New product suggestion

  • 20 April 2017
  • 9 replies
  • 837 views

Hello there,
I wanted to know if I am the only one with the following need: I would like a CONNECT with only digital output because I want to use my receiver DAC.
Of course nothing prevents me from using the CONNECT but I was wandering if without the analog part it could be possible to make this digital-only-CONNECT cheaper and smaller.

For example I was thinking as small as some modern casting/streaming devices, where you can get power directly from a nearby USB plug.

Also digital out could be the usual coax/optical but it could also be HDMI and it could be possible in this way to solve another issue that I saw in the forum: having the controller to power up the rest of the equipment. With HDMI I never touch my receiver, all the other devices turn it on/off through HDMI. And it could open the potential for streaming music videos....

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9 replies

Everything is possible. However, I don't think the market for such a device would be so large as it would be worth the time for Sonos to produce it.
Hello,
I think it's debatable. Of course you could connect such an HDMI device even to a TV if you wanted.
My point is that there is no reason for this device to cost a lot more than $25 dollars, like a chromecast.
We are one order of magnitude below the cost of a CONNECT at $350.
Put it in another way, I love SONOS app but I don't need SONOS HW next to my TV, I only need SONOS devices in the other rooms. I am sure this could be the case for a lot of users.
If I could use the $25 chromecast(-like) device with the same SONOS app with all the same features I would be super happy (and even pay a fee for that on top of the small device, but not $325)
An easier access to the SONOS app, making it possible to pair with existing streaming HW devices (you can ask few dollars extra if it runs on non-SONOS devices), will certainly increase the user base and pump up the sales of other SONOS products.
Not arguing anything other than the value proposition for Sonos to create and sell such a device. For a $25 dollar device, what do you have to offer to the local store so that they can make money off of it? Say, $20 each going to Sonos? How does that get broken out into things like distribution, and manufacturing costs, including labor and parts?

I'm suggesting that the profit margin and size of market in a small device, such as you suggest, probably isn't enough to tempt Sonos into making it, unless you think they could sell a billion of them.

I like the concept, though, and would be tempted to buy one myself, but since Sonos really is in the speaker world, and not in the supporting device world (despite the Connect and Connect:Amp and Boost, both of which are designed to push more sales of the speakers), the chances of them diversifying into such a market is slim.

However, it wouldn't surprise me to see such things incorporated in their next speaker line. The only way they make any money is by selling speakers, so you'll not likely see much in the way of supporting anything else.

Still, I get the idea. I'm just not holding my breath.
Sonos could do this but their development focus is elsewhere and it would as likely lose revenue as gain it. Don't hold your breath.
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I never got why they didn't have a cheaper endpoint, but be careful what you say on here, the usual suspects will come in and shoot you down if you dare suggest anything new.

Even if it was £99, the same sort of price as an Airport Express, just to give you more Zones at an affordable price. It would also get those who feel £349 is too expensive as an entry point to have a go with Sonos. They will probably end up buying a couple of Play units once they have experienced it.
I doubt that removing the analogue sections would make that much difference to the BOM cost of production. In addition, the cost of tooling up and having separate production for such a device would probably outweigh the differences in cost.

Bear in mind that a huge part of the build cost of a Sonos unit is in the processing, decoding and telemetry functions. A lot of the list-price of a Sonos unit is due to the superior technical support; just try contacting Google (or your retailer) to solve Chromecast issues.

Whilst they may, nominally, seem similar, a Sonos player has a lot more going on than a Chromecast which is, effectively, a disposable device with limited support.

That being said, I agree that the current Connect product appears pricey in today's market, although a Sonos player at anywhere close to $25 really is not achievable in reality.

Cheers,

Keith
I agree that the current Connect product appears pricey in today's market, although a Sonos player at anywhere close to $25 really is not achievable in reality.

A simple and radical price reduction would be a lot cheaper for Sonos to implement than releasing a new model, if they saw the business case for this. And I am sure that a large part of that case is not wanting to damage the business of play units. With a cheap Connect, I could use any of the many excellent and cheaper third party active speakers out there and get the best of both worlds, at the expense of play unit revenue for Sonos. Why would Sonos cut their own throat?
I agree that making a cheap product would impact the sales of the more expensive products. You also have to remember that part of what you get with Sonos is the indexing of your local lan music files. I don't see how they could fit that in a $25 package. Granted, a lot of people don't use that feature anymore, but I don't know that you can take it out, and not cause confusion with the customer. I don't even know if it could network properly with other Sonos products.

I can't imagine the analog outputs are that big of a cost. I would be interesting to see a hdmi port on these though, but probably not a difference maker in sales.

I have no idea what they're sales figures are for the CONNECT, but I imagine they are dropping. Using a CONNECT with a receiver just isn't as appealing as it used to be...at least not to me. I have 2 of them and they both sit unused for the most part. I just don't want to bother switching the inputs on the receiver when I can go to a different room with Sonos speakers to listen without the effort.
Just having USB power outputs as an option would be great. You could sell a C8 plug adapter that passes through 120v but also has a USB port for power.