.

Audi has scheduled an April event for the Q4 e-tron in April. I assume we’ll learn more then.

In other news, Sonos this week also said that its products were in over 11 million homes by the end of 2020, with listening time jumping 33 percent during the pandemic. It expects to have over 500,000 paying radio service subscribers and is aiming for 100 million users, but provided no timetable for either. It also expects its annual revenues to double to at least $2.25 billion by 2024.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Sonos Enters the Car Audio Market”

  1. winner

    But can we trust that they would provide longer support than they do for their home devices? Cars can last 10-20 years.

    • louiem3

      AFAIK Sonos still provides performance and bug fixes for their S1 software that supports every product they have ever made. Even the first zone player (ZP100 - 2005) which is over 16 years old. Granted it's not the most elegant setup having an S1 and S2 setup but it still works. There aren't that many CE company's that I can name which do the same. - Sonos S2 compatibility | Sonos I used to use a Treo 600 back in 2005. That's how old the ZP100 is and it still works today.
      They are being bought and sold on ebay - Zp100 sonos | eBay
      There are active threads on the ZP100 as well on the Community forums - Search | Sonos Community

      My point is I think the company has done ok with supporting their customer base so far.

      In reply to Winner:


      • winner

        In reply to louiem3:

        Yes. I raised the question because a few years ago they were prepared to brick devices that had been sold only a couple of years before that. After a lot of pressure, I believe they relented. Still would not give me a high degree of confidence.

        • louiem3

          The initial communication could have been better that's for sure. However I don't believe they ever stated that they were going to brick devices via the S1/S2 update. There was a lot of FUD around that which was mostly caused by poor communication on their part. The only time they were bricking devices was for their upgrade program they started a few years ago. (Sonos explains why it bricks old devices with ‘Recycle Mode’ - The Verge) That has stopped and corrected in the new upgrade program. In reply to Winner:


          • t-b.c

            In reply to louiem3: This is an interesting discussion, but I'm not sure what tech would be integrated into the car audio speakers that would need support. They wouldn't want to integrate music streaming services into the speakers, would they? I imagine Sonos being more like a Bose car audio installation. I don't own any Sonos equipment, I was already hooked on Bang & Olufsen before they launched as a company, but from what I've heard the company builds equipment of sufficient quality to stand up to the rigors of life in an auto.


          • rickcosby

            In reply to louiem3:

            Sonos should have said,"Send in your old units and we will give you a XX credit on your new purchase." No one would have said a word about that and they would have avoided a lot of unpleasantness. Instead they offered to do the same thing but you didn't have to send them back. Just destroy them in place and save everyone the shipping and trouble. You request it, they send you a code, and when you use it to brick your old ones then you get the credit. No shipping old crap around the country on airplanes. That, apparently is somehow worse than sending them back to the company and having them toss them into a dumpster. Making it even worse, it was completely voluntary. You were welcome to keep them and to keep on using them. They still work just like they did before although you can't really mix and match them with the newer ones and use the newer software. It amazes me that people that would toss an LTE phone in the trash to get a new 5G phone think that Sonos is somehow evil for changing the chips in their speakers with newer and better ones that aren't backward compatible.

      • Paul Thurrott

        Please don't confound the Sonos haters with facts. It just makes them confused.