Sonos Portable Headphones

  • 9 October 2016
  • 27 replies
  • 20694 views

Userlevel 1
Boy, would I sure like Sonos capable headphones! Sure, I could setup a Connect and a headphone amp or some wireless headphone set, but I'd like to wear them around the house in a range no wireless or cable would reach. It can't be that tough to build a set of wireless SONOS headphones.

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27 replies

It can't be that tough to build a set of wireless SONOS headphones.
No, not tough at all. It would simply have to contain the entire networking, processing, and audio capabilities of a Sonos player. As another 'room'. In battery powered headphones.

If you want my opinion, it ain't going to happen. One of Sonos' marketing lines is, after all, 'listen out loud'. And if it ever did happen it wouldn't be cheap.

I suggest you simply obtain some conventional wireless headphones, Bluetooth or otherwise, complete with transmitter.
The fact that people have been asking for this for ten years and Sonos have shown no interest in doing it suggests it's not on their to-do list.
Userlevel 1
It can't be that tough to build a set of wireless SONOS headphones.

If you want my opinion, it ain't going to happen. One of Sonos' marketing lines is, after all, 'listen out loud'. And if it ever did happen it wouldn't be cheap.

I suggest you simply obtain some conventional wireless headphones, Bluetooth or otherwise, complete with transmitter.


Thank you for your reply.

That's a shame. I own several pair of $1K+ headphones and I'd gladly pay quite a sum, more for sure, for ones that could access what a Sonos connection would allow. Perhaps, their marketing line should be "Listen" or "Listen where you want". Sonos' biggest asset in the world is the easy creation of multiple zones and the access to so much music. It isn't the best sound, let's be honest, but it's good enough to thoroughly enjoy. Frankly, there are times that headphones are the only way to listen and even when its not, it is incredibly immersive experience.

Regarding all the hardware needed running on a battery, let's get real, how long would the battery life need to be for headphones.. 4 hours? 6 hours?

Regarding your suggestion, typical wireless works in a close radius with minimal interference, but in a house of several thousand square feet, their range is not adequate. Bluetooth is only good for mere feet.. Think about the range a SONOS headphone could give you.
Frankly, there are times that headphones are the only way to listen and even when its not, it is incredibly immersive experience.
I agree, but as I say to produce a portable Sonos zone -- for that is what it would be -- is no small task. And the market could be relatively small.

Regarding your suggestion, typical wireless works in a close radius with minimal interference, but in a house of several thousand square feet, their range is not adequate. Bluetooth is only good for mere feet.. Think about the range a SONOS headphone could give you.

Bluetooth was only one option. There are headphones using proprietary digital wireless with much greater range. A 'Sonos headphone' could only provide extended range if it exploited the SonosNet mesh. (A system in 'Standard Setup' uses WiFi so players have to within appropriate range of a router/AP.) Why not simply play your favourite music through headphones wired to an Android phone/tablet, attached to SonosNet. Moving around would almost certainly produce audio discontinuities though, as the device was handed off between Sonos devices.
The thing that most people don't recognize is that the Sonos Controller is only a remote control. It's not actually a player of anything. It only tells the speakers where to get the data from in order to play. Once that's done, the Controller drops out of the equation, and everything is done at the speaker level.

Basically, in order to do a set of headphones, they'd have to take all of the equipment that currently resides in a speaker, and stick it into a set of headphones, and then provide it enough power to stay connected to your wifi (since wifi connected speakers is their "thing"). That would require a modicum of power, and probably make the headphones rather heavy. And even if they did so, the amount of time that they'd be able to be connected to your wifi would be limited, since they'd be running power to the wifi system, the processor chip, and the headphone speakers/amplifier.

Kinda the same reasoning for not doing a battery powered "garden" speaker, I suspect. Just too much power needed, and not enough space in the required form factor to make it a satisfactory end user experience.

That's my guess as to why. I could be wrong, but I suspect it's at least close to the truth. Note: I'm not an engineer, nor do I play one on TV.
Basically, in order to do a set of headphones, they'd have to take all of the equipment that currently resides in a speaker, and stick it into a set of headphones, and then provide it enough power to stay connected to your wifi (since wifi connected speakers is their "thing").
I made that point in the first reply.
Sorry, was just reinforcing your comments. Seems like this is a common question. Didn't mean to step on your toes.
Userlevel 1
Thanks for your thoughts. It would be nice, as apparently many others have thought..
As Ratty said, it is easier to come up with a portable listing solution by bypassing Sonos, than it would be to get Sonos to create a special Sonos headphone or a portable Sonos headphone amp. I suspect the latter would be a bit of a brick.
If we really want to create a portable Sonos solution, the best path for SONOS is to create a small battery run box that has Sonosnet and wifi connectivity, has a micro-computer with Sonos control logic, a couple CODECs for converting the digital encoding, and bluetooth output. Then obtain an existing portable battery operated bluetooth headphones and portable battery operated bluetooth headphone amp. No need to reinvent what already exists.
Userlevel 2
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this would be so cool...
Here is our $600,- solution: Sonos connect + Sennheiser RS 160 wireless headphone+transmitter. Great sound, great connectivity and complete Sonos functionality.
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Here is our $600,- solution: Sonos connect + Sennheiser RS 160 wireless headphone+transmitter. Great sound, great connectivity and complete Sonos functionality.

Just to clarify, would this be a Connect or Connect:Amp?
Just a Sonos Connect, not the amp. No need for!
I have been thinking the same thing over the past few days. It would not be that difficult by taking a headset set up similar to the Sennheiser RS 165 with its wifi transmitter and add the basics of the play 1 less the speaker and you would have the basics of a workable wireless headset zone. Surely someone at Sonos could turn that into a sellable device. Music is great around the house but their are times when people don't want to be in another room and don't want to share you music. I know that this thread has been kicking around in various forms for a good few years. Come on Sonos there is ready money to be made here.
Just a point I forgot, people keep on saying you would need to put all Sonos receiving tech inside a headphone this is not true if this was place in a transmitting tower as used by some wireless headphones then there is no need to make any changes to the wireless headphones just add the zone technology to the transmitting tower.
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As someone who hooked up a pair of Sennheiser RS 185's to the Sonos Connect, I see no reason for Sonos to spend resources to develop their own wireless headphones when consumers can already put together their own elegant solution so simply with the Connect. And the advantage of this setup is you're not limited to using these headphones only with Sonos. Buy a Connect, find yourself some quality headphones, and end this thread.
The reason why users would like a Sonos soluation rather than buying a connect and a wireless headseat is quite similar cost and convince of being able to move the unit to different rooms of the house.
Sonos makes money by selling speakers for a multiroom set up. So putting considerable resource into developing a single unit that allowed the music to follow you from room to room would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.

IMO there is no chance of this happening.
I'd buy some.
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The reason why users would like a Sonos soluation rather than buying a connect and a wireless headseat is quite similar cost and convince of being able to move the unit to different rooms of the house.

That's what I already do with my Sennheiser RS 185's. I have the Connect and the Sennheiser transmitter (connected via digital optical cable) in my basement office and can walk around any room upstairs (even two floors up) without missing a beat. And frankly, as good as Sonos speakers sound, I don't think they'll beat the likes of Sennheiser in the headphone world. They sound phenomenal and open up details in the music I never heard with my Sonos speakers.
I have the Connect and the Sennheiser transmitter (connected via digital optical cable) in my basement office and can walk around any room upstairs (even two floors up) without missing a beat.
That is a remarkable achievement for the Sennheiser and one then that will prevent Sonos from getting enough of a market share to justify development costs. Wireless Sennheisers come at a wide range of price points and they are just one make in a crowded market place that would not be worth the effort to penetrate.
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I have been thinking the same thing over the past few days. It would not be that difficult by taking a headset set up similar to the Sennheiser RS 165 with its wifi transmitter and add the basics of the play 1 less the speaker and you would have the basics of a workable wireless headset zone. Surely someone at Sonos could turn that into a sellable device. Music is great around the house but their are times when people don't want to be in another room and don't want to share you music. I know that this thread has been kicking around in various forms for a good few years. Come on Sonos there is ready money to be made here.
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How would I connect these Sennheiser RS 165  headphones to a Connevt ???
Thinking about this idea
Get a headphone amp and a bluetooth transmitter
How would I connect these Sennheiser RS 165  headphones to a Connevt ???

Wire the analog outputs of the Connect to the inputs of the Sennheiser base station that will then wirelessly send the signal to the headphones. By all accounts the Sennheiser wireless solution is very effective.